Holiday in Cambodia
The Must See and Must Do List
When having a holiday in Cambodia, of course you must visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and several other must see temples.
But enjoying a holiday in Cambodia is much more than just about the temples (amazing as they are).
There are so many other interesting things to do while you are in the area, that the Siem Reap tourism attraction list seems to go on and on and on.
But from all that, here's my top 5 Cambodia activities:
1. Visit one of the river villages
You have at least 3 to choose from (or all 3 to go to): Chong Khneas (closest, very touristy, a floating village), Kampung Phluk (midway, not yet highly visited, a stilted village), and Kampung Khleang (the farthest, little tourist, a floating village).
We went to Kampung Phluk, and it was an amazing site to behold. It is a large village on the river, where houses are built on bamboo stilts. These stilts reach 10 meters high during the rainy season, and lowered down to 1 -2 meters during the dry season.
Phluk is about half a day's worth of activities,
hours away from Siem Reap, and definitely worth the trip. A
great must see for a holiday in Cambodia.
2. Visit the Beng Melea temple
Even if you're templed out, brace yourself for one more temple because you will thank yourself for it. This is the one place where you can literally climb the temple ruins, face your fear of heights, and wonder if you'll slip and break your leg while in the boonies (just kidding, ... or not?).
The temple is run over by plants (tree roots and algae everywhere), it is in ruins with falling walls and piling stone blocks.
BUT, you will get to see and feel that magical quality of a truly ancient temple, even more so than a morning exploration of Ta Prohm. Tourists are scarce, the jungle is quiet, and you will have the place for yourself.
Do not wait, though. This
Angkor temple is the best kept
secret of Cambodia, and soon it may very well be overrun by
must see and do for a holiday in Cambodia.
3. Visit Ta Prohm temple in the early morning
Ta Prohm in the morning is magical. It's unbelievable!
This costs you only $5 for the tuktuk rental, and the willingness to wake up before sunrise.
Plan to be there before 6, and then just the enjoy your walk through the temple as the morning unfolds, and watch the sunlight streaming down the tree leaves while everything else is still silent.
This is the place where the trees, not the temple, are the attraction.
Why in the morning? Hardly any tourist, unbelievable photo ops, and some peace and quiet.
Another must see and do for a holiday in Cambodia.
4. See the sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng temple
Some people call this a tourist trap. Well, yes and no, it depends how you look at it. But either way, Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill) is still an amazing place to see the Angkor Wat sunset.
Although this temple is the default choice for an Angkor Wat sunset, you won't see the sunset with Angkor Wat in the foreground.
You will, however, see the sunset from an the top of ancient temple (Phnom Bakheng is older than Angkor Wat by 200 some years), plus other amazing views that you can only see from being at the top.
This place is tremendously popular, that you will be surrounded by fellow tourists when hiking up the hill, watching the sunset, going down the narrow stairs, and finally hiking back down.
It could be so
crowded, that you even have to guard your sitting spot. In this case,
being part of the tourist stampede is as interesting as the sunset
watching itself. I still very much recommend it!
5. Spend a day in a Cambodian village
We went on a tour called "A Day In A Life", and it was a blast!
We drove an ox cart, worked in the farm field, planted corn and cucumber, had lunch with a Cambodian family, taught children some English in their village school, and went to the city dam where Cambodian relax.
That was a very
tiring day at the Cambodian village, but there's nothing like it.
see and do for a holiday in Cambodia.
So in short...
We had so much fun with these activities in Cambodia that are on my
Cambodia must see/do list.
If you have a limited time and can't see or do them all, I recommend the sunset and Ta Prohm visit, because they are easy to do even if you only have a day.
If you can stay longer though, and go to some more places, you'll find out that Cambodia is more than just the Angkor Wat. There are many sites out there that are worth seeing, and a holiday in Cambodia will be more memorable if you also visit the non-Angkor-Wat temple sites.
Have Your Own Holiday in Cambodia
Top 5 List?
Do you have your own Top 5 List that made your Holiday in Cambodia fantastic? Or you simply don't agree with the list above?
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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