With a beautiful blend of modernity in its age-old history and culture, the Southeast Asian land of Cambodia has attracted travelers and explorers from around the world in the past decade. With low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mighty mountains, and the Gulf of Thailand coastline, Cambodia attracts over 1 million tourists every year. The country is multicolored and rich in folds of the royal architecture and cosmopolitan amenities.
Here, we have a list of the best experiences and things you can do to make the most of your time during a four day trip in the melting pot of cultures:
1. Angkor Wat – The Largest Temple
Being the largest temple of the world, Angkor Wat welcomes its visitors through the west-facing entrance. Exploring this monument beautiful architecture and witnessing the unique intricate details comes under the list of top things to do in 4 days in Cambodia. Here, you can even take a helicopter tour to witness the ruined beauty from above and be guided by the charming instructor of the place. Whether you’re a morning person or not, set that alarm for 4 AM — and arrange for a tuk tuk ride the night before! Be prepared to leave your hotel or hostel at 4:30AM so you can get a good spot for the sunrise. Arrive to Angkor Wat around 5 AM, use the flashlight on your phone to navigate in the dark, find the lake to the front left of the temple, and post up there until daylight breaks.
2. Capture Beautiful Moments at Preah Vihear Temple
Located near the Thai border, Preah Vihear temple is just a few hours drive from north of Siem Reap. It is a remote cliff top temple with no crowd or package tourists. So, you can take your time to admire the beauty of the temple and explore it at your own pace. The ancient designs and precise details are something to capture on your camera.
3. Koh Rong – An Island that Glows in the Dark
Spend a day relaxing at The Koh Rong Island in Samloem and admiring the magnificent views. You can even go for a swim and explore the beautiful marine life in the refreshing water. Ferry services available there will take you to the island in modern speed boats. Prices can vary from $10-$25 per trip. The duration of the trip also varies and can take up to an hour and a half depending on the weather; although average times tend to be closer to 45 minutes. At night, the plankton in the water glow! These phosphorescent plankton give off this green colour that resembles a sort of green static electricity as you move through it: yes, you can indeed swim with them and it’s absolutely awe-inspiring!
4. An Emotional Outburst in Phnom Penh
If you don’t know a great deal about the history of Cambodia, you’re not alone. Without going into too much detail, the Killing Fields are part of this gruesome history. Pol Pot, genocidal mad-man and leader of the Khmer Rouge regime ordered the capture and execution of over 1 million people: men, women and children alike in the late 1970s. The killing fields are one of many locations where people were taken specifically to be executed. In all honesty, nothing can prepare you for what you’re going to see but it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss either. The entrance fee is $3 and costs an additional $3 for the audio guide. This is definitely an audio guide you don’t want to miss out on. Following on from the Killing Fields, head straight to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Entry to here will cost between $3 and $6. Be warned, your experience isn’t going to get any easier from here. People were held prisoner here and tortured. Graphic photos around the site and equally graphic descriptions from the audio guide paint a picture that you won’t soon forget. It’s been nearly a year since I was there and I can still picture some of the scenes. You walk in and around the various buildings, some of which have been left untouched for the most part.
If you’re not ready for an emotional turmoil, the leafy capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh has more to offer. The city also boasts a large number of cool cafes and bars where you can spend your time. The art museums and many such places also steal the show at times. The Royal Palace, being one of the tourist attractions is worth a visit if you want to witness some intricate details and absolutely breathtaking designs.
5. Cuisines of Cambodia
Cambodian food is something you should definitely try once in your whole lifetime. It is different than Thai and has a unique taste of its own. Have a taste of the delicious street food of Cambodia or try a lavish dinner affair. The variety of fresh herbs and condiments are readily available with every meal you will have here.
The enigmatic eureka of Cambodia are sure to enchant you, so get book a tour to this land here and get going!
Written by: Aashima Kadakia
Creative ninja and a true follower of ‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’, I love to travel, experience places and bring back stories for a lifetime. Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I like to visit the same old places, the same cliched tourist spots and destinations, but choose to see the unexplored in the old places. Always inclined towards the mighty mountains in their debate with the beaches!