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The Best Cambodia Backpacker Destinations for 2016

Mountains, waterfalls, rivers, beaches, historical wonders – why would anyone want to miss the opportunity to discover the charm in Cambodia’s backpacker destinations? This Southeast Asian country was known as the Khmer Empire once upon a time but now, it is better known as the ‘Kingdom of Wonders’. Home to one of the world’s most famous and largest ancient religious structures, Angkor Wat, which welcomes over a million annual visitors, the country is experiencing a boom in tourism. In fact, it is backpackers like you that contribute a great deal to the economy, with annual tourism growth reaching 17.5% as of 2013. Among many of the travellers, lots of them head to Cambodia for business purposes and for others, the idea of exploring untouched land and immersing themselves in a simpler way of life is hard to resist.

Home to many mammals, birds and marine life, the country’s mainland and waters that engulf it create the perfect habitat for wildlife. Popular locations also create the ideal environment for travellers to take photos, learn about history and absorb the true splendour of this unbelievably beautiful destination on the map. Whether you fancy seeing hundreds of temples and tuk-tuks or want to drink Klang beers on the beach until the sun comes up, you won’t have trouble finding ways to fill your travel schedule in this part of the world. Join the right crowds and have the best possible experience by making sure you visit the following not-to-be-missed Cambodia Backpacker destinations.

  • Bokor Hill Station

One of the most notable tourist attractions in Kampot (and the whole of Cambodia for that matter),Bokor Hill Station is an area where you will find lots of French colonial buildings. Constructed many years ago, this point of interest has a sleepy atmosphere and is now the destination for a luxury resort, proving why it is one of the most popular Cambodia backpacker destinations. So, what can you do here? Well, if you don’t visit to spend a night of opulence at the mountain resort, visit to admire sweeping views from a great height. Back in the 1920s, colonial residents would reside at Bokor Hill Station, which was used as a movie location for two previous motion pictures – R-Point and City of Ghosts. Easy to access, you can venture to the mountain with a bike or you can join an organised tour, which can be booked at many guesthouses or online.

  • Ream National Park

There is no denying that Cambodia is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Southeast Asia, with its beaches, rivers, waterfalls, lagoons and picturesque mountains. If you would like to go on a hike or spend a day basking in Mother Nature’s splendour, Ream National Park is probably one of the best Cambodia backpacker destinations for you. Covering 81 square miles, the park is a true natural escape and it is well worth packing your camera for. Its location just 18 kilometres from Sihanoukville means that is easy to access. If you decide not to spend the night at one of the bungalows or lodges sprinkled around the forested area, the trip back to ‘Snooky’ won’t take long.

  • Cambodia Backpacker Destinations for History Lovers

Even if you aren’t all that much of a history fan, you won’t be able to escape it when you visit this country. Numerous historic sites make up the landscape and it is mainly for this reason that millions of visitors check out Cambodia backpacker destinations every year. Perhaps the most famous historic site of them all is Angkor Wat, which is acknowledged as the biggest historic temple complex in the whole world. If you’re visiting this temple, make sure you also explore nearby temples, like PreahVihear. The dark past of the Khmer Rouge can be better understood at the ChoeungEk Killing Fields, as well as the TuolSleng Genocide Museum.

  • Sihanoukville Province

The great thing about this province is that you can make your way to other nearby Cambodia backpacker destinations with ease. Sihanoukeville sits close to some of the country’s best islands. These include KohRong and its sister island, KohRongSamloem. An abundance of activities can be enjoyed in both of these locations, like snorkelling, sunbathing, socializing at bars and backpacker hangouts, jet skiing experiences and hiking to viewpoints, among many other things.

  • Kampot and Kep

Another province that you ought to add to your list of Cambodia backpacker destinations is Kampot. It will take you just over an hour to arrive in Kampot from Sihanoukville and there are two elements of this city in southern Cambodia to enjoy – the town and the riverside. Sunset cruises along the river will be nothing short of beautiful and the town is home to an affluence of local bars, restaurants and hotels. If you fancy tucking into ocean-fresh culinary delights, try the seafood at Kep, which is about an hour drive/ride away.

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