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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
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
Kampong Phluk

Kampong Phluk

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Perched on the floodplain of Tonle Sap Lake—the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia— Kampong Phluk is a floating community of around 3,000 villagers. Visit to see how the residents live—in stilted homes and depending on fishing as a livelihood.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

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Top activities in Cambodia

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Recent reviews from experiences in Cambodia

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Great day highly recommend
Rosabelle_P, Apr 2022
Phnom Penh Full Days Private Tours
Very well organised, nice clean car, excellent English.
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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.
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A Must Do For Those Looking To Experience The Local Area And Culture!
Pietro_M, Jun 2022
The Mekong Island Biking Tour and Lunch with farmers
His English is great and he made sure our small group of three stayed hydrated and energized as the day started to quickly heat up.
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