Ever since Angelina Jolie swung through temples in Cambodia as Lara Croft, the place has been crawling with tourists. However, because of Cambodia’s complicated history some people still view it as a violent and dangerous place. Instead it’s quite the opposite, it has so much more to offer. Maybe you’re wondering what there is to do in Cambodia.
There’s plenty to explore in Cambodia, but the chances are you aren’t going to see all of it in one trip. So I’ve put together a list of the top three things I think you just can’t afford to miss in Cambodia.
Three Things To Do In Cambodia
Sunrise At Angkor Wat
Today the temple has become Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction. While you will be accompanied by hundreds of other tourists, watching the Sunrise over Angkor Wat is still a must see.
Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2. We travelled by tuk-tuk before dawn and bought our tickets at the official ticket booth on the road that connects Siem Reap to the archaeological site.
Once you arrive, the crowd and you walk sheepishly towards Angkor Wat. But once you really start to see the suns first rays hitting the majestic Angkor Wat, suddenly you forget about the other tourists. It’s really a magical sight, a must see, despite the hordes of tourists.
S-21 and The Killing Fields
Cambodia has suffered a great deal; it’s undergone a complicated history. You may have heard about Cambodia’s mass genocide in the 70’s. The Khomer Rouge was responsible for the deaths of nearly three million Cambodians.
S-21 a former high school became a place where Cambodians were tortured and interrogated. Present day the building is now Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, in memory of those tortured.
Just a 15km tuk-tuk drive away you can visit the Killing Fields. It’s an utterly harrowing visit, a must see. Going to these museums is an important part of understanding the Cambodian history and what their people have gone through. For me it made me appreciate the country that much more, they have been through a hell of a lot and even though there is so much poverty, they are still powering through showing so much resilience.
Most people visit these two places in one day, it will be a challenging and upsetting visit, but it is definitely a must.
Visit an Island – Koh Rong Samloem
Koh Rong Samloem is a peaceful getaway you will never forget. It is less developed than the larger island known as Koh Rong. I think that’s what makes Koh Rong Samloem much more special than its sister island.
The island has a few different types of accommodation available, but one thing remains the same throughout, you are just a few steps from the beach. You can listen to the waves crashing against the sand as you sleep. It’s utterly tranquil. Waking up in the morning to the sunrise over the sea is an unforgettable experience.
Samloem is protected by the Wonderful Wildlife of Samloem project to maintain the beauty of the island, keep the pristine beaches clean.
In order to get to one of the most beautiful Islands I’ve ever set my sights on you must brave the grubby Sihanoukville, more accurately known as shitsville. Nevertheless, it’s worth it in every way imaginable. Just 45 minutes away by boat, but a completely different world awaits.