Many flock to Cambodia for the prospect of witnessing its spectacular temples, timeless ruins, undisturbed beaches, and for experiencing its rich, cultural heritage. But not many people know that Cambodia has as much an incredible range of activities for visitors as it has scenic attractions to bewitch travelers. From cruising, indulging in watersports, swimming with elephants, riding through temples on bikes, to venturing on an unstoppable shopping spree, there’s a promising adventure awaiting every kind of traveler that visits this ancient kingdom. In fact, with the plethora of things to do in Cambodia, one visit won’t be enough!
23 Best Things To Do In Cambodia
Cambodia is a land of wonders. Since there are a lot of things to do in Cambodia, we have listed the best ones. Take a look!
- Biking – Explore Siem Reapon A Bike
- Apsara Dance – Witness The Khmer Performance
- Cruising – Spot Dolphins And Enjoy The Sunset
- Ta Prohm – Explore The Temple Of ‘Tomb Raider’
- Cambodian Cuisine – Gorge On Fresh Seafood And Amok
- Phnom Penh Palace – Explore Its Opulent Architecture
- Angkor Wat – Explore The World’s Largest Temple
- National Parks – Engage With The Wild
- Swimming – Swim With The Elephants
- Tuol Sleng – Discover The Torture House’s Secrets
- Beaching – Relax At the Laid-Back Beaches
- Diving – Explore The World Underneath Sihanoukville
- National Museum – Check Out Attractive Khmer Artwork
- Shopping – Grab Souvenirs From The Local Markets
- Cambodian Spa – Pampered Yourself
- Preah Khan – Explore The Huge Buddha Temple
- Cambodia Landmine Museum – See The War Preserves
- Battambang Bat Caves – Visit The Killing Caves
- Baphuon Temple – See The Mountain Temple
- The Cambodian Circus Show – Watch The Past Stories
- Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center – Treat The Animal Lover Within
- Artisans Angkor – Buy Some Beautiful Ancient Artifacts
- Popokvil Waterfall – Witness The Magic Of Water
1. Biking – Explore Siem Reapon A Bike
Considering that Cambodia is all about lush greenery, pristine temples, and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, travelers like to keep it that way when they’re exploring it. Cycling tours are thus a convenient way of sightseeing and one of the most popular things to do in Cambodia for backpackers. Riding through quiet trails of the countryside amidst breathtaking natural scenery lets travelers escape the crowd and busy roads These tours typically include sightseeing of Ta Prohm, Elephant Terrace, Bayon, and other prominent Angkor temples. Exploring this wonderful country on a bike is one of the cool things to do in Cambodia.
Average Cost: INR 3,000/- per person
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2. Apsara Dance – Witness The Khmer Performance
For the lovers of art, theatrics, & dance, the Apsara Show, or the traditional Khmer performance, is one of the best things to do in Cambodia. This cultural dance form draws its roots from the mythological courts of kings and Gods, from where it has developed into its modern, unique form that we see today. The Khmer dance revolves around a storyline which it narrates through the attractive, flexible movements of the performers and their colourful, eye-catching attires, which is why it is among the top things to do in Cambodia.
Where: Apart from theatres and cafes, many hotels also organize the show and if you’re lucky, you might just get to enjoy it at yours!
Average Cost: INR 1,500/- per person
Tip: Watch the show at Temple Balcony at Pub Street in Siem Reap for free!
3. Cruising – Spot Dolphins And Enjoy The Sunset
Cruising the Mekong is one of the most exhilarating experiences for travelers visiting here. Sailing from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on a traditional Cambodian boat is one of the most enriching and fun things to do in at Cambodia. Other than the relaxing journey, the stunning views of the sunset that one can witness from aboard the cruise is like a cherry on the cake! On the journey, one can also easily spot the Irrawaddy river dolphins in the water, the rarest of all aquatic mammals. Observing these peaceful, friendly creatures in their natural habitat is undoubtedly among the refreshing things to do in Phnom Penh.
Average Cost: INR 600/- for group tours or backpacker tours; & INR 3,300/- per person for private tours.
4. Ta Prohm – Explore The Temple Of ‘Tomb Raider’
The only structure in Angkor that has been left in its pristine form, Ta Prohm is a fascinating example of the power of Nature and amongst the most preferred places to visit in Cambodia. The enormous roots grasping the shrine seem to be challenging the world to try and alter the structure! This ‘Tomb Raider’ fame sanctum in Angkor with its huge silk cotton trees and strangler figs is perhaps the most photogenic place in Cambodia, and thus among the best tourist attractions in Cambodia.
Admission charges: INR 1,343/- for a 1 Day Pass, INR 2,687/- for a 3 Day Pass, & INR 4,030/- for a 7 Day Pass (per person)
Opening hours: 5 am to 6 pm
5. Cambodian Cuisine – Gorge On Fresh Seafood And Amok
One of the major attractions of Cambodia that drive people to visit this paradise is its food. A typical Cambodian meal consists of rice and a fish item. Often called the ‘cuisine of contrasts’, Cambodian food involves a lot of variations which travelers fall in love with. Among the range of dishes one must try here is Fish Amok (steamed coconut fish in banana leaves), Samlor Machu Trey (sweet and sour soup with fish), Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles), and the Num Anksom Sach Chrouk (sticky rice cake). Also, with its vast range of seafood, Cambodia is one of the best places for seafood lovers.
Where to eat: Khema in Phnom Penh, Genevieve’s Restaurant in Siem Reap, & Holy Crab in Kep are some of the best restaurants in Cambodia.
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6. Phnom Penh Palace – Explore Its Opulent Architecture
The star attraction of Phnom Penh built back in 1860 is not just a glittery palace dominating the city’s skyline, but also an important reminder of Cambodia’s blood-stained history. The elegant structure is characterized by its crown of stupas and towering spires, the handsome Silver Pagoda sitting adjacent to it, manicured tropical gardens, and the tranquility that prevails inside its high-rise walls. With all this and more, the Royal Palace is undoubtedly one of the best Cambodia tourist attractions and also, one of the best things to do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Admission fee: INR 200/- per person (additional INR 134/- as camera charges)
Opening hours: From 7:30 am to 11 am & 2 pm to 5 pm
7. Angkor Wat – Explore The World’s Largest Temple
The most famous, most ancient, and the largest temple of the world is what drives majority of the world’s travelers to Cambodia. The unrivaled beauty and pristine persona of this UNESCO World Heritage site is unlike anywhere else on earth, which is why it is among the prominent tourist attractions in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century as a dedication to Lord Vishnu, this ancient wonder of the world has stood the test of time.
Admission charges (Angkor Complex): INR 1,343/- for a 1 Day Pass, INR 2,687/- for a 3 Day Pass, INR 4,030/- for a 7 Day Pass (per person
Opening hours (Angkor Complex): 5 am to 6 pm
8. National Parks – Engage With The Wild
Not interested in temples? We got you covered. Apart from an endless number of temples, Cambodia attractions also include various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries housing some of the rarest species of the world’s flora and fauna. Paying a visit to these is one of the most fun things to do in Cambodia for adventure seekers and nature lovers. While Virachey National Park is home to elephants, sun bears, tigers, clouded leopards, and various birds, the Ream Park is famous for globally endangered birds of prey, like the Brahminy kite, grey-headed fish eagle and white-bellied sea eagle.
9. Swimming – Swim With The Elephants
This is one of the crazy things to do in Cambodia. The Elephant Valley Project at Mondulkiri is a group of dedicated, passionate individuals whose work is directed towards care and conservation of abandoned, injured, overworked, and orphaned elephants. Popularly known as a place where ‘elephants get to be elephants again’, EVP feeds, protects, and provides shelter to elephants. Travelers can come here with prior booking for a chance to be with these adorable, gentle beings. Visitors can play and swim with these elephants which is anyways better than riding on them and adding to their misery.
Click here for more information about the Project and on how to book an excursion.
10. Tuol Sleng – Discover The Torture House’s Secrets
The War Museum in Tuol Sleng, though not exactly a cheerful place, is an important place to visit in Cambodia for its gruesome history. Back in Khmer Rouge era (between 1975-79), the school-cum-execution ground was used to detain and brutally torture inmates. This S-21 Detention Centre today acts as a haunting reminder of the endless genocide of the period. Visiting the museum might not be one of the most joyous things to do in Cambodia, but one must definitely pay their respects to the brave men and women who lost their lives here.
Admission charges: INR 134/- per person (additional INR 402/- for guide)
Opening hours: 7 am to 5:30 pm
11. Beaching – Relax At the Laid-Back Beaches
Cambodia has some of the most relaxed, laid-back beaches in Southeast Asia. Among the varied popular Cambodia tourist attractions are the sandy, pretty beaches of Sihanoukville, Kep, Koh Rong, and Ream which provide travelers with every bit of comfort and splendid views. Travelers can bask in the sun lying comfortably on hammocks and recliners, get a massage, dine at the beach shacks, go snorkeling, fishing & boating, among other things. Travelers looking for a rather relaxed holiday must check out the islands and beaches in Cambodia.
Average cost for Island Trip: INR 1,500/- per person
12. Diving – Explore The World Underneath Sihanoukville
The beauty of Cambodia isn’t just limited to what one sees on the surface, but also in the vast, vibrant world underneath. The diving sites in Sihanoukville are blessed with crystal clear water, favourable water temperature, colourful corals, and a diverse range of marine life including seahorses, whale sharks, sting rays, eels, triggerfish, barracuda, nudibranch, starfish, and many more. The world’s adventure seekers find diving to be one of the most fun things to do in Cambodia. With an year-round favourable climate for diving, except a little less visibility in monsoons, the seas of Cambodia attract divers from all over the world every year.
Best time for diving in Cambodia: November to May
Average cost: Diving: INR 12,000/- per person | Snorkeling: INR 1,700/- per person
13. National Museum – Check Out Attractive Khmer Artwork
What to see in Cambodia will not be your concern because it offers a lot. The National Museum of Cambodia takes pride in its impressive art collection from the Khmer era, most of which disappeared at the time of the Khmer Rouge due to illegal smuggling. Some of the finest examples of Khmer artwork on display here include ancient stonework, bronze tools and weapons, attractive bronze drums, ceramics, statues, sculptures, and more items with intricate carvings of Gods and Goddesses on them. Apart from being visually alluring, the artifacts also provide a deep insight into Cambodia’s history and the lives of its people back then, which is why it holds a prominent place on the list of tourist attractions in Cambodia.
Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
Admission charges: INR 335/- per person (free for children)
14. Shopping – Grab Souvenirs From The Local Markets
With its massive variety of inexpensive handicraft products, Cambodia is a haven for shopping freaks.
What to buy: Some of the best things to buy in Cambodia include silver trinkets, precious gems and stones, betel nut boxes, rice paper prints (imprints of Angkor temples), checkered Krama scarves, weaving silk, carved wooden items, and more.
Where to buy: Travelers can buy quality Cambodian items at reasonable prices from Angkor Night Market, Made in Cambodia Market, Angkor Handicraft Association, Old Market, and the Russian Market in Phnom Penh.
15. Cambodian Spa – Pampered Yourself
Another of the enlivening Cambodia attractions are its spa therapies that are rather different from the usual Southeastern spa. The traditional Khmer spa has a distinctive approach to health and relaxation, which is reflected in its unusual variety of spa treatments and therapies. The major cities of Cambodia house many certified massage and spa centres. The spa and massage therapies of Cambodia popular among visitors include the Khmer Traditional Herbal Spa, Aroma Spa, Hot Oil Massage, Deep Tissue, Slimming Massage, Hot Stone, and various types of facials and scrubs.
Tip: Don’t forget to try the ticklish Fish Spa for a fun, yet relaxing spa experience which is one of the best things to do in Cambodia.
16. Preah Khan – Explore The Huge Buddha Temple
Preah Khan is an ancient temple located in the northeast of Angkor Archaeological Park. The temple was built by King Jayavarman VII. The name of the temple means a ‘royal sword’. Preah Khan is dedicated to Lord Buddha, who is known in the name of Avalokiteshvara here. The temple was the former residence of the royal clan who were in rule of this region. This huge temple complex has two main gateways that lead into the main hall.
Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Timings: 5 am to 6 pm
Cost: starts from INR 1380
17. Cambodia Landmine Museum – See The War Preserves
Cambodia Landmine Museum is your place if you are an environment lover. Cambodia has been one of the most mined countries in the world. Due to the several struggles in the history of Cambodia including the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, American bombings, civil war, genocide, and Vietnamese occupation, this place still has many mines buried in its land. Over the years, many people have lost their lives due to the explosion of these landmines. Thought, a large number of mines have been cleared off the land, a lot of it still remains hidden inside it. These rescued mines have been preserved in the Cambodia Landmine Museum. They also spread awareness among its members regarding the same.
Location: 67, Siem Reap Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Timings: 7.30 am – 5.30 pm
Cost: INR 350
Suggested Read: 10 Cambodian Street Food Everyone Must Try On Their Trip
18. Battambang Bat Caves – Visit The Killing Caves
Located at the base of Mount Sampeou is the Battambang Bat Caves. Also known as the Killing Caves, this is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cambodia and also amongst the most unique things to do in Cambodia. Since bats are nocturnal birds, they go out from the caves at night. So, many tourists come here to watch the bats flock out of the cave to the nearby trees and branches. The sight is interesting and lasts for about 40 minutes. But it is safer to leave the place in 10 minutes. There are bikes that would tow you to the hill and back.
Cost: INR 200 for trekking the hill
19. Baphuon Temple – See The Mountain Temple
Constructed in the mid-11th century by King Udayadityavarman II, Baphuon Temple is another gorgeous example of Khmer style architecture. This three-layered mountain temple is set in the heart of Angkor, which was the second capital of the Khmer empire. Around the 20th Century, the royal temple started becoming worn out and it took around 16 years to complete its restoration process. This is because the temple is built in a very complex structure also winning it an unofficial title of the ‘largest 3D jigsaw puzzle in the world’. Baphuon Temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva.
Location: Angkor Thom, towards the north western side of Bayon
Timings: 5 am to 6 pm
20. The Cambodian Circus Show – Watch The Past Stories
If you love performed art and entertainment you would surely enjoy spending time in Siem Reap’s Phare Circus Ring Road. With a variety of exciting dance, music, art and circus shows, your holiday experience in Cambodia will become super exciting. The talented artists will surprise you with their performances based on historical and folk stories. The performers from all age groups, who have also presented their talent on the international platforms, give performances here. They convey their personal hardships, struggles and abuse stories also through these shows.
Location: Phare Circus Ring Road, south of the intersection with Sok San Road, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, Cambodia
Ticket Cost: starts from INR 2400
21. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center – Treat The Animal Lover Within
One might run out of ideas when it comes to picking unique experiences for what to do in Cambodia for 5 days, but thanks to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, you can visit your favorite animals time and again. Home to around 1200 animals, you can find different kinds of species here. Needless to say, this is also one of the most unique zoos in Cambodia.
Admission charges: NA
Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
22. Artisans Angkor – Buy Some Beautiful Ancient Artifacts
If you are still looking for different sights and things to do in Cambodia, Siem Reap is the place to be. A popular destination amongst locals and tourists alike, Artisans Angkor houses some of the finest artifacts that reflect the Khmer culture at its best. You can also buy decorative items and handmade clothes from here.
Location: Chantiers-Ecoles, Stung Thmey Street, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
23. Popokvil Waterfall – Witness The Magic Of Water
Amongst the topmost free or cheap things to do in Cambodia, visiting the Popokvil Waterfall is one experience you must have during your holiday. It is located in the Kampot Province, around 3 miles away from the Bokor Hill Station, and is a gorgeous two-tiered fall with a shallow pool in between. With time, this fall has also become a famous scenic spot.
Location: Kampot Province, Cambodia
Isn’t Cambodia an awe-inspiring destination? And if you know of any more things one can indulge in at Cambodia, tell us in the comments below. But before you do that, share this with your buddies and plan an adventurous getaway to Cambodia right away. The secrets of the Khmer is waiting to be unraveled and explored by you. So come and indulge in the culture and history of this beautiful land of spectacular ruins.
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