• Community
  • Travel
  • Volunteer and Adventure

Top 5 things to do in Cambodia

Article by GVI


Posted: January 20, 2023

Cambodia is on many travellers’ bucket lists – and for good reason! This Southeast Asian gem is filled with culture, history, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. It’s also budget-friendly, making it a great value for money destination. So, pack your bags, grab your cameras, and get ready for an unforgettable journey as we explore the top 5 things to do in Cambodia.

1. Explore Angkor Wat

Kick off your trip with one of the most iconic attractions in the world – Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a temple complex like no other. It’s an architectural masterpiece that will transport you back in time. Imagine yourself strolling through the grand halls, gazing in wonder at the intricate carvings and bas-reliefs. Trust us, it’s a moment that will be etched in your memory forever. But, here’s a pro-tip, go early to beat the crowds and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

2. The floating villages of Tonle Sap

Get ready to be mesmerised by the floating villages of Tonle Sap lake. These villages offer a unique way of life, with people living on the lake and making their livelihoods from fishing and agriculture. Each village has its own character, and you can take a boat tour to visit them. Just make sure you go with a responsible and sustainable tour operator to ensure a positive impact on the local community.

3. Street food and night markets in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, is a gastronomic paradise. Street food is everywhere and it’s finger-licking good. Try the traditional Cambodian dish, Amok, a curry made with fish or chicken. And don’t leave without trying the deep-fried tarantulas, it might sound scary but it’s a delicacy here. At night, the city comes alive with night markets, it’s the perfect spot to grab souvenirs and sample more street food.

4. Visit the charming Battambang

Battambang, often overlooked by tourists, is a charming hidden gem that’s worth discovering. This northwest Cambodian town is a treasure trove of history and culture, steeped in French colonial architecture and well-preserved temples. Take a stroll along the picturesque riverside promenade, and you’ll find yourself transported back in time. It’s a perfect place for history buffs and culture vultures alike.

But, Battambang isn’t just about history, it’s also about off-the-beaten-path adventures. The famous Bamboo Train, also known as “norry”, is a unique and exhilarating experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a small open-air platform on wheels, powered by a small engine, and runs on disused railway tracks.

5. The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Cambodia’s past is a complex one, but it’s important to understand it to truly appreciate its present. The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum serve as a window into the country’s history, shedding light on the events that took place during the Khmer Rouge regime. The Killing Fields is a mass grave site and Tuol Sleng is a former prison that was used during that time. While it may not be the most upbeat of experiences, it is a significant one in gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country’s past and present.

6. Meaningful travel experiences in Cambodia

In addition to the traditional tourist activities, Cambodia also offers a unique opportunity for travellers to engage in meaningful and impactful experiences through volunteer, internship, apprenticeship and fellowship programs.

GVI has been offering programs in Siem Reap and other parts of the world for over a decade, contributing to initiatives such as community development, public health, women’s empowerment and teaching.

These programs not only provide valuable skills and experiences, but also give back to the local community and support sustainable development. It’s an opportunity for travellers to immerse themselves in the culture and make a positive impact on the world, while being mindful of their privilege as a visitor. Instead of just being a tourist, these programs allow travellers to actively participate in responsible and sustainable travel, and contribute to the well-being of the communities they visit in places such as Siem Reap.

Cambodia is a country that will leave you spellbound. From ancient temples to floating villages, delicious street food and meaningful community programs, it’s a destination that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. So, don’t wait any longer, book that trip and let the adventure begin.

what’s up next?
From Gaudí to Picasso: Barcelona’s Artistic Icons

Embark on a journey through Barcelona's captivating art and architecture. Explore the visionary works of Gaudí, Picasso, and more, set against the city's stunning landscapes.

You might also like these articles

Celebrating Cambodian New Year: A Guide
Read the article
Madagascar’s Iconic Baobab Tree
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Exploring the Rich and Diverse Food Culture of Latin America
Read the article
Exploring the Spectacular Waterfalls of Ghana
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Top Things to Do in Kampot, Cambodia
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Volunteering with Children: Personal and Professional Impact
Read the article
Volunteer with Children
Top Reasons to Visit Ghana in December
Read the article
Nine of the best volunteer programs in South Africa
Read the article
What Are the Languages Spoken in Ghana?
Read the article