Unveiling Cambodia’s Hidden Gems: Best Places to Visit in Cambodia

Angkor Wat and Bliss!

Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a Southeast Asian country located in the southern part of the Indochinese Peninsula. It shares its borders with Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and southeast, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. The capital and largest city of Cambodia is Phnom Penh.

With a history dating back thousands of years, Cambodia has a rich cultural heritage influenced by various empires and civilizations. The most famous period of its history was the Khmer Empire, which left an indelible mark on the country with its stunning architectural achievements, including the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex.

Cambodia, a gem of Southeast Asia, beckons travellers with its rich history, stunning architecture, and captivating landscapes. From ancient temples to lush jungles and pristine beaches, Cambodia offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to every type of traveler. If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting destination, here are some of the best places to visit in Cambodia that will leave you spellbound.

Welcome to the land of smiles and warm hospitality. Cambodia, once the heart of the powerful Khmer Empire, now stands as a testament to the glorious past and a symbol of hope for the future. With a vibrant culture and breathtaking sites, Cambodia promises an unforgettable journey for all who venture here.

Best Time to Visit Cambodia

The best time to visit Cambodia is during the cool and dry season, which typically runs from November to February. During these months, the weather is more comfortable with lower humidity levels and milder temperatures, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

In November and December, Cambodia experiences cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings and early mornings, which can be a pleasant relief from the hot and humid conditions of other months. January and February are the peak tourist months, as the weather remains dry, and daytime temperatures are generally mild and pleasant, making it the most popular time to visit.

March to May marks the hot season in Cambodia, with temperatures soaring, and the humidity can be quite intense. While it is still possible to visit during this time, it can be challenging to explore outdoor sites for extended periods due to the heat.

From June to October, Cambodia experiences the rainy season, also known as the monsoon season. The rains typically arrive in the form of short but heavy downpours, usually in the late afternoon or evening. While the rain can cool down the temperature, it can also make traveling and outdoor activities less convenient. However, the countryside is lush and green during this time, and some travelers prefer the quieter and less crowded atmosphere.

Top 13 Best Places to Visit in Cambodia & Top Things To Do – 2023

1. Angkor Wat

Specialty: No visit to Cambodia is complete without exploring the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat complex. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest religious monument in the world and boasts an architectural marvel that dates back to the 12th century. As the sun rises, witness the temple complex come to life with a golden hue, creating a breathtaking spectacle. As the day unfolds, venture further into Angkor Wat to discover other ancient temples, each with its unique charm. Ta Prohm, embraced by the roots of massive trees, offers an ethereal atmosphere that transports visitors to a lost world. At sunset, find yourself mesmerized by the intricate carvings as the day bids farewell.

Map of Angkor Area: Image courtesy tourismcambodia

Located: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Entry Fees: USD 30 – USD 70.

1 Day Pass = USD 32

3 Days Pass = USD 62

7 Days Pass = USD 72 

Timings: 5:00 AM to 5:30 PM

How to reach: By cab, tuk-tuk, or bicycle from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat. Finding a trustworthy taxi, tuk-tuk driver, or bicycle rental shop may be done with the help of your hotel, or we can organise this as part of your Angkor Wat trip.



2. Royal Palace Park

Specialty: Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, which is a significant landmark in Cambodia. The Royal Palace is a stunning complex located in the capital city of Phnom Penh and serves as the residence of the Cambodian king. The palace complex includes various buildings, gardens, and courtyards that display a blend of Khmer architecture and classical Khmer design.

Location: Samdach Sothearos Blvd (3), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Timing: 7.30 AM -11 AM & 2 PM -5 PM

Entry Fees: USD 6

How to reach: Every day, excluding federal holidays and significant religious festivals, the Royal Palace is available to tourists from 8:00 to 11:00 and again from 14:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is USD 10, and a guide is an additional expense. As the lighting is better in the morning, we advise going then.



3. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

Specialty: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, also known as the Killing Fields, is a memorial site located in Cambodia, approximately 17 kilometers south of the capital city, Phnom Penh. It holds deep historical significance as one of the many execution sites used by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule from 1975 to 1979. The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, aimed to create an agrarian communist society by implementing radical and brutal policies that resulted in the suffering and death of millions of Cambodians. Choeung Ek was just one of the many places where mass executions and atrocities occurred.

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

How to reach: The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are 15 km from Central Phnom Penh. To get there, take Monireth Blvd south-westward out of the city from the Dang Kor Market bus depot. The site is 8.5 km from the bridge near 271 St.



4. The National Museum of Cambodia

Specialty: The National Museum of Cambodia is a prominent cultural institution located in the capital city, Phnom Penh. It is one of the most important museums in Cambodia and serves as a repository for the nation’s rich artistic, historical, and archaeological heritage. The museum was established in 1920 during the French colonial era and was originally called the “Museum of Khmer Art.” Its primary purpose was to house and preserve the vast collection of ancient Khmer artifacts, sculptures, and artworks that had been collected from various archaeological sites across the country.

Location: Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh.

Timings: 8AM – 5PM on all days of the week.

Entry fee: USD 5 for foreigners and around USD 0.1 for local tourists.

How to reach: The National Museum is located within the city centre of Phnom Penh and can be easily reached on foot. It takes about 25 minutes to arrive.



5. Koh Rong Samloem

Specialty: Koh Rong Samloem, often referred to simply as Samloem, is a picturesque island located off the southwestern coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. Known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical landscapes, Koh Rong Samloem has become a popular destination for travelers seeking a tranquil and idyllic getaway.


Location: Island in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

How to reach: By ferry: The Koh Rong Island in Cambodia is very accessible through the town of Sihanoukville. Ferries are run by five major operators that you can choose from – Speed Boat Cambodia, Island Speed Boat, Buva Sea, Angkor Speed Ferry and GTVC. Average fares for a two-way trip are around USD 21.



6. Bamboo Train Adventure

Specialty: Experience an exciting bamboo train ride in Battambang, a quirky mode of transport that promises laughter and scenic views. This unique experience provides a glimpse into local life and offers an unforgettable journey.

Location: Krong Battambang, Cambodia

How to reach: The bamboo train is located on the southern outskirts of Battambang. Although it is so close to the centre of town, it is very much surrounded by acres of green countryside and fields. If travelling to the bamboo train from the Battambang town centre, it will take just 11 minutes by car, taxi or tuk-tuk.



7. Banteay Srei – Citadel of the Women

Specialty: Known for its intricate pink sandstone carvings, Banteay Srei is a jewel in the crown of Angkor’s temples. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, this temple’s delicate artistry showcases the Khmer Empire’s unparalleled craftsmanship.

Location: Angkor, Cambodia

How to reach: Banteay Srei is located about 35km away from Siem Reap. You can head out through the Angkor Park via Srah Srang and Preah Dak and then head north along Road 67.



8. Temple of Preah Vihear

Specialty: The Temple of Preah Vihear is a significant and historically important Hindu temple complex located atop a cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, near the Thai-Cambodian border. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated in the northern part of Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Province and holds immense cultural and religious significance. The temple’s location on the edge of a steep cliff offers breathtaking views of the surrounding plains, making it a strategic and awe-inspiring site. The complex is designed in the classic Khmer architectural style, characterized by intricate carvings, imposing galleries, and a series of sanctuaries and towers connected by pavilions and courtyards.

Location: Mountain temple located on top of the Dangrek Mountains which is at a height of 525m in the province of Preah Vihear province.

Timings: 8AM – 4PM.

Entry fee: Around USD 5 for foreign tourists and USD 1.5 for local tourists.

How to reach: Tickets are USD 8.75 from Phnom Penh. From Siem Reap, Rith Mony runs a daily minivan service which costs USD 5. Another option is to get to Preah Vihear by public transport – just catch a bus heading to Tbeng Meanchey town or Sra Em village.



9. Banteay Chhmar

Specialty: Banteay Chhmar is a remarkable archaeological sites in Cambodia, known for its historical significance and stunning ancient temples. Prasat Thom is a massive stepped pyramid temple, reminiscent of the famous Mayan temples. Seven-tiered structure is crowned by a sanctuary dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. From the top of Prasat Thom, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding forest, making it a popular spot for photography and appreciating the ancient architectural wonders.

Location: Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia

Entry Fees: USD 5 per person

How to reach: To go to Banteay Chhmar, one must first go to Sisophon (also known as Svay or Banteay Meanchey town). At the intersection of Highways #5 and #6, Sisophon is situated. Between Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, and Poipet (the Thai border), it serves as a key transit hub.  All day long, buses and taxis are available to and from Sisophon. Sisophon shouldn’t be difficult to reach.



10. Sambor Prei Kuk

Specialty: Sambor Prei Kuk, also known as Isanapura, is an ancient archaeological site located in Cambodia’s Kampong Thom Province, approximately 30 kilometers north of the city of Kampong Thom. It is one of the most significant pre-Angkorian temple complexes in the country and holds immense historical and cultural value. The name “Sambor Prei Kuk” means “the temple in the richness of the forest,” which is a fitting description as the site is nestled amidst lush vegetation and dense jungles, giving it a serene and tranquil ambiance.

Location: 219, Prasat Sambor District, Cambodia

Timing: 7 AM – 5 PM

Entry Fees: USD 10 per person

How to reach: The fastest way to get from Siem Reap to Sambor Prei Kuk is to taxi. Taking this option will cost USD 110 – USD 140 and takes 2h 29m



11. Bayon Temple

Specialty: Built in the late 12th or early 13th century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, Bayon Temple is a masterpiece of Khmer architecture and artistry. It is renowned for its distinct and imposing towers adorned with massive stone faces, believed to represent the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or a combination of the king and a divine deity. The temple features a unique and intricate design with a central pyramid-like structure surrounded by galleries and passageways. The central tower rises to a height of over 40 meters, and its distinctive stone faces gaze serenely in four cardinal directions, creating a sense of mystery and allure.

Location: Angkor Thom Angkor Archeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, 17000, Cambodia

Timing: 5 AM – 6 PM

How to reach: Tuk Tuk approximately costs USD 10-12 per day. Haggle with the Tuk Tuk rider. The best way to hire a Tuk Tuk is by asking at the hotel transport desk, they can help with good reliable drivers.



12. Sihanoukville

Specialty: For beach lovers, Sihanoukville offers the perfect retreat. Sink your toes into the soft sands of Serendipity Beach, where you can unwind, take a dip in the azure waters, and indulge in delectable seafood.

Location – Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

How to reach: Just get a tuk tuk from the airport to the beach. USD 7- USD 10 as the Airport is a long way out of town. Regards Pat.



13. Pub Street

Specialty: Pub Street is known for its lively atmosphere, bustling nightlife, and an array of bars, restaurants, and street food stalls. It is particularly popular in the evenings when the street comes alive with colorful lights, music, and a festive ambiance. Visitors to Pub Street can indulge in a wide variety of food and drink options, ranging from traditional Cambodian dishes to international cuisine. Many restaurants and bars offer happy hour promotions and special deals on drinks, making it a favorite spot for backpackers and travelers looking for a fun and budget-friendly night out.

Location: Street 08, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia



Tips for Traveling in Cambodia

  • Visa and Entry Requirements

Before your trip, ensure you have the necessary visas and documents for entry into Cambodia.

  • Respect for Local Customs and Traditions

While exploring Cambodia, respect local customs, traditions, and religious practices.

  • Staying Safe and Healthy

Stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and be cautious of your surroundings to have a safe and enjoyable journey.



Cambodia is a land of wonder, where ancient history meets natural beauty, and vibrant traditions intertwine with modern life. Whether you seek adventure, culture, or relaxation, this remarkable country promises an unforgettable experience.

Written by Jahnavi Mistry

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