10 Non-Touristy Experiences You Can Only Have in Cambodia

Man on bicycle crosses a bridge in Battambang, Cambodia
Man on bicycle crosses a bridge in Battambang, Cambodia | © RENATO SEIJI KAWASAKI / Shutterstock | RENATO SEIJI KAWASAKI / Shutterstock

Visitors to Cambodia will never be short of something to do. However, as tourists continue to flock to the Kingdom of Wonder, finding somewhere away from the madding crowds is becoming increasingly difficult. If you happen to be in the know, then there are still an abundance of activities and secret spots that you can visit across the Kingdom. Here are a handful of options.

1. Koh Pich

Natural Feature

1. Koh Pich
© Marissa Carruthers
At dusk, Phnom Penh’s flashy Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, fills up with Cambodian families soaking up the finest time of the day, golden hour. The masses of food stalls fill up, and people crack open cans of Angkor beer. Music blares from giant speakers, and the flashing lights of the sprawling fairground illuminate the sky.

Get fit

For a fun fitness fix, join the crowds of locals who hit various spots across the capital, including Riverside (Sisowath Quay), Olympic Stadium and Wat Botum Park, for a mini workout every dawn and dusk. The aerobic exercise classes are led to the sound of music pumping from speakers, and you can join them for a few thousand riel.

Beer garden

Pack up a picnic

Picnicking is a popular pastime across Cambodia, with wooden shacks containing hammocks and mats a common sight along the country’s rivers and lakes. Join in the fun, pack up a picnic and spend a lazy afternoon relaxing in the country’s tranquil countryside.

A picnic spot in Cambodia

2. Karaoke bar

Bar, Pub Grub, French, Fast Food

Cambodians love karaoke, and KTV spots litter the country. Choosing a karaoke bar should come with care as some are insalubrious joints, but the more upmarket affairs come complete with private rooms and lengthy song lists, spanning Westerns hits to top tunes from across Asia. Bar Woodball in Phnom Penh is a good place to visit.

Live like a local

Eco-tourism is booming in Cambodia, and there are a number of rural communities throwing their doors open to visitors who want to sample a slice of real Cambodian life. Chi Phat is one village in the Cardamom Mountains, while several families in Banteay Srei, near Siem Reap, also welcome guests.

Eat up

There’s no escaping street food and the colourful carts and accompanying calls from sellers in Cambodia. A fun way to sample signature street dishes without the fear of a bad belly is to sign up for a food tour. Siem Reap Food Tours offers a range of delicious ways to familiarise yourself with the flavours. Vespa Adventures also offers a night food tour of Temple Town, stopping off for some snacks in the form of crispy creepy crawlies along the way.

A street food seller in Cambodia

3. Bike in Battambang

Visitors can see Cambodia’s countryside in all its glory in the north-western province of Battambang, also dubbed the Kingdom’s rice bowl. Thanks to its flat landscape, it is best explored by bike, with many guesthouses and stores in the city renting bicycles for a few bucks a day. Soksabike also offers a range of half- and full-day tours.

Soksabike, St 1.5, near Psar Nath, Krong Battambang, Cambodia, +855 12 542 019

Get married

No, we’re not suggesting you get hitched on your holiday. Instead, play dress up and take part in a traditional wedding shoot. For about $15–30, a photography studio provides the traditional costumes and makeup used by Cambodians for pre-wedding shoots, before capturing the moment on camera to take home.

4. Rabbit Island

4. Rabbit Island
© NesterovIV/ Shutterstock.com

Sitting a 20-minute boat ride from Kep, Rabbit Island is a short getaway that is a favourite of Cambodians. The small jungle island has a few simple beach shacks for overnight accommodation but is more popular as a day trip, with restaurants serving snacks and drinks along a short stretch of the beach.

Rabbit Island, Cambodia

Rabbit Island | © NesterovIV/ Shutterstock.com

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article