:: Places to Visit- Cambodia
Extended Journeys to Cambodia
Have more time, second trip to Cambodia, or looking for something specific? Here are some additional highlights when creating your custom Cambodia travel plan. If this is your first taste of Cambodia, visit our Essential Cambodia page to discover must-see sites, attractions and travel destinations.
Nature is re-staking her claim at the magnificent ruins of Beng Mealea. A newly paved highway makes visiting here much easier than the former bumpy ride on a rugged country road. Pass small traditional villages on your way to this remote Angkor site, well worth a visit.
Enveloped by jungle, these ruins receive far fewer visitors than Angkor Wat and exude a sense of mystery. They can be seen on a daytrip along with Banteay Srei. Feel like the French explorer Henri Mouhot did as he discovered the overgrown temples of Angkor in the mid 19th century.
Adventurous souls will want to explore the recently opened ruins at Koh Ker, a former Angkorian capital in the northwest. They constitute one of the most remote temple sites in Cambodia that is currently accessible.
Getting there will be half the fun-or perhaps half the challenge is more accurate-as you negotiate rugged potholed roads through traditional villages. Crawl over crumbling walls and descend jungle vines to access the inner courtyards. Note: This area is strewn with land mines-it is imperative that you stay with your guide on the established path at all times.
This city hosts Khmer temples, French colonial architecture, a colorful market and interesting museums. It's possible to take a riverboat trip to Siem Reap, a popular Cambodia travel destination.
Travel overland from Thailand, stopping in Sisophon to access Banteay Chhmar and Banteay Top.
Tatai River Area (Four Rivers)
This area is truly remote, yet boasts an upscale eco-lodge, with bungalows that float on the river. A unique Cambodia vacation experience.
Built at the height of the Khmer Empire, this site is considered to have been as important as Angkor Thom, but has unfortunately been damaged by looting and the elements. A foliage-clearing program by the government has made the site more accessible and visible, at the expense of the jungle-covered mystique. Note that this excursion could take most of the day, due to road conditions.
Sambor Prei Kuk
The remains of this ancient city are of great cultural and archaeological significance. UC Berkeley recently undertook a digital reconstruction of this 7th century site, noting that the Sambor Prei Kuk area illuminated "the eastern expansion of Hinduism along the trade routes from its Indic origins into Southeast Asia-one of the great cultural assimilations in human history." Tourism has not infiltrated the area; indeed, there is only one boutique hotel available. However, it is very comfortable, and the entire experience offers a glimpse into what Cambodia was like a mere 15 years ago. We recommend a stay of two nights, and for those so inclined, the area is a wonderful place to explore by bicycle. It lies about half way between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Located between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, this area makes an excellent midpoint stop on an overland journey between the two main highlight areas in Cambodia. The area is home to several pre-Angkorian sites including the solid brick Sambor Prei Kuk and the 11th Century Kuhak Norkor pagoda. Accommodations are modest here if looking to stay overnight. A home village stay can be arranged here as well.
A rare combination of the remote, the rough and the regal. Hike to tribal villages of the Kathca, Kreung and Brao people. Spend the night in a former palace and search for tigers, leopards and wild elephants in Virachay National Park.
Kompong Cham, Kratie &
Travel by public ferry on the Mekong River, stopping to explore these seldom-visited towns, then cross overland into Laos.
This quaint little town is situated around two lakes and surrounded by green rolling hills and remarkable waterfalls. Very remote, traditional Phnong villages may be visited in this area: the Phnong are easy to spot for the distinctive baskets on their backs in which they carry seemingly everything, including small children.
Well known for its seafood, Kep is returning to its former glory, complete with abundant national park areas and rocky, black-sand beaches. Nearby Rabbit Island offers beautiful white sand beaches and the shallow sea is ideal for swimming and snorkeling - both popular things to do in Cambodia.
Sihanoukville (Kompong Som)
This southern beach area, named for the late king, has exorcised the ghosts of Khmer Rouge destruction to reclaim its place as Cambodia's premier beach destination. Numerous newly opened and renovated resorts are making "Snookyville" the next great Asian beach utopia. It is also logistically feasible to visit the area on a daytrip from Tonle Bati, Phnom Chisor or the hill station of Phnom.
We know a great little-known resort on the beach a few miles from Kampot, between Kep and Sihanoukville, for those who want to get away from it all on their trip to Cambodia.