Cambodia in South East Asia is one of the most exotic travel locations in the world. Mysterious and intriguing, the country is a favorite among history lovers, architecture enthusiasts and travelers seeking blissful vacation in budget. The beguiling charms and exciting things do in Cambodia lure all kinds of travelers, from backpackers to luxury tourists. From the legendary Angkor Wat, iconic Khmer architecture feats, pristine beaches, untouched jungles to incredible experiences, there is a lot to discover. The vast list of must do’s might confuse you, so we came up with a list of 15 amazing things to do in Cambodia:
Walk through Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh hosts the Royal Palace complex, one of the tourist gems of Cambodia. Gleaming in gold, it is one of the splendid architectures in the world. The royal residence of the King of Cambodia since 1860s, the compound has amazing splendors, such as the throne hall, Khemarin Palace, Moonlight Pavilion, and Silver Pagoda.
The extravagant Wat Preah Keo, commonly known as the Silver Pagoda houses the 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds. Stop to admire the mural of Ramayana, painted by 40 Khmer artists. Walk through the interesting complex, as it is one of the top things to do in Cambodia.
Spend time exploring Kampot
Kampot is a scenic retreat in Cambodia. Visit the quaint riverside town to relish the languid pace of time. The Bokor hill station, beautiful countryside, pepper plantations, pre-Angkorian ruins, caves, are some of the delights.
Explore the old French colonial architecture, still in charming condition. Try jungle trekking, bicycling tours, river cruises, island trips, fishing trips, bamboo train rides and more. What you must not miss in Kampot is, a taste of fruits (such as durian, coconut, mango, etc.), harvested sea salt and the unique pepper, sought-after by gastronomes worldwide.
Do you know Cambodia is one of the most affordable countries for budget travelers?
Drench in the bliss of Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei is one of the finest beauties of Cambodia. The outlying temple of Angkor in Siem Reap is a pleasure to view. Built of pink sandstone, the 10th temple structure and carvings are intricately crafted. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Different from the grand masterpieces of Angkor architecture, this temple is diminutive but equally appealing. We suggest that you should not miss to enjoy the bliss of Banteay Srei. Not just for the architecture, the location amid the centuries-old Cambodian forest is amazing.
Soak in the bliss of the legendary Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Visiting the legendary Angkor Wat is a must do thing in Cambodia. The name translates to ‘heaven on earth’; and believe me, it does prove its title. The Khmer temple complex is an UNESCO World heritage site. Regarded as the ‘mother of all temples’, it is the epicenter of the Khmer Civilization.
Spend time leisurely to truly absorb the beauty and wonder of it all. The 12th century magnificent creation of sandstone has amazing bas reliefs and intricate carvings. The historic ambience adds to the appeal of visiting the 12th century temple. A trip to Cambodia remains incomplete if you have not had a glimpse of Angkor Wat.
Relax at the Otres Beach
Cambodia is blessed with some of the most relaxed, laid-back beaches in Southeast Asia. Therefore, we come to one of the next things not to miss in Cambodia, relax at its pristine shores. Otres beach is a popular name to go exploring. Get away from history, culture, cities and everything. Bask in the sun lying comfortably on hammocks and recliners. Get a massage or dine at the beach shacks. You can also go for snorkeling, fishing and boating, among other things. It is heaven for travelers looking for a rather relaxed holiday in Cambodia.
Marvel at the ethereal Angkor Thom
Ethereal is the only word that can describe the magnificence of Angkor Thom. The only structure in Angkor that has been left in its pristine form, Ta Prohm is a fascinating beauty. Nature preserves the shrine as its own. Enormous roots of ancient tress have made themselves guardians of the temple, preserving it from humans. Perhaps the most picture worthy place in Cambodia, the temple environs are framed by huge silk cotton tress and strangler figs. Relive your ‘tomb raider; moment at the temple, it is one of the top things to do in Cambodia.
Wonder at incredible Khmer art
Khmer art is one of charms of Cambodia. The wealth of art was looted in its dark days but all of which remains, is in the form of sculptures. The range of subjects were Hindu mythology and Buddhism. The best known surviving murals are at the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Wat Rajabo in Siem Reap province, and Wat Kompong Tralach Leu in Kompong Chhnang Province. For a quick and vast look at the incredible specimens of Khmer art, the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and the National Museum at Siem Reap are places you must not miss.
Attend a mesmerizing show of Apsara Classical Dance
The Apsara Classical dance is one of the highlights of Cambodia. You cannot think of missing on a show. An extravaganza for the lovers of art, theatrics, and dance, attending the traditional Khmer performance, is one of the best things to do in Cambodia. Imitating the mythological courts of kings and Gods, the Khmer dance is spectacular, a part of ancient culture of the country. The dance performers are dressed in elegant silk clothing with floral motifs, beautiful headdresses and jewelries, looking truly celestial.
Pay a visit to Tonle Sap lake
Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. It has major importance for Cambodia. Why you must not miss a visit to the lake is, because of its spectacular scenery and its cultural potpourri. Many ethnic Vietnamese and numerous Cham communities, living in floating villages around the lake. Pay a visit with a jetty tour. Escape the cities for a real taste of the rustic Cambodia. Be a witness of the floating villages, their farming styles and do have a state of the local Khmer snacks.
Have a taste of the Cambodian cuisine
Cambodian cuisine is a pleasure. The ‘cuisine of contrasts’, Cambodian food involves a lot of diversity. The ingredients of the sea, local fruits, sea salt, pepper cooked in mixture of Cambodian, Thai, Indian and Vietnamese styles makes the cuisine one of the things not to miss in Cambodia. Rice, vast range of seafood, and tropical fruits are the key ingredients. A food lover will taste the bliss of heaven with a taste of the cuisine of Cambodia.
Explore the Ream National Park
Ream National Park in Cambodia, covering 210 square kilometers is a world of its own. The region covers both terrestrial and marine habitat. A visit to the national park lets you explore spectacular coastal scenery, mangrove swamps, lowland evergreen forests and the islands of Koh Thmei and Koh Ses. Over 155 species of birds inhabit the park. River dolphins often make an appearance between months of December and April. Mammals inhabiting the park includes deer, wild pig and fishing cats, though monkeys are easily spotted. Do not miss to visit the national park, it is full of incredible sights and experiences.
Check out UNESCO World Heritage Site Preah Vihear
Preah Vihear, a Khmer temple has the most spectacular setting of all the Khmer temples. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was constructed in the 11th and 12th century. The sacred shrine is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. As the temple is situated on the border between Cambodia and Thailand atop a cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, it has been a site of dispute even then it is a major lure for visitors. You must visit the temple for enjoying the architectural masterpieces and splendid setting. Feel transported back into the olden says as you walk among the ruins.
Explore the many faces at Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple is a part of the world famous destination of Angkor. The incredible site has over 200 massive stone faces looking in all direction. The notable site is a curious smiling face, thought by many to be a portrait of King Jayavarman VII himself or a combination of him and Lord Buddha. The 12th century temple was built as part of a massive expansion of the then king’s capital Angkor Thom, right at the exact center of the royal city. Walk through the ruins, pose for pictures and marvel at the complexity of the architecture.
Walk through the treasures of Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap
Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the top things to see in Cambodia. Scattered over some 400 sq.km. Between the Tonle Sap Lake and the Kulen Mountains, the temples of Angkor are one of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces. While you visit the site, learn about Hindu cosmos, they have been ideally represented in stone. Marvel at the great pyramidal temple-mountains of Angkor Wat and Pre Rup, walk through monasteries of Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei, and explore miniature sanctuaries such as Thommanon and Preah Ko.
Time has not diminished its glory but has added immeasurably to the temples’ appeal. Do not miss these picturesque semi-ruins on your visit to Cambodia.
Be amazed at the Battambang Bat Caves
Battambang is known for many things but the star attractions are the Bat Cave and are the Killing Cave of Phnom Samphou. The Bat Cave offers an amazing spectacle, every day at around 5pm, thousands and thousands of bats leave the cave as dusk falls. You can see a steady stream, clouding the skies flying out for around 45 minutes. The town is charming and you can pursue other holiday delights.
Listed carefully from the hundreds of things which are equally exciting if not more, these 15 things not to miss in Cambodia create a vacation of unforgettable memories.
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