Top 10 Things to Do in Cambodia
1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
As the largest temple in the world and one of the best places to visit in Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the best-preserved architecture out of the over 600 historical sites of Angkor. It was built in the 12th century during the Angkor Dynasty to worship the Hindu God Vishnu and famous for exquisite stupas and stone carvings. In 1992, it was listed as a world cultural heritage by the UNESCO. The popular movie Tomb Raider once took some shoots here. Angkor Thom is another tourist spot in the ruins of Angkor you can't miss. It's larger than Angkor Wat but not as magnificent as Angkor Wat.
2. Banteay Srei, Siem Reap
As one of the three biggest temples in Cambodia, Banteay Srei is also called the Palace of Queen, meaning "a castle for women". The temple was constructed of the special red clay in Khmer and covered with reliefs almost everywhere on the surface. It enshrines God Shiva, one of the three main gods in Brahmanism. Famous for beautiful colors and fine sculpted reliefs, Banteay Srei is considered as one of the most special and exquisite buildings in Angkor and is honored as "a pearl in Angkor".
3. Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace is famous for its advantageous location, where the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake converge. The palace is rectangle with a length of 435 meters (476 yards) and a width of 402 meters (440 yards). It combines traditional Khmer style and religious style, with steeples for prosperity. The main palace is colored in yellow to stand for Buddhism and white for Brahmanism.
Inside the palace, there is the Silver Pagoda. It is a Buddhist temple with 5,000 silvery tiles on the roof and also silvery tiles on the floor, hence the name. The Throne Hall is where a king is crowned, a state guest is met, a religious rite is held and letters of credence is received from an ambassador. Phochani Pavilion, a place mainly for royal ballet performing, is also used by the king for holding a banquet and meeting the mass representatives. Khemarin Palace is the living room for King Sihanoukville and Queen Monineath, also used for receiving foreign heads on official visit. Moonlight Pavilion, without walls surrounded, the moonlight can pour into the hall easily. It is where the king's ascending ceremony, grand celebrations and state feast are held.
4. National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Cambodian National Museum, one of the biggest collection centers of Khmer tangible cultural heritage throughout the world, is focused on the collection, protection, publicity, reparation, and inheritance of Cambodian cultural and artistic heritage. It is one of the classic buildings of Phnom Penh, with a herringbone roof, engraved doors, and an architectural style of ancient Khmer temples. Out of 15,000 collections from different times, including prehistoric time and all phases of Angkor time, only around 2,000 will be displayed regularly and mainly are stoneware, bronze ware, chinaware and woodware.
5. Independence Monument, Phnom Penh
Independence Monument, at the intersection of Sihanoukville and Norodom boulevards, Phnom Penh, was built in memory of throwing off French colonial shackles and gaining complete independence on November 9th, 1953. The construction was accomplished in March 1958. It is seven-storied, with a 36 meters (39 yards) wide and 37 meters (40 yards) high base. The main body takes the shape of a lotus bud with 5 layers of petals, presenting a very splendid view. The body is engraved with 107 statues of snakes, a symbol of the holy origin of Cambodia and also a guardian of this country. Grand celebration is held here on Independence Day every year by the king or his representative, and foreign heads also come to visit with wreath to show their sincere respects.
6. Beach & Sea, Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville, is located in the south of Cambodia and next to Gulf of Thailand in the west, having the only International Maritime Port in Cambodia. This city is humid and famous for beaches with blue sea in high transparency, white beach extending thousands of kilometers, and diving platforms.
7. Bamboo Train in Battambang
The exclusive bamboo train in Battambang is the most nostalgic train in the world. Idyllic scenery can be seen along the winding rail built in French Colonial Period. It is actually a light bamboo frame driven by an engine and consists of a 3-meter (3-yard) coach. Benefiting from tourism, bamboo trains get more and more famous. It now has become one of the fun things to do in Cambodia. Tourists from all over the world come here to experience a bamboo train ride for its uniqueness.
Bamboo Train in Battambang
8. Smile of Angkor Show
Smile of Angkor is a big show to display Angkor culture in all respects. This play is vigorous with a big cast and wonderful for its contents such as Dialog with God, A Prosperous Dynasty, Revived Gods, Churning the Sea of Milk, Pray for lives, and Smile of Angkor.
Produced in modern hi-tech by artists from both China and Cambodia and concentrating the essence of Angkor era, this show magically presents a mixture of Cambodian dance and culture. It is honored as "A vivid Art and Culture Museum of Cambodia".
9. Siem Reap Pub Street
In the old district of Siem Reap, there is an enjoyable pub street, which attracts many foreigners. Different from traditional pubs, they are also restaurants to some extent, where visitors can eat amazing food during the day and have a drink with friends at night. The Red Piano is well-known due to frequent visits of Angelina Jolie during the filming of movie Tomb Raider. Besides, there are many other pubs worth of being recommended, such as, Khmer Family and Soup Dragon. Various stores selling all kinds of goods, for example, books and handcrafts can be seen on the street.
Read More: Cambodia Nightlife
10. NagaWorld Casino
NagaWorld Casino, the only legal and licensed casino in Cambodia, is located in Phnom Penh. It differs from other casinos in its Buddhist architectural style. Statues of mythological figures in ancient India can be seen everywhere inside the house. The surroundings are also full of variety, including five star hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants.
Read More: Sihanoukville Casinos - Cambodia’s Las Vegas