10 best things to do in Cambodia

Bucket list destinations

Cambodia travel is on the rise and backpackers from all over the world are planning their travels to this South East Asian country. The top most visited cities in Cambodia are Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang. Cambodia travel will never be complete without visiting the country’s historical sites and some of the natural wonders that have been around for ages. Here are 10 best things to do in Cambodia !

1) See a sunrise over the temples

This is one the 10 most prominent thing to do in Cambodia. Visiting temples.The temples of Angkor, a complex built between 9th and 15th centuries by successive rulers of Cambodia, are a truly unique site. The best way to see them is at sunrise, when they’re covered in an ethereal orange glow as locals arrive for prayers.

2) Ride an elephant through the jungle

If you’re visiting Cambodia, it might be tempting to ride an elephant around Angkor Wat or through Phnom Penh. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re interested in an animal-friendly experience, consider giving your tourist dollars to a charity that protects Cambodian wildlife from poachers. For example, Wildlife Alliance operates a community program aimed at training villagers about poaching and its effects on wildlife, as well as initiatives meant to limit local people’s dependence on bush meat.

3) Take a boat down the Mekong

This river is a hot tourist attraction, especially during sunset. In addition to catching a view of sunset over Angkor Wat; it’s also possible to stop by floating villages and relax on your way back. Although it’s not much more than a 30-minute boat ride, it’s one of my favorite activities while I was in Cambodia not just because it was beautiful and budget friendly (less than $2/person), but also because if you go early enough you might catch a glimpse of local fishermen. It makes for an interesting contrast between old and new, one that will stay with you long after you leave Cambodia behind.

4) Stay in a treehouse

Treehouses offer a unique and exciting experience while traveling. Rather than being attached to a hotel or hostel, treehouses are separate houses on stilts that are built around trees. Treehouses are sometimes fully furnished with beds, tables, chairs, televisions and bathrooms—but they also often have basic facilities. The concept of treehouse accommodation originated in Southeast Asia but is becoming increasingly popular elsewhere, including Costa Rica and Colombia. If you’re looking for an adventurous accommodation option while traveling, stay at a treehouse.

5) Visit the Killing Fields

The Khmer Rouge killed an estimated two million people while they were in power, and one of their most infamous sites is Choeung Ek. Located just outside Phnom Penh, it’s a chilling reminder of just how brutal life was under Pol Pot. However, it’s also a place that has great cultural significance for Cambodians; many still come here to pay their respects to loved ones who died during those dark days. Many tours of Cambodia include a visit to Choeung Ek, which can be heart-wrenching but very worthwhile if you want an insight into Cambodian history.

6) Local cambodian foods

With food ranging from street vendors selling noodle soup for less than a dollar to six-course meals for about $50; you’ll find plenty of affordable culinary adventures throughout Cambodia. When looking at menus and price tags, always ask if you can get it for here or to go. Many restaurants inflate their prices just because they think tourists are willing to pay extra.

7. Koh Rong Sanloem

Located on the Cambodia’s southern coastline, this could be one of the best 10 things to do in Cambodia. A perfect island for relaxing in nature. You can do some nice activities; such as snorkelling and diving.

8) Shop at night markets

By day, local street markets, like Phsar Thmei and Psar Tuol Tom Pong, are great places to soak up Cambodian culture. And barter for everything from silk scarves to hand-stitched quilts. By night, both of these temples of commerce morph into night markets selling all manner of snacks; souvenirs and household goods.

9) Rent out a scooter or motorbike and explore on your own

If you’re looking for a budget travel adventure and want to see as much of Cambodia as possible; consider renting a scooter or motorbike and explore on your own. Some of my fondest memories are traveling solo around Phnom Penh on one of these!

10) Go on an overnight river cruise.

The cheapest way to see Cambodia’s biggest sights, but it can also be one of its most scenic. After departing Phnom Penh at dusk, you’ll make your way through rural Cambodia by boat. Watching sunsets and stopping overnight at riverside villages. Afterward, you can continue on a Cambodian sleeper train back to Phnom Penh; or spend a few days exploring Battambang Province before heading back. The best part?

With the right amount of planning and budgeting, it’s possible to have an unforgettable time in Cambodia without spending too much money at all. I hope these 10 things to do in Cambodia can start ease your trip !