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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
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
#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
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
#4
Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market)

Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market)

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A place of magic, where it’s conceivable that almost anything can be found for sale, Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market) is a haven for tourists, displaying a wide variety of goods—most notably, designer brand knock-offs. The Russian Market got its name from the Russian tourists that frequented it in the 1980s; these days, you can hear a wide range of languages being spoken in its stalls.For those looking for souvenirs, “real designer clothes” at a huge discount and some remarkably fantastic food, you’re in the right place. As factories for such big name Western brands like Levi’s, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren are located in Phnom Penh, stock that is deemed unfit to be shipped abroad due to some flaw are then sold at the Russian Market. Stick to the eastern side of the market for clothing; the northern side sells a utilitarian mix of tools and household goods and the other two sides are a mixture of jewelry and watches, antiques and not-so-antiques, pirated videos and various crafts. The middle of the market is the jackpot–-it’s a veritable Mecca of jet-fuel-grade iced coffee, noodle shops and snacks of both the savory and sweet persuasion.More
#5
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
#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
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
#8
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
#9
Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

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Beng Mealea is located 40 kilometers east of the main Angkor Wat complex. The temple was mainly constructed from sandstone, with its architectural style identical to that of Angkor Wat. Because of this, it is thought that Beng Mealea was built in the 12th century under the reign of Suryavarman II.The temple grounds are surrounded by a gigantic moat and was once entirely consumed by jungle. This atmospheric temple is oriented toward the east, with entranceways from the other three cardinal directions also. If entering from the south, visitors will find themselves amid piles of chiselled sandstone blocks, sweeping vines, and mysterious dark chambers.The layout of the temple consists of three enclosed galleries situated around a central tower, which has now completely collapsed. There’s a well-preserved library in the northeastern quadrant, plus extensive carvings of scenes from Hindu mythology and long balustrades formed by bodies of the seven-headed Naga serpent.More
#10
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

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

Must-See Temples at Angkor Wat

How to Spend 2 Days in Angkor Wat

How to Spend 2 Days in Angkor Wat

Recent reviews from experiences in Cambodia

star-5
Well worth doing.
Maxine_P, Mar 2020
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside
A excellent way to see the real Siem Reap.
star-5
Recommend
Alex_M, Feb 2020
Half Day Kompong Phluk Tonle Sap Lake 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
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
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
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-4
Emancipation, self-gratification
RomleeM1, Aug 2019
Phnom Penh Small Group 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
Full-day Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap with English Speaking Guide
Phearom spoke perfect english.
star-4
Wonderful day tour of Angkor Wat
O8334COsteves, Sep 2018
Full-day Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap with English Speaking Guide
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.
star-5
This was the best tour we did on our...
Michelle R, Jun 2017
Street Food Tasting Tour including Dinner
Got to visit a market for the locals, a cool night market and eat bugs and interesting foods and the best was dinner at a local spot!
star-5
This tour gave us everything that we...
Lourdes T, Jun 2017
Private Tour: Siem Reap Full Day Tour With Angkor Wat Banteay Srei Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm
This tour gave us everything that we wanted to see in Cambodia.
star-5
This tour is Amazing and worth for...
SIEWPENG_S, Sep 2017
Half Day Kompong Phluk Tonle Sap Lake from Siem Reap
He is well known with the history of Cambodia and spoke many languages such as Korean, English and more.
star-5
This dance show was a highlight of...
Miller D, Jul 2017
Experience Cambodian Living Arts, Dance Show
The student performers create an atmosphere for the audience for fall in love with a piece of Cambodia's heritage.
star-5
This tour is Amazing and worth for...
VIVEK G, Jan 2018
discover floating villages and tonle sap lake by boat
His English was great.
star-5
As a family this was a very...
Martin S, Jul 2017
Private Siem Reap Countryside Cycling Tour
Our guide Sopheak Hub was brilliant, even taking us to visit a rural school once he knew I was an International School Principal.
star-4
Something a little different and...
MRSEM_S, Mar 2017
Day Trip to Phnom Kulen Mountain from Siem Reap
A bit of a drive but the waterfalls are beautiful and you stop to see the mountain top temple and the Linga riverbed sculptures along the way.
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