Top 5 Destinations in Cambodia
5 best picks and you should include at least 2 of them
Magnificent Angkor Wat, chaotic cityscape in Phnom Penh, and relaxing white-sandy beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia has a lot to offer. Find out the 5 best destinations to enrich your travels.
Destinations & Experiences ...
- The world's largest and most impressive religious monuments, Angkor Wat represents the country's most glorious history, cultures, and arts.
- Discover the mundane life in Phnom Penh's maze-like streets, Siem Reap's countryside, and floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake.
- A considerate portion of Cambodia is covered by dense forest, offering perfect trekking trails in various national parks; aim at Kep, Kampot, Sihanoukville, around Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
- Don't miss out the unspoiled beaches and islands down by the southern coast in Sihanoukville.
Top 5 Destinations in Cambodia for Distinctive Interests
While it seems like Siem Reap has taken all the thunder, Cambodia is plunging itself into a full-scale tourism destination in SE Asia. The job can be done easily. Cities, or more precisely towns are welcoming bigger flocks of travelers looking for something extraordinary beyond the temples of Angkor Wat. If you happen to be one of them, run down our line of the best destinations and see if your interests will be met.
1. Siem Reap: Everybody, Especially for Photographers
Unquestionably, Siem Reap is the BIGGEST, if not the only one, reason that draws most travelers all the way to Asia. Connected with other Asian capitals by air, it's easy to get in and out. Buses link the town to other parts of Cambodia on some well-maintained national roads. Humble in scale, Siem Reap is actually a pretty small town and everything moves around tourism. The town is 20-minute away by car from the Angkor Wat Complex and 50-minute away from the Tonle Sap Lake.
Quick Guide to Siem Reap:
- Best Experiences: Angkor Wat Complex; wild temple discovery; countryside visit by bike or quad bike; Kulen Mountain trekking; Tonle Sap Lake ...
- Best Time: Better in the dry season (October - March)
- Time Needed: At least 3 days
- How to Get There: Connected with the capital by air and long-distance coach; international flights between major Asian cities.
2. Phnom Penh: History Buffs, Families with Young Adults
Phnom Penh is oftentimes overlooked but the capital deserves better. Although it's only been made capital for less than 200 years, it has witnessed more epic historic events than other SE Asian capitals. Besides the historical monuments and museums, its streets are shifting rapidly and nearby towns offer opportunities for trekking and excursions. It can be seamlessly connected with Vietnam on a long-stretch Asia adventure.
Quick Guide to Phnom Penh:
- Best Experiences: Street life and arts in downtown, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Day trip to the ancient capital of Oudong, Killing Fields and S21 Museum, Sunset river cruises, National Museum and its Apsara dance show, Local markets with crazy-looking street food, Kirirom National Park trekking...
- Best Time: All-year, but better in the dry season (October - March)
- Time Needed: At least 2 days
- How to Get There: International flights between major Asian cities; accessible via the Mekong River from Vietnam.
3. Kep: Off-the-Beatan-Track, Families& Adventurers
Some interpret Kep's rustic and raw atmosphere into soulless or somewhat post-apocalyptic, which is partially due to its short history of being an official province and more importantly being left out of tourist tread. Still, as Cambodia's former luxury beach resort, Kep's appeal can be traced: oceanside relaxation, seafood dining, farm visit, trekking or cycling or sunset cruise.
Quick Guide to Kep:
- Best Experiences: Trekking in Kep National Park, Relaxing on the undisturbed Kep Beach, Watching fishermen at work, Visit local farms, Seaside dining, Countryside cycling ...
- Best Time: All-year
- Time Needed: 1 day
- How to Get There: 3 hours of driving from Phnom Penh
4. Kampot: Outdoor Fans & Border-Crossing Travelers
Kampot and Kep are often combined together but we'd recommend extra time for Kampot only as it has so much to offer. This riverside town boasts for timeless charm: sleepy streets, the Kompong Bay River and its waterfront resorts serving tranquil stay and water sports, and interesting local craftsmanship and markets. Hemmed with rolling mountains, Kampot also offers great trekking trails; for border-crossing travelers from Vietnam, a 2-day stay is recommended.
Quick Guide to Kampot:
- Best Experiences: Trekking in Phnom Bokor National Park, Walking along streets lined with old French colonial-style buildings and Chinese-style shophouses, Kayaking or sunset boat ride on the Kampot River, Visit the salt fields, Visit Phnom Chhngok Cave Temple and Kampot's numerous caves, Pepper plantation visit, Enjoy a yoga session ...
- Best Time: All-year, but January is the hottest month
- Time Needed: 2 to 3 days
- How to Get There: 3 hours of driving from Phnom Penh; 1 hour from Kep by car.
5. Sihanoukville: Beachgoers, Outdoor Fans & Families
Facing the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville used to be the summer retreat for Cambodia's rich and famous. It has a wide range of almost uninterpreted islands, beaches, and marshlands, which make up an experience-full holiday for beachgoers and outdoor lovers. Despite it's become one of Asia's biggest casino playgrounds, Sihanoukville is still catering for travelers who'd like to stay away from the peak season flocks. Taking one of the beaches as your base, hop on a boat to explore the scattering islands and caves, kick back at your resort and watch the sunset, or go hiking in Ream National Park.
Quick Guide to Sihanoukville:
- Best Experiences: Island hopping, Mangrove visit by boat, Fishing village lifestyle, Relaxing on the beach, Trekking in Ream National Park, Water sports such as diving, snorkeling, scuba-diving, and kayaking ...
- Best Time: All-year, but better in the dry season
- Time Needed: at least 3 days
- How to Get There: 5 hours of driving from Phnom Penh; connected with Siem Reap and Phnom Penh by air, so are other Asian cities such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, Macau, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur.
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