Top unique things to do in Cambodia for an unforgettable holiday

Drawing numerous visitors annually, Cambodia is a land of diverse destinations and a plethora of distinctive experiences. Throughout the year, this country offers a constant stream of exciting encounters, whether in its natural wonders or the warmth of its people. Notably, the unconventional layout of transportation and city infrastructure adds a unique charm to the exploration. 

With just a few clicks, all preparations for your upcoming trip can be effortlessly finalized. Embark on a journey through the curated list of unique things to do in Cambodia, ensuring a travel experience filled with novelty and delight.

Top 10 things to do in Cambodia for the most unique experiences

Cambodia beckons with its mesmerizing temples, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage, but its allure extends beyond scenic beauty. Whether you’re a kid, teen, adult, couple, family, or friends, this list offers plenty of exciting things to do in Cambodia for all. 

From cruising and watersports to biking through temples or embarking on a shopping spree, diverse adventures await every traveler, promising an unforgettable experience in this ancient kingdom. One visit may not be sufficient to explore all that Cambodia has to offer.

Visit the UNESCO site – Angkor Wat

Siem Reap Angkor Wat

Nestled in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, Angkor Wat stands as an unparalleled marvel, a testament to 12th-century engineering brilliance. Majestic and iconic, this temple complex rises gracefully from the lush jungle, captivating visitors with its architectural grandeur and profound historical significance. As you venture through its hallowed halls, intricate carvings adorn shadowy passageways, featuring nymphs dancing on columns and serpent-topped balustrades, enveloping the surroundings in mystical ambiance. The complex unfolds across three tiers, meticulously arranged for seamless navigation, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the microcosm of the universe that Angkor Wat represents.

Beyond its architectural prowess, Angkor Wat unveils a canvas of chiseled bas-reliefs vividly depicting historic battles of the Khmer Empire. Each stone narrates a story, transporting visitors through time. Angkor Wat isn’t just a temple; it stands as a living testament to the cultural richness and artistic finesse of the Khmer civilization. It invites all who wander through its ancient corridors to partake in the legacy of this extraordinary site.

Indulge in the Apsara Dance

Experience the mesmerizing Apsara Dance, a captivating Khmer performance, a must for art and dance enthusiasts exploring Cambodia. Rooted in mythological tales of kings and gods, this cultural dance has evolved into a modern, unique form. The performers weave a narrative through graceful movements and vibrant costumes, making it a highlight among things to do in Cambodia. The show unfolds in theaters, cafes, and even hotels, offering a delightful cultural immersion. 

For an enchanting free display, catch the show at the Temple Balcony on Siem Reap’s Pub Street. With an average cost of INR 1,500 per person, the Apsara Dance promises an artistic journey through Cambodia’s rich heritage.

Bathe with the elephant

Embark on a unique adventure in Cambodia by participating in an elephant-friendly experience. Departing from traditional elephant riding, Cambodia has adopted a model that allows these majestic creatures to return to the forest. Visitors are guided to witness elephants in their natural habitat and even have the extraordinary opportunity to bathe with them. This immersive experience lets you sway to the rhythm of the elephants’ gentle movements, creating unforgettable memories. 

Despite initial safety concerns, the presence of knowledgeable locals ensures a secure environment. The elephants, displaying playful behavior, add a touch of spontaneity to the experience, fostering a sense of harmony between humans and animals in the wild. Make your trip to Cambodia exceptional by including a visit to the elephant villages, where you can encounter these magnificent creatures in a truly extraordinary way.

Explore a movie set in real-life – Ta Prohm 

Siem Reap Ta Prohm
Siem Reap Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm stands as an untouched marvel in Angkor, its original form preserved, making it a captivating exploration and a must-visit in Cambodia. Known for its association with the movie ‘Tomb Raider,’ this sanctuary, embraced by colossal roots, challenges the world to change its structure. 

The shrine, adorned with silk cotton trees and strangler figs, is Cambodia’s most photogenic site, ranking among the top tourist attractions. Entrance fees range from INR 1,343 for a 1 Day Pass to INR 4,030 for a 7 Day Pass (per person). Operating from 5 am to 6 pm, Ta Prohm promises an enchanting journey through history and nature, leaving visitors awe-inspired.

Relax in a hammock on the beach

When you find yourself in the tropical paradise of Cambodia, be sure not to overlook the opportunity to recline in beach hammocks. These sturdy hammocks, securely woven and tethered to wooden trees, allow you to immerse yourself in the symphony of wind and sunshine. Appreciate the natural surroundings and catch glimpses of floating raft houses near the shore, immersing yourself in the lively rhythm of coastal life.

Feel free to strike your favorite poses until you capture the perfect check-in photos. Perched on rugged rocks by the sea, these beach hammocks provide an ideal setting to showcase your style, whether it’s lounging in a bikini, accessorized with a floppy hat, or standing gracefully on the swing. The backdrop of the azure sea and pristine white sand ensures your pictures will be truly spectacular!

Witness the incredible Salt Lake

Witness the beauty of Cambodia’s stunning Salt Lakes, a hidden gem for many outside Southeast Asia. Beyond its majestic landscapes, these lakes captivate with a poetic charm against the backdrop of the azure sky. The panoramic view from a vantage point resembles an ethereal ink painting, where the white salt fields seamlessly merge with fluffy clouds, creating a picturesque tableau. 

As the sun graces the scene, the lake transforms into a colossal mirror, mirroring the vivid blue sky. Natural crystallization results in ankle-deep salt lakes, inviting visitors to stroll, capture moments, and even swim buoyantly due to the high salt and mineral content, eight times that of the sea. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and serene allure of Cambodia’s Salt Lakes.

Immerse in the lively Crab Market

Experience the vibrancy of the Crab Markets, where the freshness of seafood is unparalleled. From early morning to mid-afternoon, merchants source directly from local fishers, ensuring a sea-to-table experience. Delight in a variety of seafood, with crabs as the standout specialty, incredibly fresh and flavorful. Wander through the markets, captivated by live seafood in pots, inviting you to indulge in their goodness. 

Explore the night crab market, a haven for immediate consumption, where live seafood is processed on the spot. The aroma of sizzling dishes fills the air, creating an irresistible ambiance. Whether enjoying ready-made delicacies or opting to cook your selection, the market transforms into a bustling street-food paradise. Immerse yourself in Cambodian specialties, and witness the lively scenes of docked fishing boats, adding a touch of authenticity to your culinary adventure.

Explore life as a local

Immersing yourself in local tourism unveils the daily life of indigenous communities, offering unique accommodation experiences and hands-on participation in their routine activities. It’s an opportunity to delve into the richness of local culture and traditional values. A must-try experience involves catching marine worms, mollusks that inhabit the sandy shores and become easily accessible during low tide. With just a pair of gloves, visitors can pick them up as these critters rest half-exposed in the mud.

Engaging in farming activities provides another enriching experience. Every stage, from soil preparation to planting and processing agricultural products, is thoughtfully arranged for optimal convenience. This immersive approach allows residents to share their farming culture with international friends. For those craving a culinary adventure, learn to prepare a classic Cambodian dish – curry vermicelli. The golden hue and rich curry flavor make this dish irresistible. Don’t hesitate; cook up a delightful serving of chicken vermicelli with coconut milk for a truly unique experience in Cambodia!

Ride the Bamboo Train in Battambang

Experience the unique Bamboo Train in Battambang for a distinctive adventure. Unlike conventional trains, Cambodia’s bamboo trains, known as “Norri,” consist of mats on rollers. While seemingly primitive, they offer a safe and thrilling journey. With the ability to jump off in emergencies, it’s a safer option than taxis. In moments of fewer passengers, you might even find yourself sleeping on this unconventional train. 

One of the craziest things to do in Cambodia, particularly when two trains meet on a single track, requires passengers to disembark temporarily for the trains to pass. For just $2.5, enjoy the excitement of this unconventional mode of transportation.

Tasting the unique local cuisine

Siem Reap Traditional Cambodian dishes

Indulge in the distinctive flavors of Cambodian cuisine by savoring unique local dishes. Influenced by China and India, Cambodian specialties showcase a blend of taste and ingredients. 

Notable dishes include Amok steamed fish, a traditional delicacy combining fish, jaggery, coconut water, and fish sauce, offering an exclusive flavor. Red curry, a spicy treat reserved for special occasions, features meat with eggplant, green beans, fresh coconut milk, lemongrass, and chili. Explore the unexpected with stir-fried ants and beef, where ants contribute a subtle sour note, creating a delightful combination when paired with rice. Delve into Cambodia’s culinary culture, an essential aspect of understanding the country’s rich heritage.

Final thoughts

Embark on an extraordinary journey through Cambodia, a land renowned for its unique ecosystem and rare wildlife. Viland Travel offers bespoke tour packages that include all the best things to do in Cambodia, unveil the natural wonders and religious treasures of this enchanting destination. Explore the vibrant cityscape of Phnom Penh, where modernity meets tradition, and discover the pristine paradise of Sihanoukville with its captivating islands. The mysterious allure of Siem Reap awaits, boasting ancient temples and rich cultural heritage.

Viland Travel’s customized tour packages ensure a personalized and immersive experience, allowing you to delve into Cambodia’s diverse landscapes and historical marvels. Whether you seek the bustling energy of urban life or the tranquility of island escapes, our expertly crafted itineraries cater to your preferences. With a commitment to excellence, Viland Travel guides you through Cambodia’s hidden gems, creating memories that last a lifetime. Uncover the essence of this captivating destination with our tailored tours, where every moment is designed to captivate and enrich your travel experience.