The 11 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Cambodia

Cambodia has iconic landmarks, bustling metropolitan cities, and rural beauty to admire. You will fall in love with its rich cultural heritage and slow pace lifestyle.
We explore the most beautiful places in Cambodia. Photo: George Bakos | Unsplash

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Cambodia has iconic landmarks, bustling metropolitan cities, and rural beauty to admire. You will fall in love with its rich cultural heritage and slow pace lifestyle.

Angkor Wat at Sunrise, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Photo: Esin Üstün I Flickr

Most people have heard of the famous Angkor Wat temple, but what many don’t know is just how many beautiful places there are to visit in Cambodia. Well, It’s your lucky day, because after reading this article you will be in on Southeast Asia’s best-kept secret: Cambodia.

Siem Reap Rice Fields, Photo: ND Strupler I Flickr

Below, are 11 of the most beautiful places to visit in Cambodia, split further by location:

Siem Reap

1. Angkor Wat Complex

The list starts off with the most-well know tourist attraction: Angkor Wat. Let’s face it, no trip to Cambodia be complete without a visit to the ancient temple of Angkor Wat.

Ankor Wat. Photo: Benjamin Thomas I Flickr

The temple was built in the 12 century in honor of the Hindu God Vishnu. Later, after being abandoned for many years it acquired new residents when a group of Buddhist monks moved in.

Angkor Wat is massive! You can spend the entire day exploring the nook and crannies of Angkor Wat. Being amongst the ruins feels as if you have stepped into an Indian Jones movie… watch out for snakes and giant boulders! Just kidding… but do look out for tourists, as thousands of people from around the world come to witness firsthand the grandeur of Angkor Wat.

A tuk-tuk approaches the Angkor Thom South Gate, Photo: shankar s. I Flickr

The complex is open every day of the year from 5 am – 6 pm. Try to get there around 5 am if you want to see the sunrise, and rent a moto, bike, or tuk-tuk so that you can explore the entire Angkor Complex.

2. Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm became famous after Angelina Jolie filmed scenes from Laura Croft Tomb Raider there. Channel your inner adventurer and search for ancient artifacts as you roam around the ruins that have been enveloped by giant tree roots.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is home to the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, delicious restaurants, happening night markets, and much more.

3. The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace has stunning picturesque gold rooftops. Unfortunately, tourists aren’t allowed inside the palace but you can enter the Silver Pagoda.

Royal Palace Pavillion, Photo: Francisco Anzola I Flickr

4. Silver Pagoda

The Silver Pagoda was first built in 1892, but it was given a glow-up in 1962 when they covered it in large amounts of gold, silver, and diamonds.

Inside, the floor is covered by over 5,000 silver tiles. Talk about luxury! The Silver Pagoda is truly fit for a king ( or queen ).

Keep in mind that in order to enter the Silver Pagoda, your shoulders and legs must be covered.

Southern Islands 

5. Koh Rong & Koh Rong Sanloem

While the Cambodian coast isn’t as famous for its beaches as Thailand or Indonesia, it still offers an incredible tropical getaway. Cambodia’s pristine beaches might be an even better option because they are less crowded.

Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem are the most popular islands.

Treehouse Koh Rong. Photo: Aaron Bradford I Flickr

Koh Rong is a group of tiny islands just off the Cambodian coast near Sihanoukville. There is no shortage of amazing white-sand beaches with bright blue seas around the islands.

The main island of Koh Rong is more popular with backpackers, while Koh Rong Sanloem has a more relaxing vibe. Both islands offer top-notch snorkeling, diving, and paddle boarding.


On the northeast side of the country, in Mondulkiri, you will find rice fields, sugar palms, and wild rolling hills. However, the unique wildlife is what attracts most people to the region.

6. The Elephant Valley Project, Mondulkiri

The Elephant Valley Project is a one-of-a-kind elephant oasis. Visitors get the chance to ‘walk with the herd’ and it’s a great alternative to detrimental elephant riding. The elephants here have plenty of room to wander free in their natural habitat and are really well cared for.

Washing elephants at the river, Photo: size4riggerboots I Flickr

With elephants, waterfalls, and jungle zipline tours, you have yourself a recipe for adventure.

Dangrek Mountains

7. Temple of Prasat Preah Vihear

Prasat Preah Vihear Temple is a collection of ancient ruins with unbeatable views. The ruins are situated on top of a cliff right on the border of Thailand.

The temple was originally constructed as an ode to Shiva, and it has been surprisingly well preserved due to its remote location. So don’t miss Prasat Preah if you find yourself in the area.

Preah Kol. Photo: jipe7 I Flickr

Kratie Province

While in Kratie don’t miss the Mekong River, Kampi Rapids, and Koh Trong island. Kratie is also known for its grilled snails, and mango sticky rice so stop by a street vendor and try some of the local cuisine.

8. Mekong River

Visitors travel to the Mekong River in hopes of spotting one of the endangered Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins. You can take a boat ride down the river and if you’re lucky catch a glimpse of them. Afterward, make a pitstop at the Kampi Rapids.

Kratie, Cambodia Photo: Vanina W. I Flickr

9. Kampi Rapids

The Kampi Rapids picnic area is the ideal place to cool down by taking a dip in the river. Have lunch under a bamboo canopy, and take an afternoon nap in one of the hammocks.

10. Koh Trong Island

This quaint little island is located right across from Kratie’s waterfront. During the dry season, you can get there by taking a small ferry ride over to the island. Visitors to Koh Trong can go hiking, rent bikes, and go fishing at the beach.

The scenery on Koh Trong Island, Makong River, Kratie, Cambodia, Photo: Adam Jones I Flickr

The Cardamom Mountains

The Cardamom Mountain range contains Southeast Asia’s largest remaining rainforest.

It is home to countless animals like elephants, tigers, sun bears, Siamese crocodiles, gibbons, and clouded leopards. There is so much to discover deep in the Cambodian jungle.

Sitting Sun Bear, Tambako The Jaguar I Flickr

11.  Chi Phat, Botum Sakor National Park

In recent years, many organizations like Wildlife Alliance are taking a stand against poachers and loggers in the Cardamom Mountains. They are raising awareness and promoting eco-tourism in rural towns like Chi Phat.

Chi Phat is one of the area’s first community-based tourism projects and the villagers at Chi Phat offer homestays. If you don’t know, that means that you can stay at the home of a local family while immersing yourself in rural Cambodian life. 

Be aware that visiting Chi Phat is a rustic experience. It’s unlikely that you have internet, electricity, or air conditioning so If you are looking for a little more luxury you can check out the Cardamom Tented Camp, and get your glamp on.

View of Chi Phat, Photo: Wildlife Alliance I Flickr

To Sum Up

Cambodia is a small country, but it has all the best parts of Southeast Asia packed into its borders. From Angkor Wat to the tiny town of Chi Part, Cambodia will be the trip of a lifetime.



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