Top Seven Things To Do When Traveling To Cambodia

Cambodia neighbors with Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand, and is rich in history, both good and bad. The history is all around the country, seen in both museums and building structures.

More often then not many who choose to stay here only stay long enough to see Angkor Wat, but there’s so much more to do and see. Check out the list below for some ideas  on your next Cambodian trip.

1. Visit Angkor Wat

First, I’ll start off with what you may have already planned for your trip. To give some facts for those not privy with the knowledge: Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world.  Angkor Wat was even filmed in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”

Angkor is nearby the town Siem Reap. Get a hotel in Siem Reap and take a “Tuk Tuk” (a sort of taxi) over to Angkor Wat. The trip won’t cost much. An entire day of driving will be around $25. Plus, if you’d like a guided tour make sure to ask your driver to show you around.

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2. Learn Khmer

Khmer may be difficult to learn. It is related to the languages Vietnamese and Mon. There are 33 consonants and 26 vowels.

An example:

English: Hello

Khmer: jum-reap soo-a

The difficulty might stop you short from learning it, but when traveling over to Cambodia, learning the language is essential.

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3. Eat Meat and Rice

While there are all sorts of fresh foods readily available, meat and rice are the most prevalent.

You can try regular beef or meat from exotic animals: snakes, crocodiles, fish or frogs.

The food is cheap, and as I said before it’s fresh. Khmers don’t usually refrigerate foods, as electricity is very expensive. Instead, they put things on ice and make sure to eat food within a few hours of capturing or farming it.

Also, don’t forget to Tarantulas! Cambodia is known for its tarantula treats (it gives the saying “there once was an old man who swallowed a spider” a whole knew meaning).

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4. Visit Bamboo Island (and many other Cambodian beaches/islands!)

One of the many joys of Cambodia are the beaches surrounding the country, and the islands. Many are even prone to “island hopping.”

If you don’t have time to visit more than one island, though, at least visit the Bamboo island. It’s in the Gulf of Thailand, but is accessible from Sihanoukville.

Make sure to stay in a Bungalow on the beach for only $12 a night.

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5. Take a tour in the Cardamom mountains 

This is the place you’ll find Cambodia’s jungle. Either go on your own trek or take a tour. Tours range from $30 to over $100, depending on the duration of the trip, how many people are participating and how difficult the journey.

The Cardamom mountains are located in the Koh Kon Province of Cambodia.

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6. Elephant Rides

Yes, just like you can ride a camel in Egypt, you can ride an elephant in the villages of Phulung. To get into the Phulung village, treks can be arranged in Sen Monorom. The cost is $20-$20 per person, that includes a lunch. The elephant ride is an extra $5 after.

If you’re more interested in bareback riding, Nature Lodge (located in Sen Monorom) does this and includes a short lesson. All for the price of $38 per person.

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7. Visit the Royal Palace

Being in the heart of Phnom Penh, the style is more Thai rather than Cambodian. Hours are from 8-11am and 2-5pm. Price is around $10 per guided hour.

Only the throne hall, surrounding buildings and the Silver Pagoda complex are open to the public.

The Palace is also very conservative. Make sure to wear shorts and skirts that pass the knee, and shirts that reach the elbow.

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