Angkor Wat is Cambodia's most iconic and enduring image - the centerpiece of the vast temple complex that draws millions of visitors from around the world. Explore its walkways, admire its intricate carvings, and climb its steep, dramatic towers. View the temple at sunrise after entering it from its little-accessed eastern side for a truly unique and memorable experience.
Part of the world famous destination of Angkor, the Bayon temple features a sea of over 200 massive stone faces looking in all direction. The curious smiling faces, thought by many to be a portrait of king Jayavarman VII himself or a combination of him and Buddha, are an instantly recognizable image of Angkor.
The Apsara Dance draws its inspiration from the mythological court of the gods and from its celestial dancers, the Apsaras. Apsara dancers’ fingers are extraordinarily elastic; so much so that they can bend their fingers backwards almost to the wrist and training starts when they are so young that their bones are still supple.
Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is of major importance to Cambodia. The lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons.
Kratie is a small town located on the banks of the Mekong River and is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old, French colonial buildings. This is the place in Cambodia to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which live in the Mekong River in ever-diminishing numbers. It is estimated that there are between 66 and 86 dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.
Cambodia's coastline offers the chance for the archetypal Asian beach experience, but no amount of sea and sand is complete without sampling its ocean-fresh seafood. The stretch around Kampot and Kep is excellent for just-caught crab.
An option readily available at the Angkor Temples, do as Khmer royalty did centuries earlier by straddling an elephant for a memorable sunset journey. The activity is also offered in Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri.
A sparsely populated province, it is renowned for its unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristic of the province forms an impressive range including undulating hills and mountains, a level plateau, watershed lowlands, crater lakes, rivers and waterfalls.Possible animal encounters here include elephants and gibbons. Swimming is popular too, with jungle waterfalls and a beautiful crater lake.
Sihanoukville is as much a beach town as it is a port town, catering to beach-going weekenders. The pace of life in Sihanoukville is very relaxed, offering a pretty good night life as well with a wide variety of bars staying open well into the wee hours, especially on Weather Station Hill, in the downtown area, and the beach bars on Ochheuteal, ‘Serendipity’ and Victory Beaches.Despite a reputation for backpacker hedonism, Sihanoukville’s real appeal lies in its beaches.
It's a monument unlike any in the world - crammed with skulls and other bones unearthed from just one of the hundreds of Cambodian Killing Fields. A tour of Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21) and the Killing Fields is a sobering reminder of the evils of the Khmer Rouge regime. Although not a joyful tour, visiting these monuments unlocks keys to understanding the development of this still developing country.
Here are our hand-picked selection of the top 15 experiences in Cambodia:
The National Museum is filled with hundreds of ancient statues and sculptures that were taken from the Angkor Temples to be protected from the sticky fingers of looters and scavengers. Phnom Penh's wide boulevards, shaded by tamarind and jacaranda trees, now play host to upscale coffee shops, luxurious boutique hotels and cutting-edge clubs, restaurants and bars.
Cambodia has probably the world’s best tuk tuks called remorks. They’re essentially little cushioned chariots pulled around by a guy on a motorbike. Tuk tuks give you a chance to sit back, relax and take in the view of bustling street scape of little ole Cambodian life.
Fried Tarantula, or a-ping, is a Cambodian favourite. The ladies believe it makes them beautiful and the kids just like the thrill of it all. Either way it’s there and you can eat it from vendors selling it on the streets!
There is a giant tub filled with fish. You put your feet in and they nibble off the dead skin.
Battambang is one of the country’s best-preserved colonial-era towns. Beyond the town lie the Cambodian countryside and a cluster of ancient temples – while they’re not exactly Angkor Wat, they lack the crowds. Further afield is Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, a world-class bird sanctuary.