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Home Travel Guide Cambodia Travel Guide 10 Unique Things to Do in Cambodia

10 Unique Things to Do in Cambodia

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Cambodia has a rich cultural history and diverse attractions just waiting to be discovered. Visiting the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex is usually one of the must-do things to do in Cambodia for all visitors. But most people are not aware that there are more unique things to do in Cambodia that will enrich your trip and leave you with an unforgettable experience. Read on to be inspired by the things-to-do list below.

1. Tour Angkor Wat Temple Complex by Bike with the Sunrise & Sunset

Admiring the mysterious architecture of Angkor Wat is no doubt at the top of the list of things to do in Cambodia. A bicycle tour of Angkor Wat will give you a very special insight into Cambodia’s culture, history, and landscape. After capturing a stunning sunrise, you can ride your mountain bike around the jungle trails, bypassing the crowded tourist routes. You have never felt so peaceful, so close to the local life and surroundings.

Usually, you ride up to Pre Rup Temple to appreciate the sunset. As the sun sinks into the virgin forests, the red brick temple shines a warm red, looking beautiful and magnificent.

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2. Watch the Khmer Performance - Apsara Dance Show

Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2003, Apsara Dance is one of the most important cultural spirits representing the Khmer nation. Even most ancient temple sites are engraved with reliefs of the Apsara Dance. These graceful gestures create beautiful murals that celebrate Khmer culture.

It is considered to be the Cambodian ballet, with a strong emphasis on hand movements. There are more than 1,000 movements of the hands alone. With Cambodian music, you will get a wonderful experience both visually and aural.

☛ See also: 10 Festivals in Cambodia to Have a Glimpse of Rich Culture

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3. Soak in the Nightlife on Pub Street of Siem Reap

Every year, millions of people travel to Siem Reap to experience the magic of Angkor Wat. But when the sun goes down, what else special things to do in Siem Reap?

Siem Reap may be a small town, but its rich nightlife rivals that of the capital, Phnom Penh. Partying on Pub Street is one of the craziest things to do in Cambodia. Officially known as 8th Street, Pub Street is the culinary and nightlife center of Siem Reap. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, craft shops, and bookstores selling books and postcards in English. The street becomes lively and busy after the sun goes down when it will be a place to walk and relax.

☛ See also: Top 6 Night Markets in Siem Reap & Phnom Penh

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4. Get a Glimpse of the Rare Dolphins While Cruising on the Mekong River

Sailing on the Mekong River in traditional Cambodian boats is one of the most fun things to do in Cambodia. Can you imagine spotting dolphins in fresh water? This is quite rare.

Fewer than 100 Irrawaddy dolphins (the rarest of all aquatic mammals) are reported to exist in Cambodia and Laos. But it’s easy to see dolphins when you cruise in the Kratie region. About 20 Irrawaddy dolphins live near Kampi village in Kratie, and a yellow motorboat can take you to get a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

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5. Enjoy a Variety of Water Activities on Koh Rong

Koh Rong Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand southwest of Sihanoukville, about two hours away by boat from Sihanoukville port. It is the second-largest island in Cambodia, featuring azure waters, swaying palm trees, pristine sandy beaches, and gentle ocean breezes.

There are a lot of spectacular tourist attractions like sandy beaches, bars & nightclubs and a wide range of activities on Koh Rong Island. You can indulge in fishing, boating, kayaking, diving, snorkeling, hiking, jungle expedition, or just get a relaxing massage in the spa. After swimming and sunbathing during the daytime, do not forget to marvel at the bioluminescent plankton along the beach by nighttime.

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6. Take a Cooking Class to Learn How to Cook Cambodian Food

One of the best parts of traveling to Cambodia is discovering new delicacies. And taking a cooking class is the ultimate way to get insight into the country’s culinary specialties. Every careful step, from the selection of fresh ingredients to the completion of the preparation, builds up a delicious Cambodian dish.

Under the guidance of a professional chef, choose the authentic Cambodian food you most want to try and create it step by step. A typical Cambodian meal consists of rice and fish. In the process, you can not only enjoy the exotic food made by yourself, and most importantly, you can experience the unique cuisine culture of Cambodia.

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7. Have a Bamboo Train Journey in the Countryside

The bamboo train, known locally as “Norry”, is one of the most adventurous things to do in Cambodia. In fact, it is very safe, traveling at 40 kilometers per hour on a zigzag track. Amazingly, it can be disassembled and assembled in two minutes.

Such bamboo trains can be found in Battambang, Cambodia’s second-largest city. Tourists can hop on a bamboo train, running through rolling bushes & rice fields, as well as across rickety bridges. Currently, the train runs every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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8. Get Up Close and Personal with Wild Elephants

We are sorry to tell you the cruel truth that Cambodia’s elephants are endangered. There are only 400-600 remaining Asian elephants in this country. Often hidden deep in the jungle, Cambodia’s wild elephants are not easy to find. 

Mondulkiri Province is one of the best locations to spot wild elephants. The Mondulkiri Elephant Project provides great shelter for elephants. Here you can roam with elephants and observe their habits up close. You can even bathe an elephant under the guidance of a professional.

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9. Relax Yourself with Cambodia Spa

The spa experience is one of the most relaxing things to do in Cambodia. Traditional Khmer spa has its own unique method of relaxation, which is reflected in its unusual variety of spa therapies and treatments, including aroma spa, herbal spa, oil massage, fish spa, and hot stone spa.

Among them, fish spa treatment, aka fish pedicure, is a very interesting way to relax. Place your feet in a bucket filled with small fish (usually garra rufa) that will eat the dead skin off your feet, exposing the new skin. In this process, you may feel a little tickled, but it’s very comfortable.

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10. Learn about the Brutal History of the Khmer Rouge Period

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh are not pleasant places to be, but they are important attractions to visit in Cambodia because of their tragic history.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was a former high school used as a prison camp during the Khmer Rouge era. You can see all kinds of torture tools, photos, and historical materials here, silently telling a tragic history. Killing Fields of Choeung Ek was once a concentration camp, where there is a stupa, housing skulls excavated from tombs in memory of innocent souls.

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