Most beautiful spots in Cambodia

Johnny Ward

Cambodia is one of the highlights in Southeast Asia. People often just visit the big 3; Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap, but there is so much more to see in this beautiful country. Here are my 12 most beautiful spots in Cambodia.

Ream National Park, Bamboo Island, Mondulkiri Province, Kratié Province, Koh Rong, Battambang Province, Krong Kaeb, Tonlé Sap, Angkor Wat, Kampot Province, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

  • Ream National Park, Cambodia

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      I’ve listed a number of beautiful places above but for natural beauty I don’t think you can beat Ream National Park. The best thing you can do here is book a safari to take you on an adventure across the mountains. You’ll see a lot of animals in their natural habitat, stunning waterfalls and learn a lot about the ecosystem from your guide. It will cost you about $20 for the safari (boat, lunch, truck and water all included). You can explore the park on foot and hire a local ranger to show you around for about 5 bucks.

  • Bamboo Island, Cambodia

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      Staying in a beach side bamboo bungalow was one of the highlights of my time in Cambodia, you can stay in them for as little as $15 per night. The island is one of the busiest but it still has a laid back feel to it. Chilling out on the beach with a good book is highly recommended here and so is snorkelling. There are lots of tours you can hop on to make sure you see the best spots - often listed as one of the top places in the world for snorkelling. Every evening there’s a traditional Khmer dance performance on the beach which you can watch as you eat dinner.

  • Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia

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      Wherever I went in Mondulkiri I was surrounded by nature. The province is in the east of the country and a great place for people who want to escape city life. Hidden in the lush thick forests you’ll find the Bou Sra waterfall, definitely the most beautiful place in Mondulkiri. If ever there was a perfect spot for a new profile picture the waterfall is definitely it. If you want to get another angle of Bou Sra then book the zipline which passes over it, Mayura Zipline will cost you around $50.

  • Kratié Province, Cambodia

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      Kratie is where you’ll get to spend some time on the famous Mekong River. The Irrawaddy dolphins are why people come here and the best way to see them is on a half day boat tour. It costs $30 for the 4 hour trip which also includes a guide - pretty good value if you ask me because it also includes visiting local villages and snacks. The best bit is that part of the fee goes towards protecting the dolphins. You can hire a kayak if you want some exercise and kayaking tours are also available.

  • Koh Rong, Cambodia

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      Beach lovers will be in heaven visiting Koh Rong. The second largest island in Cambodia has everything needed for a proper beach holiday; activities, wildlife and spots for every type of traveller. Snorkelling is best at Coconut beach where you can spot seahorses, rays and sometimes squid. If you still need more wildlife after your swim then Police Beach is ideal because of the butterfly farm. For the adventurous travellers there’s diving, kayaking and even a zip lining park. If you’re ok with heights then the rope adventure is awesome!

  • Battambang Province, Cambodia

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      I LOVE this city! The reason for that is probably because it feels like a sleepy town which is laid back and has lots of great places to visit. The bamboo train here is an experience you won’t want to miss, hop on board the ‘train’ which is basically a bed of bamboo and travel through the countryside. If another bamboo carriage comes the other way you’ll have to help the driver lift yours off the track because it’s a single line. The trip finishes up in a beautiful local village - one of the best activities in the whole country and only costs $5 per person.

  • Krong Kaeb, Cambodia

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      There are two reasons to visit Kep, the beach and the national park. The beach is quiet and a nice place to relax during the day, there are lots of restaurants dotted along it with friendly locals always willing to have a chat. I really enjoyed exploring the national park where I found lots of waterfalls (some you can take a dip in), keep your eyes peeled to spot the monkeys swinging from the trees above. It costs just a dollar to enter, there’s no official ticket office but you’ll probably bump into a member of staff who will collect the fee as you walk around the 7 km circuit.

  • Tonlé Sap, Cambodia

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      A boat trip on the Tonle Sap lake is a must do when you’re in Siem Reap. You can do it in half a day and it will cost you around 20 bucks. The tour will take you through a number of beautiful floating villages which are always interesting and you’ll also see a lot of wildlife including birds, crocodiles and macaques. Prek Toal bird sanctuary is located in Tonle Sap lake so have your camera at the ready to capture some stunning large water birds such as the Spot-billed Pelican.

  • Angkor Wat in Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

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      Yes, Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap but it deserves it’s own special mention. Most tourists will come to Cambodia just for the temples. There are 1, 3 or 7 day tickets available with prices starting at $35. One day was enough for me to see this stunning collection of ancient temples. Leave at 5am to catch the sunrise and see some of the temples, head back to your hotel for a nap and lunch, then back at 4pm to see some more temples and watch the sunset. A Tuk Tuk for the day will cost around $25 and a guide $35+. You can’t go to Cambodia and not visit Angkor Wat!

  • Kampot Province, Cambodia

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      This is the place where all my friends who live in Cambodia go to relax and unwind. It’s been made famous around the world for its pepper (there are plantations you should visit here) but there’s so much more to the place than that. It sits on a river which is perfect for people who love kayaking or paddleboarding, and is surrounded by mountains with plenty of trekking routes. Kampong Trach Caves should not be missed, you can take a day trip to them from the city by taking a boat along the river, once you arrive there are ancient ruins and stunning waterfalls to enjoy.

  • Siem Reap, Cambodia

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      Siem Reap is the number one spot for tourists in Cambodia because it’s home to Angkor Wat (I’ll get to Angkor later). Once you’ve finished the temples there are lots of beautiful places to enjoy here. In ten minutes you can leave the city behind and be in the lush countryside. I recommend taking a bike tour to enjoy the paddy fields, local villages and interesting rice farms. If you’re feeling adventurous you can swap the bicycle for a quad bike which is another great way to see how the locals live outside the city. There are also hot air balloon tours if you feel like splashing out.

  • Phnom Penh in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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      The capital city can be overwhelming because it’s a busy place. The riverside here is the place to go if you want to unwind and get some great views. I recommend heading to the Foreign Correspondents Club, made famous during the civil war, climb up the stairs to the rooftop. Perfect place to watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail whilst escaping the hustle and bustle going on below. They have a happy hour each day from 5-7pm with drinks half price, perfect because it’s not the cheapest place in town. You MUST visit S21 prison and the Killing fields to learn about the atrocities that happened during the Khmer Rouge times.