Cambodia Attractions

Cambodia’s Best Sights

Cambodia sights

Cambodia sights are the most interesting places and historical ancestral cultural heritage sites that tourists should see first of all. Moreover, the country of Cambodia itself is very colorful and exotic, and to visit it is a dream for many. It has little resemblance to the familiar life, but it is extremely attractive to tourists and travelers from around the world.

What do people hope to see in Cambodia? Why do they go to the land of the Khmer? Once I too was faced with this question – what to go to Cambodia for? My husband said: we will go there for two days to see Angkor Wat. And so began my introduction to the cultural part of Cambodia. After all, we are all at least a little bit familiar with the sad history of this country in the twentieth century.

In my article I will briefly talk about the best sights of Cambodia, about what makes up its very essence. After reading it, you will be able to determine for yourself the most interesting places, which are worth seeing during your trip to Cambodia, and then to make your own detailed route to Cambodia. After visiting these sights, you will surely say: I know Cambodia.

Cambodia sights, photo

It is worth saying at once that there are many sights in Cambodia, despite the not so big territory of the country. Even the main attractions of Cambodia are very different – these are the ancient ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap, and the modern capital city of Phnom Penh, and the beautiful beaches of Sihanoukville. There are other interesting places that are absolutely worth seeing in the Kingdom of Cambodia, because it has much more to please the traveler than these three most popular destinations!

Here’s some basic information about Cambodia’s attractions:

  • Now, most tourists visit Cambodia to see its main attractions, the world-famous Angkor and Angkor Wat temples. However, not everyone has an idea of what this phenomenon is.
  • Let me remind you that Angkor Wat is the main and central temple of medieval Cambodia (the Khmer Empire), and the Angkor temples are the totality of these temples, now located both in Cambodia itself and in neighboring states – Thailand and Laos.
  • Also worth looking at the Angkor temple complex are the temples of Angkor, located in Cambodia near the main tourist town of Siem Reap and available to all tourists on a single ticket (or separate tickets). Here is our detailed guide to Siem Reap with practical information and prices:

As you can see, Cambodia has many attractions, and there is a lot to see. Now let’s talk about it all in more detail.

Angkor Wat - Cambodia's landmarks

Cambodia’s must-see sights

This list of Cambodia attractions lists all the most interesting and popular places in Cambodia, where tourists can safely come without fear of old mines. There is a link to each attraction with a detailed description of the site and photos.

    Angkor Wat – the main temple of the Khmer Empire is located a few kilometers from Siem Reap city.
  • The temple complex of Angkor is the temples of the Khmer Empire, which are located in northwestern Cambodia and are mostly clustered around the city of Siem Reap. – Pyramid of Death, a seven-tiered ziggurat as part of the ancient city of Lingapore, a 2-hour drive from Siem Reap. – A large freshwater lake in northwestern Cambodia near Siem Reap. The lake is famous for floating villages. – The capital of Cambodia. It is definitely worth seeing the Royal Palace, National Museum, Wat Phnom and a stroll along the waterfront. located in Phnom Penh and dedicated to the terrible years of the Pol Pot regime and the Khmer Rouge. I recommend visiting this museum only to people with strong nerves.
  • Sihanoukville is a city in southern Cambodia, famous for beach holidays. There are several islands here, as well as Ruam National Park.
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Cambodia's main sights

Other Cambodia attractions

There are many more attractions in Cambodia than meets the eye. Above I gave a list of those that any educated person should see. But now I will tell you about what connoisseurs of Cambodia and Southeast Asia will enjoy.

  • Phnom Kulen is the holy mountain northeast of Siem Reap. Here you can see the very first Angkor temple and the Thousand Lingam River. Nearby is the brook Kbal Spean, also called the River of a Thousand Lings.
  • Temple Preah Vihea – Khmer border temple, the subject of a territorial dispute between Cambodia and Thailand. It’s difficult to reach, but people now go there on day tours. Read more about it in the article about the distant temples of Angkor .
  • Udong is one of the capitals of Cambodia near Phnom Penh. It is famous for the beautiful temple on the hill and the tomb of kings.
  • Takeo province is south of Phnom Penh and has many pre-Engkor temples – Tonle Bati, Angkor Borei, Phnom Da, Phnom Chisor and others.
  • Kampot is a small town in southern Cambodia with French architecture. Here you can see how the best peppers in the world grow and salt is evaporated.
  • Kep is a village on the Gulf of Thailand and a former French resort. Now it is a place for a leisurely beach vacation for young people, similar to the island of Don Det in Laos. There are islands and caves nearby.
  • Phnom Bokor is a national park located in the mountains 8 km from Kampot. Here you can admire the waterfalls and visit the ruined casino and other buildings built by the French. A very atmospheric place because of the humid cool climate and the ruins of a bygone era.
  • Battambang is notable for its preserved French architecture and compactness. Around the city are pretty surroundings. Here are the ninth-century temples of Wat Ek Phnom and Wat Banan. There’s also the hand-built Kamping Puoi Dam.
  • Pailin is at the foot of the Cardamom Mountains and is famous for the mining of rubies and sapphires.
  • Ratanakiri Province in northeastern Cambodia can be interesting to visit the hill tribes of Cambodia. Some villages are close to towns and it is safe to go there. It is not worth going to the distant villages without a guide. There is also a crater lake Yek Lum and waterfalls near the town of Banlung. It is worth knowing that coffee grows in Ratanakiri province!

Cambodia sights how to see

How to see the sights of Cambodia

Various attractions in Cambodia are located in different cities and provinces of Cambodia. Therefore, in order to travel to Cambodia successfully, it is worth well prepare for it and read the information about the country. It is also a good idea to make an itinerary. For example, in this article I am sharing ready itineraries of Cambodia, depending on the time available to the tourist, from two days to a month!

You can buy cheap tickets to Cambodia here:

You can also fly to Bangkok, Thailand, and then travel from there to Cambodia by various means:

Transportation in Cambodia

You can travel in Cambodia either by plane or by bus. The first way is more expensive and much faster, and the second way is cheaper, but longer in time and worse in comfort. Now there are three international airports in Cambodia: in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. And from Phnom Penh you can go to Siem Reap by boat!

It is always possible to combine and fly between the main cities and take buses for not very long distances. And also use other means of transportation – chauffeur-driven cars, tuk-tuks, and so on.

Where to live in Cambodia – hotels in the cities

I recommend to settle in Cambodia always in the city, not far from the sights. It will be more convenient to see them that way.

  • Например, чтобы увидеть храмы Ангкора, надо приехать в Сием Рип. Тут самый лучший выбор отелей в Камбодже – есть и очень дешевые, и отели средней ценовой категории, а также шикарные отели-виллы. Все отели Сием Рипа с ценами и отзывами >>
  • В Сиануквиле можно поселиться в хорошем отеле для пляжного отдыха и ездить на экскурсии по разным островам или пляжам. Выбрать отель в Сиануквиле можно здесь >>
  • Чтобы увидеть Удонг или пре-ангкорские храмы провинции Такео, не стоит уезжать из Пномпеня, а лучше жить в одном из отелей в столице Камбоджи, откуда днем можно без проблем выезжать на осмотр достопримечательностей. Забронировать отель в Пномпене >>
  • Если есть желание поехать в провинции Ратанакири, то искать отель надо в городе Банлунг >>
  • To Phnom Bokor go from Kampot, Sihanoukville or Kep. You can choose one of these locations. Or settle in Kepa, and go to Kampot only for excursions.
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Why go to Cambodia

What to bring from Cambodia – souvenirs and gifts

In addition to the best impressions of the sights of Cambodia, from the country you can bring small souvenirs and gifts to remember your visit to this exotic country:

  • Kampot pepper – the best friend of all French restaurateurs and chefs grows in Kampot province in southern Cambodia.
  • Coffee from Ratanakiri province, which has been grown in Cambodia since the beginning of French colonization. Most of the coffee grown here is Robusta.
  • Precious stones are surprisingly inexpensive in Cambodia: rubies and sapphires can be bought in Pailin, where they are found, as well as in other major cities. You can also buy silverware in Cambodia. It is worth remembering that the markets sell stones and silver (or rather alloy) not of the best quality at low prices. One must realize that it is impossible to buy a real ruby for a few dollars.
  • Cotton scarves for gifts for friends. Scarves are always and everywhere, in all markets, and are very popular with the Cambodians themselves. Products made of natural fiber would make a wonderful souvenir from Cambodia.
  • Paintings . If you really want to hang Angkor Wat or Bayonne paintings in your home, then buy it without worrying about how to bring it. Your painting will be carefully packed in a dense tube and delivered to your home unharmed, reminding you of a memorable trip to Cambodia.


Legend on the map:

  • The burgundy markers are cities in Cambodia.
  • Blue markers – Angkor temples.
  • Yellow markers – Pre-Angkor temples of Takeo Province.
  • Green markers – other places of interest in Cambodia (natural and urban).

To summarize, despite the rather small size of the country, there are as many sights in Cambodia as in Sri Lanka. To see the best of them, make a travel itinerary for this beautiful country and be prepared to be amazed!

Have a good experience visiting Cambodia’s sights, dear readers!

Cambodia souvenir

What else you should know about Cambodia

Video about the most interesting sights of Cambodia:

Our recommendation: How to book a hotel cheaper

First of all, you need to find and compare hotel prices with discounts on different booking sites. In order not to waste time, we use a handy search engine – RoomGuru. It immediately looks for the best deals on the Internet and shows the best of them. It remains only to choose the right one and go on vacation!

Рекомендация: узнать цены и купить дешевые авиабилеты в Камбоджу лучше на >> *

* airlines often arrange sales, do not miss the opportunity to get a bargain!

19 best attractions in Cambodia

Cambodia is an Asian country located in Indochina. It is famous for its beautiful coastal islands, dense forests, green hills, deep rivers and lakes.

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What to do in Cambodia

A powerful state, formed in Cambodia at the dawn of our era, united the principalities that rallied to defend against external enemies. Constant wars with Daivyet and Siam in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries exhausted it. Eventually, Cambodia signed a treaty of protectorate, making it a colony of France.

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After the fall of the communist regime, the people decided to restore the monarchy, and on the world map appeared the Kingdom of Cambodia, which exists to this day. Tourist industry here is developing recently, but is already considered an important sector of the economy. Each year, the country is visited by six million foreigners. They come to see the picturesque Asian cities, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire, Hindu temples, Buddhist pagodas, historical and ethnographic museums.

Travelers are attracted by the clean beaches of the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by lush vegetation. At the resort of Sihanoukville European service meets Asian exoticism. Warm sea, white sand, comfortable deck chairs are waiting for guests. On the shore bars, attractions, rental shops for boats and diving equipment. There are good places on small islands covered with mango groves. There are secluded bungalows and campsites set up in the shade of trees.

In towns and cities there are many markets with original products. Tourists buy painted glass bottles of Sombay rice wine, traditional Cambodian scarves, silver plates, lacquered wood figurines, and ceramic dishes. In addition, there is a high demand for exotic fruits, natural soaps, candles and spices.

As in other South-East Asian countries, rice is a basic component of national cuisine. It is used for preparing first and second courses and served with fish, shrimp, meat, various sauces and spices.

Interesting places

Phnom Penh


Phnom Penh, founded in 1372, is the most populous city and capital of Cambodia. It is the economic center of the country, built with skyscrapers, headquarters of international companies, huge stores, hotels, restaurants.

The main boulevard adorns the Independence Monument, a lotus-shaped stupa 37 meters high. Behind it is a monument to King Norodom Sihanouk. Among the architectural sights stand out colonial-era houses and the Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda.

In November, Phnom Penh hosts the three-day Bon Om Tuoc Water Festival, including concerts, fairs, and a boat race on the Tonle Sap River.

Battambang .


Along the Sangka River stretches the town of Battambang, once the heart of the Khmer Empire. Here there are buildings with thousands of years of history. Particular grace distinguish the Buddhist temples Prasat Banan, Prasat Snung and Wat Ek Phnom, decorated with original statues, ancient relief paintings on the walls, lush gardens and artificial ponds.

Within the city limits there is a lake overgrown with giant lotuses, river beaches, several good museums, and a sports stadium. In the neighborhood stands the Bahai House of Worship, which has a nine-sided shape and a pointed dome.



On the Prak Tuek Chu River near the Gulf of Thailand lies Kampot, a city that exports black pepper and durian fruits all over the world. Its main streets are lined with neat French colonial houses. Inside are grocery stores, trendy boutiques, banks, and restaurants.

In the center there is a large indoor market, near the park with children’s attractions and the museum of the province of Kampot. There are regular comfortable buses to the beaches of the Gulf of Thailand.



Angkor is the capital of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from the ninth to the fifteenth century. It is a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Earthquakes and floods forced people to leave the city back in ancient times. Today it has become a vast area of archaeological excavations, attracting travelers from different countries.

There is also a 10th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, a Buddhist sanctuary with clay and granite statues, the stepped pyramid shaped Ta Keo Temple, sculptures carved in the rocks, and fragments of protective walls with stone bas-reliefs.

Prey Kuk Sambor.

sabor prey kuk

East of Angkor is the Khmer archaeological site of Sambor Prey Kuk. It includes historic sites dating back to the 6th to 9th centuries AD. On the tour you can see dilapidated Hindu temples, altars of ancient deities, stone inscriptions in Sanskrit and Khmer.

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Excavations continue at Sambor Prey Kuk. Preliminary reports suggest that there was a religious center here, as 150 temples have been found in the settlement.

Ko Ker.

ko ker

The historic monument of Ko Ker is lost in the jungle, 120 km from Siem Reap. According to scientists, there was once a large city, which has left a lot of Khmer stone sanctuaries, braided with vines.

If you come here, you can see the large stone water tanks, the ruins of the palaces of red brick, seven-level pyramids, decorated with three-dimensional stone bas-reliefs, inscriptions in Sanskrit. At 10 km from Ko Ker there is a village where tourists can have a rest, eat and sleep overnight.


Royal Palace

korolevskii dvorec

The residence of the King of Cambodia was built in Phnom Penh in 1870. The large complex is a striking representative of Khmer architecture with a touch of French elegance. Behind the high walls are numerous temples, pavilions and palaces. In the courtyard planted gardens with tropical plants, equipped with ponds with lotuses and pavilions.

The Throne Hall is especially splendid – it is used for coronations, royal weddings and official meetings. It is decorated with frescos with intricate floral carvings, gold sculptures, and crystal chandeliers. In the center stand the thrones of the king and queen, instructed by precious stones.

Wat Phnom

vat pnom

XIV century Buddhist temple – the center point of Phnom Penh and the highest temple in the city. The shrine has been rebuilt several times and is now in need of restoration. It is accessed by a broad staircase furnished on both sides with figures of deities.

Inside the main pagoda is an altar with a bronze statue of a seated Buddha surrounded by fresh flowers and candles. The walls are covered with colorful paintings illustrating mythological events.

In the western pagoda is the tomb of the Khmer kings. In the courtyard there is a lush garden and a sculpture of King Sisowat.

Silver Pagoda

serebrianaya pagoda

In the southern part of the Royal Palace stands a masterpiece of Cambodian architecture, the Silver Pagoda. Its façade is decorated with Italian marble and the interior walls are decorated with silver tiles. The vaults are decorated with frescoes depicting the plots of epic poems based on the Sanskrit epic.

The pagoda houses national treasures: a Buddha carved from green crystal, a life-size gold Buddha of Maitreya, and royal regalia instructed by diamonds.

Preah Vihear Temple

hram prea

The Hindu temple of Preah Vihear is perched atop a cliff in the Dangrek Mountains on the border with Thailand. The sanctuary, which dates back to the 10th century, is built of yellow sandstone. It is accessed by a steep staircase of 163 steps carved right into the thickness of the rock. Along it are statues of lions.

The majestic temple is in need of restoration. Inside the temple were preserved altars to the gods, bas-reliefs, seven-headed sculptures of snakes made of solid stones, steles inscribed with ancient writings. The deciphered texts tell about the life of Khmer kings and important historical events.


Angkor National Museum

nac musei

The Archaeological Museum in Siem Reap provides information about the culture and art of the Khmer civilization. It features artifacts found during the excavations of Angkor.

Among them are statues of Buddha, pottery, stone bas-reliefs, cobblestones with inscriptions, jewelry, and national Khmer clothing. The museum regularly gives lectures on religious beliefs, engineering achievements and the Khmer state system.

National Museum of Cambodia

nac musei kambodgi

In the 1920s in Phnom Penh, the country’s first historical and archaeological museum opened. Today its collection consists of 14 thousand items, covering the history of Cambodia from prehistoric times to the beginning of the last century.

The building, which imitates the shape of an ancient Khmer temple, contains cultural treasures brought from different parts of the state. Tourists can see the reclining Vishnu from Mebon, a bronze bell with a relief depiction of elephants, Trimurti made of sandstone, a stone sculpture of Ganesha, Khmer pottery and ethnographic exhibits.

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Cultural Village

kulturnaya derevnia

The Cambodian Cultural Village theme park was built on the outskirts of Siem Reap in 2003. It showcases miniature replicas of famous national buildings and ordinary wooden Cambodian homes.

The tour offers a rich program. It includes circus performances, an acrobatic show, a display of traditional wedding ceremonies, and traditional Asian dances. Those who wish can attend master classes in stone carving and making ceramic pots, go to a cafe and buy souvenirs.

Khmer Center for Ceramics and Fine Arts

khmerskii center

The organization is dedicated to preserving the tradition of Khmer pottery making and developing contemporary art. The exhibition halls display antiques from different historical periods.

On the first floor there is a large store selling handmade clay cups, bowls and plates. Classes offering two-hour classes in pottery are available for visitors.

The center hosts an annual international festival of Khmer pottery that brings together scholars and artisans.

Natural attractions

Bu Sral Falls


The picturesque three-level Bu Sral Waterfall is easy to find near the Vietnamese border in the ecopark of the same name. The stream of water falling from the cliff into the lake is surrounded by a dense forest. Each tier is about 10-18 meters high and 15 meters wide in the rainy season.

A jungle of monkeys, mangrove snakes, wild dogs, and deer live on the shores of the lake. Previously, access to the site was restricted. Now there is a convenient road through the forest, and a tower has been built near the waterfall, allowing you to view the falling water from different angles.

Yak Laom

yak laom

Yak Laom is considered one of the most beautiful crater lakes in the world. Its shore, which has a regular round shape, is surrounded by a lush tropical forest. The deep lake is filled with clear fresh water. Near the shore live herons, storks, white-winged ducks, swans.

For tourists there is a good beach area, covered with sand. Cafes, snack bars, souvenir stores are open in the shade of trees. People come here to fish, sunbathe, swim or do water sports.

Phnom Kulen

pnom kulen

In the mountainous area stretches Phnom Kulen National Park. Its area covers 373.76 square kilometers. On this area there are jungle hills, rivers and waterfalls.

The park is a place of archaeological excavations. Temple ruins, ancient statues of Indian deities and mythological animals have been found in the mountain valleys. Among the rocks is a Buddhist monastery Preah Ang Tom. It houses an eight-meter sculpture of Buddha carved out of solid stone.

Ko Kong

ko kong

The largest island in the coastal zone of Cambodia attracts hilly landscape, mango forests and waterfalls. A national park has been formed on Ko Kong to preserve the wildlife.

Traveling in the jungle, tourists can observe wild boars, macaques, squirrels, snakes, rare birds and butterflies. The coast is suitable for beach holidays. Sea turtles, dugongs, Chinese white dolphins, barracudas and parrot fish are found in the picturesque lagoons.

Tonle Sap


The main natural attraction of Cambodia – Tonle Sap Lake. From it flows the river of the same name and small streams that feed the rice fields in the vicinity. During the dry season, the area of the reservoir does not exceed 2700 km². But during the rainy season, the Tonle Sap River changes current and its flow swiftly fills the lake, making it 6 times larger.

There are many floating villages and houses on stilts in the water. Kompong Khleang is especially popular, so it has a developed tourist infrastructure. There is a Buddhist monastery, a Catholic church, a souvenir store, a restaurant and a hotel. Those who wish to explore the area by boat with a guide.

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