Places to Visit in Cambodia – Beautiful Destinations
The places to visit in Cambodia offer you a wonderful and adventurous holiday. Especially the Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh, the world’s largest temple Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville with its unique sea are worth seeing. But there are many destinations around the country waiting to be discovered. You can also experience the amazing nightlife here. If you are wondering where to go in the country, you should definitely read this travel guide article before you make a trip to Cambodia.
Many traveler visits to Cambodia with Vietnam and Thailand. Although it is not as popular as these countries, it has beautiful nature and sea. And we are talking about a country that has a wonderful Angkor Wat Temple. The temples compete with UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids and Machu Picchu.
You can also have fun in Cambodia. Because you will find a very active nightlife. For example, Pub Street in Siem Reap is a world-famous bar street. Although it is not like a Thai or Philippines nightlife, you can hang out in quality and cheap places. So that you can feel relaxed.
Places to Visit in Cambodia
Cambodia is among the poorest countries in the world. Because the recent history of the country is full of wars. It was French colonialism between 1863-1953. Also, it was invaded by the Japanese Empire between 1941-1945. You can see the impact of the massacres committed by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot after independence in 1957 in most parts of the country.
Especially after the ’90s, millions of tourists come to visit this charming country. The country has become one of the favorite places of backpackers traveling the world. The cities on the list of places to visit in Cambodia below really deserve to be seen.
1- Angkor Wat Temples
The city of Siem Reap is known as the tourism center of the country. Because it has the largest temple in the world. Many tourists and backpackers visit here to see Angkor Wat Temple. The temples have already become the symbol of the country. For example, the temple silhouette is on the flag of the country, and also the local beer named Angkor.
Angkor Archaeological Park is approximately 7-8 km away from the city center. You need to buy tickets to visit Angkor Wat Temples. Entrance fees are $37 for a 1-day ticket, $62 for 3 days, and $72 for a weekly ticket. It is impossible to visit all of the temples in a single day. Since my time was limited I bought a day tour called ‘Small Tour‘.
Along with the small tour, you can visit the magnificent architectural temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Bayon) and Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Banteay Kdei, and Prasat Kravan. It is a tiring day, but believe me, it is worth it. By the way, Ta Prohm temple is famous with Angelina Jolie’s movie Tomb Raider.
2- Siem Reap – Places to Visit in Cambodia
Siem Reap City is famous for its temples. So many tourists visit this city first in the country. I have already stated that the temples are definitely one of the must-see points above. So, apart from the temples, what are the main places to visit in Siem Reap, Cambodia?
Tonle Sap Lake and the floating village Chong Kneas are the main sights to see. Tonle Sap Lake is getting 7 times deeper when monsoon rains start. In the village of Chong Kneas, everything is swimming on this lake. Schools, markets, hospitals, etc. In fact, even though this leads to poverty in the country, Cambodian people use it for tourism. By purchasing a tour, you can see the world’s largest floodplain, the lake, and the floating village. Moreover, it is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
If you take a trip to Cambodia in Siem Reap, another tourist spot you can visit is Phnom Kulen National Park and Waterfall. You can spend a day in touch with nature among the forests at the waterfall. The place is approximately 1 hour away from the city center. You can go here with daily tours.
Other must-see places in the city are; Cambodia Mine Museum, War Museum, and Angkor National Museum. You can also take a bike tour of Siem Reap in the city or stop by Pub Street for Cambodia nightlife. I suggest you stay at least 3 nights. You can make an online reservation from the list of hotels in Siem Reap.
3- Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, is the largest city on the list of places to visit in the country. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh was once the most valuable city of the Indochina Peninsula due to its location. Because it is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonle Sap, and Bassac Rivers.
As you can still see the effects of French colonialism, and the brutal genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot in the city. They are still fresh. You can still read this pain in the eyes of local people. Because 2 million people died. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Killing Fields are among the most important places to visit in the city.
Other must-see places in Phnom Penh are; Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom Temple, Wat Ounalom, Psar Thmei, Psar Tuol Tom Pong (Russian Market). 1 or 2 days will be enough for your trip. For Phnom Penh hotels, you can look for accommodation through booking. By the way, since there are buses from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, you can go to Vietnam by road after the Cambodia tour.
Sihanoukville is a holiday destination famous for its sea-sand-sun, which is on the list of places to visit in Cambodia. Sihanoukville has a coast to the sea in the south of the country. It is like a holiday paradise with its white-sand beaches, nightlife, and beautiful resorts. This is a peaceful, fun, and relaxing place after cultural visits such as temples and museums.
Sihanoukville is also known as Kampong Som. This tourism paradise exceeds the expectations of both backpackers and those looking for an all-inclusive luxury holiday. With many accommodation options such as luxury resorts, bungalow houses, boutique hotels, and hostels, you can have a holiday that suits your budget.
Independence, Sokha, Otres, Ouchheuteal, and Mlop Chrey Beaches are among the most popular spots. Let me talk about how to get to Sihanoukville. You can come here by plane because there is an airport in this city. It will be cheaper to take the bus from Phnom Penh, as another option.
5- Koh Rong Island
Koh Rong is also known as Cambodian Turkish Island. The reason for this is a large number of Turkish business operators settled on the island. They already had an important role in the development of the island. Therefore, this is a place where you can taste lots of Turkish delicacies and local dishes during your Cambodia trip.
Koh Rong Island is mostly preferred by young backpackers. As a result, you can have a cheap holiday here. Koh Rong Island deserves to be on the list of places to visit in Cambodia with activities such as lively nightlife, island tours by motor, sunbathing, diving, snorkeling. It is near Sihanoukville as well.
The most famous attractions on the island are Koh Toch Village, Police Beach, 4K and Long Set Beach, and Sok San Beach. I think staying here for 1-2 nights is enough. Hotel prices on the island are very affordable. For hotel recommendation, you can book your room according to the comments from the booking website.
6- Koh Rong Sanloem
Koh Rong Sanloem is located right next to Koh Rong Island. It draws attention with its luxury hotels and beach resorts. Still, we can say that it is more affordable than popular tourist islands like Thailand. If you are looking for a more calm and peaceful holiday, you can choose this place. In fact, if you are unsure about where to go for your honeymoon, you should have this paradise island in your mind as an alternative.
Saracen Bay, Lazy Beach, and Sunset Beach are the points you can visit on the island. Although there are limited restaurants and accommodation options compared to the other islands, you can find hotels according to your budget on this site.
7- Koh Tonsah Island
The island is one of the hidden paradises of the country. Koh Tonsah means Rabbit Island in English. It is a kinda virgin place that is just beginning to popularize and is waiting to be discovered. The area of the island, surrounded by coconut trees and beaches, is only 2 square kilometers.
You can enjoy the island calmly. You do activities here away from crowds such as having a massage on the beach, snorkeling, and swimming. Spending time with local people, and tasting natural seafood are also other options to spend your time here. So there are many things to do in Koh Tonsah Island, Cambodia.
You can explore the whole island by walking for 2-3 hours. The only disadvantage of the islands is there may be a shortage of electricity from time to time. Regarding transportation, you can reach Kon Tonsah Island with a 30-minute ferry ride from Kep city. Click for the Kep City hotels list. This city is the closest settlement to the island.
8- Kep – Places to Visit in Cambodia
Kep is a holiday destination that has recently managed to attract foreigners. This city is located in the south and is the smallest province in the country. Apart from being a normal seaside town, it is a very good place to relax and find peace. It is also worth seeing the limestone caves and temples built in the time of the Khmer Empire. Also, there are many French-style villas here.
Kep is a preferred destination for local people. With its blue crystal sea and white sand beach, it feels like you have fallen into heaven. Before coming here, you should be aware that there is no ATM on the island. So don’t forget to bring US dollars in cash or the Cambodian currency Riel with you.
9- Kampot – Places to Visit in Cambodia
Kampot is about 100 kilometers from the city of Sihanoukville. It is a very lovely seaside town. If you are looking for a peaceful city like Kep, which is on the list of places to visit in Cambodia, will be a perfect choice. By renting a scooter or motorbike, you can observe the local life better by touring the surroundings. Or you can also rent a tuk-tuk for it.
Must-see places in Kampot are The Big Durian Roundabout, Phnom Bokor National Park, Phnom Chhnork Temple, The Secret Lake, Sothy’s Pepper Field, Reah Monivong National Park, and Phnom Kbal Romeas. By the way, maybe you’ve heard of it. Kampot pepper is very famous. That’s why you may want to go to pepper fields and taste the naturally grown peppers. For those who ask where to stay in Kampot, check out the hotel list.
Places to Visit in Cambodia For Nightlife
As it is known, nights are very lively and lively in Southeast Asian countries. Cambodia nightlife is also very entertaining, especially in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Koh Rong Island. Also, it is cheaper than in other countries. For example, local beer is around $1 and cocktails start at $2. You can have fun as you wish in many places such as quality restaurants, bars, or nightclubs.
You should also read those articles below.