There’s more to Cambodia than just Angkor Wat as these 10 amazing attractions will show you

Girls in Cambodia

Beyond the well-trodden paths of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a land of unique experiences waiting to be discovered. From the bustling markets to the serene countryside, this southeast Asian gem offers a tapestry of adventures that defy the ordinary. Here are 10 unforgettable experiences that you can’t miss when you visit:

Explore the floating villages of Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, is home to floating villages that offer a glimpse into the lives of the local fishing communities. Navigate through the waterways on a traditional wooden boat and observe the stilted houses, floating markets and schools. This aquatic world moves to the rhythm of the lake, providing a stark contrast to the bustling city life of Phnom Penh and a unique perspective on Cambodian culture.

Explore the sacred realm of Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen is a sacred mountain that boasts a stunning landscape, waterfalls and ancient relics. It’s a spiritual retreat for both locals and visitors seeking tranquillity. Trek through the lush forest to uncover hidden pagodas, reclining Buddhas and the River of a Thousand Lingas with its intricately carved riverbed.

Witness Cambodia’s art of shadow puppetry

Shadow puppetry in Cambodia is not just entertainment; it’s a storytelling tradition that dates back centuries. Attend a performance where artisans skillfully manipulate leather puppets behind a backlit white screen, bringing to life epic tales and local folklore. The intricate designs and movements of the puppets, accompanied by a traditional orchestra, make for a mesmerizing experience.

Cycle through the countryside of Battambang

Battambang’s countryside offers a serene escape on two wheels. Cycle past rice paddies, traditional Khmer houses and friendly locals going about their daily lives. Visit local artisans, learn about rice paper production and taste the sweet flavours of Cambodian fruits. This leisurely ride is a wonderful way to connect with the land and its people.

Savour the flavours of Kampot pepper

Kampot pepper is renowned worldwide for its unique flavour profile. Take a tour of a pepper farm to learn about the cultivation and harvesting process. Witness how the pepper is sorted and dried before sampling dishes that spotlight this prized spice. A visit to Kampot is a sensory journey that spices up the typical travel itinerary.

Unearth the secrets of Beng Mealea

Contemporary with the temples of Angkor Wat but 40 kilometers away is Beng Mealea, a temple complex swallowed by the jungle, offering an Indiana Jones-like adventure. Clamber over moss-covered stones and through labyrinthine passageways to discover the remnants of a once-majestic temple. This archaeological wonder evokes a sense of discovery and awe, as nature and history intertwine.

Join a traditional Khmer pottery class

Pottery is an integral part of Khmer culture. Engage in a hands-on pottery class where you can shape your own piece of art under the guidance of skilled potters. This tactile experience connects you to the ancient craft and offers a deeper understanding of Cambodian artistry.

Marvel at the Preah Vihear Temple

Perched atop a cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, Preah Vihear Temple is UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a stunning example of Khmer architecture with a breathtaking view. The journey to this remote temple is an adventure in itself, and the panoramic vistas from the top are a reward for those who make the trek.

Attend the Phare Circus in Siem Reap

The Phare Circus is a vibrant showcase of modern Cambodian talent and creativity. This social enterprise supports local youth and provides an energetic performance that combines circus arts with traditional and modern theatre. It’s an inspiring display of acrobatics, juggling and storytelling that captivates audiences.

Relax in the quietude of Kep’s beaches

Kep, once a retreat for the French elite, is now a tranquil seaside town with pristine beaches and fresh seafood. Stroll along the shore, swim in the gentle waves, or simply unwind with a book. Kep’s laid-back atmosphere is the perfect antidote to the more crowded tourist spots.

ENS Editors

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