Cambodia Travel: 10 Fascinating Places To Visit
Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is bordered by Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Renowned for its rich history, unique culture, and warm hospitality, this hidden gem destination offers a diverse range of attractions. From ancient temples in the north, to pristine beaches in the south, bustling cities, and authentic countryside villages, there’s something for everyone. In this travel guide, we share 10 fascinating places to visit in Cambodia as well as a map with great places to stay, eat, and drink.
Check out our video about Cambodia to see these fascinating places to visit through our camera!
Places To Visit In Cambodia
10. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, the vibrant capital city of Cambodia, is located in the southeastern part of the country. With most international flights arriving here, it’s often the first place people visit. This capital city offers a fascinating blend of modern developments and traditional charm, as well as a rich cultural, historical and culinary heritage. Places you can’t miss include the ornate Royal Palace, the moving Killing Fields, and the shocking Security Prison S-21.
Where we stayed: Onederz Hostel ($): simple rooms in the heart of the city! lovely rooftop restaurant with delicious food, swimming pool, and a great atmosphere.
9. Floating villages on Tonlé Sap
Located in the north of Cambodia, Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The lake swells and shrinks greatly in size throughout the year. During the rainy season, the lake expands and floods the surrounding countryside, creating a network of floating villages. These villages are home to fishing communities who have adapted to the water as a part of their existence. It’s possible to visit some of these villages with a boat tour. Popular options include Kompong Khleang and Kompong Phluk, where you can witness the stilted houses and daily lives of the locals. Both villages are within a short distance from Siem Reap so you can visit as a half-or full-day tour.
8. Ratanakiri Province
Ratanakiri, a remote province in northeastern Cambodia, is an off the beaten path destination. Known for its lush jungle, ethnic minority villages, and stunning waterfalls, this region offers a fantastic opportunity for eco-tourism. A great base to explore this region from is Banlung, the province’s capital city. From here, you can arrange jungle tours as well as other outdoor adventure activities. We went on a day tour to some of the region’s best waterfalls, a volcanic lake (Yeak Laom), and a hill tribe village (Tampoun people) where we learned about their traditions and way of life.
Where we stayed: Green Plateau Lodge in Banlung ($): lovely accommodation in the outskirts of the city with a beautiful lush garden
Located in southern Cambodia, Kampot is a charming riverside town known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful scenery. The town itself boasts French colonial architecture and a relaxed riverside ambiance. Attractions in the area include visiting the pepper farms, indulging in delicious seafood, kayaking on the river, and exploring nearby Bokor National Park. Kampot is the perfect place to unwind and connect with nature while experiencing the lush countryside. The best way to explore these attractions is by renting a motorbike or taking a guided tuk tuk tour.
Where we stayed: The Square ($$): bright spacious room with comfy big beds. The staff is lovely and the breakfast delicious!
6. Siem Reap
Siem Reap is situated in northwestern Cambodia and is most famous for being the gateway to the world-renowned Angkor Wat complex. But aside from the ancient temples, Siem Reap offers a range of other attractions. The vibrant and lively Pub Street is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, with a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and street food. But the night markets, apsara dance performances, or a visit to APOPO also can’t be missed.
Where we stayed: The Twizt - Lifestyle Hostel ($$): mid-range hostel with private and dorm rooms. Fantastic rooftop pool, live music, and restaurant/bar
5. Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen National Park is a mountainous area, located about 50 kms north of Siem Reap. The park is known for its immense cultural and historical significance, being the birthplace of the ancient Khmer civilization. It’s home to the spectacular Kulen waterfalls, lush forests, beautiful viewpoints, and ancient temples that date back to the 9th century. We went on a day tour from Siem Reap, visiting the sacred temple and reclining Buddha as well as the picturesque waterfalls.
Where we stayed: The Twizt - Lifestyle Hostel ($$) in Siem Reap
Kratie is a peaceful town situated in eastern Cambodia. This hidden gem often gets overlooked by tourists but offers a unique and authentic experience. The province is home to one of the few remaining habitats of the endangered Mekong Dolphins, also known as the Irrawaddy dolphins. You can take a boat or kayak tour on the Mekong River to spot these playful dolphins in their natural environment. Tours generally take you to nearby Kampi, only 15 kilometers away from the provincial town of Kratie. A tour generally includes kayaking downstream on the river, trying some local food for lunch, and spotting these fantastic creatures swimming around your boat.
Where we stayed: Sorya Guesthouse & Dolphin Tours ($): clean and modern rooms with a great bed. Great sunset view from the rooftop as well! Book the dolphin kayaking tour via the guesthouse and you won't be disappointed.
3. Koh Rong
Koh Rong is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, about 25 kilometers off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. This stunning island is the perfect destination for those seeking a tropical paradise with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush jungles. It’s an ideal place to relax and have a stress-free environment. It’s possible to drive around the island and visit other beaches and attractions, but keep in mind that the level of development is limited, so road conditions can be hit and miss. Our favorite beaches include Long Set Beach, Long Beach, and Sok San Beach.
Where we stayed: Scarlet Sails Resort ($$): spacious but simple bungalows in a stunning setting right at the waterfront of Long Set Beach. There's a big pool on the property, ideal for swimming
2. Koh Rong Sanloem
Koh Rong Sanloem is the smaller and more secluded one of the Koh Rong Islands. If you're looking for an even more peaceful getaway, this island is perfect for you. Saracen Bay is the most popular beach on Koh Rong Sanloem, offering calm waters and powdery white sand. But if you’re looking for pure tranquility, Sunset Beach, Lazy Beach or M-Pai Bay might be for you.
Where we stayed: Onederz ($): clean, simple rooms with choice of dorm and private rooms. Great atmosphere, bar, and restaurant with lots of fun games.
1. Angkor Archeological Park
Finally, at number one we have Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true archaeological wonder. Located near Siem Reap, this vast complex of ancient temples, which includes the iconic Angkor Wat, is a must-visit. Marvel at the intricate carvings, explore the hidden temples, and witness the magical sunrise or sunset inside the park for an unforgettable experience. Exploring these temples is like stepping back in time and provides a fascinating insight into the ancient Khmer civilization that once thrived in the region.
Where we stayed: The Twizt - Lifestyle Hostel (where we stayed - $$): mid-range hostel with private and dorm rooms. Fantastic rooftop pool, live music, and restaurant/bar
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Use These Websites To Save Money On Your Trip To Cambodia
Booking.com for places to stay
Skyscanner for cheap flights
GetYourGuide for local tours
Rentalcars.com for affordable car rentals
Are you having a hard time planning your trip to Cambodia? Get our Interactive Travel Planner to keep it all organized.
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