Not yet a member?

Create an account with Grasshopper Adventures today, receive updates, gift rewards...

Is There More to Cambodia than Siem Reap?

Home > Articles

Is There More to Cambodia than Siem Reap?

ReeceBy Reece   Posted 30th Sep 2022

Apart from Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, is Cambodia Worth Visiting?

Did you know that around 2.6 million tourists visit Siem Reap every year? And while it is Cambodia’s second-largest city (behind the capital Phnom Penh), there’s essentially one reason why people flock to this part of the country: Angkor Wat.

Dating back to the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious structure. Its size and scale are truly breathtaking. And as Cambodia’s unofficial capital for tourism, there’s plenty more to Siem Reap than Angkor Wat. The city boasts well-preserved colonial buildings, a staggering variety of Angkor-era monuments, cultural highlights, unique museums, and Southeast Asia’s largest lake.

With so much to see and do, many travellers face a tricky question: outside of Siem Reap, is the rest of Cambodia worth visiting? The short answer is yes!

Grasshopper Adventures provide numerous bike tours in Cambodia, so we’re perfectly placed to show you everything this fascinating country has to offer. If you have any questions about the tours we operate across Asia, please get in touch. In the meantime, let’s look at just some of the reasons why the rest of Cambodia deserves as much time and attention as Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.

      Cambodia Countryside Riding

Kayak with the Mekong’s Freshwater Dolphins

As the twelfth-longest river in the world, and Asia’s third longest, the Mekong teems with wildlife. One of the most distinctive species in Cambodia’s stretch of the river is the Irrawaddy dolphin. These animals inhabit a 118-mile-long area in both Cambodia and Laos. Due primarily to a bulging forehead and short beak, Irrawaddy dolphins have distinctive rounded heads. This friendly appearance, complete with what amounts to a broad smile, makes them a hit to spot in the wild.

Our Cambodia Bike, Hike, and Kayak Tour visits the Kampi river pools north of Kratie. Led by an expert local guide, our tour groups view these playful, endangered animals by kayak, a non-invasive approach that avoids stressing them.

Kayaking trip in Cambodia

Explore Silk Island by Bike

Also known as Koh Dach, Cambodia’s Silk Island may only be a short distance from Phnom Penh, but it feels like another world. Like many capital cities, Phnom Penh has a certain hustle and bustle; but Koh Dach moves at a different pace. It’s cooler and calmer than the nearby city and makes a great introduction to the beauty and warmth of rural Cambodia.However, the biggest attraction of Silk Island is in its name. This location is famous for being a hub for silk weaving. Local women carry out this traditional practice on looms beneath raised houses.

Koh Dach is another popular stop on our Cambodia bike tours, including the Mekong Bike and Boat Tour. Pedaling around this area is a great way to, escape the city and learn about the silk manufacturing and weaving process. After visiting Silk Island, you can move on to explore some of the top things to do in Phnom Penh.

Silk Islands silk workshop tour

Trek to Preah Vihear, an Ancient Clifftop Temple

Sitting atop a 525-meter cliff in the Dângrêk mountains, around a 4-hour drive from Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear is an ancient temple built during the Khmer Empire. The clifftop location requires a hike to reach, but the views, which extend for miles, are spectacular. The mountain and Preah Vihear province also borders Thailand, so you can admire two countries at the same time!

At the time of writing, the wooden staircase leading to Preah Vihear is closed and awaiting repair. For the time being, we use pick-up trucks driven by local guides to get up the mountain. The drivers know the route incredibly well! Once dropped off, we trek the remaining 700m or so uphill through the temple ruins. This leads us to the pinnacle and the jaw-dropping views that await.

Preah Vihear Monk at Temple

Marvel at Kulen National Park’s Trails and Waterfalls

Situated northeast of Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, Kulen National Park is another Cambodian gem that is well worth a visit. A natural playground for locals, this lush nature reserve has many incredible sights. The impressive waterfall is one of the most popular attractions. Local people flock here largely on weekends to have picnics and swim in the rock pools.

The park is also home to the Langur trail, a walking path that winds through the semi-evergreen and dry deciduous forests. The trail itself is named after the dusky langur monkeys that live here. And we haven’t even touched on the fact that there’s a “secret” tiled swimming pool fed by a cold mountain spring and maintained by monks! These monks also perform water blessings to protect people from misfortune and evil spirits.

Kulen Mountain waterfall and monks

Kayak Through the Mekong Flooded Forest

The Mekong Flooded Forest (MFF) is a breathtaking landscape 27,000km² in size. This natural phenomenon spans northern-central Cambodia and the southern border with Laos. A 180km stretch of the Mekong passes through the country’s Kratie and Stung Treng provinces. Within this incredible landscape, the deep pools of the Mekong Flooded Forest are one of the world’s most prolific and diverse freshwater ecosystems.

An estimated 37 mammal species, 411 species of inland fish, 281 bird species, 52 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 674 vascular plant species all have unique habitats here. Trees with gnarled roots hold together hundreds of small silt islands. These dot the floodscape, creating the forest element. When kayaking through Mekong Flooded Forest on our Cambodia Hike, Bike, and Kayak Tour these trees provide welcome shade, while the islands give a boost of acceleration to the current.

Kayaking tour in Cambodia

Relax on Tropical Beaches and Islands

Did you know that Cambodia’s south coast is home to tropical beaches and islands? With the Gulf of Thailand’s crystal clear waters washing over white sand beaches, you can find the perfect place to relax and unwind. The tropical islands in Cambodia’s south include:

  • Koh Rong Sanloem - Home to idyllic Saracen Bay
  • Koh Rong - A popular party destination
  • Koh Ta Kiev - A chance to experience rustic island life
  • Koh Totang - A tiny island with an eco-tourism resort
  • Koh Thmei - A nature lover’s paradise off Ream National Park

With beaches tucked away here and there on every island, you can find the perfect fit for your holiday.

Tour group Sunset on beach in Cambodia

Explore the Warmth and Hospitality of Rural Cambodia

One of the best reasons to explore this country’s lesser visited areas is the opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of rural Cambodia firsthand. Over the years, our team has crafted tours in many Asian counties. We believe that Cambodian people are among the friendliest and most welcoming on the continent. They always offer a smile and wave to our cycling groups, sometimes even a bite to eat!

On a guided cycling tour you can maximise this experience. Our local guides break down language barriers and social obstacles, creating room for genuine connection. They also know the best spots for local handicrafts, off-the-beaten-path highlights, and local customs. There’s no better way to see and feel the real Cambodia.

Meeting locals in Cambodia

Discover Cambodia on Bike Tours Led by Experts!

We hope this blog has shown you just how much Cambodia has to offer outside of Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. And as this magical country continues to grow in popularity, there’s never been a better time to visit! Joining one of our upcoming Cambodia bike tours gives you an authentic slice of life here while it’s still off the beaten track.

For more information about our tours in Cambodia or any other location in Asia, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.





Get insider tips to start a life of active travel

  • Read our privacy policy



Related Tours

© 2024 Grasshopper Adventures. All Rights Reserved.