Welcome to Cambodia, a captivating country in Southeast Asia known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. From ancient temples to bustling cities, serene beaches to exotic wildlife, Cambodia offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you mesmerized.
With this comprehensive Cambodia itinerary, we will take you on a 10-day journey through some of the country’s most iconic destinations. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the fascinating capital city of Phnom Penh, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Angkor Temples in Siem Reap, discover the charm of the riverside town of Battambang, relax on the stunning beaches of Sihanoukville, encounter wildlife in the lush forests of Mondulkiri, experience the local way of life in Kampong Cham, visit the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake, marvel at the pristine beaches of Koh Rong, and venture to the ancient temples of Preah Vihear.
With a perfect blend of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and natural beauty, this Cambodia itinerary is designed to offer you a well-rounded experience of this enchanting country. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking adventure, Cambodia will exceed your expectations.
Get ready to embark on a memorable journey through Cambodia as we unveil the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make this country truly special.
Day 1: Exploring Phnom Penh
Your Cambodia itinerary begins in the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh. Known for its fascinating history and vibrant street life, Phnom Penh offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions to explore.
Start your day with a visit to the iconic Royal Palace, home to the awe-inspiring Silver Pagoda that houses a collection of precious Buddhist artifacts. Explore the meticulously manicured gardens and intricate Khmer architecture that adorns the palace grounds.
Next, make your way to the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21. This haunting museum provides a glimpse into the dark period of Cambodia’s history under the Khmer Rouge regime. Learn about the atrocities committed and pay tribute to the victims of the genocide.
After a somber morning, take a break and delve into the vibrant street food scene of Phnom Penh. Head to the bustling Central Market or the riverside Night Market to sample local delicacies such as Khmer noodles, fried insects, and delicious tropical fruits.
In the afternoon, visit the Choeung Ek Killing Fields, located just outside the city. This memorial site serves as a stark reminder of the Khmer Rouge era and pays tribute to the thousands of innocent lives lost. Take a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the tragic events that took place here.
As the sun begins to set, make your way to the stunning Wat Phnom. This serene temple sits atop a small hill and offers panoramic views of the city. Take a moment to soak in the peaceful atmosphere and admire the intricate architecture.
Wrap up your day with a relaxing stroll along the riverside promenade. Here, you can enjoy the picturesque views of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers and take in the vibrant energy of the city. Stop by one of the rooftop bars to watch the sunset and indulge in a refreshing drink.
Phnom Penh is a city of contrasts, where ancient traditions blend with modern development. As you explore its neighborhoods and attractions, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Cambodia’s rich history and its resilience in the face of adversity.
Day 2: Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples
On day 2 of your Cambodia itinerary, you’ll venture to the city of Siem Reap, home to the world-famous Angkor Temples. Brace yourself for a day of awe-inspiring historical sites that will transport you back in time.
Start your day early to catch the magnificent sunrise over Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Marvel at the intricate carvings and grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site as the first rays of sunlight illuminate its ancient structure. Explore the temple complex, from its towering spires to the intricate bas-reliefs that depict scenes of Hindu mythology.
After exploring Angkor Wat, continue your journey through the Angkor Archaeological Park, home to a plethora of impressive temples. Visit the enchanting Bayon temple with its iconic stone faces, the atmospheric jungle-covered Ta Prohm temple made famous by the movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” and the majestic Angkor Thom complex.
Take a break from temple exploration and indulge in a delicious Khmer-style lunch at a local restaurant. Sample traditional dishes such as fish amok, a fragrant and creamy curry served in a banana leaf, or beef lok lak, a tantalizing stir-fry of marinated beef and vegetables.
In the afternoon, visit some lesser-known but equally captivating temples, such as Banteay Srei, renowned for its elaborate and intricate stone carvings, and Preah Khan, a maze-like temple complex that offers a sense of adventure and discovery.
As the day winds down, head to Phnom Bakheng, a hilltop temple offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Ascend to the top and witness a spectacular sunset over the Angkor temples, casting an ethereal glow over the ancient ruins.
In the evening, explore the vibrant Pub Street in Siem Reap, where you can find a variety of restaurants, bars, and night markets. Indulge in some delicious street food, shop for unique souvenirs, or simply unwind with a refreshing drink while enjoying the lively atmosphere.
Siem Reap and the Angkor temples are a testament to Cambodia’s rich history and architectural wonders. From the grandeur of Angkor Wat to the hidden gems of the Angkor Archaeological Park, this day will leave you in awe of the ancient Khmer civilization.
Day 3: Discovering Battambang
On day 3 of your Cambodia itinerary, you will venture to the charming riverside town of Battambang. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and preserved colonial architecture, Battambang offers a glimpse into Cambodia’s rural beauty and cultural heritage.
Start your day with a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Sangker River, which runs through the heart of Battambang. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance and observe the local way of life as fishermen cast their nets and locals go about their daily activities.
Visit the historic Battambang Provincial Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the region’s rich history. Gain insights into the Khmer civilization and the influences of the French colonial era on Battambang.
Next, embark on a unique and memorable experience by taking a ride on the famous Bamboo Train. This bamboo platform on wheels is used by locals as a form of transportation and offers a fun and exhilarating way to explore the countryside. Enjoy the scenic views of rice paddies and villages as you zip through the tracks.
For lunch, savor the flavors of Battambang with a traditional Cambodian meal. Try the local specialty, Kralan, which is a delicious sticky rice cooked inside a bamboo tube. Combine it with freshly grilled meats and vegetables for a satisfying and authentic meal.
In the afternoon, delve deeper into Battambang’s cultural scene with a visit to Phare Ponleu Selpak, a performing arts school that promotes Cambodian arts and empowers underprivileged youth. Enjoy a captivating circus performance showcasing acrobatics, music, and dance, which will leave you astounded by the talent and creativity of the performers.
As the sun begins to set, take a relaxing boat ride along the tranquil Stung Sangke River. Enjoy the scenic views and observe the local fishing communities and traditional stilt houses that dot the riverbanks.
Wrap up your day by exploring some of Battambang’s vibrant street art scene. The town is known for its colorful murals and artistic installations, which add a creative and contemporary touch to its quaint streets. Take a leisurely walk and discover the hidden gems of Battambang’s artistic landscape.
Battambang offers a refreshing change of pace from the bustling cities and ancient temples of Cambodia. With its rustic charm, cultural experiences, and natural beauty, this day in Battambang will leave you with lasting memories of this remarkable town.
Day 4: Relaxing in Sihanoukville
On day 4 of your Cambodia itinerary, it’s time to unwind and soak up the sun in the coastal paradise of Sihanoukville. Known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere, Sihanoukville offers the perfect setting for relaxation and beachside bliss.
Start your day by heading to Ochheuteal Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Sihanoukville. Sink your toes into the soft sand, take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, and bask in the warm tropical sun. Lounge on a beach chair, sip on a fresh coconut, and let the soothing sounds of the waves wash away your cares.
If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a boat for a short trip to the nearby islands of Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. These idyllic islands offer pristine beaches, abundant marine life, and untouched natural beauty. Snorkel in the clear waters to discover colorful coral reefs and swim alongside tropical fish.
For lunch, indulge in fresh seafood at one of the beachside restaurants. From grilled prawns to fish amok, you’ll find a variety of mouthwatering dishes to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy your meal while taking in panoramic views of the ocean.
In the afternoon, explore the vibrant Serendipity Beach area. Stroll along the lively beach promenade, browse through the local shops selling handmade crafts, and savor a refreshing fruit shake or a cold beer at one of the beachfront bars.
For a change of scenery, head to the tranquil Otres Beach, located a short distance from the busy town center. This secluded white sand beach offers a more relaxed atmosphere, with hammocks and beach loungers where you can simply unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
As the sun sets, treat yourself to a delectable seafood dinner at one of the beachside restaurants. Feast on grilled squid, garlic prawns, and freshly caught fish while savoring the beautiful sunset views.
End your day by exploring the vibrant nightlife scene of Sihanoukville. From beachfront bars to lively clubs, you’ll find plenty of options to dance the night away or simply enjoy a cocktail while listening to live music.
Sihanoukville offers a perfect blend of relaxation, natural beauty, and coastal charm. Whether you spend your day lounging on the beach, exploring the islands, or immersing yourself in the local culture, this day in Sihanoukville will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Day 5: Wildlife in Mondulkiri
On day 5 of your Cambodia itinerary, you’ll venture into the breathtaking landscapes of Mondulkiri, known for its lush forests, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife. Get ready for an unforgettable day of wildlife encounters and immersing yourself in nature.
Start your day with a visit to the Mondulkiri Project, an ethical elephant sanctuary dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating Asian elephants. Learn about these gentle giants, their conservation efforts, and their importance in the ecosystem. Enjoy a unique opportunity to interact with the elephants, feed them, and even bathe them in the river.
Embark on a trek through the pristine forests of Mondulkiri, guided by experienced local rangers. As you hike, keep an eye out for the beautiful bird species that call this region home. Spot vibrant colors and listen to their melodic songs, making this trek a birdwatcher’s paradise.
As you explore the dense forests, take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of the waterfalls tucked away in remote corners. Enjoy the refreshing mist as you encounter cascading waters and peaceful pools, perfect for a revitalizing swim.
For lunch, enjoy a picnic in the heart of nature, surrounded by the serene sounds of the forest. Savor the flavors of traditional Khmer cuisine and take in the peaceful ambiance of your surroundings.
In the afternoon, visit the Bou Sra Waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Cambodia. Marvel at the sheer power and beauty of the cascading waters as they plunge into a deep ravine. Take a dip in the inviting pools for a refreshing break from the day’s adventures.
Continue your exploration of Mondulkiri by visiting the Sen Monorom Elephant Valley. This ethical tourism project provides a safe haven for retired logging elephants, allowing them to roam freely in their natural habitat. Observe these majestic creatures from a distance as they graze and interact with each other.
As the day draws to a close, soak in the panoramic views of the Mondulkiri countryside from the highest point in the province, the Phnom Doh Kromom viewpoint. Watch the sun cast a golden hue over the landscape, creating a magical atmosphere.
Prepare to be amazed by the natural wonders and rich wildlife of Mondulkiri. From close encounters with elephants to immersing yourself in the lush forests and waterfalls, this day will ignite your love for nature and leave you with precious memories of Cambodia’s wilderness.
Day 6: Cultural Immersion in Kampong Cham
On day 6 of your Cambodia itinerary, you’ll immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Kampong Cham, a charming riverside town known for its rich history and traditional way of life. Prepare to delve into the local culture and explore the hidden gems of this captivating destination.
Start your day by visiting the iconic Wat Nokor, a 12th-century temple located on the outskirts of Kampong Cham. Marvel at the blend of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles as you wander through the intricate passageways and courtyards of this mesmerizing temple.
Next, head to the French Colonial Quarter in the center of town. Stroll along the quaint streets lined with colonial-era buildings, showcasing a charming mix of French and Khmer architecture. Explore the local shops and cafes, where you can indulge in delicious pastries and freshly brewed coffee.
Take a leisurely walk along the peaceful riverfront promenade, observing the daily life of the locals as they go about their routines. Admire the panoramic views of the Mekong River while enjoying the gentle breeze and the serene ambiance.
For lunch, savor the flavors of Kampong Cham with a traditional Khmer meal. Try dishes such as fish lemongrass soup, nom banh chok (rice noodle soup), and lok lak (marinated beef stir-fry) to delight your taste buds with authentic Cambodian cuisine.
In the afternoon, cross the iconic bamboo bridge, a symbol of Kampong Cham’s resilience and ingenuity. This temporary bridge, constructed every dry season, connects the town to the small island of Koh Paen. Explore the island on foot or by bicycle, visiting traditional Khmer villages and observing the local craftsmanship.
Continue your cultural immersion by visiting the serene Phnom Srey and Phnom Pros temples, perched on two hills near Kampong Cham. Climb the steps to the hilltops and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. These temples hold spiritual significance for the locals and offer a peaceful retreat.
As the day comes to a close, join a sunset boat cruise along the Mekong River. Witness the mesmerizing colors painting the sky as the sun sets over the horizon. Relax on the boat, sip on a refreshing drink, and soak in the tranquility of the river.
Experience the charm and authenticity of Kampong Cham as you immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage. From ancient temples to colonial architecture, this day will offer a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s history and traditions.
Day 7: Exploring the Floating Villages of Tonle Sap Lake
On day 7 of your Cambodia itinerary, get ready for a unique adventure as you explore the fascinating floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake. Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is home to a vibrant community that lives in harmony with the water.
Start your day by traveling to the town of Chong Khneas, the gateway to the floating villages. Hop on a traditional wooden boat and navigate through the intricate channels that lead to the floating community. Witness the daily life of the locals as you pass by floating houses, schools, and even markets.
Visit one of the floating villages and interact with the residents, learning about their way of life and the challenges they face living on the water. Discover the resourcefulness of the community as you witness fishing techniques, fish farms, and other unique aspects of their livelihood.
Explore the floating markets, where you can sample local produce and witness the vibrant trade that takes place on the water. From fresh fruits and vegetables to freshly caught fish, the floating markets offer a glimpse into the bustling commerce of the lake.
After immersing yourself in the floating village culture, continue your journey to the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. This protected area is renowned for its diverse bird species, including the rare and endangered lesser adjutant stork. Take a boat tour to observe these majestic birds and enjoy the serene beauty of the sanctuary.
For lunch, savor delicious Khmer cuisine at a restaurant overlooking the lake. Indulge in classic dishes such as fish curry, prahok Ktis (a fermented fish dip), and fresh coconut-based desserts.
In the afternoon, visit the Kampong Phluk floating village, located further along the Tonle Sap Lake. Explore the intricacies of this unique village, where the houses are built on tall stilts to accommodate the lake’s changing water levels. Take a boat ride through the mangrove forests, marveling at the natural beauty and abundant wildlife that call this area home.
As the sun begins to set, witness the breathtaking sunset over the Tonle Sap Lake. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance, the reflections on the water, and the brilliant colors painting the sky. It is a magical moment that captures the essence of the floating villages.
Exploring the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake offers a glimpse into a way of life intricately connected to the water. It is a unique opportunity to witness the resilience and adaptability of the local communities, while also experiencing the natural beauty and biodiversity of the lake.
Day 8: Enjoying the Beaches of Koh Rong
On day 8 of your Cambodia itinerary, get ready for a day of pure relaxation and bliss as you enjoy the pristine beaches of Koh Rong, a tropical paradise off the coast of Sihanoukville. With its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sands, and lush jungle interiors, Koh Rong offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Start your day by taking a speedboat or ferry from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong. As you approach the island, the turquoise water and beautiful coastline will take your breath away.
Once you arrive, choose a beach to unwind and soak up the sun. Long Beach, with its expansive shoreline and coconut palm trees, is a popular choice for its serene ambiance. Alternatively, you can explore the quieter beaches on the southern or northern side of the island for a more secluded experience.
Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and snorkel to discover the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful tropical fish and coral reefs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or even scuba diving to explore the depths of the sea.
For lunch, enjoy a beachside meal at one of the local restaurants. Feast on freshly caught seafood, such as grilled fish, prawns, and crab, while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean.
In the afternoon, embark on a jungle trek through the lush forested interior of Koh Rong. Discover hidden waterfalls, watch out for exotic birds, and marvel at the diverse flora and fauna that thrive on the island.
As the sun begins to set, find a comfortable spot on the beach and witness the magical colors painting the sky. The sunsets on Koh Rong are truly a sight to behold, creating a tranquil and romantic atmosphere.
End your day with a beachfront dinner, where you can enjoy a variety of international and Khmer dishes while the waves gently lap against the shore. Savor the flavors of Cambodia and indulge in a tropical cocktail as you listen to the sounds of the ocean.
Koh Rong offers a paradise-like setting where you can unwind, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature. Whether you spend your day lounging on the beach, exploring the jungle, or taking a dip in the turquoise waters, this day on Koh Rong will leave you with unforgettable memories and a sense of tranquility.
Day 9: Exploring the Temples of Preah Vihear
On day 9 of your Cambodia itinerary, you’ll embark on a journey to explore the awe-inspiring temples of Preah Vihear, a UNESCO World Heritage site that sits atop a mountaintop on the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Prepare to be amazed by the architectural grandeur and breathtaking views that await you.
Start your day early as you travel to the province of Preah Vihear, located in the northern part of Cambodia. Upon arrival, you’ll make your way to the base of the Dangrek Mountains, where the temple complex is situated.
Embark on a thrilling ascent to the top of the mountain, either on foot or by shuttle, as you make your way to the main temple, Preah Vihear. Marvel at the intricate carvings and ornate architecture that date back to the Khmer Empire and learn about the significance of this sacred site dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva.
As you explore the temple grounds, take in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. From the mountaintop, you’ll be able to see sweeping vistas of the lush jungle, rolling hills, and the distant plains of Cambodia and Thailand.
Continue your exploration of the area by visiting the nearby temples, such as Preah Khan, Preah Palilay, and Wat Serei Sophoan. These lesser-known temples offer a glimpse into the rich history and architectural beauty of the region.
Enjoy a picnic-style lunch amidst the serene surroundings, taking the time to relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of Preah Vihear.
In the afternoon, venture further into the Dangrek Mountains and visit the nearby Kbal Spean, also known as the “River of a Thousand Lingas.” This sacred riverbed is adorned with intricate stone carvings of Hindu gods and symbols. Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters and appreciate the spiritual significance of this site.
As the day comes to a close, head back down the mountain and find a spot to witness the mesmerizing sunset over the picturesque landscape. The dusk colors and the serene ambiance of Preah Vihear create a truly magical experience.
Visiting the temples of Preah Vihear offers a unique and awe-inspiring journey into Cambodia’s ancient history and architectural marvels. From the mountaintop views to the intricate carvings, this day will leave you with a profound appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of this remarkable region.
Day 10: Farewell to Cambodia
On the final day of your Cambodia itinerary, it’s time to bid farewell to this captivating country. Reflect on the memories you’ve made and take one last opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture before your departure.
Start your day with a visit to the bustling local market in the city where you are located. Explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, aromatic spices, and unique handicrafts. Interact with the friendly vendors, practice your bargaining skills, and pick up some last-minute souvenirs to remind you of your time in Cambodia.
Indulge in a final taste of Khmer cuisine with a traditional Cambodian breakfast. Savor the flavors of local dishes such as num banchok (rice noodles with a fish-based sauce), kuy teav (rice noodle soup), or bai sach chrouk (grilled pork with rice).
After breakfast, take the opportunity to visit any landmarks or attractions that you may have missed during your stay. Whether it’s a historical site, a cultural museum, or a local art gallery, this is your chance to explore and soak up the last moments of Cambodia’s rich heritage.
Spend some time reflecting on your journey through Cambodia. Take a moment to appreciate the warmth and hospitality of the Cambodian people, the beauty of the landscapes, and the insights gained into the country’s history and culture.
As your time draws to a close, bid farewell to Cambodia with a heartfelt gratitude. Whether it’s through a traditional Khmer greeting or a simple thank you, express your appreciation to the people you’ve met along the way for their kindness and generosity.
Finally, as you head to the airport for your departure, take one last look at the landscapes and landmarks that have become familiar to you. Let the memories of Cambodia stay with you as you return home, and cherish the experiences and connections formed during your time in this extraordinary country.
Farewell, Cambodia, and until we meet again. Your incredible history, vibrant culture, and natural wonders will always hold a special place in our hearts.