19 Things To Do In Cambodia In 2019

This country is a destination for the adventurous!
PHOTO: istockphoto

If you’re hungry for adventure in 2019, Cambodia, with its untouched landscape, vivid history, distinct culture, and earthy charm, should be on your bucket list. Unlike anywhere else in Southeast Asia, this beautiful country with a painful history is worth making the long trip for. You’ll likely have to take multiple flights (or, if you’re feeling adventurous—buses and trains), stopping through Singapore or Thailand, before making it to Cambodia. But despite the hassle, it’ll be the experience of a lifetime. Here are our picks for things to do around the country.

  1. Cuisine Wat Damnak


    Cambodia may be a developing country, but its fine dining scene is on the rise. Cuisine Wat Damnak in Siem Reap showcases an ever-evolving tasting menu made from local ingredients. This surprisingly affordable indulgence is a great way to discover Cambodian culture and creativity.

  2. Choeung Ek


    This beautiful site has a grim history, but it is essential for every visitor traveling through Cambodia to learn about it. In the 70s, this former orchard became a mass grave for the victims of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide. Today, it is a beautiful park-like memorial with a Buddhist stupa gracing its center. While it’s lovely to look at, be sure not to take any disrespectful photos while you’re here. Better yet, put the camera away for a moment and take in the gravity of what occurred there, to get a better appreciation of what the country has been through.

  3. Tonlé Sap


    Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It is dotted with charming floating villages and stilted houses, and boasts one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. The best time to visit this area is during the dry season, from November to May.

  4. Koh Rong Samloem


    Not to be confused with the larger, more developed island of Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem is a quieter tropical paradise. The island has is known for its stunning beaches, but if you plan to visit, be sure not to miss out on the wildlife. Because it is an environmentally-protected area, the indigenous animals are able to thrive. It’s a perfect getaway for nature lovers!

  5. Le Moon Rooftop Lounge


    One of the hippest bars in Phnom Penh, Le Moon is situated atop the AMANJAYA Pancam Suites Hotel, and overlooks the Tonle Sap as well as the Mekong River. It’s a great place to meet other travelers as you drink tasty cocktails in comfy lounge chairs.

  6. Cafe Espresso Roastery


    If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, look no further than Cafe Espresso Roastery in Kampot. This unassuming cafe serves world-class coffee, drinks, and cuisine. If you’re looking for something sweet and refreshing, be sure to try the Rumblefish ginger beer, which is brewed in-house.

  7. ArtBox

    If you need something fun to do on a rainy afternoon, check out ArtBox in Siem Reap. It is one of the biggest trick art museums in the world, with over 150 pieces to take quirky photos with. It’s a good interactive activity for families and groups of friends.

  8. Angkor Silk Farm


    For something a little more crafty, head over to the Angkor Silk Farm. This social enterprise aims to revive the Khmer cultural heritage of creating silks, while also providing sustainable employment to locals. As a traveler, you’ll not only enjoy learning about the silk-making process, and maybe even purchasing a few of your own to take homebut you’ll also feel great knowing that your visit is helping support the local economy.

  9. Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre


    This relatively new tourist attraction in Siem Reap is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature. Here, you’ll get to experience a live display of Cambodian butterflies, while learning about butterfly farming. Revenue from your visit will help with local butterfly conservation as well as poverty alleviation for the surrounding community.

  10. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre


    Locate outside of Phnom Penh, the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre is a must-visit for animal lovers. Comprising of over 6000 acres of protected forest, it is the largest zoo in the countryand an ethical one at that. When you visit, you’ll get a chance to see elephants, tigers, crocodiles, sun bears, gibbons, and more.

  11. Elephant Valley Project


    Going on an elephant tour isn’t always the most animal-friendly activity. In fact, many elephant interactions are exploitative for the animal and the customer. But the Elephant Valley Project in Mondulkiri, Cambodia is an exception. They rescue captive elephants and let them roam free! So, by visiting them, you are actually contributing to their work in environmental protection.

  12. Cardamom Mountains


    The Cardamom Mountains stretches from Cambodia to eastern Thailand, and houses Southeast Asia’s largest rainforest. If you want an adventure, try trekking this expansive woodland, where you’ll be able to see endangered wildlife and interact with communities of ethnic minorities. Be prepared though: there is no phone signal, let alone WiFi, in this thick jungle!

  13. Kep National Park


    For an easier hike, head to Kep National Park. The tranquil scenery can be taken in by walking or riding a motorbike through a fairly easy trail. Here, you’ll get incredible views of Vietnam’s islands as well as Cambodia’s mountain ranges.

  14. Kampot River

    If you’ve got room for more nature, include the Kampot River into your itinerary. This sleepy river is a serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of the cities, but its surrounding area also offers creature comforts, such as cute cafes with great internet reception. It is also a hub for travelers, so you’re sure to make some new friends here.

  15. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum


    For a little more insight on the history of Cambodia, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Before the Khmer Rouge regime, the building was a school. Then, it became one of the regime’s most notorious prisons. Walking through it gives visitors an immersive experience that brings the history to life.

  16. Cambodia Living Arts


    Celebrate Cambodian culture by watching one of their stunning traditional dances. Cambodia Living Arts showcases some of the most elaborate productions, while also working to preserve the local heritage. Revenue from your visit will go towards their mission of keeping their culture alive, and sharing it with the world.

  17. Royal Palace

    The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is a complex of buildings where the king of Cambodia resides. Its many pagodas showcase a rare opulence, which will make for a beautiful backdrop to your travel photos. Note that there is a very strict dress code in the palace. Men and women’s knees must be fully covered.

  18. Bayon


    Bayon is one of the ancient Khmer temples that Cambodia is known for. It is one of the most richly decorated, making it a very popular tourist attraction. Its most distinctive feature is the many stone faces that jut out from the tops of each tower. One of the best way to explore the area is on a bicycle tour.

  19. Angkor Wat


    When travelers think of Cambodia, one of the first things that comes to mind is likely to be Angkor Wat. One of the largest religious sites in the world, this collection of temples lives up to the hype and should be on your itinerary. It’s best to visit at sunrise, when the soft light peeks from behind the iconic towers. Be warned though: there will be tons of other people there, trying to capture the same majestic view.

Follow Pauline on Instagram.

Sorry, no results were found for