This soaring, ornate temple is the country's national symbol and undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions in Cambodia. Surrounded by a gigantic moat and an outer wall measuring over 2 miles, it's the largest religious monument in the world and by far the best-preserved temple at Angkor. Watching the sunrise here is an experience you will never forget.
Built in the 12th century, this gigantic walled city at Angkor was the former capital of the Khmer Empire, and is home to some of Cambodia's most mind-blowing monuments. Highlights include the Bayon (a highly ornate Khmer temple); the 350m long Terrace Of The Elephants and the magnificent fully restored South Gate.
Visit The Floating Communities On Tonle Sap Lake
What appears at first glance to be a miniature inland sea is actually Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. Here you'll find a huge community of fishermen living on floating and stilted homes, an ingenious solution to the huge seasonal variation in water levels.
Had your fix of culture at Angkor? Time to blow off some steam. While things don't reach the fever pitch of neighboring Thailand, Siem Reap nightlife is lively enough for most. Pub Street is where the action is at its thickest, and here's where you'll find the greatest concentration of clubs and many of the best bars in Siem Reap.
A visit to this bustling old market is one of the most popular things to do in Siem Reap, and here you'll find all the knick knacks, handicrafts and exotic fresh produce you could wish for. However, it's the food stalls that are the real star of the show: make sure you leave plenty of time to work your way through the choice of Cambodian delicacies on offer here.
Things to do in Cambodia
Wondering what to do in Cambodia but having trouble sifting through the many options? Check out our top 5 pick.
This Buddhist festival takes place on the full moon during the third lunar month, in either February or March. It's a national holiday during which Cambodians try to purify themselves by attempting to do only good things and generally avoid any kind of sinful activity! Good luck with that.
This 15-day Buddhist festival is celebrated throughout Cambodia, during which the gates of hell are said to open and the ghosts of the dead are at large. To add to the surreal vibe, locals pay their respects to deceased relatives by throwing balls of sticky rice into fields.
Bom Om Touk
Celebrated in November, Bon Om Touk marks the end of the rainy season and the yearly reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River with three days of festivities, concerts and traditional boat racing. Sometimes known as 'The Water Festival', it's celebrated throughout the country but Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh is where the action is at its thickest.
Cambodian New Year – Known in Cambodia as Chaul Chnam Thmey, Cambodian New Year falls in the middle of April and is celebrated with three days of religious ceremonies, dancing, traditional games and plenty of lip-smackingly tasty local food. Prepare to get wet on the final day – the country usually turns into one enormous water fight.
For more information on Cambodian New Year, click here.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
This traditional festival marks the beginning of the rice-growing season and involves a pair of royal oxen ceremonially ploughing a field. Cambodian farmers use the ceremony to predict the coming harvest. How? By observing which trough of food the regal (and presumably hungry) beasts tuck into afterwards.
For more information on Royal Ploughing Ceremony, click here.
Top 5 Festivals in Cambodia
There are a large number of traditional and religious festivals taking place across Cambodia throughout the year. Try these for size.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
This former high school was one of the largest execution centres of the Cambodian Genocide, during which millions of Cambodians were brutally tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge. It now functions as a museum, with a chilling collection of photos documenting the true extent of the horror.
For more information on the the Tuol Sleng genocide Museum, click here.
National Museum Of Cambodia
Housed in an attractive building amidst pretty gardens, this museum is home to one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art; highlights include a giant bronze statue of reclining Vishnu. Paying it a visit is one of the essential things to do in Phnom Penh.
For more information on the the National Museum of Cambodia, click here.
This three story building in central Phnom Penh showcases the work of Cambodian and international artists, with an open-air rooftop media lounge offering great views of the city, and welcome sanctuary should it all get a bit much.
For more information on the the Meta House gallery, click here.
The Bophana Centre is dedicated to recovering and preserving Cambodian audiovisual records, many of which were lost and destroyed during the regime of the Khmer Rouge. It features an extensive archive of old photos and regular film screenings for visitors, making it one of the best free things to do in Phnom Penh.
For more information on the Bophana Center, click here.
Cambodia Landmine Museum
Near Siem Reap
Located inside the Angkor National Park just north of Siem Reap, this museum was founded by Aki Ra, a former child-soldier who personally removed and defused mines he had been forced to plant. It exhibits his own collection of mines, and doubles as a charity and support centre for landmine victims.
For more information on the Cambodia Landmine Museum, click here.
Top 5 Museums & Galleries in Cambodia
Wondering where to get your Cambodian cultural fix? Help is at hand - read on for our pick of the best museums and galleries in Cambodia.
This uber-popular pork noodle soup is a Cambodian breakfast staple and ubiquitous Phnom Penh street food. Garnish with plenty of bean sprouts, limejuice, fresh herbs and the chili option of your choice.
Best eaten at Food stalls, Phsar Chas ('Old Market'), Phnom Penh
Popularly known as 'fish amok', this coconut fish curry is spiced with kroeung, a distinctive and aromatic Cambodian curry paste. Wrapped in a banana leaf then steamed, it's a Cambodia food classic and you'll find it in many Siem Reap restaurants.
Best eaten at Marum Restaurant, #8A,B Phum Slokram, Siem Reap
It's true: they eat spiders in Cambodia. Fried until crispy, they're considered a delicacy, but don't believe anyone who tells you, they taste just like chicken.
Best eaten at Romdeng Restaurant, Oknha Ket Rd, Phnom Penh
Nom Banh Chok
This delicious fish and noodle curry is known simply as 'Khmer noodles'. Garnished with bean sprouts, mint leaves, green beans, and even banana flowers, it's a Cambodia travel 2015 must-try.
Best eaten at Siv Long, Tep Vong Road, Siem Reap
Delicious and tangy marinated beef cubes, quickly stir-fried then served over a bed of cucumber, tomato and onions with rice on the side. Eat it wrapped in lettuce for true Cambodian flavor!
Best eaten at Amok Restaurant, Between The Passage and Old Market, Street 9, Krong Siem Reap
Food in Cambodia
Cambodia street food is to die for, with roadside and market stalls the breadth of the country dishing up the tastiest treats imaginable. Rice is the staple here, and there's seemingly no end to the varieties or the ingenious methods of preparation to be found. Cambodia shares many of its ingredients with neighbouring Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, but it's the subtlety of flavor and distinctively Cambodian ingredients like prahok (fermented fish paste) and kroeung (a blended paste of herbs and spices) that make its cuisine stand out.