As you probably already know, Cambodia is well-known for its beautiful temples such as the famous Angkor Wat or the huge stone face sculptures in the Bayon Temple, but Cambodia has much more to offer.
1. The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
Located in the Capital City, the Royal Palace serves as the residence of the king of Cambodia and is partly open to the public. The beautiful complex consists of 9 main buildings. The impressive throne hall is used for official religious and royal ceremonies, while the Moon Pavilion is for Royal banquets and the Silver Pagoda is a royal temple. Please note that while visiting the Royal Palace, you must be properly dressed and photography is forbidden inside the Silver Pagoda and other buildings.
2. Otres Beach in Sihanoukville
Along the shore of Sihanoukville, the Otres Beach is one of the quietest and relaxing beaches of the area. Divided in section, the “Near O” is where bars and restaurant are located, the “Long Beach” is an approximately 1,500 m of beautiful white sand and the last part is known as the “Far O”, where more restaurants and bungalows are situated. The Otres Beach is gaining popularity rapidly and with the growing tourist development, the quietness of the beach might not last for long, so visit it before it’s too late!
3. Elephant Valley Project, near Sen Monorom
Near the village of Sen Monorom is the first elephant sanctuary of Cambodia, the Elephant Valley Project. The sanctuary is approximately 1,600 hectares of wildness where retired working captive elephant are given a second chance to be themselves again: a free roaming elephant in a safe environment. At this location, don’t expect to “ride” or “swim with” elephants, you will be able to observe them in their natural environment. Visits and volunteering work at the sanctuary have to be reserved well in advance.
4. Bat Caves in Phnom Sampeou of Battambang
Located about 12 km from Battambang, the Phnom Sampeou is a limestone mountain with many caves, which is also a historical site. Walk to the top takes approximately one hour, but the fantastic panoramic view is worth it! Another interesting natural phenomenon that takes place is that every day around 6 pm, thousands of bat fly out of the caves to hunt. The sight is quite impressive.
5. Dolphins in Mekong River, Kratie
Under the protection of the WWF, only 80 Irrawaddy dolphins live in the 190 km of the Mekong River between Kratie and the Khone Falls. Small boat cruises will be available for a “closer”, but respectful look of the happy dolphins in their natural habitat. You shouldn’t have any difficulty spotting any dolphins. This is a quiet and relaxing activity to do, but seeing dolphins can be quite exciting!
6. Koh Dach, the Silk Island near Phnom Penh
Known as the Silk Island, Koh Dach is the home to the silk-weaving craft of Cambodia. At the silk center, you will learn the whole process of silk production, from silk worms to beautiful scarves and skirts. Under beautiful wooden houses, silk-weavers patiently perform their crafts. You can bargain prices with them and take some beautiful souvenir home!
7. Tonle Sap Lake, between Siem Reap and Battambang
Sourcing from the Mekon River, Tonle Sap lake is the largest body of fresh water in South East Asia. The lake also has a very rich biodiversity. Boat tour of the lake is available to visit the famous floating village of Chong Khneas, whose inhabitants are mostly Vietnamese. The village has floating markets, schools, clinics, church and even a basketball court!
8. Sothy’s Pepper Farm in Kampot
The region of Kampot is well-known for its pepper, the first Cambodian product to obtain the World Trade Organization’s geographical indication status. At Sothy’s Pepper Farm, you will be able to get a free informative guided tour of the plantation and learn about the different kind of peppers. Tours are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Khmer.
9. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center in Phnom Penh
Accessible only by private transport such as taxis or tuk-tuks, the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to learn and understand the history of the Cambodian genocide from 1975 to 1979. The site is also known as the Killing Fields. It serves as a memorial and mourning site for all the victims. This attraction might not be suited for everyone as it can become quite emotional and heartbreaking.
10. National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh
Located north of the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia has one of the largest collection of Khmer art worldwide, including ceramics, bronzes, stone sculptures and much more. Photography is not allowed inside the museum, but you are encouraged to take pictures of the exteriors and courtyard. Visiting the museum is a great way to understand the history of Cambodia through its art!
Tourism Of Cambodia – Cambodian Tourist Information Center
The Official site of Tourism of Cambodia providing information about Cambodia travel, passport and visa, hotels, transportation, travel information and much more…
Written by learnkhmernow.com – teaching Khmer (Cambodian) to foreigners !
Updated: July 18, 2016