Things to Do in Cambodia

Located in the south of Indo-China Peninsula in Asia, the Kingdom of Cambodia is a country with a long history and many spectacular places of interest. Let's have a count of top attractions and things to do in Cambodia now.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

The most famous tourist attraction in Cambodia is the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Listed as one of the seven wonders in the world, Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Kingdom (802-1431) and also the world's largest religious monument. One can climb the "Paradise Steps" in the Pre Rup Temple and worship "the Smile of Khmer" in the Bayon Temple. What's more, appreciating the sunrise and sunset in the Angkor ruins is kind of great relax to refresh your soul.

The Tonle Sap as the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, feeding the great nation of Khmer, now is revered as the Mother Lake by Cambodians. Floating villages like Kompong Phhluk, Kompong Khleang, and Chong Kneas are among the most representative villages on the lake, receiving thousands of tourists from all over the world. While visiting the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, if time permits, it would be a great choice to take a look of the living style of the local fishermen.

The Royal Palace, a must-see attraction in Phnom Penh, is one of the representative buildings in the capital of Cambodia. With golden walls, it covers more than 20 palaces such as Golden Palace, and Silver Palace. Watching the sunset and seeing the soft sunlight glittering on the golden roof while canoeing on the nearby Tonle Sap River could make you forget its glorious history as well as its bitter sufferings shortly. What you may want to do now is to frozen the monument and impress the scene deeply in your mind.

Floating Village, Siem Reap
Floating Village, Siem Reap
Another thing to do in Cambodia is to take the "bamboo train" in Battambang which is a quite unique transport in the world. Many railway networks were built during the French colonial period from 1863 to 1953, but the railway development has been halted. The so-called "bamboo train" is a bed-size bamboo board running on the track, while speeding up, it would become bumpy and sometimes you even need to push the grass aside by your hands. But, still, it is an exciting and unforgettable activity.

Sihanoukville, the modern business harbor on the southwest coast, is among the country's top destinations with Gold Coast for touring. Divided into north and south parts by reefs and hills, the famous Victory Beach has a length of more than 1.2 miles (2 kilometers). The north part is crowded with large cargo vessels and tourists since it is the best place to watch the sunset in Sihanoukville. The south part is also called the Hawaii Beach or King's Beach, and you can rent a boat for touring there. You could eat Chinese or Cambodian style seafood in restaurants like Hawaii Seaview or Sea Dragon on the beach. Also, some bars like Angkor Arms in downtown area also provide rich menu. The comfortable and relaxing life could wash away your fatigue of travel.

Fish and rice play an important role in the local diet culture. Below are some popular local foods you should have a try.
Name Destination Flavor Popularity
Amok Toast the fish, chicken, beef or other ingredients wrapped in banana leaves and then add coconut juice, vegetables and spices. Then fill it in the coconut shell or porcelain bowls. Sweet
Bai Sach Chrouk Toasted coconut-marinated pork with rice, usually served with pickles and a bowl of chicken soup. Fresh
Khmer Red Curry Not as spicy as the Thailand curry, the Cambodia Red Curry is a must-try. It is a stew with beef, chicken, fish, eggplant, coconut juice, lemon grass and kroeung sauce, often eaten with bread. Spicy
Hot Pot Boil beef slices in the hot soup with special herbs and spices in it, wrap the beef and vegetable in a pancake, and eat with the local sauce. Fresh

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Cambodia also provides tourists with many interesting items for entertainment. The special entertainments are like: learning to make the traditional handicraft, enjoying Cambodian SPA, making local dishes, and watching traditional shows in Sovanna Phum Art Association. If you're tired with the ancient relics in daytime, the bar is a place that you absolutely cannot miss. There are bars providing both heavy rock and also quiet and relaxing music. Besides these activities, Siem Reap supplies tourists with a rich variety of outdoor entertainment items, such as taking a bird's eye view of the Angkor Wat and the idyllic scenery by helicopter, taking cross-country adventure by scrambling motorcycle or ATV, flying through the jungle by a steel wire, playing golf in the third largest golf course in Asia, enjoying the beautiful scenery of Siem Reap by hot-air balloon at the height of 600 feet (180m) in the sky.

An important thing to be noticed while traveling in Cambodia is that it's impolite to take things or food with your left hand. Also, Cambodians think head is the holy part in the body, so others should not touch their head, even the children's.
- Last updated on Aug. 30, 2023 by Brenda Lian -