Let me just say: I LOVED Cambodia. It was beautiful, friendly and welcoming and, for anyone who has travelled to South East Asia before, Cambodia doesn’t have the same, ‘been there, done that’ feel that much more popular countries, like Thailand and Vietnam, can sometimes have.

As well as being ‘less touristy’, Cambodia is also much less populated than its larger neighbours. Wherever we went, people were open and engaging, trying to ‘chat’ to us even though they spoke no English and we spoke no Khmer. Even our guide, Mr Sinn, who soon became a friend and was hugely likeable and charming, still found things to point out whilst wandering around Angkor Wat, even though has said he had visited the temples ‘over 1,000 times’.

Cambodia photo blog - Kelly Perks on boat transfer

Stubborn Mule’s Kelly Perks on location in Cambodia

It was also very apparent that 90% of overseas travellers don’t tend to go anywhere other than Siem Reap. Their loss was our gain, and we loved being able to wander through streets and lounge on beaches with so few other western tourists (although we admit, we were travelling in the rainy / green season, which made the countryside lush but perhaps puts other tourists off).

The food was delicious, handicrafts and souvenirs were plentiful, inexpensive and well made – palm wood bowls, weavings, clothing, scarves, resin images of Buddha carvings, lemongrass soaps, artwork and jewellery – I came home with my bag bursting.

My highlights? For luxury, Maisons Wat Kor, a boutique hotel with a swimming pool in Battambang – the food was exquisite, do try the deep-fried frangipani flowers; for beaches, Otres 2 beach, near Sihanoukville, for jungle landscapes, Koh Kong in the Cardamom Mountains, for culture and history, Phnom Penh.

Once you’ve read my blog, check out our Cambodia family holidays section for details of itineraries, prices and the best times to go. Also, see our Cambodia with Kids roundup (updated in 2022).

Cambodia photo blog

1. Bayon Temple

Cambodia photo blog - Bayon Temple faces

The imposing ‘faces’ of Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, also the start of the walking tour.

Kelly at Angkor Wat - Cambodia photo blog

Head off the main axis of Angkor Wat and explore the side temples too.

2. Ta Phrom Temple

Ta Prohm temple - Cambodia photo blog

Recognise this? Ta Phrom Temple of Tomb Raider fame and where the guide will show you the exact bit where Lara Croft falls through the trap door. Famous, yes, but also a wonderful, rather spiritual place to reflect on the power of nature versus man.

3. Kompong Phluk

Cambodia photo blog with image of Kompong Phluk

Kompong Phluk, a stilted village on the edge of Tonle Sap Lake.

Fisherman in mangroves - Cambodia photo blog

We timed our visit at the start of the wet season, when the water had not yet risen over road level. Later on though, it will be more flooded and you’re likely to navigate the mangroves near Kompong Phluk by canoes, just like this fisherman.

4. Beng Mealea

Temple of Bang Melea - photos of Cambodia

Beng Mealea, the unrestored temple that was only rediscovered in 1990 and still receives fewer visitors than the Angkor Temples has an ‘unclaimed jungle’ feel to it still. Absolutely worth the visit, and much less touristy than Angkor.

5. Angkor Zip-Line

Ziplining - Flight of the Gibbon - Cambodia blog

The Angkor Zip-line is a great adrenalin activity and can make a welcome contrast to exploring temples.

6. Homestay

Cambodia holiday home stay at Banteay Srei

This gentleman, a former doctor, is the owner of a small homestay we use about an hour out of Siem Reap. As well as helping guests, as a village elder he is often being called upon to help local people with practical as well as medical things. His nearby farm makes for a fascinating visit, too. There are fishing ponds, hammocks over the stream (very shallow) and shaded gazebos for picnics.

7. Battambang

Cambodia photo blog photo of the Bamboo Train, Battambang

I loved riding the Bamboo Train in Battambang… it’s not really a train, more a bamboo platform that is powered along a disused single gauge railway by a motorbike engine.

8. Mechrey

Cambodia photos - Buffalo cart - Kelly's blog

When it’s not rainy, many people take a buffalo cart ride at Mechrey. In rainy season, though, you can take a boat ride around the village.

9. 4 Rivers Lodge

Riverside lodge in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains

4 Rivers Lodge, Tatai – the only tented floating lodge in South East Asia, with tents more luxurious than many hotels. Don’t worry – the sky isn’t always like that, this was rainy season! You can read more about 4 Rivers Lodge and other lovely boutique hotels in Cambodia on our Where to stay in Cambodia page.

Riverside life in Cambodia - photo blog

You can also use kayaks (free of charge) to go around the nearby island in the river and see some local life, like this stilted village.

10. Otres 2 Beach

Cambodia blog - Otres Beach at sunset

Otres 2 Beach, Sihanoukhville. For anyone wanting a beach break in Cambodia, avoid the main beaches at Sihanoukhville. Just 8 kilometres out of town, you’ll find a family-friendly, clean beach with calm water and some lovely hotels and eateries. Wonderful sunsets, too.

11. Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island, Cambodia - kelly's photo blog

Rabbit Island, just off Kep. A good half day visit for families, you can swim in the sea, eat, drink and relax in the shade.

Cambodia photo blog - monks in sea taking a selfie!

I loved the fact that the monks were having so much fun with their selfie stick.

12. Kep

Grilled fish in Kep market, Cambodia - Kelly's blog

Kep Crab and Fish Market. BBQ foodie heaven.

Cambodia photos - brightly coloured chilli sauce bottles

I loved the colours on the chilli sauce bottles!

13. Kampong Trach

Cambodia photo blog - Kompong Trach Caves

Kids will love exploring this cave with Buddhas inside.

Kelly's Cambodia photo blog - Caves at Kompong Trach

The landscape is every bit as jawdropping as it looks here.

Kelly Perks
Stubborn Mule Travel Consultant

Cambodia itineraries & places to visit

Check out our Cambodia itineraries for example holidays and see Places to visit in Cambodia for more information on the country’s many highlights.

When to go to Cambodia

Find out more about the best times to go to Cambodia.

More straight from the mule’s mouth!

Interested? If you enjoyed browsing through Kelly’s Cambodia photo blog and would like to go, do ring us or get in touch via our website contact form.

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