Cambodia is a rising country and more and more tourists are finding this beautiful country. Most tourists who visit Cambodia go to Siem Reap for the amazing temples of Angkor Wat and they go to Phnom Penh to visit the fierce Killing Fields and often close the trip near Sihanoukville for the beautiful beaches and the beautiful islands. But Cambodia has much more to offer and I advise you to challenge yourself and go off the beaten track in this interesting country. What are the best places in Cambodia off the beaten track?
This is my top 5 of the most interesting places in Cambodia off the beaten track!
Kampot is a cozy little town that is situated on a river and has many French influences, because a lot of French people used to live in the town. In recent years more and more cozy restaurants, nice bars and atmospheric boutique hotels open their doors here. The peppers in this area are world famous and a visit to one of the Kampot Pepper farms is an interesting experience.
I found it a great experience to spend a day renting a scooter and driving around in the area and exploring the countryside.
The population waves enthusiastically and warmly to you everywhere! You can not skip visiting the Bokor Hill Sation. This is an abandoned ghost town at the top of the Bokor Hill in the National Park of the same name. Kampot is a great place for Cambodia off the beaten track!
2. Tonle Sap lake
Between the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and the famous Siem Reap you will find the impressive Tonle Sap lake. Life takes place here completely on the water and you see floating markets here and the many wooden stilt houses in the water provide a spectacular sight. In the rainy season (May to October) this will be 10 times as large in surface area and it can be as much as 25,000 square kilometers! A boat trip on this imposing lake is highly recommended and gives you a good impression of the life of the fishermen.
The second largest city in Cambodia is Batambang and here you will find some of the best preserved French colonial buildings in the entire country. The atmosphere in the city is relaxed and the environment is rural and there are just enough nice restaurants and hotels to stay. This city is a perfect base for the nearby authentic villages and temples.
You can take a boat from Siem Reap to Batambang and just for this fantastic boat trip this city is very nice to visit! It is very cool to take an organized bike ride through the vast countryside and through small villages. Also the old bamboo train is a must and it is nice to take a short ride.
4. Sen Monorom
Sen Monorom is the capital of the province of Mondulkiri and is located in the east of Cambodia near the border with Vietnam. Nature is beautiful and several tribes live in this mountainous area. The Mondulkiri province is sparsely populated, because the dense jungle has the upper hand in this area.
Sen Monorom is small and has less than 10,000 inhabitants, but is a super charming town. In the surroundings of Sen Monorom you will find beautiful waterfalls (the Kbal Preah waterfall and the Bou Sraa waterfall) and a jungle with many small rivers. It is great to go trekking in the area for one or more days. You often sleep at home with the locals during these hikes.
5. The Cambodia Landmine museum
The Cambodia landmine museum is a must visit in Cambodia, but not many people visit this museum. A visit to this museum has left an indelible impression on me. This is one of those places where you become very quiet and get a huge miserable feeling when you are there.
Did you know that landmines still make victims in Cambodia every day?
Landmines that were placed more than forty years ago during the Khmer Rouge regime. They know where they lie, but there is simply not enough money to dismantle them. The land mines museum gives a lot of information about landmines and the terrible effects of these landmines in Cambodia. There is a large collection of dismantled land mines. The museum is quite small, but it is so interesting. This is because the tours are given by the victims of the landmines or volunteers of the museum. The Cambodia Landmines museum is located 25 kilometers from the city of Siem Reap.
For Cambodia you need a visa. You arrange it on arrival in the country and it costs 30 US dollars. From Thailand, Vietnam and Laos it is no problem to obtain the visa at the border crossing over land. Also at the airport this is easy to obtain. Your visa is valid for thirty days. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after departure from Cambodia, there must be at least 1 blank page in your passport and you must have two passport photos with you. You can also choose to apply for an e-visa online. Visa rules change frequently and therefore I recommend checking this by checking with the embassy.
Best time to travel
The average annual temperature in Cambodia is between 25 and 27 degrees and so it is always nice and warm. Cambodia, however, has a number of different seasons that determine the best travel time Cambodia. Between November and May there is little rain and this is also the dry season. From November to February it is high season, because it is not too hot. The temperature can rise to 40 ° C from February to May. This is quite warm if you want to visit temples and make a trek.
These are my 5 tips for places in Cambodia off the beaten track. What is your favorite places off the beaten track in Cambodia?
- 17 things you didn’t know about Angkor Wat
- Which are the best temples to visit at Angkor Wat?
- Phnom Penh: 5 must do’s
- A visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh
- Cambodia Killing Fields
- A must visit: the Cambodia Landmine Museum
- The 3 greatest hotels in Siem Reap
- 25 fun facts about Cambodia