When it comes to exploring the enchanting landscapes of Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Cambodia often takes the backseat. Yet, the truth couldn’t be more contrasting. This vibrant country, with its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, offers an unparalleled tourism experience, often underappreciated by many travelers. If you are seeking a new experience, filled with exploration and discovery, then a two-week trip to this captivating part of South East Asia promises an adventure beyond your wildest dreams.
MUST TRY RESTAURANTS: At the end of each paragraph, you will find two different restaurants with varying cuisines which will be sure to please anyone’s tastebuds.
Relish the Royal Splendor of Phnom Penh (Day 1-2)
Kick start your Cambodian tour in the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh, affectionately known as the “Pearl of Asia”. This city, replete with a blend of Khmer and French influences, offers a unique amalgamation of tradition and modernity.
Upon arriving, make it a point to visit the Royal Palace, a magnificent structure showcasing the epitome of Khmer and Buddhist architecture. Then, satiate your taste buds by trying out the local speciality: Amok, a delightful Cambodian curry cooked in banana leaves. For those with an adventurous palate, deep-fried tarantula makes for an intriguing option.
The next day, delve into Cambodia’s chequered history by visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. These sites, bearing remnants of the Khmer Rouge regime, provide a stark reminder of the four-year genocide that took place under Pol Pot’s reign.
- Yi Sang riverside : Delicious Chinese restaurant, open for breakfast or lunch for some delicious homemade dumplings. A gorgeous view over the river is just a bonus, and it is right next to the royal palace.
- Night market experience : Snacking for Khmer street food and shopping in the evening. Fun for any family or group of Friends to feast and wander.
Unlock the Mysteries of Siem Reap (Day 3-5)
After experiencing the urban charm of Phnom Penh, head to Siem Reap – the gateway to the ruins of Angkor. Begin your exploration with a visit to the world-famous Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The awe-inspiring sunrise over the temple complex is an experience that will surely remain etched in your memory for years to come.
On your second day, explore the lesser-known yet equally captivating temples of Bayon and Ta Prohm. While Bayon amazes with its intricate carvings and labyrinthine passageways, Ta Prohm, also known as the “Tomb Raider Temple”, enchants with its unique blend of nature and architecture, where trees intertwine with the ruins in a mesmerizing display of time’s relentless march.
For nature lovers, a visit to Ton Le Sap Lake offers a chance to witness the unique lifestyle of the local people living in the middle of the lake. Despite the touristy nature of the boat tours, it’s an experience worth having.
- Malis Angkor : A must go for anyone looking to explore Cambodian flavours. With brilliant architecture, inspired from the great temples in Siem Reap, you will find yourself full of food and full of happiness.
- Khéma Angkor : If you are craving, or missing, a more western styled meal, then look no further than Khéma Angkor. Here you will find that they have a delicious breakfast or lunch offering sure to satiate any dish you miss from home.
Immerse in the Quiet Charm of Battambang (Day 6-7)
Next, travel to the quieter city of Battambang, a place where you can experience Cambodia’s charm at a slower pace. Start your day with a fun ride on the Bamboo Train, a unique and memorable experience. In the evening, make sure to visit the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus, a not-for-profit project supporting disadvantaged children. The talented young performers put on a show that is sure to leave you spellbound.
- Jaan Bai : A wonderful restaurant pioneering new Cambodian flavours, with it’s take on traditional dished fused with western techniques and ingenuity.
- The Lonely Tree Café : Another stop to add during your time in Battambang. Either for a nice break from touring or a filling lunch.
Rejuvenate in the Coastal Bliss of Sihanoukville (Day 8-9)
After the hustle and bustle of the cities and the historical explorations, it’s time to unwind on the serene beaches of Sihanoukville. Spend your days relaxing on the pristine white sands of Otres Beach, soaking in the tranquil ambiance and stunning sunsets.
- Golden Beach : One of a kind Khmer style seafood restaurant. If you visit Sihanoukville, do not miss this spot.
- Sandan : A more traditional style of khmer seafood is what you’ll find at Sandan. A new experience jam packed with all of Cambodia’s herbs, seafood and vegetables.
Experience the Tropical Paradise of Koh Rong (Day 10-11)
A short boat ride from Sihanoukville brings you to the tranquil oasis of Koh Rong. Spend your days here basking in the sun on the white sandy beaches, swimming in the clear waters, and marveling at the bioluminescence at night.
- The Big Easy : This is the perfect spot to satiate any craving at all. They have a menu featuring western and Khmer dishes, sure to satiate any craving.
Discover the Natural and Gastronomic Delights of Kampot (Day 12-13)
Your adventure continues in Kampot, a charming town known for its French colonial architecture and its world-renowned black pepper. Spend a day exploring the Bokor National Park and its Killing Cave, a chilling reminder of the country’s dark past.
Next, visit a Kampot Pepper Farm to learn about the cultivation and processing of the world-famous Kampot pepper.
- Plantation : Eat on-site, a wonderful experience following your tour of the pepper farm. A selection of dishes that will best highlight why Kampot pepper is world renowned.
- Café espresso : A wide variety of dishes to choose from. Their menu is truly international but featuring heavily on the best vegetarian dishes from all around. If you’re craving some healthy meals, Café Espresso is the restaurant for you.
Wrap Up Your Journey in Phnom Penh (Day 14)
As your two-week Cambodian journey draws to a close, return to Phnom Penh to catch your flight home. As you leave, take with you the memories of a captivating country that has left an indelible mark on your heart.
- Topaz : An unforgettable experience at Topaz. With a gorgeous view over the oldest tree in Phnom Penh, you are sure to end your trip in Cambodia on a high note. A fancy date night with your partner, or a relaxing luncheon with your family, you can never go wrong at Topaz.
In conclusion, Cambodia offers an unforgettable blend of historical grandeur, cultural richness, and natural beauty that is sure to captivate any traveler. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, a two-week trip to this enchanting corner of South East Asia promises a myriad of experiences that will leave you longing for more. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime!