Cambodia

Cambodia is a beautiful Southeast Asian nation where you can find one of the most impressive stone temples in the world; the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive complex built during the Khmer Empire. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. The magic of Cambodia lands on the big culture for handcrafts, the delicate temples and the friendly locals.

Read on to discover our Cambodia Photography post, which is part of our Southeast Asian trip. Where to stay, see & do, best street food, the trip map, Angkor Wat, the authentic Made in Cambodia market. Plus, you might be wondering how’s the wet season in Cambodia?

1. Stay

We stayed at the following hotels and hostels:

↠ Siem Reap at The Mad Monkey
↠ Phnom Penh at 88 Backpackers

However, you can also check the below hotels if you are not in a budget:

↠ Siem Reap at Viroth’s Villa & Soria Moria Hotel
↠ Phnom Penh at Blue Lime

2. Eat & Drink

Siem Reap:

↠ Enjoy great Cambodian dishes (amok, lok lak beef…) at Khmer Kitchen Restaurant. It is a small family restaurant situated in the Psar Chaa Area.
↠ If you can afford the splurge, then cross the river! We discovered great little restaurants with plenty of different cuisines.
↠ For coffee lovers, you must go to Temple Coffee & Bakery. A cute café-restaurant-cocktail lounge with pool and bean bags on the rooftop!

Phnom Penh:

↠ Grab a cocktail or some food and enjoy the sunset with excellent views at Le Moon Rooftop.
↠ We had food mainly at our hostel, 88 Backpackers. We thought it was great having food on the terrace by the pool, but you can try some street food as there’re plenty of options in the city centre.
↠ If you are into it, happy pizzas are a Phnom Penh’s speciality, a pizza with marijuana sprinkled on top. However, we won’t recommend any places, marijuana is not legal in Cambodia and it can land you in trouble.

3. See & Do

Siem Reap:

↠ Obviously, if you are in Siem Reap, you’re probably planning to visit the famous Angkor Wat, so below are a few tips:

  • It is recommended to spend 3 days to visit the vast walled city of Angkor, but if that’s not possible you should allow at least one full day.
  • We recommend to get up early and enjoy the sunrise at Angkor Wat, just don’t expect to be the only one there…
  • It might be a good idea to hire a tuk-tuk for the day, it’ll be the fastest way to visit the temples.

↠ Visit Les Chantiers Écoles, by Artisans d’Angkor, where impoverished young Cambodians learn traditional skills like stone carving or silk painting. You can also buy the handcrafts at the shop and get the free shuttle to the silk farm.

↠ For the markets lovers, the Made in Cambodia Market is a must. The market brings together the most exciting examples of craftsmanship in Cambodia today.

↠ Enjoy a lovely day trip to Kompong Pluk Floating Village, a charming village built on stilts on the Tonle Sap. If it’s wet season, you can explore the flooded forest by canoe.

Phnom Penh:

↠ Visit the Royal Palace or just have a walk around the main square and the riverfront.

↠ We found this amazing temple just outside of the city, called The Golden Temple, a beautiful golden temple situated near the silk island.

↠ If you have time, try to visit Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes, it preserves a tragic period in history with the aim to encourage visitors to be messengers of peace.

Wet season in Cambodia

There are two seasons in Cambodia. The northeast monsoon season runs from December through April, bringing sunny, dry weather. The rains come when the winds shift into the southwest monsoon from May to November, with the most precipitation in the months of September and October.

We visited Cambodia in September and we couldn’t have had a better time. It is true we had rain a few days, but it was just for a few hours each. We bought a couple of ponchos and kept discovering this wonderful country. On the bright side, the country is less crowded with tourists and you can enjoy moments no other time of the year can offer. Crowd free visits to the temples of Angkor and the Tonlé Sap at its best with a flooded forest near Kompong Pluk are just two of them.

Just after sunrise, the magical Angkor Wat is still quiet enough to be enjoyed.

To access the floating village, you’ll have to rent a boat. Unless you’re in a group you’ll have to pay around US$25 per person plus a tuk-tuk to get you there. Even at this price, it’s still worth it!

You can find lovely temples like this one, painted in vibrant colours, at the floating villages too.

We found this amazing temple just outside of the city. It is called The Golden Temple, a beautiful gem situated near the silk island.

If you enjoyed the Cambodia photography post you might want to check out the rest of our Southeast Asian trip


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