Things to do in Cambodia

Cambodia is a country where is included a lot of the tourist resource, this country has both of the natural and cultural resources so that if you travel to Cambodia, you will have a chance to experience a lot the different travel activities at here. Cambodia has the international two airports is Siem Reap airport and Phnom Penh airport, it is also very convenient and fast for you to move from this airport to that airport, it just takes around 45 minutes to fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, so that you should visit both of these two cities once travel to Cambodia. And, here under is the best suggests and tips to help you get a very special trip to Cambodia.

1. Sightseeing must see in Phnom Penh

2. Sightseeing must see in Siem Reap

3. Transfer (vehicles) in Cambodia

4. Accommodation in Cambodia

5. Food in Cambodia

6. Shopping in Cambodia


1. Sightseeing must see in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh the capital of Cambodia where the king lives and works in the superb area, and this place is called Royal Palace, and you must include this cultural site on your trip to Phnom Penh. Royal Place is located in the real center of Phnom Penh, if your hotel is located in the center of Phnom Penh, then you can walk to go to this special site to explore. This is a large area, you must take at least one hour to visit full sites at here, and you also should take a trip at here in the morning to avoid the hot weather of Cambodia after the noon time. There are also some very hard rules to allow for you entering this site such as you must wear long clothes and you put your shoes (sandals) outside the sites to allow entering, you do not speak in a loud voice, you do not touch the objects, or there are the objects which are made by golden so it is very valuable so you also do not steal anything….Royal Palace is the most famous place in Phnom Penh where all locals at here respect and comply with all instructions of their king.

what to see in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh city

In the complex of Royal Place in Phnom Penh, there are other special sites where you should not miss to explore such as Silver Pagoda that is so named because of its floor and it is made up of 5000 silver tiles. After the trip to Silver Pagoda, you should move to National Museum where is considered as one of Phnom Penh’s true architectural gems.

what to see in Phnom Penh

Silver Pagoda is located in Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh

Arrival to Cambodia, there is the place where is still considered as a heart of Cambodian in their past war, this site is called Killing Fields where is far from just 15km from the center of Phnom Penh city. Continue your visit in Phnom Penh city must be Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison) where was controlled by Pol Pot’s security forces

special things in cambodia

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison) where was controlled by Pol Pot’s security forces

If you are a tourist who likes shopping, then Russian Market (Psah Tuol Thom Pong) which is also located in the central Phnom Penh is an ideal place in order for you find antiquities, silver and gold jewelry, gems, silk, kramas, stone and wood carvings, as well as T-Shirts, CDs and other souvenirs….you can buy anything at here. If you transfer on the roads of Phnom Penh, then you will have a chance to see Victory Monument where is also one of the special symbols of Cambodian.

2. Sightseeing must see in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the capital of Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Although Siem Reap is just small capital belong to Siem Reap province, Cambodia, it is smaller than Phnom Penh capital. In this small destination is included one of the most famous cultural heritages in the world that are called “Angkor Wat” and Angkor Temples Complex. Everyone travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia want to explore this unique site. There are a lot of documents and films about this mighty and historical site, but you will be very surprised by its real beauty and unique once you face to face to see and explore it directly your own eyes. All of this area is the great structures which nothing can compare with its unique.

To understand really about Angkor Wat as well as Angkor Temples Complex, the best way is you should experience it directly with at the time your guide describe details about it because no word can tell about it enough on the documents, you must see it directly to understand why all the world like and vote it as one of the cultural heritages in the world. Beside the beautiful and unique of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm is also very famous in this temples complex. If you have just one day in Siem Reap, then you should take sightseeing to these three sites (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm) because they are the most famous sites in Angkor Temples Complex. Visiting Angkor Wat where you have a chance to contemplate the different structures that were made of the hard stones, under a very hot weather of Cambodia, you completely feel cool while walking around and sit into these stone structures, surrounding the walls in Angkor Wat it is decorated by skillful carving about the different dances among it is available the Apsara dance the art soul of Cambodian, you also have a chance to climb to the tops of the structures to view Siem Reap town. It is never enough to write here all that Angkor Wat is available and valuable for you to see, come here to have your answer is why almost tourists know and want to discover Angkor Wat such that.

what sightseeing to see in Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple is located in the large forest with a lot of the trees

From Angkor Wat Temple, it is not far to move to Angkor Thom Temple where you have a chance to see the big human faces, these status are not only the stone status but also it is very soulful, this is a beautiful skill of persons who created it in the past. At Angkor Thom Temple, you are also seen the large yards where are appeared a lot of the big elephant status that was made and carved in stone, it is said that at here there were appeared a lot the elephant’s matches.

what sightseeing must see in Cambodia

Angkor Thom Temple where you can see a lot of the soulful human faces that are made and carved by stone

From Angkor Thom Temple, we continue going to Ta Prohm Temple where you have seen the big trees that are even some hundreds year old. The weather in Cambodia is very hard and hot in the dry season, and this area is covered by almost stones but the trees at here are still grown from these years to those years and now it becomes the oldest and biggest trees in a forest of Angkor Temple Complex. You must be very surprised about the fierce vitality of the trees in this area, even there are some big trees which are grown from the stone walls, it looks very specially and beautiful.

what sightseeing to see in Cambodia

Ta Prohm Temple where is covered by the great structures and trees until some hundred years old

If you are a tourist who prefers to study full enough about the history of Angkor Temples Complex, you must take until some days, even until some weeks to explore enough about this area, but with a popular trip is full day trip is also enough for you to explore full sights of the most important three temples at Angkor Temple Complex is Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm. To arrive here, you can catch a local bus, taxi, motorbike or even by bike because this tourist area is located not so far from the center of Siem Reap town, it is just around 7km only. If you visit Siem Reap in the dry season, then you should bring some bottles of water and hat because it is very hot and sunlight in the dry season in Siem Reap. Although it is also cool for you to explore the structures at temples because it is made by quite stone and this area is also a large forest with the big trees, you still prepare some waters to avoid the case you can not buy it while you are visiting these sites.

Tonle Sap Lake the lake is still called as “the great lake” or ” the lake sea” of Cambodia. There are a lot of the large and famous lakes in the world, but there is a special lake that is also called as “the great lake” or “ the lake sea”, this lake is named Tonle Sap Lake and located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is just 15km from Siem Reap town to Tonle Sap Lake, so that it is also easy for the tourist to catch a bus, taxi or even by motorbike or bike from the center of Siem Reap town to this lake to take a boat trip at here to explore the daily life of the local floating villages at here as well as their habit and customs every day.

Discovering Tonle Sap Lake by a motor boat is the most popular vehicle to move at here, because this lake is very large so it is very long for you to sit in a rowing boat by hand, certainly rowing a boat by hand is the most popular vehicle of the locals at here because they often have to move a lot to the different places every day in the lake, but because you start the trip from the ferry to the center of this lake to take sightseeing so that you need at least a motor boat to transfer in the lake.

Tonle Sap Lake

A Cambodian little girl and her home in the Tonle Sap lake.

In Tonle Sap Lake, there are not only Cambodian locals to live but also there are also many persons from other countries to live such as Vietnam, China….although there are many different nationalities to live in the lake and their life is simple but they unite and help together. At here, there are also enough the basic infrastructures such as in the land such as the hospitals, schools, churches, markets, shops, restaurants….although these structures are still small and it is located on the water face, it is also very good and steady, and you will be surprised by these architectures once see it directly on a huge water area.

Travel to Tonle Sap Lake, you will have a chance to see the children whose are very good by swimming, there are a lot of small children whose can swim and rowing boats very skillfully, there are a lot of children whose must rowing boats to go to choose by themselves because their parents are very busy to earn their living. In fact, the life at here is still very hard, although there is also the electrics but the poor families must use oil instead of the electric because it is expensive to pay for the electric in the lake, besides that the locals also can not find full enough what as on the land is offered, for example, the children can not have the entertainment places, they just know go to schools and return their homes, but the locals also often take their children to go the center of Siem Reap town in order for their children play in the summers or their holidays.

Normally, the women whose live in Tonle Sap Lake just stay at home to take care their children, the men work and earn living for their life. Almost of men whose live in the lake to earn living by fishing and selling their fishes to the markets that are located in the land or sell to tourists or for restaurants or sometimes they also sell it to their neighbors around the lake. The daily life of the locals at here is very simple, even there are a lot of the families at here just need to earn enough each day only, but there are also many other families who want to be rich by business right on this lake. Exploring Tonle Sap Lake, you will have a chance to see directly by your eyes all special life of the locals at here.

The tourist also have a chance to buy souvenirs of the locals at here such as the towels which are made by hand, necklaces are made by pearl or the different materials, clothes, hats….all of these products are very special of the locals at here as well as of Cambodian. They are very cheap, so you should not miss to buy it as your souvenirs after a boat trip to one of the most largest lake in the world as Tonle Sap Lake. Exploring Tonle Sap Lake, the tourist also have a chance to take part in a charitable activity is help the poor persons at here as buying rice to give it for them or give for the poor children at the schools where there are a lot of pupils whose do not the parents…..or you can buy anything to give for the poor families in the lake or you are also possible to bring the old clothes to give the poor locals at here…So, travel Tonle Sap Lake, you are not only visited a most beautiful and large lake in Cambodia, but also you have chances to help the locals at here.

Tonle Sap Lake has the different two images by the different two season is the dry and wet season, you can visit Tonle Sap Lake any season because each season there is its own beauty. It is the dry season from May to September, it is the wet season from October to April and this wet season is water level around the area of Tonle Sap Lake is very high but is is also very beautiful for the tourists whose prefer to sit long on a boat to cruise along the lake to see a huge water area as well as explore the local life at here.

3. Transfer (vehicle) in Cambodia

Cambodia is very famous with the largest two cities is Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, these two cities have also two international airports is Phnom Penh International airport that is located in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airport that is located in Siem Reap. So, it is also easy for any tourist who prefers to fly to Cambodia from anywhere in the world to explore Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It is very far to catch a bus from Phnom Pen to Siem Reap and vice versa (around 7 hours by bus because the roads between these two cities are not so good to move fast), so catching a short flight just around 45 minutes between these two cities is the best to save your time. You are also possible to catch a boat (hydrofoil) along Mekong river to move between these two cities, it is similar to the total time to transfer by boat or by bus. But, there are also many the night buses to travel around Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so if you want to save time and your accommodation, then you can choose this kind of vehicle. Because it is a long distance to transfer between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh so that there are a lot of buses which offer the sleeping beds so you can sleep at a night to transfer from this city to that city.

popular vehicles in Cambodia

Tuktuk is one of the popular vehicles in Cambodia

After you arrive at any place in Cambodia, then it is easy for you to choose many different vehicles to travel around this city such as by tuk-tuk, taxi, motorbike or bike. Among almost vehicles in Cambodia is tuk-tuk is one of the most popular vehicles for the locals to use at here because it is convenient to transfer a lot of persons as well as goods at the same time, it is also safe and fun for you to try this vehicle once you travel to Cambodia, it appears everywhere from the nook and canny to the bustling points in the real center in Cambodia, this vehicle is the most convenient and cheapest for you to transfer a short distance because the roads in Cambodia are still small and very crowded so it is much more quickly to move by tuk-tuk than move by a taxi.

Cambodia is included two seasons is the dry and wet season, if you travel this country in the dry season, you always need a car (bus) which is available air conditional all time because it is very hot in the dry season in Cambodia. And, if you travel with kids, then you must check carefully in advance about the standard of the car or the bus you will use on your trips to the destinations in Cambodia otherwise, it is a tired trip for you to move between sites at here.

Almost of good hotels of Cambodia are located in the center of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh city. Although Siem Reap is not a large town it is included many kinds and ranges of hotel in this area from 2, 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in order for you to choose to stay, normally it is depended on your budget to choose a suitable hotel for you, but it is fine for you to stay at hotel which is around 3 or 4 star in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, certainly 5 star hotel is the best choice if it is suitable for your budget.

where to stay in cambodia

You always should choose the hotel with a swimming pool under the hot weather as in Cambodia

But, there is an important thing which you should mention to book any hotel in these two cities is you should choose the hotel where is available for the swimming pool because the weather is very hot in the dry season in Cambodia. Normally, almost hotels 3 star are available for the swimming pool, and its price is around 30usd-60usd/ room/night (included tax, service charge, breakfast), the room rate is also up to the kind of room you prefer to stay at each hotel from 2 stars to 5 stars. But, with the hot weather as in Cambodia is a room with a window and air conditional is necessary for you.

5. Food in Cambodia

Cambodia is still very famous with a lot of the traditional food, especially the local food of Khmer people, it is cooked very special and different from other food at anywhere, sometimes it is little difficult for you to try at the first time, but then if you try it sometimes, you will like it because it is different from other local foods. Arrival to Cambodia, you will have a chance to see a lot of the insects that are cooked and grilled to sell on the roads, with the locals and some tourists this is the special food that is just available in Cambodia and they are also tried it once travel Cambodia, but with some other travelers is this is their fear.

The special food in Cambodia

The cooked insects is one of the special local food in Cambodia

Different from other cities in Indochina area, food in Cambodia is offered with the cheaper prices than other countries because the money at here is still very valuable even it is little, with other cities as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam you must have higher budget to enjoy in a restaurant, but you just need a half of that money, then it is fine for you to enter the restaurants in Cambodia, certainly it is depended on the dishes that you order on your meals. There is a very special thing at almost good and luxury restaurants in Cambodia is they organize the different Apsara dances and the folk songs which are considered as the spirit child and soul of Cambodian, this music is organized during the time you enjoy your meal in these restaurants, it is really very fun and worthwhile for you to see, so if you book any meal at any restaurant in Cambodia, then you also should check about this service in advance so that you will have a chance to understand about one of the most famous dances in the world at the right place you are traveling.

Normally, the best and most luxury restaurants are located in the main two cities of Cambodia is Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, the daily life at here is not so rush like as other cities in the world so you also do not worry about having to meet the crowded space in any restaurant in Cambodia, it is always softly and peaceful all time. There are a lot of the famous dishes in Cambodia, but you must try these fishes once travel this special country such as Bai sach chrouk (Pork and rice), Fish amok, Khmer red curry, Lap Khmer (Lime-marinated Khmer beef salad), Nom banh chok (Khmer noodles), Kdam chaa (fried crab), Red tree ants with beef and holy basil, Ang dtray-meuk (grilled squid)…

special food in Cambodia, things to do in Cambodia

Khmer food is the most popular food in Cambodia

In Siem Reap town, there is a night market street, at here there are a lot of the local and special food that is offered from the cheapest to most expensive prices, if you like the local and street food, then this place is ideal for you to explore and try. There are many dishes that you can see by your eyes before you try it in this night market, it is very cheap but delicious. Sometimes, you will feel more interested in trying the traditional food of the locals in Cambodia in the streets than in the restaurants because at here you will have a chance to see directly the way the local cook dishes and you also have a chance to find about their habits and customs in processing food.

6. Shopping in Cambodia

Not like big cities in the world, Cambodia has just the most famous cities is Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, these two cities are also the places where the tourists prefer to explore and shop the most once travel Cambodia. Firstly, we should not miss Phnom Penh because this city is the capital of Vietnam where is very famous with the Russia market. Travel Russian market you can find anything you want from the smallest things to the most valuable such as the gold, silver, the different kinds of stones, clothes, shoes, sandals, towels, hats….everything is offered very good prices. The Russian market is also the popular destination in the city tour of Phnom Penh, it must be included with the customers whose like shopping so if you are persons whose prefer to shop or want to buy the real souvenirs of Cambodian, then you should not miss this interesting site. Exploring Russian market, besides you can buy anything in this central market is you also should not miss enjoying the local and traditional food at here because it is very special and different from other places in the world. Cambodia is still very famous with the traditional food, especially the dishes are cooked from the insects and animals such as locust, frog, toad, mouse, cat…..

Siem Reap Night Market

Cambodian woman selling shoes in night market of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

If you do not have enough time to go to Russian market to shop in Phnom Penh, then the local markets are the good choice for you because these small markets are appeared everywhere in Phnom Penh, although the products are not plentiful as at the center market, these local markets are also included a lot of the different products from the clothes to souvenirs, they are also offered very good prices. Also like some countries in Asia, if the products are not fixed the prices, then you also should bargain once buy anything in Cambodia, the locals in Cambodia are very kind and friendly but there are also a lot of sellers whose prefer to offer much higher prices than the real value of their products so that it is not redundant for you to bargain once purchase anything in Cambodia.

If Phnom Penh is known for Russian Market and the locals markets that are located many at the places around this city, then Siem Reap is very popular to shop in the center of Siem Reap town (Siem Reap market), in this small town there is a street where you can combine to shop and enjoy the local food on the streets, especially when you travel Siem Reap you will have a chance to see one of the most famous activity at here is see the Apsara dances of Cambodian, there are a lot of the restaurants that are located on the streets where you shop are available for these dances, so it is also easy for you to combine between shopping, take sightseeing as well as enjoy the famous Apsara dances that are not available in any other country in the world without Cambodia.

Siem Reap is a small town, so it is also easy for the tourist to walk around to shop or find anything in this special town. Although this is a small town, it is included a lot of the cheap and luxury shops with so many valuable things for you to choose and buy at here. And, if you want to see a more sparkling and beautiful Siem Reap, then you should explore and shop in this town in the evening because it is very bustling after 6 pm at here. After a long walking, if you feel tired, then you should catch a tuk-tuk to return your hotel, it is very popular and cheap for you to catch a tuk-tuk in Siem Reap, it is just around from 2-7usd from the center of Siem Reap town to return your hotel because almost of hotels are located in Siem Reap town.