Okay so you came to Cambodia with plenty of time to travel around, you went to Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat, to Phnom Penh and its historical sites, you visited the beaches of Sihanoukville or Otres and relaxed by the river in Kampot. You even went to explore some pristine islands like Koh Rong Samloem or Koh Takiev, and had a ride in the bamboo train of Battambang. So the question you are currently asking is, now what? Read on for some examples of alternative places to visit in Cambodia!
The truth is, this country has looooooots of more places to visit and great sceneries to explore, and you don’t even have to go too much off the beaten track for that. Stick around for some ideas of alternative places to visit in Cambodia!
If you would like to visit some ancient ruins with less tourists than Angkor, only 120kms away from Siem Reap you can find an ancient mysterious pyramid in the middle of the forest, a rarely visit site that resembles more the Aztecs pyramids of Latin America than any other Asian historical site. Check more info in the Wikipedia page of Koh Ker or have a look on a gallery of images of this mystical place.
For more ancient temples, other interesting option is the remote Preah Khan of Kompong Svay (at around 100km from Angkor and not far from the town of Kompong Thom, in case you are trying to search it on a map!) A great option for adventures looking for some explorations in the jungle or photographers looking for ancient ruins with no tourists around to ruin their pictures.
For a different kind of temple, the beautiful Wat Maha Leap of Kompong Cham is worth a visit, being one of the very few wooden pagodas in the country (you can check some images here). Also in Kompong Cham, don’t forget to visit the (quite long) bamboo bridge, which is rebuilt every year after the monsoon season and is strong enough to be used even by heavy vehicles (have a look on this example of ingenious Cambodian traditional architecture here 🙂
Going to less touristic places is always a great way to meet locals and their lifestyle… six people on a motorbike? No problem!
Already pretty much part of the tourist routes but definitely worth visiting, don’t leave the country without going northeast for a jungle trekking in the Mondulkiri region and visit some ethnic tribes in Ratanakiri (also famous provinces in terms of coffee production, don’t go home without some organic coffee from here: way better than Starbucks!)
For continuing your contact with nature, try as well the southwest province of Koh Kong with its Areng valley and beautiful mangrove forests. Visit the charming village of Chi Phat and take a day trip to the nearby island, or simply relax on one of the many ecotourism facilities available. Watch this beautiful video shot using a drone for the local environmental organization called Mother Nature, working with the local communities to preserve the ecosystem against the illegal sand dredging in the area (while in Koh Kong, a great idea for traveling with good social and ecological impact is supporting one of the ecotourism projects implemented by the locals or even donating to this hardworking organization).
A typical day on a village by the Tonlé Sap lake.
Last but not least, another great sight to explore is the floating villages of Tonlé Sap, the largest lake on Southeast Asia, nearby the town of Kompong Chhnang. Besides the sceneries you can experience the local lifestyle of Kampuchea Krom, the ethnic Vietnamese Cambodians of the Mekong’s delta (now part of Vietnam but in the past belonging to the Angkor empire), and also some Cham population, a muslim minority from the old Champa empire, with australasian origins and a malayo-polynesian language. What better way to enrich your trip with some multicultural experiences?
Hope you had enjoyed some of our tips for visiting more alternative places in Cambodia, a country filled with diverse sceneries and experiences. Have a look on Camboticket website for different options of routes and prices. Enjoy your trip!