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Travelling to Cambodia: Culture, history, beauty

Article by GVI


Posted: December 15, 2022

The bustling streets of Phnom Penh contrast with the peaceful atmosphere of the Angkor Wat temple complex, making for a dynamic and intriguing destination. This is travelling to Cambodia: a journey of culture, history and natural beauty.  

Add Angkor Wat and the Mekong to your Cambodia travel

One of the highlights of any trip to Cambodia is a visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most iconic and impressive structures in the world, and a visit here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As you explore the intricate carvings and towering spires of the temple, you’ll be transported back in time to the height of the Khmer empire.

But Cambodia isn’t just about history and culture. The country’s natural beauty is also a major draw for travellers. From the crystal-clear waters of the Mekong river to the lush forests and stunning beaches of the Cambodian coastline, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy in this beautiful country.

Travelling to Cambodia off the beaten path

In addition to the well-known attractions, Cambodia offers hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences that often make for the most memorable experiences. These lesser-known spots go beyond the usual tourist route and give a real sense of Cambodian life and landscape.

Hidden gems to visit when travelling to Cambodia

  • Kampot: A small riverside town known for its charming atmosphere, colonial-era architecture, and nearby caves and waterfalls.
  • Bokor National Park: A dense jungle region with a historic hill station, abandoned casino and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Kep: A coastal town with beautiful beaches, fresh seafood and the famous Kep National Park.
  • Mondulkiri: A remote province in the northeast of the country known for its rolling hills, forests, and ethnic minority communities.
  • Battambang: A historic city with well-preserved French colonial architecture, temples and a lively arts scene.



Local culture and the joy of travelling to Cambodia

As soon as you arrive in Cambodia, you’ll be struck by the warmth and hospitality of the people. Whether you’re exploring the markets of Siem Reap or taking a boat ride on the Tonle Sap river, you’ll find that Cambodians are always eager to share their culture and stories with you.

Cambodian culture is rich and diverse, with influences from India, China and Southeast Asia. The country has a long history dating back to ancient times, and its culture reflects this history. 


The majority of Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists, and Buddhism plays a central role in the country’s culture and daily life. Temples, or “wats,” can be found throughout the country, and many people visit them regularly to pray and make offerings to the gods.

Arts and crafts

Cambodia has a thriving arts and crafts scene, with many skilled artisans creating beautiful works of art and handicrafts. Traditional crafts include woodcarving, silk weaving, and stone carving, and many of these techniques have been passed down for generations.


Cambodian cuisine is known for its bold flavours and use of fresh ingredients. Traditional dishes include spicy soups, stir-fried dishes, and rice noodles. Rice is a staple food in Cambodia, and it is often eaten with fish or other meats and vegetables.

Music and dance

Cambodian music and dance are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Traditional music is often played on instruments such as the xylophone and flute, and dance performances often tell stories from Cambodian history or folklore.

Overall, Cambodian culture is a unique blend of ancient and modern influences, and it is a vibrant and lively part of the country’s identity.

Cambodia’s rich history and stunning natural beauty are sure to leave a lasting impression on you. There’s no shortage of things to see and do in this fascinating corner of the world.

Need advice on options for travelling to Cambodia? Enquire with our region experts.

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