Siem Reap town has been receiving foreign visitors to the Siem Reap temples for over 100 years. The town is actually a cluster of old villages, which originally developed around individual pagodas. Nowadays the town has grown out of all recognition from its humble roots. There are several elegant 5 star hotels, and a multitude of alternative accommodation options; an amazing variety of restaurants, shopping and vibrant nightlife. Nestled between rice paddies and stretched along the Siem Reap River, the provincial capital of Siem Reap town serves as the gateway to the millennium-old temple ruins of the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire. Siem Reap and the surrounding areas are not all about temples; you can experience traditional life by visiting the countryside, Tonle Sap lake and floating fishing villages.
Area Highlights: Angkor Archaeological Park, The Tonle Sap Lake & Floating Villages, Kulen Mountain, National & Mine Museums, Countryside Day Tours, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, Preah Vihear Hilltop Temple, Roluos Group
Area Activities: Angkor Helicopter Flights, Angkor Temple Guided Tours, The Cambodian Circus, Cambodian Cooking Classes, Children’s Pottery, Community Tours, Escape the Room Challenge, Floating Villages & Tonle Sap, Golf, Horse Riding, Mountain Biking, Photography Tours, Quad Biking, Small Moto Discovery Tours, Kulen Mountain, Specialist Temple Tours, Buddhist Water Blessing
‘Battambang’ means disappearing stick and is named after a powerful stick used by a legendary Khmer king to achieve and maintain power in the Battambang area. Sitting on the Sangker River just southwest of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang town is at the heart of Cambodia’s ‘rice bowl’. Even though it is the country’s second biggest town, it still has a very local provincial atmosphere. There are some wonderful examples of French colonial architecture all over this upcoming town. Unlike most tourist towns the local economy is truly local, based firmly on rice, wood, sapphires and food crops. This is reflected in the character of the town.
Area Highlights: The Bamboo Train, Phnom Sampeau, Wat Banan, French Colonial Architecture
Area Activities: Bamboo Train
Kampong Thom is one of the five provinces that surround the Tonle Sap Lake and is the second largest province by area. Kampong Thom is another sleepy provincial capital, but the ruins of the nearby Sambor Prei Kuk and the hill top temple of Phnom Suntok make it a very rewarding stop. Visiting Sambor Prei Kuk is perfect for those who are more into the history of the temples; as the temple was a very powerful capital of South-East Asia during the Funan period. With the sandstone temple complex pre dating the temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park.
Area Highlights: Sambor Prei Kuk, Silk Farm
Area Activities: Sambor Prei Kuk
Ban Lung is nestled in the highlands of the province of Ratanakiri and is a location often missed out by normal holiday makers. However now with the very accessible boarder with Laos, more people are being lured in by the beauty of the region. This remote North Eastern region is like another planet compared with the rest of Cambodia – dusty red roads carve through the landscape in summer, while in the wetter months the area becomes lush and green. Although the province is remote, it has a lot to offer the Cambodia adventure enthusiasts and the eco-tourist seeking a different travel experience. The area is also rich in minerals, boasting deposits of gold and precious stones.
Area Highlights: Yaek Lom Lake, Trekking, Mountain Biking, Local Tribes People
Area Activities: Gibbon Spotting Treks, Airavata Elephant Foundation, Jungle Treks, Yaek Lom Volcanic Lake
Experience a real Cambodia adventure by visiting and discovering Sen Monorom, the largest and most sparsely populated region in Cambodia, which lies at the heart of the Mondulkiri province. The town is the perfect base camp for Cambodia adventure seekers, wanting to explore the surrounding areas, full of natural beauty, forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and lush green rolling hills. Visiting the area you know that you are far away from the main tourist trail and oh does that feel good. The main attractions to the region are the wonderful ‘Elephant Valley Project’ and of course traditional elephant trekking mahout style (on the elephants neck). However the real highlight is the incredible experience of a BBQ with a local Phnong family and your guide Hong, who was Gordon Ramsays guide when he visited back in 2011. Watch it here (He appears near the end of the 29th minute)
Area Highlights: Elephant Trekking, Elephant Sanctuary Visit & Volunteering, Waterfalls, Zip Line Ride, Local Tribal BBQ
Area Activities: Elephant Trekking, Elephant Sanctuary, BBQ with a Local Tribal Family, Zip Lining Adventure
Kratie is a delightful rustic town with a very relaxed atmosphere situated on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. The town is the natural place to break the journey when travelling further north, visiting the elephants in Sen Monorom and trekking in Ban Lung. Visitors will always be rewarded with spectacular burning red sunsets that disappear into Koh Trong Island that lies opposite. The island now has a beautiful boutique hotel and offers you a base to taste of real local life. Also no visit to the area is complete without taking a boat or kayak trip out to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins that make their home a short way up the river in Kampi.
Area Highlights: Irrawaddy Dolphins, Boat Trip, Kayaking, Sambok Mountain, Koh Trong (King’s Island)
Area Activities: Dolphin Watching & Kayaking
Stung Treng is a small provincial town situated on the Mekong River in North-eastern Cambodia. The town itself is undeveloped and retains a distinctly Khmer Character. There is little to see in Stung Treng itself but the surrounding countryside makes for spectacular Cambodia adventure.
Area Highlights: Rapids, Kayaking Trips
Kampong Cham is the fourth largest town in Cambodia and reportedly gets its name from the legend of a hill building competition between the town’s men and women (Which of course the women won by deceiving the men). The town is used usually as a lunch stop in between Siem Reap or Phnom Penh and the North West, which begins when you cross over the large river bridge. Kampong Cham also boast some colonial shop house architecture and is the home town of the Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Area Highlights: Phrom Pros & Phnom Sray (Man & Woman Hill), The French Watch Tower, Wat Nokor achay, Bamboo Bridge
A mixture of Cambodian hospitality and Indochinese charm await the visitor taking a Phnom Penh holiday. Nestled majestically on the banks of a confluence of three great rivers, known as the ‘Chaktomuk’ (four faces) or ‘Quatre Bras’ (four arms) of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers. Phnom Penh is a city of more than two million people, the capital of Cambodia and the country’s commercial, economic and political hub. Recent urban development has created an air of edgy chic; Bistros and boutique hotels line the riverfront, coffee shops, galleries and shops that are dotted all around the back streets. A stop in Phnom Penh is mandatory on most Cambodia holidays and it is well worth a 2 night stop whatever your holiday plans.
Area Highlights: Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, Tuol Sleng Museum (S21), The Killing Fields of Choeung EK, Phsar Thmey – Central Market, Phsar Toul Tom Poung – Russian Market, Independence Monument, Wat Phnom
Area Activities: Golf, City Cyclo Tour, Touel Sleng (S-21) & Killing Fields Tour of Cheung Ek, Bear Sanctuary Volunteering
Kampong Chhang is a sprawling lake side fishing town which is relatively unvisited but offers the inquisitive traveller a real insight into quintessential Cambodian riverside life. Kampong Chhnag will feature as a lunch stop on most itineraries that are travelling between Battambang and Phnom Penh. Usually after lunch you will have time to walk down to the river, sit on the bank and watch the daily grind of the hard working fishermen going about their daily lives, which is a fascinating and humbling experience to be part of.
Area Highlights: Fishing Port
Oudong was the old Cambodian capital between 1618 and 1866 an d lies 40 kilometres North-West of Phnom Penh. The mountain of Phnom Udong boasts spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and is topped with beautiful spires and stupas, which some have described as looking like a fairy tale castle. Oudong can be visited on a day trip from Phnom Penh or part of the journey between the capital and Banlung as it is on the same road as the fishing town of Kampong Chhnang.
Area Highlights: Hill top Stupas, Oudong Buddhist Monastery
Sihanoukville is the gateway to Cambodia’s coast and nearby islands, with the area offering the visitor with the best Cambodia Beach holidays possible. Sporting miles of white sand beaches, uninhabited islands and warm clear tropical waters; Sihanoukville is a place to unwind, enjoy the fresh seafood, party at the bars, take an island excursion or experience a scuba trip. The pace of life in this provincial town is very relaxed and unhurried. The beaches offer everything you would expect, umbrellas, thatched roofed bars, restaurants and a range of hotels.
Area Highlights: Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Boat Trips, Ream National Park
Area Highlights: Scuba Diving
From the turn of the century through to the 1960’s and even now, Kep is still the destination of choice for local Cambodia beach holidays. Kep and the surrounding area has a very laid back atmosphere, perfect for those that want to get away and completely relax with minimal distractions. The town itself oozes charm of an era gone by; you can see old French colonial villa’s dotted along the coast, Rabbit Island waiting to be discovered just off shore as well as the ocean front seafood stalls and the famous Kep crab market, where you can sample the exquisite fresh locally caught crab.
Area Highlights: Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay), Crab Market, Kep National Park
Area Activities: Climbing & Caving, Local Countryside Tour
The sleepy town of Kampot is undergoing a sort of modern revival but it has still managed to keep its very sleepy and relaxed feel. Kampot is situated with picture perfection near the base of the Elephant Mountains on the Kampong Bay River. The town offers easy access to Kep as well as the nearby Bokor Mountain and surrounding pepper plantations and salt flats. The town displays some classic French colonial, Cambodian and Chinese architecture and has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere about it. Many visitors pass through but now more are staying and using the town as a base staying in small boutique riverside hotels which are perfect to explore the area from.
Area Highlights: Bokor Mountain Hill Station, Caves & Climbing, Pepper Plantations
Area Activities: Climbing & Caving, Local Countryside Tour, Bokor Hill Station Tour
Koh Sdachor King Island is located just off the main coast line ,roughly halfway between Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. The Cambodian island mainly serves as a fishing port but now has a new shallow water exploratory dive centre and a lovely private resort, perfect for those that want a local Cambodian Island feel.
Koh Rong Samloem is located just off the coast of Sihanoukvile and is home of the country’s best white sandy beaches. The island has a selection of beautiful seaside bungalows that are perfect for anyone looking to reinvigorate themselves on the last remaining days of their trip.
Song Saa (Private Island) is Cambodia’s only luxury island resort. If you are looking for total indulgence, world class food, and unparalleled service, this is the place to be. The resort is truly a paradise on earth and perfect for those very special occasions.
Area Highlights: Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Island Hopping, Fishing, Boat Trips
Koh Kong is now a destination in its entirety and offers the visitor a wealth of eco-tourism and adventure possibilities. The area is located with the Cardomom Mountains in the north and Cambodia’s coast line to the south with the Tatai river cutting through the middle. Kok Kong town itself sits on the Kah Bpow River about 10 km from the Thai border; however the main attraction in the area are ‘4 Rivers Floating Lodge’, Rainbow Lodge and the new Dara Sakor Golf Resort. The area is perfect for those wanting to experience river and jungle life, waterfalls and community treks. The area is largely unexplored so this region is great for those adventurists amongst you.
Area Highlights: Trekking, Kayaking, Boat Trips, Golf, Wildlife
Area Activities: Golf
Siem Reap Province
Kompong Thom Province
Ban Lung City
Sen Monorom City
Stung Treng Province
Kompong Cham Province
Kompong Chnang Province
Koh Kong Province
Towns & Cities in Cambodia
Cambodia has no shortage of captivating destination to visit on your holiday. Refer to our Towns & cities guide to plan the perfect trip.