From Historic Temples to Rural Landscapes, Uncover the Best of Cambodia with Our Ultimate Travel Guide.
Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a land of ancient temples, vibrant cities, and stunning natural landscapes. From the iconic Angkor Wat to the tranquil beaches of Sihanoukville, this country is full of must-see sights and unforgettable experiences.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or adventure, this country has something to offer every traveler interested in exotic lands.
In this roundup list, we’ll take you through the top 8 things to see and do in Cambodia so that you can make the most of your trip to this incredible destination.
Here are 8 great things to see and do in Cambodia:
- Visit Angkor Wat: This stunning temple complex is one of the most iconic and impressive in the world and the largest religious monument. The impressive destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The intricate carvings and sheer scale of the temples are truly breathtaking.
- Explore Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s capital city is a fascinating mix of modern and traditional, with plenty of historical sites, markets, and cultural experiences to discover. Highlights include the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia, and the bustling Central Market.
- Discover the Killing Fields: Cambodia’s tragic recent history is difficult but essential to confront. Visiting the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh is a sobering reminder of the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
- Relax on the beaches: Cambodia has some beautiful stretches of coastline, with serene beaches and crystal-clear waters. Sihanoukville is a popular destination with plenty of swimming, sunbathing, and watersports options.
- Take a cooking class: Cambodian cuisine is delicious and unique, with influences from neighboring countries and colonial powers. A cooking class is a great way to learn about local ingredients and techniques.
- Explore the countryside: Beyond the cities and tourist hotspots, Cambodia has plenty of rural areas to explore, with traditional villages, rice paddies, and rolling hills. Renting a bicycle or motorbike is a great way to see the sights leisurely.
- Visit the Tonle Sap Lake: This enormous lake is the largest in Southeast Asia and is home to a fascinating floating village where locals live on the water year-round. Take a boat tour to see the stilted houses and fishing boats up close.
- Attend a traditional dance performance: Cambodia has a rich tradition of dance and music, and attending a performance is a must-do experience. The Apsara dance is the most famous, with its elegant and intricate movements inspired by Hindu mythology.
Did you know?
One interesting fact about Cambodia is that it is home to the world’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat. However, many people need to learn that the temple’s layout and design are based on cosmological symbolism and Hindu mythology, with each level representing a different realm of the universe.
The temple’s construction utilized sophisticated techniques and materials ahead of their time, including a hydraulic engineering system that still works today.
A little history:
Cambodia has a complex history that spans over 2,000 years. The first known civilization in the area was the Funan Kingdom, which thrived from the 1st to 6th centuries AD and was an important center for trade and commerce. This was followed by the Chenla Kingdom and then the Khmer Empire, which rose to power in the 9th century under King Jayavarman II.
The Khmer Empire was known for its impressive architecture, including the iconic temples of Angkor and its thriving economy and culture. However, the empire eventually declined due to political instability, invasions from neighboring powers, and climate change.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was colonized by France and later experienced a tumultuous period of civil war, foreign intervention, and genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime.
Today, this beautiful locale is a rapidly developing country with a growing economy and a resilient population.