Cambodia is gradually making its way back from the depths of the devastation caused by the Khmer Rouge’s rule. There are still significant challenges, including land mines, poverty, and severely damaged infrastructure. On the other hand, the process of healing and rehabilitation is already well underway, and a rising number of visitors are rediscovering Cambodia’s many appealing aspects.
The spectacular temples of Angkor are the obvious draw for most travelers, but the nation has much more to offer in the way of attractions, including tropical beaches, colonial structures, and an abundance of natural treasures. The following is a list of the Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Cambodia.
1. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat (meaning “City Temple”) is the most majestic and biggest of the Angkor temples, as well as Cambodia’s most popular tourist destination. The temple’s balance, composition, and beauty make it one of the world’s best structures. It was built during the first half of the 12th century by King Suryavarman II. A vast rectangular reservoir surrounds Angkor Wat which climbs up via a series of three rectangular terraces to the central temple and tower at a height of 213 meters (669 feet). Its layout is based on the ancient Khmer concept of the temple mountain, in which the temple represents Mount Meru, the Hindu gods’ abode.
2. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, is known for its royal palaces and ancient temples, both of which contribute to the city’s allure. This city, which is located at the confluence of three major rivers, the Tonle Sap, the Mekong, and the Bassac river, is now home to a variety of popular hangouts like cool cafes and bustling bars. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia.
This city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia due to the presence of French colonial buildings that are interspersed with pagodas that are located along the highways. The National Museum has several one-of-a-kind Khmer antiques, and a trip to the Phsar Reatrey offers the opportunity to purchase locally created mementos.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Phnom Penh
3. Siem Reap
Siem Reap is often seen as one of the best places to visit in Cambodia because it is where Angkor Archaeological Park is. However, the town itself has more to offer than just the huge temples.
This is the country’s main activity hub, with a variety of activities available, ranging from cycling rides across the beautiful countryside just outside of town to Cambodian cuisine tours.
Shoppers will be kept busy as well since downtown Siem Reap is overflowing with opportunities to explore traditional crafts.
For a different experience, go to nearby traditional villages where you can stay in simple, friendly homestays and learn about how people live there. Siem Reap was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many businesses to close. However, real steps have been taken to “build back better” with new roads, gardens along the river, and bike lanes all over the city.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Siem Reap
4. Bayon Temple
The Bayon temple, which is located in the world-famous tourist attraction of Angkor, is known for its sea of over 200 massive s stone faces looking in all directions. An immediately identifiable picture of Angkor is that of the mysterious smiling faces, which many people believe to be a depiction of King Jayavarman VII himself or a mix of him and Buddha. The Bayon was constructed in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as part of a vast expansion of his capital city of Angkor Thom. It is located in the precise center of the royal city and dates back to the reign of King Jayavarman VII.
5. Koh Rong Samloem
Just off the south coast of Cambodia is a group of islands that are just as beautiful as those in Thailand to the west but are much less crowded.
Compared to Koh Samui and Phuket, which are now very developed, Cambodia’s islands are a slice of laid-back tropical bliss, where the sun and sand are the main attractions, and the big resorts haven’t made their mark yet.
One of the most gorgeous islands is Koh Rong Samloem. There are 12 beach hut resorts on the long, sandy Saracen Bay, which is a great place to get away from the rest of the world.
The main thing to do here is hanging out in a hammock, but those who want to be more active can go scuba diving.
Apart from being the home of black peppercorns, Kampot offers a beautiful riverbank promenade with a variety of colonial architecture. In addition, the charming riverbank village serves as a gateway to the French hill station of Bokor National Park, which boasts breathtaking vistas and a nice environment. Needless to say, it is also one of Cambodia’s most well-known and unique destinations.
See ancient ruins at the Kampot Kampong Trach caverns, take river rafting, and gaze at dazzling waterfalls in this picturesque setting.
7. Koh Ker
Visit several temples in Koh Ker, which is located northeast of Siem Reap. Koh Ker is regarded as one of the top destinations in Cambodia. The temples of Koh Ker are a well-known Cambodian tourist attraction. The temple complex here is about 3 km long and comprises a few temples. It is regarded as one of the must-see attractions in Cambodia.
Begin with the sandstone Neang Khmao temple, which is built on a tiny hill and is fashioned like a stupa. The main complex of the Koh Ker Temple, the Pram Temple, the Chen Temple, the Preng Well, and the Kuk Temple are all worth seeing. According to local legend, if you put a coconut in the well of the Koh Ker temple, it will emerge in the pond near the Neang Khmao temple.
8. National Museum of Cambodia
The National Museum of Cambodia is one of the top museums in Phnom Penh and has one of the greatest Khmer sculpture collections. Whether you are a history buff or want to fully immerse yourself in the culture of this lovely Asian nation, these are the greatest sites to visit in Cambodia. One of the first things you’ll notice about the museum is a bronze reclining Vishnu figure. And when you go further into the museum, you may witness old Angkorian temples and objects of supreme cultural worth.
9. Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei is a religious site in Cambodia that is an important part of the country’s historical wealth. This historic site, one of the jewels of Angkorian workmanship, is constructed by cutting off the pink-toned stone. The walls of this shrine, which represents the “Citadel of Ladies,” are incredibly well carved, and it’s quite a sight to see when in Cambodia.
10. Phnom Kulen
Phnom Kulen, also known as Kulen Mountain, is located in the province of Siem Reap and makes for an excellent day excursion away from Angkor. On Khmer religious festivals, when offerings are deposited at the hilltop temple, the holy site serves as a national park, and it is very popular with Khmers during that time of year. In addition, there are two waterfalls in the vicinity that are perfect for swimming, picnic sites, and an archaeological site called Kbal Spean, which is where you can find The River of a Thousand Lingas.
Kratie is a small town on the banks of the Mekong River. It is known for its central market and the old French colonial buildings that surround it. There is little large-scale tourism, although lots of backpackers visit during the high season. It is where you can see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, whose numbers in the Mekong River are getting smaller and smaller. There are probably between 66 and 86 dolphins left in the upper Mekong area of Cambodia.
12. Preah Vihear
The Preah Vihear province is famed for its tropical hardwood woods and verdant countryside, but the Prasat Preah Vihear complex is its major draw. Take a visit to the enormous Hindu temple complex located on the Dangrek Mountains’ cliff. See the magnificently carved stone decorations as well as the stairs, pavements, and sanctuaries at this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is one of Cambodia’s most popular tourist destinations.
What is the best time to visit Cambodia?
The best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and dry, and the temperature is cooler, making it a pleasant time to explore the country’s many attractions. The peak tourist season in Cambodia is from December to February when the weather is at its best. However, this also means that there will be more crowds and higher prices for accommodations and activities.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting Cambodia during the shoulder season, which is from May to October. Although it’s the rainy season, it doesn’t rain all the time, and the country is lush and green. Plus, there are fewer tourists, making it a more peaceful time to travel. However, note that some areas may be inaccessible due to flooding during this time.
Which are the best places to visit in Cambodia?
The best places to visit in Cambodia are Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Battambang, Kampot, Koh Rong.
Is Cambodia safe for a solo trip?
Yes, Cambodia is a completely safe destination for tourists alone. No matter who you are, this country is a safe destination to visit.
Is Cambodia cheap?
Cambodia can be considered a relatively inexpensive country compared to many other destinations in Southeast Asia. The cost of living is generally lower than in Western countries, and travelers can find affordable accommodation, food, and transportation options.
What should I pack for Cambodia?
You should pack Lightweight clothing, Sunscreen, Comfortable footwear, Travel adapter, Medications,