While there are undoubtedly tons of tourist guides for visitors to Cambodia, many people still prefer to experience it the way the locals do. This does not mean skipping the usual tourism spots like the breathtaking temples but instead learning about their history and appreciating them in a deeper sense. Take your travel one step further than capturing the scenery and the spots with your camera. Instead, book a local tour guide and see Cambodia through their eyes.
These are the ways you can tour Cambodia like a local.
1. Enjoy The Sunrise In Angkor Wat
Getting up early will not only mean you escape the usual tourist groups but you can also see the sun rising above the popular temples in Angkor. After marveling at this wonderful sight, head back to town the local way, on bicycle or tuk-tuk.
2. Enjoy The Beach
Cambodia’s little islands off the central coast are perfect for a lazy day on the beach or for snorkeling around. You can arrange for a boat ride from Kampot, Kep, or Sihanoukville and book accommodation on the larger islands for the night. The next days can be spent exploring the smaller islands.
3. Learn And Respect Its Past
Not that long ago, a brutal genocide tore the country apart, with about 2 million people killed. While this is now part of the past, tourists can view sites and museums that educate them on the history of the country. After all, in order to truly experience the country, delving deeper into the events that shaped it is key. Although it is now safe and Cambodia is finally developing and growing after this period, these dark times have really shaped and influenced the locals. Learning about it from a Cambodian citizen can truly be a humbling experience.
4. Feast Like A Cambodian
While the local cuisine is not as popular worldwide like Vietnamese or Thai, it has a lot of dishes you should try out. The locals can either show you the best spots or even host you to try out their traditional dishes like creamy coconut curry or Kampot pepper crabs. If you truly want to eat like a local, you can also try out some insect-based dishes which are surprisingly delicious.
5. Visit The Floating Villages
If you want to appreciate the beauty of Cambodia, then visit Tonle Sap, where there are numerous floating village communities. It is also where you can fully appreciate the wildlife. You only need to drive a couple of hours out of the city and you can see this breathtaking sight.
6. Enjoy The Nightlife And The Local Businesses
Tourism truly supports the growth of local businesses like restaurants, shops, and even clubs and bars. Plus, you can meet some nice locals by going out to eat or to buy gifts. Both the capital of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have tons of businesses catering to both visitors and residents.
7. Ride Like A Local
Forget taxis and rental cars, travel around like a local. Take a tuk-tuk ride or rent a bicycle and blend in the crowd.
Cambodia is one of the hottest destinations in Asia, with the breathtaking temples and the rich history of the country. If you want to experience it like a local, then talk to some tour guides in the area instead of relying on guides from fellow tourists.