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Things to do in Cambodia

Things to do in  Cambodia

Welcome to Cambodia

Cambodia's greatest glory, its UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, attracts more than two million visitors a year for good reason. But, all too often, the rest of this charming kingdom is overlooked by busy travelers, so don't be afraid to veer off the beaten track. Start in Siem Reap, of course—your base for exploring Angkor Wat—and while you're in town, be sure to hit the night market to sample a few Cambodian delicacies. If deep-fried tarantula isn't your thing, your guide can steer you toward tamer (and tastier) local fare: sweet and spicy noodle dishes or sticky coconut-rice pancakes. Try to catch a performance of the excellent Phare theater troupe, which features Khmer storytelling, dance, and acrobatics, too. Just south of Siem Reap, a lake boat tour on Tonle Sap offers a glimpse into rural life as you glide past floating villages and lush green rice paddies. In Phnom Penh, the lively capital, a day trip to Tluong Suong Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (aka the Killing Fields) reveals the country's tragic past under the Khmer Rouge, a heartbreaking but critical history that is woven into the stories of most Cambodians you'll meet. Hit the National Museum, home to a treasure trove of Angkor artifacts; tour the Royal Palace and the shimmering Silver Pagoda; and visit Wat Phnom. Adventurous types can then head southwest to colonial Kampot, tour the ghostly ruins of Bokor Hill Station by motorbike, and fill up on fresh seafood in the fishing village of Kep.

Top 10 attractions in Cambodia

#1
Tonlé Sap

Tonlé Sap

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This great lake covering 1,000 square miles (2,600 square kilometers) is not only the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia, it’s also a UNESCO-designated biosphere due to its remarkable natural features. The flow of water in Tonlé Sap changes direction twice during the course of the year, expanding and contracting with the seasons.More
#2
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

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Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge government killed and/or starved around 1.7 million of their citizens, roughly 20% of the population. Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21), a former high school that served as a torture and detention center, documents their atrocities through films, photos, and artifacts.More
#3
Phnom Penh Independence Monument

Phnom Penh Independence Monument

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A 60-foot (20-meter) tall Angkor-style monument built in 1958, the Phnom Penh Independence Monument was constructed to commemorate the Cambodians winning back their independence from the French in 1953. Renowned Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann designed the monument; the architecture is patterned after a lotus flower and adorned with five levels of Naga heads, which gives it a very distinctive look. Located in the heart of busy Phnom Penh, the Independence Monument attracts many visitors, not only for its unique architecture, but also for its location: it’s in the middle of a busy intersection and the eastern side features a large, open park that is a popular spot for locals to gather and jog or practice tai chi and aerobics.More than just a monument commemorating Cambodia’s independence, it also serves as a memorial to Cambodia’s war casualties and is a symbol of the end of Cambodia’s war. In remembrance, families place large wreaths at the foot of the monument for war veterans. At night, the monument is illuminated by red, blue and white floodlights, the colors of the Cambodian flag. It’s also the site of celebrations and services on holidays such as Independence (January 7) and Constitution Day (September 24).More
#4
Royal Palace

Royal Palace

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The official home of Cambodian royals is located in the heart of Phnom Penh, where the gilded rooflines of the Royal Palace preside over manicured grounds. It’s a gem of Khmer architecture and one of the city’s most popular sites. Follow in royal footsteps as you explore the intricate Throne Hall, visit the Silver Pagoda, and more.More
#5
Phnom Penh Central Market (Phsar Thmey)

Phnom Penh Central Market (Phsar Thmey)

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With its distinctive art-deco dome, Phnom Penh Central Market (Phsar Thmey) attracts visitors with hundreds of traditional Khmer stalls, selling everything from antique coins and brightly colored fabrics to traditional crafts and medicinal products. No first-time visit to Phnom Penh is complete without stopping, and shopping, here.More
#6
Phnom Kulen National Park

Phnom Kulen National Park

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Phnom Kulen National Park, which sits north of the famous temples of Angkor Archeological Park, features Khmer landmarks in a gorgeous natural setting. Visit to see waterfalls streaming from a holy mountain, natural pools, the phallic carvings at Kbal Spean (the River of a Thousand Lingas), and a popular Buddhist shrine.More
#7
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Choeung Ek Killing Fields)

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Choeung Ek Killing Fields)

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The best known of the “killing fields” where the Khmer Rouge executed over a million innocent Cambodians, the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center sit just outside Phnom Penh. A memorial stupa contains the skulls of around 8,000 victims; bracelets decorate killing sites; and a museum documents the atrocities.More
#8
Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

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Boasting a hilltop location overlooking the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the Buddhist temple of Wat Phnom is one of Cambodia’s most-visited temples. Originally built in 1373, the sanctuary was reconstructed in 1998 and now provides a place for locals to celebrate Khmer festivals and make sacred offerings.More
#9
Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market)

Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market)

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Whether you’re looking for antique jewelry, freshly-caught fish, or factory-fresh designer brands, its likely that Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market has a stall selling the goods. So-called because of the Russian tourists that used to frequent it, the market today offers a glimpse into local life in Cambodia’s capital.More
#10
Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

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Said to date back to the 12th century, Beng Mealea is a sandstone temple that replicates the design of the iconic Angkor Wat. The temple grounds are surrounded by a gigantic moat that was once entirely consumed by jungle; if you enter from the south side, you’ll find yourself amid haphazard sandstone blocks and creeping vines.More

Trip ideas

Siem Reap Floating Villages

Siem Reap Floating Villages

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Angkor Wat

How to Spend 2 Days in Angkor Wat

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

Top activities in Cambodia

Recent reviews from experiences in Cambodia

star-5
Great day highly recommend
Rosabelle_P, Apr 2022
Phnom Penh Full Days Private Tours
Very well organised, nice clean car, excellent English.
star-5
Good tour friendly guide
Chin_C, Mar 2022
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside with Local Expert
Getting to see cambodia village life while having a workout.
star-5
Once in a lifetime experience. Highly recommended!
Benjamin_L, May 2022
Ultimate Private Guided Tours, Sunrise Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei
Given our wonderful experience on the private tour, we booked him for another half day tour the next day to Tonle Sap and Phnom Bakeng to see the sunset
star-5
The best in Battambang
Daragh_M, Mar 2022
Afternoon tour by tuk tuk to bamboo train,countryside,killing cave and bat cave
A gushing review doesn't come often) Bun took me to see the part of Cambodia I hoped to see and to the streets and fields of his hometown.
star-5
Amazing experience, cannot miss it
Nathan_W, Mar 2022
The Killing Field and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum Tour
The way this piece of history is encapsulated in these sights is unbelievable and immensely impactful to visit.
star-5
Fantastic morning out in the Cambodian countryside
Peter_W, Feb 2022
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside with Local Expert
After the horrors of a 2 year lock down in the tourist town is going to be great to see his business taking off again.
star-5
Above and beyond! Great day!
Catherine_C, Jan 2022
Full day by Tuk Tuk to bamboo train,batcave&killingcave explore local livelihood
Activities themselves are also great!
star-5
Recommend
Alex_M, Feb 2020
Tonle Sap Lake & Kampong Phluk Half-Day Tours from Siem Reap
Very interesting if you want to see how Cambodians living on the waterways really live.
star-5
A must do in Phnom Penh
mlpallorina1971, Feb 2020
The Killing Field and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum Tour
He also speak very good English and they pick me up from my hotel at the agreed time.
star-5
Bats at sunset!
mmkahn, Jan 2020
Battambang City Private Tour (Day Trip)
This tour was one of our favourite things to do during our time in Cambodia!
star-5
Fantastic tour!
elizabethgbaker96, Jan 2020
Guided Bike Tour with Lunch in Islands of the Mekong from Phnom Penh
The tour guide was very informative and took us to see the back streets and country side of Cambodia.
star-5
Easy fun reliable
jameshowse9, Jan 2020
2-Day Angkor Wat Small, Big Circuit and Banteay Srei Tour
So easy, fun and great to see to many temples it really took the stress out of us having to organise it and know which temples were best to see etc.
star-5
Patient guy and flexible time for visiting
Huong H, Oct 2019
Kulen Mountain Waterfall Small Groups
Include entrance fee 20$ exactly The guide cum driver for my trip is nice Cambodian guy with patient attitude I have enough time for visiting all place included in tour and the guide help me call motor bike by local guy to visit some others place exclude tour, and truly advice about buying souvenirs around visiting place
star-5
Sunset and real life experiences all In one trip
william_w, Aug 2019
Siem Reap Countryside Sunset Ride
The primary focus was to see the sunset from a great viewing spot.
star-4
Emancipation, self-gratification
RomleeM1, Aug 2019
Phnom Penh City Tour, Silver Pagoda, Genocide Museum, Killing Fields
After reading so much of Khmer Rouge Regime, we decided to see ourselves the destruction during their rule in Cambodia.
star-5
Interesting Combination!
MariaLuisa_P, Aug 2019
Phnom Penh 2-Day Tour
T'was a great experience to see part of Cambodia's countryside and her ancient capital from 17th to 19th century called Oudong.
star-5
Worth getting a great guide
Lesa D, Aug 2019
Angkor Wat Two Days Tour With Lunch, Sunset, and Sunrise
Mr Chea Narong from Angkor Local Tour was a very knowledgable guide and also took the time to show us and talk to us about everyday life in Cambodia as well as just the usual tourist attractions.
star-5
Phearom was a terrific guide
Mary_S, Jul 2019
Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap
Phearom spoke perfect english.
star-4
Wonderful day tour of Angkor Wat
O8334COsteves, Sep 2018
Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap
The tour guide speaks really good English and explains in detail about the history of the site and Cambodia in general.
star-5
I had a great tour with Mr Pheap- he...
Haziqah N, Jun 2017
Full-Day Temples of Angkor Small Group Tour
Will definitely recommend, and hope to visit the temples again with Journeys Cambodia.
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