Cambodia is an enchanting travel destination that is dotted with captivating archaeological sites, seductive colonial towns and tropical beaches making it a cheap and alluring getaway for adventurous travellers. It is not well-developed as its neighbours Vietnam and Thailand, besides floods and poor roads make travelling difficult from May to October. This is taken care of by an interconnected domestic airline, cheap bus service and welcoming local people make travelling a breezy affair than you can imagine. You can either hop through flamboyant night bars or take a peek into the culture at the cultural museums or taste the local cuisine at the Cambodian restaurants.
The plentiful tourist hotspots like the pristine beaches and colonial townscapes flanked by majestic rivers and dense lush forests make this a refreshing and unspoiled tourist destination. Here are the best 5 tourist places for the thrill-seeking and audacious traveller.
Siem Reap is an important destination in Cambodia which is an embodiment of opulence and grandeur. Travellers are offered a plethora of exciting destinations that display its architectural prowess. The fastest route to reach Siem Reap is by boarding a flight and making your way to the Siem Reap International Airport. It is situated 8 km away from the central part of the city. Local and international air carriers operate in and around the vicinity.
The major airlines that operate over this route include THAI Smile Airways, Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Vietnam Airlines and Dragon Air. Buses are another way of reaching Siem Reap from neighbouring countries such as Bangkok and towns including Phnom Penh, Kompong Thom, and Battambang. Important transport providers such as Hang Chau Speed Boat, Cawaco hydrofoil, and Mekong Tour Slow Boat offer connectivity to this Siem Reap. Tourists are welcomed by picturesque landscapes along their cruise.
Siem Reap offers travelers a splendid selection of choicest destinations like old shrines from Angkor era, fascinating museums, markets throbbing with local cultural elements and tranquil waters to treat your eyes.
Angkor Archaeology Park: When you step in the area of Angkor Wat, you must explore The Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan temples Angkor Thom which is internationally popular for its amazing sculptures and decorations. And if you are ready to explore another masterpiece of Khmer then Banteay Srei will be the perfect choice for you.
Phsar Chas Market: This local market is situated along the western edge of the Siem Reap river. The market offers a wide range of seafood, meat, fresh vegetables, and other food items. Handicrafts such as wooden carvings, silverware, paintings, and woven silk can be picked up along with rich tropical fruits and local condiments.
Wat Damnak Pagoda: Located in the commercial hub of Siem Reap, this pagoda had a royal palace. In the present times, the Wat Damnak Pagoda houses two charity houses, a sewing institute for Cambodian women and a primary school.
Taste the local Cambodian food at the Cuisine Wat Damnak or Spoons Cafe. You can also savour Italian Cuisine at Mamma Shop or international food at Marum.
Siem Reap has various accommodations to choose from, due to the main tourist Spot. It offers luxurious hotels like Phum Baitang, Viroth’s Hotel, Hanuman Alaya villa, Heritage Suites Hotel, Jaya House River park, and Sala Lodges to name a few. The prices vary from $342 for one night to $2560 for 8 nights. All the hotels offer free wifi, parking, and recreation facilities like the pool.
Dwell in the magnificence of the Angkor Wat as you gaze at the sculptural paintings, Buddhist carvings and the impressive architectural understanding of the Khmer community. Have a taste of the draft beers at the Pub Street which has cafes, cocktail bars, art galleries, and souvenir shops spread across the winding streets. Visit the Angkor silk farm and discover the most creative interior designs, clothing, and accessories. You can also watch the mulberry trees, silkworms, and dyeing and weaving of silk in this place that stands testimony to the Silk business in Cambodia. Be amazed by the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom temple that has two impressive statues and remarkable sculptures that characterise Angkorian princesses who were protected from raiders. The Cambodian cultural village offers a glimpse of the locals of Siem Reap with replicas of Cambodian buildings and dances and artistic vibes from expert dancers and performers.
Kampot is a sleepy, small town in Southern Cambodia with dusty streets and deteriorating buildings. There isn’t much to do in Kampot but the option to escape to the surrounding countryside. The countryside starts minutes outside the town and will paint a happy picture of paddy fields, bamboo shacks, wooden huts, elated children and salt field workers.
You can take a bus from Phnom Penh to Kampot in 3-5 hours. You can also choose to board a train from Phnom Penh to Kampot which should take 4 and ½ hours. You can also hire a private taxi from Phnom Penh to Kampot which should not cost more than $50. Sihanoukville International airport is nearest to Kampot and has a direct flight from Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh, and Kuala Lumpur. Motorbikes are available for local travel for $5 a day.
Vine Retreat: Spend a day at the Vine retreat, a hotel, and a restaurant that will offer you a sighting of pepper plantations. You can have delicious organic lunch or take a stroll across the pepper fields. The pepper plantations in Kampot produce some of the best pepper in the world.
Salt fields: Kampot is the land of salt and pepper with the salt fields situated on the outskirts of the town. Saltwater is transported from the sea which is located 5 km away into the prepared clay fields and left behind to evaporate until salt crystals are formed. It looks gorgeous during the sunrise.
Kep and Rabbit Island:Kep is a small town known for its crab market and Kep national park which houses a variety of butterflies. You can take a 30-minute boat ride to Rabbit Island which is known for its clear green waters, sunbeds, and hammocks.
Kampot is a liveable town with a large number of ex-pats and NGOs making it an ideal place for digital dwellers. You can find restaurants and cafes that serve everything from delectable pizzas to burgers and baguettes. Some of the best restaurants in Kampot are Mea Culpa, Cafe Espresso, Epic arts cafe and Divino to name a few.
You can stay in a guesthouse or hotel or a bungalow away from the town along the bed of the rivers. The accommodations in Kampot that offers wifi, air conditioning, a comfortable bed and a large balcony with an enchanting view of the river.
There a lot of local attractions to check out in the town of Kampot which can be easily done on a bicycle which is available for $2 rent for a day or $5 a day for motorbike. Take a trip to the Bokor hill station and get mesmerized by the beautiful mountain view or enrol yourself in a yoga class at one of the local yoga studios that offer services for as little as $5 per class. Indulge in a relaxing massage at the spa or visit the Vine retreat to take a tour of the pepper plantations. You can also explore the river by staying at one of the local guesthouses and renting a kayak for $6 an hour.
Koh Kong is a treasure trove of pristine beauty and outdoor sites for exploration. It has been recognised by the New York Times as the “emerging eco-tourism destination” in Asia. Go trekking, jump onto a motorbike or climb up the gushing waterfalls.
Take a bus from Phnom Phen or Sihanoukville. There are significant bus operators too who will drop you in Koh Kong or hire a motorbike for as little as $5 a day.
Koh Kong is an off-beat travel destination that has something to offer everyone. Explore and dwell in the natural beauty of the place or go jungle trekking. Take a swim in the freshwater rivers or get enticed by the gorgeous waterfalls.
Neptune River Bungalows: Enjoy an unforgettable stay at the Neptune River Bungalow located on the Preat River. Sleep in a treehouse without windows and dwell in the river breeze. You can enjoy fresh and nutritious food and explore the vicinity of the resort via a motorboat.
Go on a jungle trek: Cambodia has the Cardamom Mountains which are the perfect place to go jungle trekking. You can choose from half-day tours to overnight excursions. Soak your eyes in the beauty of the wildlife and waterfalls.
Go fishing: Spend your day on a boat catching the fattest fish surrounded by the bright lush jungle. You have the option of a BBQ lunch on board as you enjoy the well-preserved ecosystem.
Scuba Diving: Whether you are an experienced diver or someone who is looking to explore the blue waters for the first time, there are a lot of diving courses with small class sizes and proficient instructors. The diving sites in Koh Kong include islands, bays and mangrove parks teeming with schools of fishes, crabs, and octopi.
Koh Kong offers fine dining options like Happy Beach, Wood House, Crab Shack, and Food Crafts to name a few. Treat your taste buds to local Cambodian food, Asian or European food or the finest wines at affordable prices.
Luxurious hotels with bed and breakfast, free wifi and parking facilities are available in Koh Kong. Some of the popular hotels are 99 Guesthouse, Oasis Resort, Koh Kong city hotel, and Asian hotel to name a few.
Koh Kong is located in the South-West corner of Cambodia and offers a variety of recreational facilities to choose from. Go fishing in the unexplored rivers and cook yourself a BBQ meal. Dive into the islands and bays or spend a night surrounded by chirping birds on a treehouse at the Neptune Bungalows. Go on a night excursion at the Cardamom mountains or camp near the waterfalls. You will be spoiled for choices.
Mondulkiri is located in the eastern province of Cambodia. It is full of natural beauty lined with lush green mountains and clear flowing waterfalls and deep woods. It is sparsely populated.
Mondulkiri doesn’t have any air connectivity and travellers have to rely on taxis and air-conditioned buses and vans from Phnom Penh.
Mondulkiri is flanked by grassy hills, pine-forested mountains, tranquil rivers, clear waterfalls, and forests. Due to local conservation efforts and sanctuaries wildlife thrives here.
Bousra Waterfall: An iconic waterfall thriving in a protected forest is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Immerse yourself in the cool, breezy waterfalls or take a dip in the cold water, to let loose your adventurous alter ego.
Elephant Valley project: Enjoy the rich experience of the Elephant Valley Project, a sanctuary for retired Asian elephants where you can see them dwelling in the comfort of their natural behaviour. Half-day, morning, private and transfer tours are available.
Bunong Tribal Village: Take a delightful half-day tour across the village as you see the people from the Indigenous Bunong tribe go about their daily lives. Know more about this protected tribe right from history to religion to preserved traditions.
The restaurants don’t serve the tourists. Most people walk into restaurants and tell them what they want to eat. Mostly Khmer or Vietnamese food is served here but with the increased visitors in the city, most restaurants have started serving European cuisine on-demand or special requests. Chom Nor Mondulkiri, Twin Restaurants and Bananas are a few good eating places that serve European and Asian cuisines.
Homestays and hotels are available for reasonable prices with free parking, wifi, and other modern amenities. You can find clean and comfortable rooms with state of the art facilities which will make your stay in Mondulkiri comfortable and memorable.
Mondulkiri is an exotic location that is located in eastern Cambodia. Indulge in fishing in the Mondulkiri Rivers and streams or watch the Asian elephants living in the lap of nature at the Phnom Nam Lear sanctuary. Take a dip in the waterfalls or take a walk in the local market of the hill tribes to have a distinctive experience.
Cambodia’s Cardamom mountains stretch over four and a half million hectares covering a vast expanse of Cambodia. It is a lush green lowland forest where adjoining mountains connect to the ocean and flow into the sea.
You can reach Cardamom Mountains from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh via a bus or taxi. It will arrive in eight hours and is available three times a day.
Cardamom Mountains are largely unexplored and house a variety of endangered animals and ethnic minorities. You can satisfy the inner zoologist in you and explore the countryside. You will be able to see the Asian elephant, Indochinese tiger, pleated gibbon, Malaysian sun bear, and clouded leopard. It is unbelievable that these rare creatures exist in one small corner of the earth. The best time to visit is from October to April.
Local Cambodian food is served in the only restaurant in the Cardamom mountains. Shacks inside the forests also serve local cuisine like freshwater fish fillet, fermented seafood, and oriental fruits and vegetables.
Clean and comfortable rooms that offer a scenic view of the river is available for reasonable prices. Breakfast, Free parking and wifi are the in the offing along with outdoor pool and a full-service spa. You can also live in the homestays run by the local population.
Explore the glorious biodiversity of Cardamom forests by trekking along the rugged mountains. You’ll be able to spot leopards, sun bears, crocodiles, and elephants. Fun activities for travellers include kayaking, mountain biking, swimming in the waterfalls and cooking classes where you learn to make some of the best local cuisines.
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