It is easy to get the best of Cambodia within 6 days: Spend 4 days in Siem Reap and 2 in Phnom Penh or the other way round. But, what is the best of Cambodia? Clearly, the answer will have to do with its history and culture. Angkor Wat is without a doubt the highlight of a Cambodia tour.
Beyond that, its history and struggle from the dark past of the Khmer Rouge is worth dwelling on. The ideas and the sample itinerary in this article will help first-timers or seasoned travelers to have a memorable time in Cambodia.
Top things to do in major destinations
City Tour: In what used to be a colonial pearl
Despite the fact of being the political seat during the colonial regime, today's Phnom Penh still strikes people as being a humble town rather than a capital city. Major sites are pretty much congregated around the landmarks of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.
An 8-hour visit in this city will include several highlights such as the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, and the Independence Monument, and can be wrapped up with a peek into the bustling Russian Market. This tour is suitable for travelers in general.
S-21 Museum and Killing Fields: History that cannot be forgotten
Disturbing and saddening as it can be, the final journey of the victims of the Khmer Rouge leaves a bloody trail in the history of the country. This, however, is not for turning your head away. The visit will cover two parts: The S-21 Museum (also known as Tuol Sleng), a local school turned into torture chambers, and the Killing Fields that used to be the liquidation center (for the S-21 Museum??). The contents of the visit are more suitable for children above 12 years of age.
My experience in Thai
All of this was well organized by the local office. The holiday was wonderful. Our guide, Mr. Longdy（ Siem Reap）were exceptional. He shared his extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions. Thank you so much .shared their extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions.More
kelli, Jul 2023
From the day I submitted an inquiry request, I instantly received a response from Monica asking my preferences for my trip. She has been attentive and responsive to our every needs and we very much appreciate it. Looking forward to our trip in November but many thanks to Monica for making this experience to seamless thus far.More
Sana Samhouri, Jul 2023
Very professional agency for a memorable trip to Asia
A special thanks to Albee who worked with us and helped to tailor the itinerary to our taste, she was amazing and always available for whatever we needed. The trip would not have been the same without her and her team. Thank you!More
Daniela, Jul 2023
It was our first time in Cambodia and …
It was our first time in Cambodia and we had a wonderful time. The accommodations, food, and sites were really beautiful. We ended our trip with a relaxing massage. Sam was very accommodating to our needs and knowledgeable. Thank you for the laughter and for being so kind.More
Amy Oakes Moon, Jun 2023
Our guide Borin - never boring!
Our guide Borin, in Cambodia, was knowledgeable, understanding and thoughtful in every aspect of the plan he put together for our trip to Siem Reap and in its execution. He can read the room, and knew exactly how to pace the tour, when to pause, when to break, and how to prepare us for the maximum benefit. He is extremely kind and caring, and it showed at every turn. He also is a dab hand with the camera, and we have a lot of great pictures to show for it. Kudos to my Asia Highlights coordinator - Cathy Chen, for picking Borin. Borin works with a driver (007) who was also very kind and caring. Whenever we returned to the car, he would have cold towel rolls and chilled water to refresh us. So amazingly considerate. It was an unforgettable experienceMore
David Muliyil, Jun 2023
Our guide, Anna, was fantastic! She was highly informative and a delight to spend our days with. Would request her again if we were to return!More
Alejandra M Almonte, Jun 2023
We've had such a great experience…
We've had such a great experience planning our honeymoon with Alisa at Asia Highlights! We gave her our dream itinerary, thinking that it might be impossible to do all the things we wanted, but Alisa made our dreams a reality! She's gone so far above and beyond to answer ALL of our questions and make little adjustments that will make a huge impact on our experience.More
Lauren, Jun 2023
Alisa knows how to work fast and please a customer.
Alisa is very helpful and works very fast. I am a very difficult client because Inknow what I want in therm of hotels and comfort. She had a lot of patience with me, and moved a lot the plan of the trip, always following my requests. It was a pleasure organizing my trip with her. I recommend her a lot! Thanks Alisa. Malala from Argentina.More
maria laura artola, Jun 2023
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
Tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
The tour guides and drivers were another high point. All were very good, friendly, knowledgeable and spoke English well. There were two that I want to call out for their excellence. Chan Sovannarith in Siem Reap was our guide in Cambodia. He really made the experience special. His knowledge, willingness to answer all my questions, helpfulness and general attitude made him fun to be around. In order to praise the second exceptional guide I have to explain about an unfortunate occurrence that I had. I'm normally a very active senior, but after leaving Cambodia for Laos I was suddenly struck by the most intense back pain I've ever experienced, couldn't even roll over in bed (turned out to be sciatica). The guide, Mr. Sonophet, really went the extra mile. He went with my traveling companion and bought a back brace and medications for me. When that didn't help much he took me to a clinic where I was seen by a doctor, given a shot and pain meds. He hand-made a walking stick for me that I'm still using! He made it possible for me to somewhat participate in the activities, i.e. a bed on the boat down the river. When it was time to move on to Bangkok he got me a wheelchair at the airport. I can't thank him enough for these kindnesses! This problem lasted for the remainder of the trip, through Bangkok and Phuket and these guides were also very helpful getting wheelchairs, etc. It was a terrible disappointment to have this wonderful trip disrupted, but it would have been SO much worse without the great help that I received from the guides and my poor travel companion!More
Deb M, Mar 2023
In good hands with Sam
Sam Ol took very good care of us - lots of information, listened to and answered all our questions, was passionate about the places we visited and about his people and country. He was kind, had a great sense of humor, and made sure we felt safe and comfortable at all times. He helped us to fall in love with Cambodia in 3 short days.More
Carol Jones, Feb 2023
Best tour guide in Cambodia
When we first arrived at the airport in Siem Riep it was so nice to be greeted by Mr Sam Ol. We instantly fell at home when we saw his friendly smile. We were impressed by his great English and knowledge of the temples. On the tour to the temples Sam took care of us every step of the way. He took awesome pictures of us. It felt like we were on a tour given by our brother who is also a professional photographer. Also, we appreciate his humor as well as the fact he had an answer for every question we had. I give Sam 5 stars, best tour guide ever :)More
Len S, Feb 2023
Mr. Sam our guide in Cambodia, he and the driver out standing service they went above and beyond touring, my wife so amazed beautiful country, we're planning back here near the futures. Thank Mr. Sam,We'll feedback the whole trip next week when we be home in USMore
Pho Lover, Feb 2023
We are still in the middle of our trip, but we are just finishing up our time in Cambodia and our guide, Borin, has been AMAZING!!! He has truly made our time here unforgettable and I plan on referring all of my friends and family to come visit this beautiful country! Thank you, Borin, for everything you did to make our trip so fantastic!More
Danielle Blount, Feb 2023
Excellent service and Wonderful Guides
All of our guides have been terrific. Mr. Sam in Siem Reip was especially wonderful. Both he and our driver were polite, safe knowledgable and informative. Sam made our trip memorable and enioyable. We will definitely recommend Sam and Asia Highlights to our friends.More
Kaaren, Feb 2023
Great tour guide Charity at Siem Reap
Our experience in Siem Reap could not have been any better thanks to our outstanding and cheerful guide, Charity. Her very good English speaking made it so easy to learn so much from her. She understood and answers all of our questions.She was relaxed and very knowledgeable. She went out out her way to help us make amazing pano photos of the cotton trees at Siem Reap and on our sunset cruise. She also advised us on Chanrey Tree restaurant—what we found to be the very best vegan restaurant on our first three weeks of our Asia tour. So glad to have vegan meals with very little oil!!! We are not supposed to have oil and is very hard to find vegan with no oil. Went went back the next night.More
Barbara Cornyn, Jan 2023
Angkor Wat: Epic temples
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, well deserving its reputation; the Angkor Wat complex is on so gigantic a scale that you need to plan at least two full days, only to get the best of it. Commonly-heard sites include Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon and Ta Prohm, which are all within the first big ring of the complex. Traveling further, you can reach Banteay Srei, Beng Meala, and Banteay Kdei, plus a beautiful sunset at Pre Rup on the second day.
This 2-day plan is good for travelers in general. Nevertheless, we would suggest an even more elaborate visit at the Angkor Wat with a Khmer scholar, for deeper appreciation. In summer, make your visit at Bayon and Ta Prohm in the afternoon, in order to get away from the heat.
Countryside: Quad bike, ox cart, zip-line, cycling or a boat trip to a floating village
Hop on a quad bike and roam out to the countryside, or take an ox-cart ride, whiff along the zip-line inside the Angkor Wat complex or do a half-day cycling trip in the woods; it can all be counted as good activities for adventurers or families with older children (above 12 years old).
If you are traveling in the wet season (April to October), don't miss a boat trip to the Prek Toal Floating Village, where you can observe life on rafts and have a chance to spot rare birds.
Sample tour itinerary
Here is a sample itinerary for a first-time trip to Cambodia:
|Day||Destination||Activities||Asia Highlights' Insider Scope|
|1||Phnom Penh||Arrive in Phnom Penh and transfer to hotel. Time to relax over jetlag.||If you arrive before the afternoon, we suggest you take a fun visit to the Central Market or enjoy afternoon tea chitchatting with your tour guide. Or, take a cyclo ride in the old streets and watch knock boxing (Khun Khmer) at a local ring.|
|2||Phnom Penh||Morning visit at the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda as well as the National Museum. Afternoon visit at the Killing Fields and the S21 Museum outside the city. Get back to your hotel before the evening.||Content of the Killing Fields and S21 Museum is more suitable for children above 12 years of age.|
|3||Phnom Penh to Siem Reap||Take a noon flight to Siem Reap. Chill off at your hotel in the afternoon.||You can venture out of Siem Reap by bike and go climbing up the Pre Rup Tower, if you like a sunset at a less crowded location.|
|4||Siem Reap||Morning visit to Angkor Thom and then on to Angkor Wat. Take a 2-hour walking visit with a Khmer Scholar at Angkor Wat. Get back to the hotel for a noon break or go straight to Ta Prohm and Bayon, both of which are covered by trees, so as to stay away from the heat.||If you are interested, we suggest you get to the Angkor Wat for a beautiful sunrise but leave after that; make your next stop at Angkor Thom and get back to Angkor Wat when the big crowds have faded before noon. Dedicate your evening to the Angkor Night Market or enjoy a foot massage, as you've walked so much today.|
|5||Siem Reap||Go to Banteay Srei in the early morning and then to Beng Meala. Get back to Siem Reap with a stop at the Cambodia Landmine Museum on the way.||Built by sandstone, Banteay Srei is best viewed in the first sun rays. Extra fun for family: ride on the gibbon zip-line across the Angkor Wat complex or roam through the countryside at sunset on a quad bike.|
|6||Siem Reap Departure||Leisure time before departure|
Visit Cambodia with Asia Highlights
At Asia Highlights we offer tailor-made tours through Asia, where you can enjoy all highlights as well as amazing cultural experiences. To get started, send us an email.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
- 19-Day Highlights of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam
- 11-Day Best of Thailand and Cambodia Tour
- 5-Day Cambodia Essential Tour
- 12-Day Cambodia and Vietnam Highlights
- 14-Day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Itinerary: Premium Private Tour
- 28-Day Grand Indochina Tour
- 2-Week Vietnam-Cambodia Tour with a Luxurious Mekong Cruise
- 5-Day Siem Reap Tour in Depth |Authentic Siem Reap Visit
- How to Plan a Trip to Cambodia and Vietnam: Entry Requirements, Itinerary...
- How to Plan a 2-Week Vietnam and Cambodia Itinerary (2023/2024)
- 2-Week Itineraries in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (2023/2024)
- How to Plan a 3-Week Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Couple’s/Family Tour
- How to Plan a Trip to Thailand and Cambodia (2023/2024)
- Cambodia Weather in January
- Cambodia Weather in February
- March Weather in Cambodia: March Travel Guide for Cambodia
- April Weather in Cambodia & April Cambodia Travel Tips
- May Weather in Cambodia, Travel Tips for Traveling Cambodia in May
- June Weather in Cambodia: June Travel Guide for Cambodia
- July Weather in Cambodia: July Travel Guide for Cambodia
- August Weather in Cambodia: What Is Cambodia Like in August?
- September Weather in Cambodia: September Travel Guide to Cambodia
- Cambodia Weather in October
- Cambodia Weather in November
- Cambodia Weather in December
Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.