15 Best Things To Do In Cambodia


Famous for Angkor Wat, one of the world’s seven wonders, Cambodia is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty that will capture your imagination and hold it long after you return home. Beyond this iconic temple lies a nation brimming with experiences, from the haunting echoes of its past to the peaceful rhythms of its countryside and the warmth of its people.

The best things to do in Cambodia are an inviting tapestry of ancient splendors and modern thrills, each moment promising an adventure that’s both enriching and exhilarating. What are you waiting for? Let’s discover the 20 best things to do in Cambodia now.

Why You Will Fall In Love With Cambodia


With its rich and vibrant culture, interwoven with the threads of tradition and community, Cambodia’s beating heart is an experience you simply can’t miss.

Every traveler will experience nothing but genuine smiles, warm hospitality, and cultural practices that are rich in meaning at this location. Witness the graceful Apsara dancers, whose precise movements tell ancient tales, or join in one of the many colorful festivals that dot the calendar, celebrating everything from the Khmer New Year to the Water Festival.

The local markets buzz with activity, offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of the Cambodian people and their crafts, a culture that’s alive and inviting you to partake in its beauty.



Angkor Wat, a touristic attraction in Cambodia

The natural landscape of Cambodia is as varied as it is stunning. From the lush jungles that house hidden temples and exotic wildlife to the tranquil beaches with soft sands and clear waters, nature’s allure is omnipresent. Discover the serene life on the great Tonle Sap Lake, where floating villages ebb and flow with the seasons, or lose yourself in the wild allure of the Cardamom Mountains, where adventure and tranquility coexist.

Cambodia’s natural wonders create a backdrop for connection, reflection, and awe.


Cambodia’s history is etched into every stone of its ancient temples and reflected in the eyes of its people.

The ruins of the Angkor civilization whisper the grandeur of past empires, standing as testaments to the country’s historical significance. Yet, history also speaks of resilience; places like Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields are poignant reminders of Cambodia’s ability to rise from the ashes of its darker times.

Engage with this history, and you will understand the depth of Cambodia’s spirit and why it leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.


To truly know the heart of Cambodia, one must indulge in its flavory cuisines where every dish, from the zesty fish amok to the comforting warmth of kuy teav, tells a story of the land and its people. Small bites of street food, like the famous num pang sandwich, offer a taste of everyday life. At the same time, a traditional Khmer meal can be a gateway to understanding the intricate layers of this fascinating culture.

>> See Tour: The Very Best Of Cambodia

15 Best Things To Do In Cambodia In 2024

Explore The Angkor Archaeological Park

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, Angkor Archaeological Park in the northwest of Cambodia is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, renowned for its well-preserved ruins of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire between the 9th to 15th centuries AD. Sprawling over 400 square kilometers of land, the park is home to over 1,000 temples and other monuments, making it a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

The Magnificence of Angkor Wat

Witness the grandeur of Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Khmer architecture. As the sun rises and casts a radiant glow upon the ancient stones, you cannot help but recognize the true value of this temple complex – it is a national treasure, a symbol of Cambodia’s glorious past and a source of immense pride for its people.

Walk through the vast corridors, gaze up at the intricate carvings, and feel the awe-inspiring power of this enduring wonder.

The Mysterious Ta Prohm Temple


Ancient Ruins of Ta Prohm Temple

The haunting beauty of Ta Prohm, embraced by the brawny arms of giant banyan trees, is a humbling display of nature reclaiming its space. Elsewhere, the delicate carvings of Banteay Srei tell tales in pink sandstone, earning it the nickname “the jewel of Khmer art.” As the day wanes, the Pre Rup temple stands as a prime spot to view the sunset, its pyramidal structure reflecting the changing hues of the fading light.

Each site within the park, whether it’s a towering temple or a crumbling ruin overtaken by the forest, invites you to explore and offers a silent narrative of the empire that once was.

>> See Tour: Cambodia’s Ancient Temples & Pristine Beach

Experience The Vibrant Culture of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s bustling capital city, is a vibrant tapestry of history and modernity. Visit the bustling Central Market or Russian Market for a shopping spree, explore the National Museum’s treasures, or take a stroll along the Mekong Riverfront. The city’s energy is palpable, with an array of cafes, bars, and restaurants reflecting a fusion of international and traditional Khmer influences.

Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace, with its traditional Khmer roofs and gleaming spires, serves as the King’s residence and is a striking example of Cambodia’s architectural prowess. The complex, built in the 1860s, is a collection of buildings that host royal ceremonies, symbolizing the nation’s monarchy. Strolling through its manicured gardens and past its ornate structures, one cannot help but be impressed by the lavish design and detail that reflect the cultural and artistic heritage of Cambodia.


Crowded Royal Palace

Next to the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda, named for its shimmering floor tiled with pure silver. Housing an array of precious Buddhas, including the Emerald Buddha and a life-sized gold Buddha encrusted with diamonds, the pagoda offers a glimpse into the spiritual richness of Cambodia. The intricate wall murals depict mythological scenes, adding depth to the cultural narrative.

Together, the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda form a majestic testament to Cambodia’s royal history and its enduring spiritual traditions.

Boat Trip On Tonle Sap 

A journey on Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, will reveal the incredible biodiversity and the unique waterborne way of life. Visit the floating villages and observe how the seasonal rise and fall of the lake’s waters dictate the rhythm of daily life here. This ecological hotspot is not only a source of sustenance but also a place of natural beauty and cultural insight.

The Historical Killing Fields

A visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek is a profound and somber experience, offering insight into Cambodia’s tragic past. This memorial site serves as a testament to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime during the late 1970s. A guided tour or audio narration provides context to the chilling remnants and mass graves on display, ensuring that the atrocities are not forgotten and serving as a reminder of the resilience of the Cambodian people.

Hike To The Top Of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Hill is the central point of the city where the famous Wat Phnom temple is situated. A gentle hike up this small hill offers visitors panoramic views of the city and a chance to visit the temple, an important symbol of the capital.


The road to Wat Phnom Temple on the hill

The lush green surroundings provide a peaceful escape from the urban bustle, and the hill is often frequented by locals who come to pray and relax.

>> Read More: What Should You Do With A Day In Phnom Penh

Relax On The Lovely Beaches Of Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s coastal jewel, boasting pristine beaches such as Otres Beach and Serendipity Beach. There’s no way you can miss out on these places.

You can unwind on soft white sands under the shade of swaying palm trees or indulge in water sports like snorkeling and diving to explore the vibrant marine life. As the sun sets, the beachfront comes alive with bars and restaurants where you can savor fresh seafood and enjoy the laid-back beach atmosphere.

>> Read More: How To Make The Most Out Of One Week In Cambodia?

Discover The Natural Beauty of Chi Phat

Venture into the heart of the Cardamom Mountains and find the village of Chi Phat, an off-the-beaten-path gateway to Cambodia’s lush landscapes and ecotourism experiences. 

Travelers can trek through dense rainforests, embark on a mountain bike journey, or cruise along the river to spot diverse wildlife. This region is ideal for those seeking an authentic venture, where community-based tourism supports conservation and sustainable livelihoods.

Go Wildlife Spotting In A National Park

Cambodia’s national parks are havens for wildlife enthusiasts. In Mondulkiri, you can embark on an elephant trek through the lush jungle to encounter these majestic creatures responsibly and ethically. In the northern town of Kratie, you have the unique opportunity to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins along the Mekong River. Alternatively, Kirirom National Park offers bird watchers a chance to see rare bird species amidst pine forests and cascading waterfalls.

Each park offers a unique ecosystem, rich with biodiversity and opportunities for immersive nature experiences.

See A Traditional Apsara Dance Performance

The enchanting beauty of the Apsara dance is an integral part of Khmer cultural identity. These performances, characterized by graceful, flowing movements, are a representation of celestial nymphs from Hindu and Buddhist mythology.


You simply cannot miss this mesmerizing Cambodian dance performance

Attend a show at one of the many venues in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to witness the dancers’ intricate hand gestures and the hypnotic, rhythmic music accompanying this traditional art form.

Kayak On The Mekong River

Kayaking on the mighty Mekong River is an exhilarating way to explore Cambodia’s natural beauty. Glide past rural landscapes, traditional fishing villages, and remote temples, getting a unique perspective on daily life along the riverbanks.

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or trying it for the first time, the Mekong offers both tranquil stretches and challenging rapids to suit all skill levels, providing an adventurous yet serene outdoor activity.

Shop At the Night Market In Siem Reap

The Siem Reap Night Market is a vibrant, bustling hub of activity after dusk. Here, you can shop for a wide array of handicrafts, souvenirs, and artwork. The market is also a great place to sample local street food, watch live performances, and soak up the lively atmosphere. It’s a perfect spot for an evening stroll, where you can find unique gifts and enjoy the cooler night air.

>> Read More: Top 15 Things To Do In Siem Reap Besides Temples

Enjoy Cambodian Cuisine & Learn How To Cook 

Cambodian cuisine is a delicious exploration of flavors, with dishes such as amok (a creamy fish curry), fresh spring rolls, and the tangy papaya salad.

Foodies will relish the opportunity not only to taste these delectable dishes but also to learn how to prepare them. Many restaurants and cooking schools across Cambodia offer classes that teach the art of Cambodian cooking, providing insights into the local culture and culinary traditions. It’s a hands-on way to bring a piece of Cambodia back home with you.


Join a cooking class to learn Cambodia cuisine

Discover Cambodian Agriculture At The Pepper Farms Of Kampot

Kampot pepper is renowned worldwide for its unique flavor and quality. Visiting the pepper farms in the Kampot region is a chance to learn about the cultivation process of this prized spice. Tour the plantations, see how pepper is grown, harvested, and processed, and enjoy a tasting session that will change the way you think about this common kitchen ingredient.

Stroll Through The French Colonial Architecture Of Battambang

Battambang, Cambodia’s second-largest city, strikes a charming contrast with its well-preserved French colonial architecture. Take a leisurely walk through the city’s streets to admire the beautiful buildings, some of which have been converted into quaint cafes and art galleries. Don’t miss the chance to ride on the famous bamboo train, a unique and thrilling way to see the surrounding countryside.

>> See Tour: Cambodia In Depth

Cycle Around The Countryside

Renting a bicycle and pedaling through the Cambodian countryside is a delightful way to explore rural areas. As you pass by the rice paddies and traditional wooden homes, be inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape and the simplicity of the local way of life.

Let this eco-friendly mode of transport take you on a journey of discovery, and allow yourself to be captivated by the charm of the small villages and temples that lie off the beaten path.


Enjoy a peaceful cycling tour

Relax In Kep’s Quiet Coastal Town

For a more subdued coastal experience, you should head to Kep, once a retreat for the French elite. This small seaside town offers tranquility, fresh seafood, and a chance to visit the Kep National Park. Enjoy a day at the beach or wander the crab market, where you can sample the famous Kep crab with Kampot pepper, a true culinary delight.

Attend The Water Festival (Bon Om Touk)

If you’re in Cambodia during November, don’t miss the Water Festival, which marks the reversal of the flow between the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake. It’s one of the country’s most vibrant events, featuring boat races, fireworks, and concerts. The festival showcases Cambodian culture and a time of joyous celebration throughout the country.

Trek In Mondulkiri Province

Northeast Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Province is home to Bunong hill tribes and some of the country’s last intact forests. Spend a few days trekking through this lush landscape, spotting wildlife like gibbons, civets and black-shanked douc langurs along the way. Overnight in a jungle homestay to experience Bunong culture and cuisine. Mondulkiri’s fresh air and natural beauty provide the perfect antidote to temple crowds.

>> See Tour: Cambodia Adventure

Final thoughts

It is difficult to capture the essence of Cambodia in words, as it is a beautiful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

This country is not just a place to visit. It is a vibrant tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered. From the peaceful sunrise at Angkor Wat to the busy markets of Phnom Penh and the calm beaches of Sihanoukville, every moment promises a new adventure. As you finish reading this, consider igniting your wanderlust and starting your own Cambodian story, where every step is a memory in the making.

Ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime? Craft Your Unique Trip to Cambodia with Asia Pioneer Travel today, and let us guide you through the wonders of this hidden gem in the heart of Southeast Asia.

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