Top 5 Places You Should Go During the Water Festival this year

Following the government’s decision to reopen the country to allow jabbed tourists to enter, major tourist destinations are packed with locals while international visitors remain low. Domestic tourists, on the other hand, are still hesitant to visit because they are concerned about the spread of the dangerous virus Covid-19 in the kingdom.

There are many tourist attractions in Cambodia that you should visit before flying to other countries, and your spending contributes significantly to the Cambodian economy.

So, if you’re ready to travel and pay yourself a party in late 2021, here are some of the top places in Cambodia to visit.

Me in Mondulkiri province


Most locals are well aware of this province, which is rich in natural resources and has a diverse and attractive indigenous culture. It is becoming increasingly popular with domestic travelers, particularly among those who enjoy backpacking, hiking, elephant riding, and other activities.

It is good news for international travelers who wish to visit Cambodia as the government has finally authorized fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country with a shorter quarantine period. So, if you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, Mondulkiri is a must-see destination.

When visiting Mondulkiri, you can take in the scenery of the grass hill terrain, which is not far from the town. The grass field is unlike any other location in this province. In comparison to other Cambodian provinces, the temperature is fairly cool.

You may also go hiking and elephant riding with knowledgeable local tour guides who speak English. Trekking is an adventurous journey in which you will be awestruck by the beauty of the forest, the sound of wild creatures, swimming in a chilly waterfall, and tasting native delicacy, Bunong food.

It is also recommended that you visit Bunong indigenous villages to learn about their way of life and traditional culture.

If you are considering a vacation to Mondulkiri during the Water Festival, you should book your accommodations as soon as possible; otherwise, you will be stranded.


In terms of tourism attractions, economics, and the number of visitors, Kampot is quickly expanding. During Pchum Ben day, it is the most popular attraction, with local tourists from all around the country flocking to see it. This is primarily due to improvements in infrastructure and the quality of life of Cambodians. 

From beaches to forests, Kampot has plenty of interesting sights to view. Bokor mountain, located in Preah Monivong national park in southern Kampot town, is the most popular tourist destination. A waterfall, a historic pagoda, a church, and beautiful sea scenery can all be seen from the summit of the mountain. You must pay the entrance fee if you are a foreigner. You can get there by renting a motorcycle for $6 per day and depositing your passport.

Kampot has a number of community ecotourism sites that are popular among the locals but are poorly known by foreign visitors. 

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Along with Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville, Kampot is one of the most popular tourist destinations for foreigners visiting Cambodia. 

Veal Pouch waterfall, Popokvil waterfall, Anlong Thom waterfall, and Teukchhou waterfall are just a few of the many waterfalls in Kampot.

Kep is also a good option if you visit Kampot because the two provinces are so nearby.

Travelers can now enjoy driving without experiencing traffic congestion thanks to the extension of National Road 3 connecting Phnom Penh and Kampot; nevertheless, you must be cautious when driving because the government has just installed speed detection cameras between Phnom Penh and Kampot.

The map shows speed cameras installed along the NR3 to Kampot, Photo credit @MPWT


Sihanoukville, a member of the world’s most beautiful bay, was hit by a rainstorm caused by Chinese visitors who came to invest in this province, while local visitors had transferred their visits to other provinces. Sihanoukville is like a newly bright sun beaming southern region of Cambodia after the government declared the closure of online games and the rehabilitation of infrastructure, and local visitors are interested in visiting this province again.

Cambodia’s unique beach tourism hotspot has transformed its face as new roads have been finished and other facilities that make this region very appealing are being created. Local tourists are coming to this province, particularly during holidays and other important occasions.

So, for the forthcoming Water Festival, I recommend visiting this province and booking ahead of time if you don’t want to sleep in the car.

When you visit Sihanoukville, you will not only be able to enjoy the most beautiful beach but you will also be awed by stunning islands such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem.

Drone view of Sihanoukville, photo credit @Mak Road

Siem Reap

Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on Siem Reap, Cambodia’s best tourism hotspot. It had been emptied since the globe was attacked by Covid-19 in 2020.

The temple, Angkor Wat, which was previously filled with multi-national visitors, now appears to be relatively peaceful, allowing the temple to relax for a moment. Throughout the pandemic, the government has been rehabilitating infrastructure by renewing 38 roads and transforming this province into one of the top cultural tourism destinations in the ASEAN region.

Me at Lean Chol Damrei (Elephant Terrace), Angkor Wat complex, before the pandemic, shot by B. Sokin

Cambodia anticipates a rise in foreign tourists following the country’s reopening, while locals have enjoyed this province during the special occasion. Siem Reap expects both local and outbound guests for the upcoming Water Festival. Unfortunately, the popular Pub Street is not yet openned, but you may still enjoy exploring new ecotourism spots outside of town.

There are thousands of temples in Siem Reap; some locals may not have seen them all. So, now is the time for you to spend your vacation exploring all of the temples in this old province.

Not only can you see temples in Siem Reap, but you can also take a boat ride through the Kampong Phluk community to see Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake. This allows locals to benefit financially from your visits.

If you visit during this period, you will undoubtedly be annoyed by the under-development of the road, which will cause you to be covered in dust as you travel.

Under development roads. Cycling tracks are being built in Siem Reap.


Battambang is another interesting destination for both locals and visitors from other countries. Battambang has a lot to offer, from temples to nature. At Phnom Sampov, the most famous thing to visit is the bat caves, where you will be amazed by thousands of bat colonies.

A tourist takes a picture of bat flocks, photo credit: Phnom Penh Post

Riding a lorry down a train track is an intriguing experience that allows you to witness local life along the way.

Battambang is well-known for its rice production, fish yields, fruits, and culture. It is most frequently featured in Khmer oldies songs prior to the Khmer Rouge, and its fame draws Cambodians to visit this province. Most Cambodians still love Sin Sisamoth’s most famous song, Champa Battambang (the Magnolia champaca of Battambang).

This article is only a summary; you can read more to learn about other destinations that you might be eager to explore.

Please let me know if you would like me to write more about other places in Cambodia in the comments section below.

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