10 of the Best Places to Visit in Cambodia
Cambodia, known as Khmer in ancient times, has long been a popular Southeast Asian travel destination. It is famous for the Angkor Wat ruins, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire. However, there are more fascinating places to visit in Cambodia, such as Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and others. Read on to learn about their distinct charms and get ideas for planning your trip to Cambodia.
Phnom Penh is the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the political, economic, and cultural center of Cambodia. Phnom Penh has many ancient temples, and these solemn temples make Phnom Penh the center of Buddhism in Cambodia. Wat Ounalom, located in downtown Phnom Penh, is the largest and most famous temple in the region. Wat Ounalom was built in 1441, and its golden decoration makes the temple very luxurious and dazzling even from a distance. The temple houses the largest stupa in Phnom Penh and houses a pile of ashes of Buddha, who was welcomed from Sri Lanka by the temple's abbot in 1890, making it a temple with incense. The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is also a popular tourist attraction among tourists and is a group of buildings with golden roofs and yellow walls. The main hall enshrines a single piece of jadeite carved Buddha statues, which are crystal clear and are Cambodia's national treasures. The palace has about 20 large and small palaces. The Silver Hall is famous for its luxurious sterling silver floor tiles, and in the center of the hall, there is an 18-carat gold Buddha statue weighing 90 kilograms, and the Buddha is inlaid with thousands of diamonds.
The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh
Angkor ruins are located in northern Cambodia. It is the capital of the Angkor Dynasty in Cambodia, scattered in the forest about 600 Angkor monuments. The historical sites are mainly composed of Angkor King City and Angkor Wat. Angkor City covers an area of about 9 square kilometers, and the ancient city still retains historical relics established by various dynasties, and Bayon Temple is one of them. It is a pyramid-shaped building with a circular pagoda with gold throughout. Vivid murals are still preserved on the walls of the temple, covering national wars, civic life, and cityscapes. It is worth mentioning that located in the heart of Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat is the world's largest temple-like building and the world's earliest Khmer architecture. All the pagodas and gatehouses of Angkor Wat are decorated with stone-carved lotus flowers, and the stone giant python coiled shape is carved on the stepped railing connected to the upper level, and the steps are also decorated with exquisite stone lions. Angkor Wat is known for its architectural grandeur and meticulous reliefs, making it an undisputed masterpiece of art, both in terms of architectural skill and carving. Visitors interested in this mysterious, great history, civilization, and architectural wonders should not miss it.
Located in the northwest of Cambodia, Siem Reap is known as a historical ancient city around the world. Siem Reap is world-famous for its Angkor Wat, one of the seventh wonders of the world, but otherwise, Siem Reap is still a fascinating tourist city for you to choose. Named as "Cambodia in Miniature", the Cambodian Cultural Village is one of the top attractions in Siem Reap as the only cultural village in Cambodia. The Cultural Village is a collection of miniature sights and attractions, as well as folk art and folklore of various ethnic groups, to show visitors from all over the world the rich natural and cultural heritage that the Cambodian people are proud of. When you come to Siem Reap, the local Old Market is not to be missed. The Old Market is the center of daily activities for the citizens of Siem Reap, with many local specialties of fruits and vegetables, delicacies, as well as Angkor-style silk scarves, accessories, and other crafts. The Old Market connects the daily lives of the locals, where you can feel and experience Siem Reap's most distinctive food culture and the most authentic Siem Reap life.
Battambang is located in the western part of Cambodia, bordering Thailand, and is an important transportation hub of Cambodia. As a city where religious culture is prevalent, Battambang also has many distinctive temples. Wat Ek Phnom is the site of a local Angkorian temple, which houses a huge 28-meter-tall statue of Buddha. The quiet city with the huge Buddha statue gives you a sense of solemnity and sacredness. It is also worth noting that this city has a unique means of transportation known as the bamboo train. Riding the "bamboo train" was once a well-known local way to travel, and it is also a unique means of transportation in the world. Locals converted a rudimentary railway left over from the French colonial era by attaching a massive bamboo board to the rails and then attaching bamboo wheels to the rails, making a crude bamboo train. Today, although the bamboo train is no longer an official mode of travel, the Battambang government has listed it as one of the local tourist experiences to attract tourists. While you are on the bamboo train, you may sit on the floor and freely talk about the common home, and the all-around open-air design allows visitors to take in the wonderful surroundings along the route.
Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, is connected to the Mekong River and is a natural reservoir of the Mekong River. Tonle Sap Lake is rich in aquatic resources and is a resource guarantee for the development and prosperity of the local people, so it is known as the "lake of life" of the Cambodian people. Its water is clear and transparent, like a huge turquoise jadeite embedded in the land of Cambodia. There are many floating villages on the lake, and a boat trip to visit these floating villages is one of the popular tourist choices. When you arrive at the lakeside pier, there will be many boats soliciting business, and the boat fee varies depending on the distance of the floating village. When tourists tour the lake, they will see the traditional local water houses, churches, schools, and other buildings along the coast and admire the most traditional Angkor architecture. When evening falls, the light of the setting sun shines on the lake, and the turquoise lake sparkles, and visitors can enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake.
Tonle Sap Lake
Located in Sihanoukville Harbour on Cambodia's southwest coastline, Sihanoukville is Cambodia's largest seaport. It is a laid-back and comfortable seaside city, and the long coastline has made it have many beautiful beaches, which have won the favor of tourists from all over the world. Otres Beach is the number one beach in Sihanoukville and is known for its clean environment and crystal-clear waters. Water activities such as diving and snorkeling are also available, and the surrounding islands and coral reefs are the best places to dive around. Visitors interested in Buddhism may visit Sihanoukville's Wat Leu Temple in addition to the gorgeous sea scenery and abundance of water activities. This temple is noted for its unusual architecture and is located near Independence Beach at the foot of Sihanoukville Mountain. The temple's stone wall is sculpted with three large white elephants, each with a gorgeous Buddha statue on its head. Embraced with its white sandy beach, gorgeous sea view, plenty of water activities, and relaxing city life, Sihanoukville is an attractive holiday destination in Cambodia.
Koh Rong is a beautiful island in Cambodia's southwest. The island's secluded location made it isolated for decades and allowed the island's pristine natural environment to be preserved. Natural features on Koh Rong include coral reefs, jungles, and several sandy beaches. Visitors may enjoy diving, surfing, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and other seaside sports. If you like, you can also rent a small boat to go fishing and enjoy the magnificent sea scenery as well as the thrill and enjoyment of sea fishing. Thanks to glassy waters, creamy sand, and tranquil scenery, visitors can take photos, swim in the water, soak up the sun on the beach, and enjoy a rare relaxation in a hammock.
Koh Ker is located about 100 kilometers northeast of Siem Reap and was once the capital of the Angkor Empire. The glorious Angkor Empire left behind many precious historical monuments in the area. The Koh Ker complex of ruins, now numbering 30 major structures, is scattered throughout the forest and attracts many visitors each year to explore its mysteries. Closest to the site's entrance is the Prasat Krahom, a collection of five red stupas wrapped in the huge roots of the rainforest whose walls are lined with thick vines and whose majesty is still evident in its dilapidated state. The Prasat Thnom temple here is a pyramid-shaped structure, 55 meters wide and 40 meters high, with similarities to the Mayan pyramids in Egypt. Visitors can access the top of the temple via a wooden staircase on the side of the temple and enjoy excellent views of the rainforest. It is hidden in the rainforest, and when you come to it through the rainforest, you will be struck by its elaborate structure and majesty.
Kampot is located on the Gulf of Thailand's coast in southern Cambodia and was once Cambodia's largest port. One of the best things to do in Kampot is to take a walk along the Kampot River and enjoy a slow time. Unlike the Mekong, the Kampot River flows quietly around the town as a guard of the quiet town. The antique French-style bridge crosses the Kampot Water's banks, with a white bridge connecting the sky and the river. There are also several stores along the Kampot River that provide boat trips, kayaks, and other water activities, so guests who are interested in doing so can board a boat. The beautiful water reflects the undulating mountains as the boat pushes the waves, and the mangroves and mottled French buildings on both sides appear to remind travelers of the city's historical vibrancy and bustle. Kampot also offers various resorts, such as Techu Resort and Bai An Resort, that are ideal for families and honeymooners.
Kratie, located along the Mekong River, is a small town in eastern Cambodia. It is one of the famous tourist destinations in Cambodia, with its unique urban landscape and excellent natural environment. Kratie was previously a French colony, hence many colonial structures can still be seen around the city, resulting in a distinctive cityscape that combines French and native Cambodian architecture. The most memorable excursion was seeing the world's rare Irrawaddy dolphins (scientific name: Orcaella Brevirostris). It is an alligated dolphin that lives in freshwater, has a mild disposition, is scarce owing to the high number of hunts, is endangered in Asia, and just a few dolphins exist in northern Cambodia. The Irrawaddy dolphins are little and charming, and they frequently jump out of the river to meet guests before diving below and disappearing. Compared with other famous tourist cities in Cambodia, Kratie is a much more low-key city. However, its unique cityscape and beautiful natural environment also attract tourists who like to explore the fun of niche tourist attractions to come here and experience its urban charm.
Cambodia has rich tourism resources, with its famous monuments all over the country, beautiful natural scenery, and leisurely city rhythm, making this country a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. If you have any travel plans to visit Cambodia, please feel free to send an inquiry to us. Our travel expert can build a tailor-made itinerary based on your interests and budget.
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