Cities in Cambodia interesting for tourists
There are not many cities in Cambodia that are interesting for tourists. There is no sea and beach holidays, but there are many interesting sights, most of which are more than a hundred years. In addition to historical, cultural and architectural structures, palaces and temples, there are many national parks with rich flora and fauna, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, caves. You can visit all this on their own or using the services of travel agencies.
Cambodia also has seaside resorts on the Gulf of Thailand, where you can swim and sunbathe, but we will not talk about them here. There is a separate article about it on the website “Resorts in Cambodia.
In our opinion, it is better to visit Cambodian cities for sightseeing without staying too long. 2-4 days is usually enough. The rest of the time is better spent at sea.
We did not put Siem Reap, not Phnom Penh, at the top of the list for a reason. It is visited much more often than the capital for one simple reason – the main attraction of the country and the whole of Southeast Asia – the temple of Angkor Wat. In 1992 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every year it is visited by more than a million tourists. The huge temple complex is surrounded by a rectangular moat measuring 1.5×1.3 km. In the 9-15 centuries there was the capital of the Khmer Empire (Angkor), whose possessions extended into what is now Thailand, Laos, part of Vietnam and Myanmar. The city was home to about a million people. In the 15th century it was conquered and partially destroyed by the Thais.
As for Siem Reap, this city is relatively small, with a population of about 200,000 people. Is a staging post for a visit to Angkor and has no independent value. Here you can stay for a few days, the benefits of the presence of all the infrastructure: hotels of different classes, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, markets, souvenir stores, massage parlors, adult entertainment.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. It is not a metropolis like Bangkok or Hanoi. More like a typical provincial city. It does not even have public transport. At the same time, most tourists begin their tour of the country from here, because in Phnom Penh is the main international airport in Cambodia.
It can take 2-3 days to see the local attractions – the Royal Palace, several museums and temples. There are many hotels, there is a shopping center, markets, stores, restaurants and bars. In the capital of a large number of travel agencies that offer tours to all major attractions, both natural and man-made.
It stands on a river and is located a few kilometers from the sea. The city will be interesting for eco-tourists as it is located near the largest national park – Bokor, with an area of 140,000 hectares. On its territory there are many interesting animals, birds, plants, there are waterfalls, caves, rivers.
Kampot itself will appeal to lovers of leisurely recreation. A favorite pastime of vacationers is boating on the Kampong Bai River, which is located near the city. Local architectural sights are represented by a number of old French buildings. Well, those who want to swim in the sea, can go to the resort town of Kep, just a few kilometers from Kampot.
The largest city of Cambodia. It is located on the banks of the Mekong River, 125 km from Phnom Penh. There are a lot of old buildings, and in the area – ancient temples (the same age as Angkor), beautiful nature, mountains, waterfalls. Infrastructure is well developed, and all very cheap, whether it be hotels (from $ 7), food (from $ 1 in outdoor cafes) or bike rental (from $ 5). You can book a tour of the surrounding attractions at local travel agencies. Kompong Cham is easily accessible by bus from Phnom Penh in 2 hours.
A city which is the capital of a province with the same name. It is located in northern Cambodia, 300 km from Phnom Penh and 170 km from Siem Reap. Foreigners are attracted here by the ancient sights: Khmer temples and French buildings of the colonial period. The city offers all the conditions for accommodation. You can come here by yourself or with a tour from Phnom Penh. Nightlife, big stores, discos and clubs you will not find here, so in terms of entertainment and shopping this place is not interesting. It takes 2 to 3 days to see the local attractions.
The capital of Bantaminthey province in the north-west. Tours are often organized here from Phnom Penh to see the ancient pagodas and Khmer temples (the main ones are Banteay Chma and Banteay Top), local villages (such as Roja, where you can buy original sculptures), ancient colonial buildings and much more.
You can come to Sisophon not with a tour, but on your own. Then rent a motorcycle (from $ 5 per day) and leisurely ride through all the interesting places.
Infrastructure in Sisophon is well developed: hotels (from $ 13 per day), cafes ($ 1 per meal), restaurants (from $ 5 for dinner), internet ($ 0.7 per hour), tour desk, souvenir stores, etc.
Across the planet step by step
Cambodia’s largest cities by population
- Phnom Penh
- Krong Battambang
- Siem Reap
- Kampong Cham
- Kompong Som
- Kampong Chhnang
Phnom Penh is the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The city is located on a marshy plain at the confluence of three rivers – the Mekong, the Tonle Sap and the Bassak. The population of the capital of 1 501 700 people. Here is an amazing mix of Asian traditions and colonial architecture, large Buddhist pagodas and French buildings. The city consists of three parts. The southern part is the area of government buildings and banks, where the French colonial style prevails. The northern part of the city is home to most of the locals, while the city center is populated by small cozy stores, markets, and pagodas, found in many narrow streets of the “old neighborhood”.
Takmau – a city in south-central Cambodia, situated on the Bassake River, about 11 kilometers south of the capital, Phnom Penh. The population of Takmau is 208,140 people.
Krong Battambang is a dynamic commercial and transportation center, a city of ancient temples and rainforests in Cambodia . The city’s population is 1 138 000 people.
Sisophon , or Sereisaophoan – a city in northwestern Cambodia. It is the administrative center of Banteaymeanti province. Its population is 192,500.
Siem Reap is a resort city in northwestern Cambodia . From there tourists go to the ruins in the Angkor region, the center of the Khmer Empire from the IX to XV centuries. Angkor is a vast complex of stone buildings, one of which is the UNESCO-protected Angkor Wat temple . The city of Siem Reap has a population of 139,450.
Kampong Cham – a city in Cambodia, the administrative center of the province of Kampong Cham, the sixth largest city in the country with a population of 118,240 people, located on the banks of the Mekong, 124 km northeast of Phnom Penh.
Kompong Som is a provincial city in Cambodia, the country’s main seaport and a growing beach resort with a population of 110,000.
Sihanoukville is a province-city in Cambodia, the main seaport of the country and a growing beach resort, located 200 km south-west of the capital, on the shores of Kampong Saom. Sihanoukville has the status of a provincial city. The city has a population of 89,850 people.
Kampot is a small picturesque town located on the banks of a river a few kilometers from the coast. Fishermen fish here, grow the famous Kampot pepper and the best fruits in the province (durians, mangos, coconuts). The population of Kampot 49 560 people.
Kampong Thom (Kampong Chhnang) is a city in central Cambodia. The administrative center of Kampong Chhnang Province, located west of the Tonle Sap River and southeast of Lake Tonle Sap. The city of Kampong Thom has a population of 45,000.