Things to do in Cambodia
Angkor Archaeological Park
Visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park is one of the most important things to do in Cambodia, and it hardly needs an introduction. The park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is made up of the ruins of the glorious Khmer Empire and is considered as the most important archaeological site in Southern Asia.
The iconic Angkor Wat temple, Angkor Thom temple, and Bayon temple are all included in the park. The site is renowned as one of the most prominent examples of South-Asian, particularly Indian, architecture and is the most well-known testament to Buddhism.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apsara Dancing Show
A presentation of Apsara dancing is one of the few activities to do in Cambodia that comes close to revealing the country’s true culture. The dancers, or ‘Apsaras,’ are a well-known figment of Hindu mythology, who were described in the Vedas as nymphs for the God Indra, and who used to dance in his kingdom.
Apsara dances have been a prominent and vital part of Cambodian culture since ancient times, with detailed carvings and illustrations of such dances on the walls of the country’s temples, especially Angkor Wat.
Location: Kanell Restaurant , Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phare Cambodian Circus
It’s no surprise that performance arts make up a large part of the culture of a country overflowing with bustle. The Phare Cambodian Circus is a brilliant contribution to the country’s rich heritage of spectacular performances, and has gained international acclaim for their own brand of exhibition.
Their acts, which incorporate diverse types of performance art such as singing, dance, and drama, tell living, breathing stories about Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. The circus has gained enough popularity and renown to be recognised as a real national act, and there are progressive training centres dedicated to those who want to master the art.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Cambodia is a country that has experienced both the highs and lows of history, and as beautiful as it is, it has also through one of the most difficult periods in its history. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a symbol of the horrific Khmer dictatorship, despite its name.
The museum was built in memory of the Khmer rouge’ mass genocide, and it exploits the pain of the past to express a message of peace to the present, with its haunting ambience and abandoned interiors. A must-see for tourists interested in learning more about Cambodia’s history, a visit to the museum should be high on the list of things to do in Cambodia.
Location: Phnompenh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh Palace
When it comes to local sightseeing, visitors to Phnom Penh are sometimes blessed for choice, and covering everything might be a bit of a frenzy. Regardless of the situation, every tourist must see Cambodia’s Royal Palace.
The country’s royal family calls the huge and luxurious palace home, and its immaculately groomed and resplendent gardens are a favorite among tourists and residents both. The grounds are packed with paintings and murals depicting the country’s cultural history, and the palace’s elaborate architectural elements, together with the iconic silver pagoda, are a feast for the eyes.
Location: Phnompenh, Cambodia
Cruising the Mekong River
Cambodia is full of exciting expeditions just waiting to be embarked upon, and a Mekong River cruise is one of the most exciting things to do in Cambodia. The river is one of the world’s longest, which is only one of the reasons why a tour along it is a must.
Because of its fertility, the river basin accounts for a large portion of the country’s products, and a river cruise is the ideal opportunity to explore the country’s depths while learning about the diverse indigenous cultures and practices. Rich vegetation grows along the riverbanks, which are home to numerous species of the country’s vegetation and wildlife.
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Whether you’re a die-hard foodie or not, sampling the wonderful flavours of Cambodian cuisine is certain to be at the top of your list of things to do in Cambodia. The country’s culinary culture has traditionally been pushed to the periphery of mainstream culture, and as a result, it has gone mostly unnoticed until recently.
Nevertheless, the country is still the greatest spot to taste the cuisine for an authentic and unmatched experience. The majority of specialties are non-vegetarian, with rice and noodles being the most common ingredients in most cuisines. Microbes like frogs and insects are also on the menu if you’re the experimental kind.
Witnessing Sunset at Koh Rong Samloem
Cambodia is a country with both mountains and beaches, so if you enjoy the latter, a trip to Koh Rong Sanloem should be on your list of things to do in Cambodia. Koh Rong Sanloem is a little island about twenty-five kilometers off the coast of Sihanoukville, and it is a slice of heaven that most tourists are unaware of.
The island is known for its white sands and crystal-clear waters, which provide guests with a soothing experience. The beachfront regions are ideal for a variety of outdoor activities and sports, and watching the sunset over the island is absolutely breathtaking.
Location: Koh Rong Sanloem, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Panoramic View from Phnom Sampeau
Despite its gloomy ambience and infamous cultural reputation, Phnom Sampeau is a bustling tourist destination. A climb to the temple is difficult, but it is a great experience and one of the most fulfilling activities to do in Cambodia for anyone interested in history.
The temple is a Buddhist shrine featuring a reclining Buddha image, and the caves leading to the main atrium are littered with bone remains from the Khmer regime’s horrors. The view from the top of the mountain is breathtaking, including vast swaths of surrounding countryside.
Location: Phnom Sampeau, Battambang, Cambodia
The Majestic Waterfall – Popokvil
A trip to the spectacular Popokvil, nestled inside the forests of Kampot, could be one of the most engrossing things to do in Cambodia on a hot summer’s day. This two-tiered waterfall, located near the Bokor Hill Station, is a sight to behold.
A small, shallow pool separates the two cascades of the waterfall, inviting visitors to take a dip. The spacious grounds surrounding the falls are also ideal for a picnic, making it a popular destination for families.
Location: Bokor National Park, Cambodia
Scuba diving experiences are one of the most enjoyable things to do in Cambodia, and they are sure to leave you fascinated. Cambodia is known for its tropical islands, and the Sihanoukville islands have some of the best diving in the country.
Under the seas of Cambodia, there is a lot to see, from swarms of triggerfish to vibrant reefs. The Koh Son, a hidden jewel buried away between the two larger islands of Koh Ron and Koh Ron Samloem, is one of the most interesting diving places here. The Long Beach Reef and Coral Bay are two more popular diving spots in this area.
Location: Sihanoukville islands
Bamboo Train in Battambang
A ride on the ‘Norry,’ or bamboo train, located on the outskirts of town, is one of Cambodia’s most unique activities. The bamboo train is essentially a motorised straw mat that travels over rails.
The ride, however, is high on thrill factor, travelling at a speed of around 50 km/hr.
Trek to Cardamom Mountains
A trek to the Cardamom Mountains should surely be on your list of things to do in Cambodia while you’re there. The mountains are a dream come true for any nature lover, and even the most hardened couch potatoes would be charmed by the scenery.
The mountains, which cover over four million hectares, are home to South-East Asia’s largest rainforest, as well as a population of over 20,000 indigenous people, the majority of whom are considered minorities. The mountains and forests, a thriving environment, are home to some of the continent’s most beautiful flora and fauna.
Location: Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia
Temple of Preah Vihear
The Temple of Preah Vihear is devoted to Shiva and is situated on the edge of a plateau that overlooks Cambodia’s plain. The Temple, which dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD, is made up of a succession of sanctuaries connected by a system of sidewalks and staircases along an 800-meter axis.
The temple is named after Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, Preah Vihear was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.
Location: Preah Vihear, Cambodia
This is one of the most popular pastimes among travelers to Cambodia. Many meditation centres may be found around the country, offering high-quality meditation and yoga sessions to interested students. If you’re looking for a specific centre, you’ll be overwhelmed with choices.
Cambodia’s most prominent Buddhist tradition is Theravada Buddhism. This tradition teaches how to master one’s mind and mental desires in order to achieve one’s goals. When you visit Cambodia, learn this art from the gurus. For a firsthand taste of international class, visit any of Cambodia’s Buddhist monasteries.