In a country blessed with such stunning manmade and natural wonders, it’s little wonder that cities in Cambodia attract tourists from all across the globe. The iconic shapes and designs of the world-famous ruins of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, have been burned into the collective consciousness of people who have never even set foot in south-east Asia before. And it’s just one of many stunning ancient temples and ruins dotted around Cambodia – a legacy of the medieval Khmer empire. Natural wonders await too, like the large freshwater lake of Tonlé Sap that ebbs and wanes with the monsoon. This place is not just a rich environment for wildlife, but it also features the ‘floating’ stilt villages of Kampong Phluk and Kampong Khleang. Then there are major coastal communities like Sihanoukville, with its array of tropical beaches, and the capital city of Phnom Penh. With so much variety, where do you start when planning your trip? Read on for a list of the top 10 cities to visit in Cambodia.
Cambodia City List
1. Phnom Penh
This glimmering city named Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia contains in it all at once- the ancient Khmer glory, the unfortunate recent past, and a progressive future. Sitting at the junction of Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh inherits a phenomenal blend of Khmer and French architectural beauty. This famous city in Cambodia can be easily picturized with lively markets, royal buildings, thriving bars, and sensuous local food scenes. Whenever Phnom Penh is talked about, the saddening images of its recent past take a stroll through the eyes. However, the people living in the city seem to be determined enough to withstand this pain, and move ahead towards a constructive future. The city of Phnom Penh has its own beauty standards. Tinges of an old French colony, riverside romance, busy narrow streets, struggling sounds of life, and a hippie projection- this is how you start defining the essence of the city when you come here. The top experiences in Phnom Penh include visits to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields, sight-seeing in Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, shopping-spree in markets like Psar Thmei and Russian Market, and some tranquil time on the riverside.
2. Siem Reap
Siem Reap in Cambodia is a paragon of ancient glory and timeless grandeur; proudly being the gateway to one of the most astonishing architectures in world history- Angkor Wat. Although the main reason to stay in Siem Reap is to get yourself ready to explore several ancient temples, the city itself comes with a surprise package of historical and modern blends. With a population of about 8500 people, this most beautiful city in Cambodia is mostly seen as a launching point for visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park and other temple ruins by tourists. One of their own kind, megastructures like these can’t be found anywhere else. The mysterious architectural techniques used to construct the temples still amaze the explorers. The town of Khmers has faced a tough time in the recent past, but despite that, the locals are very warm, welcoming, and friendly. Other than admiring the historical sites such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, etc.; you can take a stroll around the city, make your way to the Pub Street, explore the local markets, or engage in adventurous activities for an instant adrenaline rush. Indulge into the fine dining experiences with cuisines from all over the world, buy some inexpensive souvenirs for your loved ones, talk to the locals, and take a lot of pictures – there’s a lot to do in the city of historic heritage swiftly emerging as a bustling tourist spot.
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Located in Ou Chrov district in Banteay Meanchey Province in western Cambodia, Poipet is a city that shares it’s border with Thailand. It is a popular city for tourists crossing the border by land and also a transport hub for travellers moving between Cambodia and Thailand. This best city in Cambodia to visit is extremely famous for its many casinos and is a popular gambling destination for tourists visiting Cambodia as well as Thailand. Poipet is also close to, Sisophon, which is used as a base by travellers for exploring the Angkorian ruin Banteay Chhmar temple complex. Poipet came into existence recently for enabling land border entry for tourists between Thailand and Cambodia. It has grown into a huge market with the influx of casinos and pubs in recent years, making it the fourth most populous city in Cambodia. Beyond the riverbanks are dense mangrove forests home to abundant wildlife and flora. Poipet is a popular destination among the tourists who arrive in large numbers to experience the vibrant ecosystem and a whole river town with colonial architecture and authentic Cambodian countryside.
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Sihanoukville is a coastal city located in south-west Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. This wonderful city Cambodia is known for its vast coastline home to a series of magnificent beaches, restaurants serving delicious seafood cuisines, and a happening nightlife making it a popular destination for a beach holiday in the country for the tourists. It is the capital of Sihanoukville province and is one of the most modernized cities in Cambodia. Tourists visit Sihanoukville to enjoy watersports, games, and boat trips in the surrounding islands. Sihanoukville is a beautiful place in Cambodia. You will be able to view nearly every shade of green and blue while you’re here, in the trees and the calm waters. There are tons of old villas dotted around and of course, beaches to go to for a spot of relaxation. Sihanoukville Beach is well-known here. Sihanoukville is also very well-known for its delicious sea-food, the National Park and the cheery little tuk-tuks. You will get here white sandy beaches and the laid back atmosphere makes it a perfect place for relaxation along the coastline of the city. The plentiful hotels and shacks provide tourist affordable accommodation.
Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia. Located in the northwest part of the country, it is also the capital of Battambang province. From Ta Dumbong, Battambang gets its name, it was a cowherd who became an emperor for a brief period using his magic stick after usurping the former king. Located at a roundabout in the centre, a giant statue of Ta Dumbong is the icon of the city. Battambang is home to Phare, the country’s central institute for artists, singers and dances. The city also houses unique circus performances – brilliant storytelling combined with song, art, and traditional dance forms. This popular city in Cambodia was a leading rice producer until the war years. Battambang is less crowded, and well-maintained compared to other cities like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Despite being the second-largest city, it is an underrated destination among the tourists, who head to the capital and towards beaches after visiting the world-famous Angkor sites. But this has been changing for the last five years. Backpackers, young travellers and families are travelling in the city to experience authentic Cambodian city life consisting of colonial architecture, arts, and the lack of overt commercialization.
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Pailin is a city in Pailin Province, located to the north of Cardamom and Elephant Mountains in Cambodia, bordering Thailand. It is mainly known for natural resources like timber and gemstones that are procured, processed, and sold in various forms. Pailin is relatively a newer destination for tourists visiting the country. Tourists visit Pailin for its ancient temples, wildlife, native forests and to shop for gems. This most beautiful city in Cambodia has a unique culture than the rest of Cambodia, as it is mostly dominated by Shan Burmese, an ethnic group from Burma. Known as Kola, these people have a different language, customs, food, and traditions found in parts of Thailand and Myanmar. Exploring Pailin also helps travelers to experience this difference
Kampot is a city located in SouthWest of Cambodia and is a prominent historical and coastal town along the Gulf of Thailand. This best city in Cambodia is the capital of a province with the same name and is located on the Tuk Chhou River. Surrounded by Elephant mountains, Bokor Hills and a series of beaches and islands, Kampot is the most popular destination in Cambodia visited by tourists, after the famed Siem Reap and Phnom Penh cities. Kampot river town is now one of the most popular destinations among the travelers exploring Cambodia. Unlike other provincial capitals of Cambodia, Kampot has excellent colonial French architecture, reflected in many buildings in the city. Kampot is also famous for many places around the city, which are unique day trip options, like Rabbit Island, Kep, Bokor, and others. So people looking to cover many attractions usually base themselves in Kampot and explore.
8. Koh Ker
Koh Ker is an ancient capital city of the Khmer empire, located about 3 hours away from Siem Reap in northern Cambodia. This old city in Cambodia is home to many temples, buildings and other monuments, and was a thriving town home to over 20,000 people. Surrounded by thick jungles, many of these monuments have been invaded by forests. Due to its remote location amidst this canopy, Koh Ker’s ruins are well-preserved and have avoided invasion and destruction. It is surprisingly not well-known to the tourists who bypass Koh Ker Enroute Angkor. The city of Koh Ker is known for its pyramid tower structure Prasat Thom or Prang. It looks similar to a Mayan civilization monument at 36 meters high, with their seven tiers offering splendid views of the surrounding jungle.
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9. Krong Kampot Cham
The former French colonial town of Kampot, which still boasts examples of French architecture, is home to a number of interesting sights – from sublime inland vistas to a quirky city highlight that simply begs to be Kampong Cham is the capital of a province of the same name located on the banks of the Mekong River in southeastern Cambodia. It is the third-largest city in Cambodia known for a few Angkorian temples and beautiful countryside life on the riverbanks in villages.It is one of the least visited destinations among travelers as it is not as famous as other river towns like Kampot or Kep. It is recommended for tourists to visit Kampong Cham to enjoy the quiet time along the river enjoying biking, boat tours and exploring ancient temples.
10. Kampong Thom
Sitting midway between the tourist hotspots of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Kampong Thom may be passed over by travellers flitting between the two, but this most popular city in Cambodia is home to a number of attractions. Nature fans, for instance, might be interested in the fact that the area’s rice fields and grasslands are home to the world’s largest population of Bengal Florican – an endangered species of bustard. The wider province is also home to notable archaeological sights, like the ancient, pre-Angkorian complex of Sambor Prei Kuk that dates back to the Chenla Kingdom of the 6th – 9th centuries. The sacred mountain of Phnom Santuk enjoys fine views of the Tonlé Sap valley and rice fields, and it also sits to the east of the town.
A deeply forested part of Cambodia, the town of Banlung sits in the Ratanakiri Province, in the far north-east side of the country. One of the popular local attractions is Wat Rah Than Ah Rahm (Reclining Buddha), which is just 0.6 miles (1 km) outside the town, at the Eisey Patamak Mountain. This top city in Cambodia is known for its fine landscape views, while the mountain itself is favoured by trekkers. Landscape highlights also include the Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake, a place sacred to some of the locals and encircled by a trail. A number of waterfalls are also popular, such as Cha Ong, just 1.25 miles (2 km) away, the 8-metre (26-ft) high Ka Tieng, and the 12-metre (40-ft) high Ka Chanh. An elephant sanctuary, Airavata Elephant Foundation, should also appeal to wildlife fans.
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12. Krong Doun Kaev
The capital of Takéo Province, Krong Doun Keo (also known as Doun Kaev) is situated in an area noted for its silk weaving production – some two-thirds of the country’s weavers are located here. Attractions in the province include the likes of the Angkor temple of Phnom Chisor that enjoys beautiful views over local paddy fields. To the north sits the temple tower of Prasat Neang Khmau. While east of the town, in the Angkor Borei District, lies the ancient sites of Phnom Da, an 11th-century temple that stands on a low hill.It is the city of Cambodia to visit if travelers like spending time in the rugged wilderness including pine groves, rolling grass hills and rainforests. Waterfalls, streams, trails offering splendid views of green landscape and the opportunity to experience Cambodia’s wild is what makes this city worth exploring
Cambodia City List is letting us know all the best cities in Cambodia to visit as it is providing a brief description of the top 10 cities in Cambodia to visit and some Cambodiamajor cities. I hope this article would be beneficial for you as it provides the name of cities in Cambodia which must not be missed.