Things to do in Cambodia
Cambodia has more ancient temples scattered across the country than it knows what to do with. With some more notable than others, the 12th-century Bayon temple is a must-see while in Siem Reap. Dedicated to the Mahayana Buddhist king, this temple has many unmistakable features that separate it from other temples in the area. Giant stone faces watch every step taken in the grounds and are certainly an impressive feat to have been built with some faces set high up and cast into the fascinating architecture.
Shop for handmade miniature statues, textiles and fine silk in the markets of any town or city in Cambodia. Bartering is easier in larger markets as the locals will be able to speak English, but don't be discouraged to try and find those hidden gems in the more rural areas. Taking a Khmer-speaking guide will make shopping much easier, and give you an insight into the everyday market life.
Another highlight not to miss is Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre in the Boeng Keng Precinct of Phnom Penh, which has saved countless animals from falling victim to illegal trade and poachers in the country. Head over to the centre for an unforgettable personal tour to have the chance to see some of the rarest animals in Cambodia and even the world such as sun bears, gibbons, tigers and more. Not just any sanctuary tour, visitors get offered the opportunity to interact with some of the human-friendly creatures such as the cheeky monkeys. The phenomenal effort Wildlife Alliance has made over the years helps to preserve natural wildlife in its country has seen 55,000 animals released back into the wild since they began in 1994.
For our top tips on what to see and do in Cambodia, read on.
Cambodia’s only coast is on the southern end on the country looking out to into the Gulf of Thailand. Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s most popular beach resort. A relatively young tourist destination, the resort’s popularity has began to gradually grow and more attractions are popping up here overnight.
Angkor Wat, known to be one of the great wonders of the world, is a fascinating and beautiful religious monument. Describing this temple with words simply isn’t enough; travellers around the area have to see this architectural masterpiece. Guided tours are a great way to explore the site and will ensure you won’t miss out on any important parts or intricate details.
Cambodia’s Royal Palace is a great place to visit first when staying in Phnom Penh to ease yourself into the country's rich history. The residence of the current King glitters with wealth and confuses with intricate, obscure architecture. The grounds around the building are beautiful and it is a pleasure to wander the gardens.
A former high school in Phnom Penh was converted by Pol Pot’s ruthless Khmer Rouge regime to become the most notorious prison camp in Cambodia. Deeply embedded into the country’s heritage, this piece of disturbing history cannot be overlooked, which makes it a must-see for visitors to foster understanding and a rounded picture of modern-day Cambodia.
Apsara Dance, also known as Robam Tep Apsara, is a Khmer classical dance put together by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. It’s ballet but not as you know it. Apsara is a sensory overload with incredible beauties in colourful, intricately designed costumes telling moving stories through dance.