Bathed by the blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, the coastal region stretches from the pepper plantations of Kampot and Kep to the heavenly islands scattered off Sihanoukville.
The Mekong River winds its way through Cambodia and has been an integral part of the country’s culture for thousands of years. Following the mythical River towards the north, you will discover an authentic rural Cambodia where time seems to have no hold.
In Kampong Cham province you will appreciate the colonial heritage but also the Wat Nokor Bachey temple, an amazing fusion of a 19th century pagoda and an ancient temple built at the end of the 12th century, the Wat Moha Leap pagoda, one of the last wooden pagodas in the kingdom, or the Wat Hanchey pagoda and its breathtaking view on the Mekong river.
The road from Phnom Penh to northeast Cambodia follows the Mekong River to Kratie through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. The great river is dotted with islands which, in the dry season, are lined with sandy beaches. Located opposite Kratie and only accessible by ferry, Koh Trong is worth a visit. Discover this tiny island by bike or horse cart, meet its people, rest on its beaches and don’t leave before tasting its huge pomelos.
Renowned for its shimmering coastline and palm-fringed beaches, Sihanoukville also encompasses great expanses of jungles, waterfalls and the forested peaks of the Cardamom Mountains and Dâmrei Mountains.
Beyond the sandy beaches of Sihanoukville is the lovely Kbal Chhay waterfall. Gaze at several tiers of falls flowing over rocks and splash alongside locals swimming in the cool, rushing waters.
Venture beyond the temples of Angkor Wat and experience nature’s treasures throughout the Siem Reap province.
Rescued animals are the stars of Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, Cambodia’s first centre dedicated to conserving wildlife and biodiversity. Along with reptiles, raptors and pangolins, you may also see the giant ibis — the country’s rare and endangered national bird.
Phnom Penh is certainly not a green city. However, it is possible to see monkeys, squirrels and hornbills roaming the tall trees surrounding Wat Phnom. Just opposite, the gardens of the Council for the Development of Cambodia are home to the only tree in the city where hundreds of bats are nesting. They fly away at dusk to feed on fruit.
With the sea framing the long coastline and expansive landscapes, Cambodia’s southwest Sihanoukville region has endless opportunities for culinary experiences.
The market is a natural first stop to get a feel for the lifestyle. Wander the bustling lanes of Phsar Leu Market and meet the vendors displaying overflowing bins of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, newly caught seafood and an array of jewellery, clothing and other local goods. Delicious noum kong Cambodian doughnuts are served piping hot out of the fryer, and bánh xèo crepes are formed on a griddle before being stuffed with savoury fillings.
As you stroll the open-air stalls in Banlung or trek through the forest with a local forager, dining in the Ratanakiri region promises to be an adventure for your palate.
All around Banlung, restaurants cater to travellers with a mix of authentic Khmer meals, Western dishes and other global flavours. Join the locals who gather at Banlung Market to feast on steaming bowls of noodle soups and bor bor rice porridge, skewers of roasted meats and other savoury dishes. Alongside piles of fresh tropical produce, sweet treats abound — like ripe bananas served hot off a grill, coconut sticky rice and sweetened fried dough.
Known far and wide as the gateway to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap and its surrounding areas have long attracted culture seekers from around the world. Captivating these global travellers is a culinary scene that appeals to every palate. You can spend your entire journey savouring authentic Khmer cuisine or leap between international flavours that suit your every craving.
The centre of all the action lies on Street 8, also known as Pub Street. Always on with a colourful and chaotic energy, this central hub has everything you could need from a quick snack to a late-night feast. The mouthwatering scent of freshly grilled Cambodian barbeque will keep you coming back for more, while traditional Khmer restaurants tantalise with flavourful curries and other comfort food. From street food and stalls to an array of global cuisine, you have your pick of dining experiences in one easy-to-navigate zone.
Traditional Khmer dishes, lively barbecue joints, authentic street food and modern bistros — any mouth watering flavours you dream about will come to life in Phnom Penh and surrounding areas.
Start your day with nom banh chok, also known as Khmer noodles — a breakfast staple of fermented noodles in a light, flavourful broth (you might also enjoy it as an afternoon snack ). This satisfying dish is so linked to Cambodian culture you can also ask for it as Khmer noodles.