The home of the well-known Angkor Wat is certainly one of Cambodia's must-see locations.
Unfortunately, thanks to the legendary pagodas and vine-dressed stupas that are tagged by UNESCO, it's likewise among the busiest spots in the nation.
Still, it's certainly worth braving the crowds and hopping out of Siem Reap for a spell to see this world wonder.
Encompassed by wetland rice paddies and thick jungles, it emerges from the canopy in a collection of historic Khmer towers and captivating erstwhile Hindu shrines.
Today, it's the chants of Buddhist monks and gasping tourists that dominates, as they weave between the detailed base reliefs and the terrific sandstone sculptures of mythic monsters.
Sihanoukville is Cambodia's answer to the backpacker beach towns of Thailand simply throughout the gulf.
A ramshackle location of tin-roofed hostels and bamboo beer bars spilling onto the sands, it oozes an easygoing ambiance that's a welcome break from the country's other city.
The beaches are the location to be both day and night, with the facilities of Ochheuteal offering loungers and water sports aplenty.
For something a little quieter, you could also make a beeline around the headlands to less-trodden Otres Beach, or pay the entry cost for secluded Sokha Beach nearby.
3. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a city in flux: a location where barrios of haphazard shack houses join gilded temples of gold leaf and straight-laced highways of the 21st century.
That implies it's also a great spot to get to grips with the nature of Cambodia as a whole; a nation nicely balanced between the old and the new.
The piece de resistance is certainly the luxurious Royal Palace complex, which shimmers with the spires of the Silver Pagoda at its.
For a taste of local life, make certain to hit the buzzing Sisowath Quay, which runs along the Mekong in a collection of markets and picnic areas.
And-- obviously-- there are the so-called Killing Fields just on the edge of town: sobering and plain reminders of the scaries of Cambodia's 20th-century past.
Specified by the meanders of the Mekong River as it gushes towards the delta and the South China Sea in the south-east, this laid-back area is gradually however surely raising itself to become one of Cambodia's authentic backpacker hubs.
It's easy to see why the small tourists enjoy it too-- think inexpensive wood longhouses and earthy guesthouses, really old ruins at Sambor and traditional craft markets on the water.
However that's not all, because Kratie has also become well known as one of the leading places to see the Cambodian river dolphin.
Excursions to stalk these majestic mammals in the Mekong leave from the docks every day.
5. Siem Reap
It holds true that many people flock to Siem Reap to hop throughout to the UNESCO marvel of Ankgor Wat.
Thanks largely to the increase of folk coming in current years, this one has established into a fine location to go to in its own.
You can look into an old town of classy French estates and captivating Chinese stores, all of which are stressed by the heady fray of Psah Chas market (best for sizzling noodle soups!) and numerous backpacker bars (search for appropriately-named Pub Street). There are likewise some truly excellent museums in Siem Reap, like the sobering Cambodia Landmine Museum and the (equally sobering) War Museum Cambodia.
6. Koh Ker
Koh Ker is the smaller sized, lesser-known brother of Angkor Wat.
Found deep in the jungles of northern Cambodia, the area reigned as the capital of the mighty Khmer Empire for a meager 20 years.
However, those 20 years of magnificence still show, with elaborate stupas extending from the canopies and the 1,000-year-old increases of the stepped Prasat Thom temples soaring more than 30 meters above the ground.
You'll also be able to see a fancy array of strongholds dating from the 10th century, and falling apart ruins of shrines now nearly totally declared by the roots of giant teak trees.
Simply put: this one's a great option to busy Angkor.
7. Koh Rong
This eight-shaped island that remains where the waters of the Thai Gulf satisfy the South China Sea is an image of tropical perfection.
It boasts a whopping 23 private stretches of sand, all of which are far quieter and untouched than their compadres across the straits in Sihanoukville.
Rustic, salt-sprayed cottages line the coast sporadically, and there are lots of chances for trekking through the forests, or hitting the coral-colored sea for a bout of snorkeling.
Koh Rong is likewise renowned for its bioluminescent waters, which glimmer under the dark skies at night-- you'll find them if you aren't too hectic guzzling beers in nearby Koh Tuch Town!
The provincial capital of Ratanakiri is hardly on the tourist radar at all-- a minimum of for the moment, that is.
Slowly but certainly, a growing number of experience applicants and outdoorsy types are waxing down the walking boots and heading to this remote corner of the nation, where macaques fulfill slinking snakes in between the jungle canopies.
The town itself may be a dirty, stressful affair, however there are a lot of tour organizers there who can create journeys out to the beautiful Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake, the gigantic cataract of Cha Ong, or the sweeping rubber plantations that surround the province.
Kampot might appear tantalizingly near the coast for it not to be about beaches, but this river town on the delta waters of the Praek Tuek Chhu uses something absolutely different than just sand, sea and sun.
Start with a journey to the pepper farms that blanket the local flatlands-- they are not only the main economic driver here, but likewise responsible for the unique peppercorns of Kampot.
The town is likewise house to a series of earthy fishing villages, where seafood french fries come splashed in chili and lemongrass.
And then there's the variety of dilapidating colonial builds in the center, in addition to the rusting shells of old locomotives in the Kampot train station.
Asian elephants stalk the fields and bushlands of remote Mondulkiri Province; water buffalo and wood longhouses ring the wetlands, as peaks of forest-clad rock increase to satisfy the border with Vietnam.
This eastern gem is a far cry from the sun-scorched lands and steamy tropical climes that control the remainder of the nation, and is gradually becoming well known for its second-to-none elephant conservation task.
Cultural encounters with the earthy Bunong tribespeople are likewise possible, and ecotourism of that sort is now the primary motorist here.
Statue-dotted Battambang is maybe something of an uncommon preferred on the backpacking circuit around Cambodia.
Why? Well, there's not actually all that much to see in the town itself, and the temples barely live up to the majesty of Siem Reap.
Still, folk continue to flock to this 2nd city, and we're hardly grumbling.
Vibrant tourist bars line the streets and there are some excellent hotels to select from, all of which hide in between the periodic Buddhist temple and the throbbing Central Market.
Around Battambang is where you'll discover the Wat Baydamram (filled with fruit bats) and the spooky Wat Samraong Knong, which was once utilized as a Khmer Rouge prison!
Poor little Kep is just a shadow of the jet setter resort for Cambodian dignitaries it remained in the early 20th century.
Yep, decades of war and Khmer Rouge damage took its toll on the country's leading seaside retreat, and today remnants of that dark age can still be seen in the kind of destroyed vacation homes and stressed out hotels along the coast.
Nevertheless, Kep is rebounding, and today the lovely stretches of grainy yellow sand along the Kep Peninsula live once again with seafood dining establishments and bars.
Oh, and do not leave without tasting the well-known Kep crab-- among https://www.evernote.com/shard/s588/sh/9e3d3c12-15a9-ae5d-5421-de2cf1f869af/accc12abe6e2fce4a5fc727895932bdd Cambodia's many famous staples!
13. Koh Thonsay
Rabbit Island (as it's known in English) is among the gems of Kep Province, set just out in the waters of the Thai Gulf from the southern coast of the nation.
Fringed with gently sloping yellow sands and rows of swaying coconut palms, it's got all the tropical charms you 'd expect from a tropical island.
Koh Thonsay also comes with far less crowds than its compadres across the waters in the Land of Smiles, and the prices are cheaper too! The best thing to do is strap on the strolling boots and trek the coastal trails.
Sooner or later you'll find a remote cove of glittering coast waters, absolutely empty save for the occasional bobbing fishing skiff.
14. Koh Kong
The rugged, salt-sprayed rocks of the Koh Kong coast mark the point where the primeval woods of the Cardamom Mountains Rainforest waterfall down to meet the Indian Ocean.
Undeveloped and unblemished by the onset of modern tourist, the place stays a picture of wild Southeast Asia.
A smattering of gambling establishments and sleazy massage parlors do still linger on from the days when Krong was a smuggler passage town on the Thai border, but the genuine pulls are certainly the gushing waterfalls, the wild jungles, and-- obviously-- the famous white-sand beaches of Koh Krong Island.
Pailin can be discovered deep in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia.
Surrounded by hills of green bush and controlled by the serrated tips of the high hills on the horizon, it was when referred to as the prime gem mining center