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Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia in 2023, then you’re in for a treat! With its lush landscapes, stunning temples, and unique culture, Cambodia is a must-see destination. From the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat to the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh, there are plenty of incredible attractions in Cambodia that you won’t want to miss. 

Here’s our list of the 20 can’t-miss attractions in Cambodia for 2023 – featuring some of the best places to explore, experience, and discover in this amazing Southeast Asian nation.

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1) Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, located in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, it stands as a testament to the power of the Khmer Empire and its achievements in engineering and architecture. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992 and continues to draw visitors from around the world. 

Angkor Wat is best known for its soaring sandstone towers and impressive bas-reliefs. Its central spire stands over 65 meters tall, surrounded by four smaller spires, which together form the iconic silhouette that has become a symbol of Cambodia. The temple walls are covered with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

In addition to its immense size, Angkor Wat also has a fascinating history. It was built by Suryavarman II and was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Later, it was converted into a Buddhist temple, and this transformation can be seen in the carvings which show both Hindu and Buddhist influences.

Today, Angkor Wat is one of Cambodia’s biggest tourist attractions, and visitors come from around the world to experience this magnificent ancient temple. 

With its awe-inspiring architecture, stunning sculptures, and deep spiritual significance, Angkor Wat is sure to be an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits it.

2) Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm Temple - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Ta Prohm Temple

One of the most iconic sites in Cambodia is Ta Prohm Temple, located in the Angkor Archaeological Park. The temple is best known for its overgrown trees, which have been growing around and through the ruins since they were discovered in the 19th century. The site is also known as the “Tomb Raider Temple” due to its use as a location in the film Tomb Raider. 

Ta Prohm was built in 1186 by King Jayavarman VII and is dedicated to his mother. It is a large complex of buildings and galleries, consisting of a monastery, tower, and other structures. The complex is spread across some 400 meters, with a central courtyard surrounded by more than two dozen chambers and galleries. The main attraction of Ta Prohm is its magnificent architecture and unique blend of Khmer and Indian styles. 

The site has several statues and carvings that tell stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. You can also see images of Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, and other deities throughout the complex. Of course, it is the trees that make Ta Prohm unique. Many of them have become part of the structure, with roots that seem to be holding up walls and galleries. 

Ta Prohm is a must-visit if you are traveling to Cambodia in 2023. 

Whether you want to explore the architecture, learn about Cambodian history, or take some incredible photos, this ancient temple will leave you speechless.

3) Bayon Temple – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Bayon Temple - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Bayon Temple

Located in the historic city of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple is a 12th-century structure that stands out for its unique architecture and detailed carvings. Built by King Jayavarman VII, this temple is most recognized for its 216 giant faces which are carved into the rocks that make up the temple. These faces look down on visitors, expressing a kind and peaceful expression. 

The temple also contains some galleries, staircases, and corridors that offer fascinating views of the surrounding area. There is also an elephant terrace which was designed to be an audience hall where royal events took place. 

Inside the temple, there is an enormous central sanctuary and some intricate bas-reliefs depicting a variety of scenes including religious ceremonies, battles, and everyday life. 

As one of the most famous temples in Cambodia, Bayon Temple is a must-see for any traveler visiting the country. 

With its unique features, detailed carvings, and interesting galleries, this incredible temple offers something for everyone to marvel at.

4) Prasat Beng Mealea

Prasat Beng Mealea - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Prasat Beng Mealea – Photo by kaminspire

Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Situated about 40 kilometers from Siem Reap, Prasat Beng Mealea is one of the largest and most impressive temples in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, it is a sprawling complex covering an area of over 100 hectares. The ruins of the temple still stand today and are believed to be the inspiration for the iconic Angkor Wat.

Prasat Beng Mealea is made up of three distinct sections. The central section contains the main entrance which is guarded by two large towers, while the northern and southern sections contain various galleries, chambers, and courtyards. Inside, visitors will find several incredible structures including a large sanctuary, a library, and an elephant terrace. 

The temple is mostly in ruins, with parts of it still standing and others covered in vines and other foliage. This has created an amazing atmosphere that has made Prasat Beng Mealea a popular spot for photographers and Instagram influencers. 

Exploring the ruins is a great way to experience a different side of Cambodia and its culture.

5) Preah Vihear Temple

Preah Vihear Temple - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Preah Vihear Temple – Photo by sep.13_kosal

One of the most impressive temples of Cambodia is the Preah Vihear Temple. It is located in the northern part of the country, close to the border with Thailand. Its construction began in the 11th century and it is a breathtaking example of ancient Khmer architecture. The temple is perched on the edge of a cliff, making it a great spot for spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.

The architecture of the Preah Vihear Temple reflects the classical style of Khmer architecture from the 11th century and is made up of elaborate stone carvings, intricate patterns, and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu gods and scenes from Hindu epics. Although some of its components have deteriorated over time due to exposure to weather and human interference, it remains an impressive monument and a symbol of Cambodian identity.

Visitors to Preah Vihear Temple can take part in guided tours, which provide detailed information about the temple’s history and significance. The site also offers spectacular views over the Dangrek Mountains and the Cambodian jungle. 

If you are looking for an experience that combines sightseeing and learning, Preah Vihear Temple should be at the top of your list.

6) Pub Street Siem Reap – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

If you’re looking for a night of fun and entertainment while in Cambodia, Pub Street Siem Reap is the place to go. This popular tourist destination is located in the heart of Siem Reap and is known for its lively bars and restaurants. Whether you are looking for a night of drinking and dancing, or just want to take in the local culture and cuisine, Pub Street has something for everyone. 

The street offers an array of pubs, bars, and restaurants, all offering different experiences to suit your needs. From traditional Khmer beer gardens to lively sports bars, Pub Street has something for everyone. If you’re feeling brave, try some of the local delicacies such as fried tarantula or crickets. Or, if you prefer something more mainstream, there are plenty of western-style options available too. 

No visit to Pub Street would be complete without sampling some of the local beer. There are several Cambodian beers to choose from, ranging from light lagers to dark stouts. The street also offers up plenty of cheap cocktails and spirits, as well as tasty snacks and bar snacks. 

Whether you’re looking for a quiet evening, a wild night out, or a bit of both, Pub Street has something for everyone. 

So why not take a stroll down Pub Street Siem Reap next time you’re in town? You won’t regret it!

7) Banteay Srei – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Banteay Srei - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Banteay Srei – Photo by @sokthy_nol

Located just 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Angkor, Banteay Srei is considered to be one of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. Built-in the late 10th century, the red sandstone temple is renowned for its intricate carvings, which are some of the most intricate and well-preserved in Cambodia. The temple was originally dedicated to Shiva, though it was later dedicated to Vishnu.

The entrance to the temple complex is through an impressive gopura or gate tower. Once inside, you can explore the many shrines and galleries dedicated to the Hindu gods. The intricate stone carvings cover nearly every inch of the temple, depicting stories from Hindu mythology. The carvings were created with a fine eye for detail, showcasing the skill of the artisans who crafted them.

Banteay Srei also has an important historical significance, as it was the first major temple to be built in the region after the fall of the Khmer Empire. This makes it an important part of Cambodia’s cultural heritage. 

Whether you’re interested in the artistry of its carvings or the history behind it, Banteay Srei is worth a visit.

8) Cambodia Landmine Museum

Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Situated in the northern province of Siem Reap, the Cambodia Landmine Museum is a must-visit for anyone looking to gain an understanding of the devastation caused by landmines. Founded by Cambodian deminer Aki Ra, the museum serves as a testament to the legacy of war and offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s history.

The museum houses more than 3,000 landmines and other explosives collected by Aki Ra since the early 1990s. The tour of the museum is both educational and emotional, as it details the tragic effects of landmines on the country. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of global efforts to eradicate landmines.

Visitors can explore the museum’s outdoor area, where Aki Ra has created an orchard of trees planted over old landmines. This poignant display is meant to serve as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Cambodian people despite their past suffering. The museum also has an education center with a library and educational materials about de-mining and landmine safety.

The Cambodia Landmine Museum is a powerful and sobering reminder of the devastating effects of war, but it also provides hope for a brighter future. 

A visit to this museum will help you understand the history of Cambodia and inspire you to take action to support global de-mining efforts.

9) Baphuon Temple – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Baphuon Temple - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Baphuon Temple – Photo by b.active_happy

Baphuon Temple - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Baphuon Temple – Photo by b.active_happy

One of the most impressive and iconic attractions in Cambodia is Baphuon Temple, located at the Angkor Archaeological Park. This 11th-century structure is considered one of the most beautiful and detailed monuments in the region. The temple is made up of three levels with a towering central tower reaching 45 meters in height. Visitors can explore the upper and lower levels, climb up to the roof of the temple and marvel at the intricate carvings and bas-reliefs on the walls. Inside the temple, visitors can find an image of Shiva, surrounded by four bodhisattvas representing the four cardinal points. 

The temple’s elaborate designs, impressive height, and incredible detail make it a must-see for anyone visiting Cambodia.

10) Choeung Ek Genocidal Center – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

The Choeung Ek Genocidal Center in Cambodia is a memorial to the thousands of people who were killed and buried in mass graves during the Khmer Rouge regime. It was discovered in 1979 when the Vietnamese army first entered Cambodia and is now a popular tourist attraction for visitors interested in learning about the history of the country. 

At the center, visitors can view the “Killing Tree”, a macabre memorial where babies were bashed against its trunk by Khmer Rouge soldiers. There is also a glass-encased stupa filled with skulls and other bones taken from the mass graves at the site. The memorial is a solemn reminder of the atrocities that occurred during the reign of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime.

Visitors are encouraged to take part in an audio tour that provides more detailed information on the history of the site. For a more in-depth look into Cambodian history, visitors can visit Choeung Ek’s small museum where artifacts from the era are displayed, along with various historical documents and photographs. 

The tour can last up to two hours and is recommended to those interested in learning about this dark chapter in Cambodian history.

11) Koh Rong

Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Koh Rong is an idyllic tropical island in Cambodia, located a short ferry ride from the coastal town of Sihanoukville. With its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water, and abundant marine life, Koh Rong is the perfect destination for beach lovers looking to relax and enjoy some sun. It’s also a great spot for those looking for more active pursuits like snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as kayaking and fishing. 

Koh Rong is home to some of the best beaches in the country, with fine white sand and plenty of sunbeds for lounging. One of the most popular beach destinations on Koh Rong is Long Set Beach, which features stunning views of the sea and lush jungles nearby. In addition, there are several smaller, less crowded beaches dotting the coastline. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a boat to explore the numerous hidden coves and smaller islands nearby. 

The waters around Koh Rong are teeming with marine life, making it one of the best places in Cambodia for snorkeling and diving. There’s an abundance of colorful coral reefs and schools of fish to observe. Plus, Koh Rong is home to some of the rarest species of dolphins and whales in the region, so don’t forget your underwater camera! 

If you’re looking for a fun night out, check out Koh Touch Village, which is located on the western part of the island. Here, you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants, along with lively entertainment. 

No matter what your tastes may be, Koh Rong has something to offer everyone!

12) Russian Tuol Tumpung Market – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience in Cambodia, head to Russian Tuol Tumpung Market. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, this bustling market has been dubbed “Little Moscow” due to its popularity with Russian tourists. Here you’ll find everything from clothing, jewelry, art, and souvenirs to electronics, furniture, and even military surplus. 

The market itself is a fascinating mix of old and new: located in a large covered area with rows of shops, it’s decorated with Soviet-era propaganda posters and signs. You can find everything from high-end items to bargain prices, so it’s the perfect place to shop for souvenirs or gifts. If you get hungry, there are plenty of food stalls offering traditional Khmer cuisine, as well as international dishes. 

No visit to Russia’s Tuol Tumpung Market is complete without bargaining. This is a great opportunity to hone your negotiation skills, and you’ll often be able to get even better deals than the initial asking price. It’s also worth mentioning that most vendors only accept cash, so make sure you have enough on hand. 

Overall, the Russian Tuol Tumpung Market is an experience like no other. 

Here you’ll find everything you need to take home a unique piece of Cambodian culture and make some unforgettable memories.

13) Wat Phnom Daun Penh – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Wat Phnom Daun Penh - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Wat Phnom Daun Penh – Photo by spicepinkie1

Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Wat Phnom Daun Penh is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Cambodia. Built-in 1373, this temple marks the start of the capital city’s current era. The temple is set on an artificial hill that reaches 27 meters above ground and is surrounded by a moat and park. Inside, visitors will find a large collection of statues and sculptures related to Buddhism.

At the top of the hill stands a four-faced tower, built in 1434 and offering a spectacular view of the city. Visitors can also explore the many halls within the temple, which are decorated with colorful murals and carvings depicting stories from Cambodian history and folklore. Those looking to deepen their experience can participate in activities such as traditional chanting or prayer. There’s also a library, where guests can learn more about Cambodia’s ancient spiritual beliefs. 

Visiting Wat Phnom Daun Penh is a great way to get an insight into Cambodian culture and spirituality. The temple also serves as a reminder of the country’s long history and its deep ties to Buddhism. Whether you’re interested in religion or simply want to take in some of the country’s amazing sights, Wat Phnom Daun Penh is a must-visit destination in Cambodia.

14) Phnom Bakheng

Perched atop a hill in the Angkor Archaeological Park, Phnom Bakheng is one of the most popular destinations for travelers visiting Cambodia. The temple was constructed during the reign of King Yasovarman I and is believed to have been a spiritual center of the Khmer Empire.

The temple sits on top of a hill and offers stunning views of the surrounding jungle and temples. As you make your way up the hill, you’ll pass through several sets of gates, with the last offering the best views. Once you reach the top, you can take in the beauty of this temple and the surrounding forest from any of its four levels.

Phnom Bakheng is also home to several smaller temples and shrines, as well as a small museum. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the Khmer Empire through exhibits and displays throughout the complex.

Visitors to Phnom Bakheng should be aware that it can get quite crowded during peak times, so plan your visit accordingly. 

Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen to protect yourself from the hot Cambodian sun.

15) Neak Poan – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Neak Poan Temple, Cambodia - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Neak Poan Temple, Cambodia – Photo by susnmez

Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Neak Poan is a famous temple complex located just outside of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the 12th century and consists of a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers that are connected by causeways. The towers are each decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures of mythical creatures and religious figures. Neak Poan is an impressive site and a great place to explore Khmer architecture and culture. 

The site offers stunning views of the Tonlé Sap lake, as well as plenty of opportunities for great photographs. There is also a nearby museum featuring artifacts found at the site, providing visitors with an even deeper understanding of this ancient site. Neak Poan is open daily and admission is free for tourists. 

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Cambodia, be sure to add this site to your itinerary!

16) Kirirom National Park

Kirirom National Park - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Kirirom National Park – Photo by derek.bidaut

Located in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains, Kirirom National Park is one of Cambodia’s most beautiful parks. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, the park covers an area of over 8,000 hectares of rolling hills, lush forests, and grassy meadows. Visitors can explore the park on foot, horseback, or bike, and they can also enjoy activities like camping, picnicking, and swimming. Numerous trails range from easy to challenging and offer breathtaking views. As you explore the park, be sure to keep an eye out for the animals and birds that live here such as gibbons, civets, bears, hornbills, and monitor lizards. For those looking for something a bit more unique, the park is also home to an old-fashioned Japanese house that was built in 1937 and can still be visited today. 

Kirirom National Park is one of Cambodia’s best natural attractions and should not be missed!

17) Lazy Beach

Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem - Can't-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem – Photo by dewey_akkarachinores

One of the best beaches in Cambodia is Lazy Beach. Located on the island of Koh Rong, Lazy Beach offers the perfect getaway for sunbathers and beach lovers alike. The turquoise waters of this idyllic paradise are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities. For those who just want to relax, there are plenty of hammocks and shady spots to lounge and soak up the sun. The beach also offers some great snorkeling opportunities where you can spot colorful fish and coral reefs. Visitors to Lazy Beach can also find some great restaurants and bars on the island, offering delicious seafood dishes and refreshing cocktails. 

Whether you’re looking to relax or go exploring, Lazy Beach is sure to provide the perfect escape.

18) Tonle Om Gate (Southern Gate) – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Tonle Om Gate, located in the southern part of Cambodia, is a beautiful and historically significant monument. This ancient stone gate was built in 1295, and it is one of the few remaining relics from the great Khmer Empire. The gate has three arched entrances, with a long and narrow stairway leading up to it. Inside the gate lies a chamber that contains many carvings of Buddha images and basreliefs.

The site has been restored over the years and is a popular destination for tourists. Tonle Om Gate is an excellent example of Khmer architecture and offers insight into the rich history of the region. Visitors can explore the gate and take in its beauty and significance, as well as capture some stunning photographs. 

Nearby, there are also several restaurants and cafes offering local cuisine and refreshments.

19) Ream National Park

Located on the South Coast of Cambodia, Ream National Park is a perfect destination for nature lovers. This protected area is home to a wide range of animals, including the rare white-headed langur. The park covers a total area of 128 km2 and is surrounded by mangrove forests and tropical beaches. Ream National Park also has some of the best birdwatching opportunities in the country. With more than 200 species of birds, there’s plenty of colorful wildlife to be found here. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking in the park, as well as a chance to explore the estuaries and mangrove forests. Other activities include snorkeling and scuba diving, allowing you to observe a variety of marine life. 

Ream National Park is a great place to spend some time outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

20) Prasat Preah Khan of Kampong Svay – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

Located in the province of Kampong Thom, Prasat Preah Khan of Kampong Svay is a stunning Khmer temple that offers an unforgettable experience. Built-in the late 12th century, this temple is also known as Preah Khan Kompong Svay and is a beautiful example of ancient Khmer architecture.

The outer wall of the temple is made up of an impressive collection of galleries that are decorated with intricate carvings. Inside, you will find numerous chambers and galleries, along with three large sanctuaries. The sanctuary is connected to other parts of the temple by some pathways, making it easy to explore the entire site.

One of the most interesting features of this temple is the presence of its grand Buddha statue, which stands at a height of over 20 feet tall and is believed to be a representation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. You will also find many other sculptures inside, including two giant figures representing Vishnu and Shiva.

Prasat Preah Khan of Kampong Svay is an incredible place to visit, especially if you want to gain an insight into the spiritual and religious culture of Cambodia. Visitors from all over the world flock to this site to experience its beauty and feel the powerful energy that emanates from its walls. 

Make sure you make time for a visit to this magnificent temple when you’re in Cambodia!

Conclusion – Can’t-Miss Attractions in Cambodia

As you plan your next trip to Cambodia in 2023, remember to use Framey App for the perfect way to get inspired for your adventure! Not only can you check out beautiful photos from your friends’ recent travels, but you can also search for amazing places and activities to add to your itinerary.

With Framey, you can easily find out all the must-visit attractions and discover new hidden gems to explore. Whether you’re looking for an exciting night out on Pub Street Siem Reap or a peaceful day trip to Kirirom National Park, Framey has got you covered. 

And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of your journey with Framey App – you can share them with your friends and family or keep them as memories forever!

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