There’s more to Cambodia than just Angkor Wat but it’s hard not to visit this iconic site when you are in the country famed for it. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other places to visit in Cambodia too. From beaches to mountains to historical sites, there is much to see and do here. Often called the Kingdom of Wonder, the moniker is not far from the truth as there are some marvellous Cambodia tourist places that will leave you mesmerised. Travellers are constantly discovering new things about the country, whether it is the jungles, the islands or the wildlife.
The Cambodians are warm and hospitable and despite the fact that the country is not very prosperous, they are always ready with a smile. Apart from the usual haunts like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are places like the Phnom Tanao Wildlife Rescue Centre which is a haven for rescued animals or the elephant sanctuary that tries to protect Cambodian forests and elephants. If you are keen to visit Cambodia, do make it a point to visit the SOTC website before you make your holiday booking for your Cambodia trip.
Here are some of the must-visit places in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat is one of the most famous Cambodia tourist places and rightly so. In fact, the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park has hundreds of ancient temples and religious structures spread out across the 400km site. While Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm are the most popular sites with thousands of visitors coming to see the famed temples from across the globe, there are other temples at this site too. The remote temples are not visited that often which means there’s a good chance to explore them peacefully. There are different types of passes, from one-day to seven-day, although the former is more popular than the latter. Some of these temples are Banteay Srei, Koh Ker, Beng Mealea and Kbal Spean.
This north western Cambodian town is best known for having the Angkor Wat and it used to be the seat of the Khmer Kingdom during the 9th to 15th centuries. Some people find Siem Reap to be quite overrated but it has its share of charm too. The Angkor National Museum has several Khmer artefacts where you can find around 1000 Buddha statues and images. There’s also the Old Market and Angkor Night Market where you can pick up souvenirs and other items. Siem Reap is also home to an Old French Quarter which has stylish restaurants serving international and Cambodian food.
The busy capital is certainly one of the places to visit in Cambodia. There’s a riverfront with parks, restaurants and bars while places like the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum are famed tourist attractions. At the centre of the city is the famous art deco Central Market. There are numerous interesting places to explore here, such as the Russian Market which is a good place to buy clothing or jewellery and the French Quarter which has some delightful buildings such as the Cambodia Post Office. The Wat Phnom is a daunting sight as it rises above the city while those who want to have a sombre taste of history should visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields memorials outside the town which serve as a reminder about the grim past of the country that suffered so much under the Khmer regime.
The charming town of Kampot has become one of the best places to go in Cambodia. Beautiful landscapes, a charming town and of course, the best pepper you can find in the world waits for you here. The town has a definite laidback vibe with trendy French cafés where you can indulge in a hearty breakfast and of course, have some of the delicious Vietnamese coffee. Nearby, Bokor Mountain beckons and a good way to explore it is on motorbike or a private vehicle as tuk tuks are not allowed inside the national park. Enjoy the many Buddhist monuments and the waterfalls here. But most of all, don’t miss out on enjoying a dish with the famed Kampot pepper.
Those on the lookout for an eco-tourism adventure will find their needs well served at Kratie, which has gained fame in recent times, making it one of the interesting places to visit in Cambodia. There’s a lot of rare wildlife here such as the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin which lives in the Mekong River or the nearly extinct giant softshell turtle. The town is more or less a base to explore the surrounding areas and you can opt for a day or multiple day trip or hire a bicycle or motorbike if you want to explore everything on your own.
This coastal city in Cambodia also goes by the name Kampong Som. It’s best known for the numerous beaches along the coastline and there are several sparsely inhabited islands here which have attracted a number of visitors in recent times.
Poipet in Western Cambodia is near the border with Thailand. It’s often the crossing point for people who are travelling between Bangkok and Siem Reap. Poipet is famous for its many casinos which are there in the main street and near the border. Not too far from here is the Banteay Chhmar temple complex that dates back to the Angkor period.