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Top 18 Fascinating Things to Do & See in Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia, once the ancient Khmer Empire, now modern-day traveler’s destination, offers a piece of everything. Ancient ruins, beaches, floating villages, remote settlements.

If you’re planning to visit Southeast Asia, Cambodia is certainly a ‘Must-visit’ destination.

When is the best time to visit? And what are the best things to do in Cambodia you should definitely not miss? Without further ado, let’s get started!

Phnom Penh- The Cambodian Capital

sunset in phnom penh city for Mekong and Angkor Wat holidays

Considered as the “Pearl of Asia” during the colonial era, Phnom Penh is thriving again.
Walk around the largest port to the Mekong and its large street markets, silk weaving village, Royal Palace or Silver Pagoda. During your trip to Cambodia, the capital Phnom Penh is a place not to be missed.

Some interesting places to visit in Phnom Penh:

  • Explore the capital with its beautiful colonial buildings, grand boulevards, and beautiful Khmer architecture
  • Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts
  • Visit the Royal Palace with traditional Khmer architecture
  • Visit the Silver Pagoda – an extravagant structure with a floor made out of five tonnes of silver and the beautiful Emerald Buddha, Diamond-encrusted Golden Buddha
  • Visit the Genocide Crime Museum
  • Visit Choeung Ek Killing Fields, Prison Execution Camp
  • Stroll through the Central Market , selling jewelry, electronics, antiques, spices, clothing and souvenirs, alongside just about everything else under the sun.
  • Choeung Ek Memorial – prisoner execution camp – a destination that you must go to. According to history , more than 20.000 Khmer people were buried here.


Roluos Group temples - Essential Cambodia itinerary

Siem Reap, the biggest religious complex in the world, is a gate to the mythical temples of the former center of Khmer empire.
Did you know that the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) movie was filmed there? Sunrise over 1,000 temples in a 400-square-kilometer area will take your breath away. Angkor Park”, is where most of the main temples in Siem Reap are situated.

Some Interesting places to visit in Siem Reap
ANGKOR ………….A unique place, recognized by UNESCO as a Heritage between passion and culture, to meet the Khmer soul

  • Start your visit with the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, the largest religious monument in the world. Be sure to catch a sunrise or sunset for breathtaking views. Discover the Angkor Temples: Spend time exploring other temples in the Angkor complex, such as Bayon, Ta Prohm (the Tomb Raider temple), and Banteay Srei with its intricate carvings.
  • Visit Angkor National Museum: Learn more about the history and culture of Angkor at this informative museum, which provides context to your temple visits.
  • Explore Siem Reap Old Market: Discover local handicrafts, souvenirs, and sample street food at the Old Market (Phsar Chas).
  • Experience Cambodian Cuisine: Sample traditional Cambodian dishes like Amok, Lok Lak, and Nom Banh Chok at local restaurants and street food stalls.
  • Visit Tonle Sap Lake: Take a boat tour on Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, and explore floating villages and their unique way of life.
  • Visit the Cambodia War Museum: Gain insights into Cambodia’s recent history and the Khmer Rouge regime at this museum.

Siem Reap offers a rich cultural experience, and it’s not just about temples. Whether you’re interested in history, cuisine, shopping, or adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city and its surrounding areas.

Tonle Sap Lake

Considered as the largest freshwater lake in south-east Asia, this UNESCO protected area supports the daily life of the 3 million people living around the Lake.
Almost 90 percent of the 3 million population of the 5 provinces encircling the lake is earning a living from fishing and agriculture. You will be amazed by the floating villages and stilted houses in Tonle Sap!

Tonle Sap river - Highlights of Cambodia
  • Tonle Sap is home to several floating villages, where the houses, schools, and markets are built on stilts or floating platforms. The livelihood of many locals depends on fishing and aquaculture.
  • Floating Gardens: In addition to fishing, the lake’s waters are used for agriculture. Locals create floating gardens, where they grow crops like water hyacinth, morning glory, and water spinach.
  • Visitors can take boat tours from Siem Reap to explore the floating villages and observe the traditional way of life of the people living on the lake.
  • Bird Watching: Tonle Sap Lake is a haven for birdwatchers, offering opportunities to spot various species of birds, including storks, pelicans, and cormorants.
  • Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary: Located on the lake, the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is a protected area and an essential breeding ground for many waterbirds.
  • Flooded Forests: The lake’s flooded forests play a vital role in flood control and water purification, contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem.

The best time to visit Tonle Sap Lake is during the rainy season (June to October). Water in the Mekong causes the Tonlé Sap River to reverse its flow which, combined with the extra water from upstream, means that the lake grows to 5 times its size in the dry season. The surrounding plains and forests overflow, creating a diverse and rich ecosystem. It’s also when you can arrange for boat trips to Tonle Sap’s many floating villages. Trips to the bird sanctuaries are best from December to April.

Kampong Chhnang

Kampong Chhnang is known for its picturesque landscapes, traditional stilt houses, and bustling floating villages. It is situated along the Tonle Sap River and Tonle Sap Lake, making it an essential part of Cambodia’s rural heartland and a significant contributor to the country’s agricultural and fishing industries. It is great for travelers to hang out, enjoy the street food and to exercise.

Kampong Chhnang located just west of the Tonle Sap River and is a noted port.
  • Explore the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake, where houses, schools, and markets are built on stilts or floating platforms. Take a boat tour to witness the traditional way of life of the people living on the water.
  • Visit the traditional pottery village of Kampong Chhnang, known for its handmade clay pots and jars. You can observe the skilled artisans at work and even try your hand at pottery-making.
  • Discover the beautiful pagoda of Wat Kampong Tralach Leu, known for its impressive murals depicting scenes from Buddhist stories.
  • Visit Phnom Ta Pi to see plenty of unique architecture and beautiful gravings.
  • If you want to have a relaxing trek in the wilderness, Phnom Neang Keng Ray is a wonderful destination for exploring the lush jungle that is rich in wildlife, white flowers and stunning trees.
  • Phnom Roap Bat is a great adventure tour for those that love fresh air and beautiful mountains.
    Visit the historical and natural site of Phnom ta Reach

Battambang - Peaceful City

A gateway to Battambang is a breath of fresh air.
Explore authentic crafting villages and colonial buildings of the city, situated on the Sangkae River. In this city, it is so hard to see some high buildings. In contrast, you will only see a city with chest cars, motorbikes running alternately. At the same time, the forests, rivers and lakes in Battambang also create a colorful picture for you to admire.

Battambang temple
  • Visit Wat Ek Phnom and Wat Phnom Banan to enjoy the beautiful scenery with the fresh air.
  • Rent a bicycle and explore around the suburbs of Battambang. Cycle through rice fields, pretty villages, peaceful temples or visit the craft villages here.
  • Kayaking in Ksach Poy floating village in Battamang
  • Trekking Sampeau Hill to discover a magnificent rock that was supporting the craggy pagodas
  • Enjoy street food and the nightlife


Kratie is an inevitable step if you are planning on doing a cruise along the Mekong. You can’t leave it without trying your luck to see the freshwater dolphins also called “Irrawaddy dolphins”.

Rare Irrawaddy dolphins in Kratie
  • Take a boat trip on the Mekong River to spot the rare and critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. These gentle creatures are best seen in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Visit Koh Rong Island, located just across the Mekong River from Kratie town. The island is known for its peaceful countryside, traditional villages, and lush gardens.
  • Climb the stairs to Phnom Sambok Pagoda for panoramic views of the Mekong River and the surrounding countryside.
  • Explore Koh Pdao Island, where you can observe traditional village life and experience local agriculture.
  • Visit Wat Rokakandal, a beautiful temple known for its intricate architecture and peaceful surroundings.
  • Take a leisurely cruise on the Mekong River, enjoying the serene and scenic landscapes along the way.
  • Experience the local culture by visiting Kratie Market, where you can find fresh produce, local handicrafts, and traditional Cambodian snacks.
  • Rent a bicycle and explore the countryside at your own pace, passing through rice fields and charming villages.


Travel back in time. From luxurious vegetation to pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Pre Kuk, enjoy the richness of nature, and the authenticity of the numerous minority ethnicities located in this area as well as the 1st elephant sanctuary! Here are some things must – do in Mondulkiri:

  • Explore the provincial capital, Sen Monorom, a small town with a relaxed atmosphere and a great base for excursions.
  • Visit the beautiful Bou Sra Waterfall, the largest and most famous waterfall in Mondulkiri, surrounded by lush greenery.
  • Experience an ethical encounter with elephants at one of the elephant sanctuaries in the area. These sanctuaries provide a responsible way to interact with these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
  • Visit indigenous villages, such as the Pnong and Bunong communities, to learn about their unique cultures, traditions, and traditional ways of life.
  • Embark on trekking and hiking adventures through the lush forests and hills of Mondulkiri, offering opportunities for wildlife spotting and breathtaking views.
  • Relax by the scenic Dak Dam, a reservoir surrounded by forested hills, where you can swim, picnic, or take a boat ride.
  • Discover the stunning Oromis Waterfall, a lesser-known gem, perfect for a peaceful escape into nature.


Venture in a non-touristic area in the North-East of Cambodia called Ratanakiri.
Rich soil, natural resources, starting eco-tourism, agriculture, and waterfalls. Be amazed by this hidden gem.
Some attractive places to visit in Ratanakiri:

Ratanakiri Waterfall Cambodia
  • Explore magnificent waterfalls that offer great hiking opportunities in the heart of lush nature, while allowing for a refreshing swim.
  • Cha Ong Waterfall
  • Okatchang waterfall
  • Katieng waterfall
  • Waterfalls by Sean Lae
  • Yeak Lom Volcanic Lake : Yak Loum Crater Lake, a natural gem of exceptional beauty, is actually the remnants of a 700,000-year-old crater
  • BanLung town
  • Virachey National Park: situated 45 km. north of Banlung. With a total land area of 332,500 ha. It has varieties of plants and trees in the forest and many different kinds of animals and birds.
  • Walk to meet local ethnic groups


This remote area on the frontier is an unavoidable step for those who want to cross the border of those two countries. Stung Treng is a peaceful place, where you will be able to encounter authentic minority ethnicities, Buddhist pagodas or flooded forest. Which places must we see and what experiences will we have?

Let’s find out…

Street atmosphere in Stung Treng province in Cambodia
  • Enjoy the beauty of Mekong river, which flows through the province, offering opportunities for boat trips and river cruises.
  • Visit the 300 years old Hang Kho Ba pagoda, an important part of the cultural history of the city.
  • Enjoy fresh water dolphins in waterways and rivers with about 60 dolphins.
  • Take a boat trip to Koh Preah, a beautiful island on the Mekong River, where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.


Want to spend a few days in a peaceful environment?
Relax and enjoy the boat tours available and crystal blue water of the islands around during the day and nibble on Khmer food in the evening. Don’t miss this destination – Sihanoukville!

Sihanoukville Cambodia town
  • Enjoy the various beaches in Sihanoukville, such as Serendipity Beach, Otres Beach, and Sokha Beach, where you can relax, swim, and engage in water sports.
  • Take a boat trip to nearby islands like Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, known for their pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Engage in water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Visit Independence Beach, known for its tranquility and historical significance.
  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Ochheuteal Beach, where you can find beach bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities.
  • Take a trip to Kbal Chhay Waterfall, a picturesque spot to cool off and relax in the natural setting.
  • Visit Wat Leu, a beautiful pagoda located on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the city and the coastline.
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of Sihanoukville in the various bars, clubs, and beach parties.
  • Try Seafood

Kampong Thom

Located between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Kampong Thom province is the ideal route to the wonderful pre-Angkor site of Sambor Prei Kuk, which was listed as a UNESCO heritage site in 2017

Kampong Thom Tonle Sap - Highlights of Cambodia
  • Explore the Sambor Prei Kuk temples on Chan Lap, the ancient capital in the early 7th century.
  • Mount Phnom Santuk
  • Temple of Prasat Phum Prasat
  • Boeng Tonle Chhmar Bird Sanctuary.
  • Prasat Kok Rokar temple,
  • Wat Kampong Thom
  • Wat Kdei Deum temple.
  • The Preah Bat Chan Tuk Historic Site is also an interesting place to explore, with its ancient stone sculptures and giant Buddha statue.

Preah Vihear

Constructed during the Khmer Empire (8th to 14th century) and actually believed to pre-date Angkor Wat by 100 years, this Hindu temple is perched dramatically on top of a cliff called Poy Tadi – which is more than 500 metres in height in the Dangrek Mountains. The well-preserved architecture and impressive location make it easy to see why Prasat Preah Vihear is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The province is relatively remote and less touristy, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience


Oudong-the former Royal Capital of Cambodia,

Known as once the capital of Cambodia and served as the center of power for several Khmer kings from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Today, Oudong is known for its ancient temples, pagodas, and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Oudong is a peaceful and historically significant site, offering a chance to immerse oneself in Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and explore the tranquil countryside. It’s a great destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and travelers looking to experience authentic Cambodian culture away from the hustle and bustle of major cities.

Kampong cham

Known for its rural charm, riverside activity and quaint city life in the province’s urban centre – also called Kampong Cham. The broader province is all about rustic charm, working the land or fishing in the river.

Kampong Cham statues - Highlights of Cambodia
  • Visit Phnom Srey (‘Woman Hill’) and Phnom Pros (‘Man Hill’). Two hills located on the outskirts of Kampong Cham city. The hills also offer magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.
  • Visit Wat Nokor, a unique temple built within the ruins of an ancient temple. The site combines historical architecture with contemporary Buddhist structures.
  • French Colonial Architecture: Explore the city of Kampong Cham to discover remnants of French colonial architecture, particularly in the older parts of the town.
  • Visit Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple with beautiful views of the Mekong River and the distant mountains.
  • Explore the Mekong Island Cultural Village, where you can learn about traditional Khmer customs, music, and dance.
  • Adventurous foodies should visit the town of Skun in Kampong Cham Province. The food speciality of this town is deep fried tarantula!
  • If you come to Kampong Cham in September or October, you will have a chance to participate in Pchum Ben (‘Soul Day’ or ‘Ancestors Day’) with activities and offerings happening in religious locations throughout the city.

Banteay Chhmar

Banteay Chhmar is an ancient temple complex located in Banteay Meanchey Province, in northwestern Cambodia. It is one of the most significant and historically important temple sites in the country, though it is less visited compared to the famous temples of Angkor. Banteay Chhmar is known for its intricate carvings, historical importance, and remote location, making it an attractive destination for travelers seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience

Banteay Samre Temple in Cambodia
  • Explore the main temple of Banteay Chhmar, which was built in the late 12th or early 13th century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. The temple complex features intricate bas-reliefs depicting mythological scenes and historical events.
  • Jayavarman VII Statue: Admire the statue of King Jayavarman VII, who was one of Cambodia’s most famous and revered rulers, located near the temple.
  • Visit the nearby Ta Prohm Temple, which shares some architectural similarities with Banteay Chhmar.
  • Marvel at the Bayon-style faces found at the temple, similar to those at the Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom.
  • Interact with the friendly local community around the temple site and learn about their daily lives and customs.
  • Sunset at Banteay Torp Temple: Catch a mesmerizing sunset at the nearby Banteay Torp Temple, which offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside.


In the south of Cambodia. Kampot is famous for its pepper plantations and salt marshes. It includes many buildings dating from the colonial era, including the Governor’s Palace.

Kampot Cambodia
  • Escape to Bokor Hill in a beautiful natural setting
  • Visit of its prestigious buildings: casino, church, royal residence and its former colonial apartments built by the French
  • Discover Preah Monivong National Park
  • See the salt marshes
  • Phnom Chhnork Temple
  • Teuk Chhou Rapids
  • Take a bike ride to Trey Koh Island
  • Walks on the Prek Teuk Chhou River


This Takeo province is often referred to as “the cradle of Cambodian civilization“, it has several important sites from the pre-Angkorian era built between the 5th and 8th centuries.
Some places of interest to visit in Takeo: 

  • Tonle Bati Lake
  • Chuppol Temple
  • Temple Yeay Pov
  • Ta Prohm Temple
  • Wat Phnom Khliang
  • The Takeo Museum
  • Neang Khmao Temple
  • Phnom Ba Yong–Takeo
  • Chruos Phaork Nature Reserve – Takeo
  • Phnom Da is a cultural and historical site renovated to offer visitors a place to relax or research the history of Cambodia.
  • Tamao Temple (Phnom Tamao)
  • Phnom Chisos (Chisos Mountain)

Koh Rong Island

Koh Rong is known for its sandy coves and coral reefs, such as those located around the Koh Rong pontoon. Inland from the island, dense jungle is dotted with coconut trees and waterfalls. The island also includes a small zoo and a tree climbing site, so many possibilities to relax.

Some places of interest to visit in Koh Rong:

  • Enchanting beaches in Koh Rong. Long Beach (Sok San Beach) is one of the most famous and is known for its long stretch of powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. Other beaches worth visiting include Lonely Beach, Coconut Beach, and Police Beach.
  • A day of snorkeling at sea
  • Observe bioluminescence
  • Explore Koh Rong Marine National Park
  • Break your piggy bank to sleep in Cambodia’s most exclusive hotel
  • Visit Koh Rong Samloem
  • Enjoy the nightlife scene with beach parties, bars, and fire shows.

Instead of having many attractive places, Cambodia is also a best choice for travelers who want to explore and try to eat cuisine here! Hanoi Voyages is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore Cambodia with your family. Our team of experienced travel experts can help you plan a customized itinerary that is tailored to your family’s interests and needs. With our local knowledge and expertise, Hanoi Voyages can take care of all the details of your trip, from accommodations and transportation to tours and activities. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and exceptional service makes us a top choice for families looking for a memorable and hassle-free holiday in Cambodia

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