Top 7 Things to Do in Cambodia

If you have been familiar with a country of Cambodia conjuring the images of ancient ruins, majestic Angkor temples, dense jungles, or secret waterfalls, the travel scene that this nation bursts onto will take you by surprise. Obviously, this region’s long history has been a major source of cultural inspiration, in which each attraction leads you to exciting things that you cannot ignore once stepping foot into.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at our 7 top-rated things to do in Cambodia, where you are capable of freely diving in a sense of adventure with fascinating wildlife and sociable locals as well.

1. Marveling at Angkor Wat

There is no getting around the fact that Angkor Wat which stretches over 400 km2 and contains the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire’s different capitals, is Cambodia’s fierce national pride. Built in the 1100s as the resting place for King Suryavarman II, the Angkor complex consisting of countless sculptural decorations, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes resembles a dauntingly massive masterpiece that is outstanding in the moment of sunrise and sunset.

Whether your travel schedule is tight or not, please do not forget visiting the bas-reliefs depicting historical events and stories from mythology, especially the images of heaven and hell in the same breath which are renowned as the most exhilarating attraction among the others in this World Heritage site. 

things to do in cambodiaAngkor Wat

2. Experiencing the message of time at Ta Prohm

Beyond Angkor Wat, how fascinating it will be if you spend time dropping by the mysterious Ta Prohm (also located in Siem Reap) which owns a uniquely serendipitous combination between human artifice and raw nature working together in accidental harmony. Unlike any of the other popular Angkor temples, this spiritual place dating back from 12th century seems to be engulfed by strangler figs and the massive roots of kapok trees clinging to walls, framing doorways and prizing apart giant stones. As a result, the jungle-smothered ruins of Ta Prohm along with amazingly gorgeous colors of the well-preserved stone carvings, high blue jade to sea green, and the golden tawny roots of the entwining trees will never make you disappointed by giving a sense of exploring something truly stunning and ancient.

things to do in cambodia 2

3. Visiting the chilling Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

As time goes by, the Killing Fields which is like a bone-chilling reminder of the most alarming genocides in Cambodia’s history, still persistently exists for travelers desiring to gain knowledge of its tragic past. The period that Cambodia went into its Dark Ages between 1975 and 1979 also marks these areas as nothing but the dead lands or burial grounds that Phnom Penh capital witnessed a large number of graves discovered after the Khmer Rouge’s withdrawal.

Miserably, because of trying to enforce the communist dream via the extreme violence, Pol Pot and his murderous organization slaughtered about 17.000 Cambodian men, women, children, and even infants all over the country. That is why a visit to these worth-visiting sites will let visitors feel clearly how Cambodians kept their resilient and valiance in bloody days.

things to do in cambodia 3

4. Wandering around Royal Palace complex

It is hard to explain that no visit to the metropolis of Phnom Penh is completed without marveling at the splendid Royal Place which dominates over the city skyline with its decorative gilding and ageless Khmer roofs. Built in 1866, Royal Palace is striking as a complex of impressive towering spires with appealing eco gardens featuring distinctive architectural styles. More interestingly, along with the Royal Palace compound is the extravagant Silver Pagoda where you are capable of exploring more details showing the standard model of Angkor temples that only takes you 1.5 - hour trip to visit both of them.

things to do in cambodia 4

Note: As a rule, travelers are encouraged to wear suitable clothing items to get entry into the Palace’s entrance gate.  For example, the shorts and blouses/ t-shits reaching your knee and the elbow at a bare minimum respectively can be accepted.

5. Unwinding on golden sands at Koh Russei

Instead of facing up with the bustling crowds or tourist streets, why don’t you take a few days of relaxation to recharge your spirit by getting Koh Russei (Bamboo Island) into your Cambodia itinerary?

Indeed, when it comes to this idyllic back-to-basic land of beach where tourists’ souls may be soothed by striking coasts and the fresh sea air, no one can refuse the great feeling of swimming in the cool water, lazing on golden palm-lined sands, swinging on a hammock, or delighting in sunshine under the blue sky.

More excitingly, the greatest advice for those who are very into beach sport is to look no further than Bamboo Island. Actually, as stated by experienced snorkelers, the quality of snorkeling at Bamboo Island is obviously similar to anywhere in the world because snorkeling tours to the nicest spots are available. What is more, volleyball nets on the beach make this tranquil island attractive to loyal fans of this type of sport.

things to do in cambodia 5

6. Exploring the floating villages in Tonle Sap Lake

Taking the pride as the largest lake containing freshwater in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap reminds people of not only a fish-breeding protected area but also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Interestingly, this life-giving area is home to communities living in stilted houses in floating villages like Chong Khneas, Kampong Phluk, Kampong Khleang, and Prek Toal that tend to move from place to place due to lake’s unique hydrological regime over the course of the year. Specifically, these villages have to obey a common life cycle of the Lake’s water level, which depends on the wet season (June – October) or dry one (November – May) to dramatically expand and shrink in its dimension.

things to do in cambodia 6

It appears that if you are a nature lover, Tonle Sap Lake – an interconnected eco-region with massive numbers of many different species of wildlife in and around the lake including over 300 species of fresh water fishes, snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles and otters, will definitely satisfy you. More significantly, this destination is also famous for a bird-watcher's paradise that you ought not to miss.

things to do in cambodia 7

7. Watching an Apsara Dance Show

Stretching back to Angkor ages, Apsara dance, an ancient art form which combines both dance and theater to make up Khmer traditional custom reserved for hundreds of years. Not until 2003 did this Cambodia’s hidden treasure be recognized as World’s Intangible culture heritage by UNESCO. Nonetheless, what makes an Apsara dance show special to its audiences?

Indeed, there is no longer cheesy or boring feeling thanks to a remarkable revival carried out for this kind of dance over few decades ago. Just take a carefully look at gorgeous dancing girls dressing eye-catching attires, you can easily imagine that they seem to perform gently, delicately and comfortably as if they left their souls in the middle of wandering around charming royal gardens. All of graceful gestures are always expressed in without-a-doubt harmony to narrate classical Cambodian myths or religious stories related to great Gods or Kings. What you need to take note is that Siem Reap always openly boats of its outstanding destinations showing the beautiful Apsara dance such as Alliance Café, Apsara Theatre, or The Khmer Barbe Q. Here we go!

things to do in cambodia 8

To wrap up, Cambodia with an out-of-date impression can offer more than that. Let’s say nothing! Just make plan and turn your dream into the truth by real actions, then you will realize that wherever you go and do in the laid-back country of Cambodia, you are sure to acquire amazing moments of the meaningful life. Or you can consider a combinated journey of Cambodia and its neighborhood country Vietnam here: 

»© Copyright: Laos Travel Guide


Facebook Twitter Google+


Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]