6 Incredible Day Trips from Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Please share if you enjoy this content!

If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of Cambodia’s capital, there are many incredible day trips from Phnom Penh to spark your interest. Taking a few day trips is a must because it allows you to see some of the most beautiful places in the country. 

Most of the day trips I listed in this guide take you on beautiful drives through the countryside, so you can see the rural parts outside of Phnom Penh. All of these day trips are about four hours or less away, making them the perfect distance for either a half-day or full-day trip.  

If you have time in your schedule, I recommend spending a night in some of the places you drive to. This allows you to get some extra sleep and even explore more of the area rather than just the typical attractions. 

If you’re heading to Phnom Penh and want to take a few day trips, save this guide for your planning! 

downtown square of phnom penh, monument in the center, tall buildings in the background

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure for more information.

Visiting Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is a must-visit city in Southeast Asia. It has a rich culture with an intense past. Most people visit this city to learn more about the Khmer Regime and explore the nightlife. 

Thanks to the many ex-pats living in the city, Phnom Penh also has a great dining scene. You’ll now find big fancy western restaurants to small dining carts where you can eat street food. 

Here are some of the best Phnom Penh day trips you definitely don’t want to miss:

phnom penh independence monument lit up at night, cloudy gray skies, things to see in phnom penh

1. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center 

Unfortunately, Southeast Asia is known for having many places that are known for their very unethical treatment of animals. This rescue center is about two hours from Phnom Penh. 

Here you will find wildlife rescued from illegal trading rings in Cambodia. 

The rescue center was opened in 1995 and is operated by the NGO Wildlife Alliance and the government of Cambodia. 

Many of the animals have injuries or health complications, so they can’t be released back into the wild. 

You’ll see many different animals here, including bears, snow leopards, elephants, monkeys, and tigers. 

The Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center is located at National Road No 2, Tro Pang Sap Village, Tro Pang Sap Commune, Takeo 210815, Cambodia. They are closed on Sundays but open every other day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 USD. 

baby monkey breastfeeding, phnom penh day tour, day trips from phnom penh, phnom penh wildlife, phnom tamao wildlife center

2. Silk Island 

If you’re looking for the easiest day trip from Phnom Penh, head to Silk Island. It’s only about 45 minutes away, so you can even make it into a half-day trip if you’re pressed for time. 

Many people even take tuk-tuks to the ferry station, so you don’t have to rent a car or hire a taxi. 

Once you reach the ferry station at Preak Leap, you will take a short ferry ride to the island. Most people find that they can walk around the island, but there are a few bike rental places once you get off the ferry if you prefer not to walk. 

Silk Island is called Koh Dach by locals. It’s right in the middle of the Mekong Delta, so it’s a fascinating place to see. As you travel around the island, you’ll see traditional silk weavers making beautiful fabrics and other items. 

You’ll also see the traditional houses on stilts here that you might have seen in pictures of Cambodia. 

Most of the vendors are very friendly. They will show you how they make their products, and you can buy some souvenirs to take home. 

You can find the location and a map of silk island here.

woman weaving silk on a traditional loom, phnom penh day trips, phnom penh itinerary

3. Cambodian Weaving Village 

This village is located at Takeo and is about 2.5 hours from Phnom Penh. The drive is longer than some of the other places on this list. It’s worth it because you get to see traditional village life and support the local economy by visiting. 

All the items sold at the weaving workshops are homemade by local women. Weaving has become a common activity in Takeo as a way for people. The local women do it to stay busy and make money between the rice harvest season and the transplanting season for pulling the crops. 

All the women undergo intensive training to learn how to weave properly and to use the loom well. 

There is also a small homestay next to the village called Meas Family Homestay if you feel like spending the night rather than driving back to Phnom Penh. It’s owned by the same family that does the training for the women in the weaving village. 

The Cambodian Weaving Village is located at Meas Family Home, NH 3, Cambodia. The village is free to enter, but I suggest visiting their website or calling them to see the hours as they don’t update their website’s hours often. 

4. Phnom Da and Angkor Borei

If you’re interested in seeing some of the older temples in Cambodia, Phnom Da is an amazing place to visit. The temple is said to have been built in the 11th century. 

There are also several caves around that you can go inside and explore. Some of the caves were used during the Khmer Regime as cremation sites.

While visiting Phnom Da, I also recommend visiting Angkor Borei. While Cambodia might be best known for Angkor Wat, Angkor Borei is also worth checking out. It’s an archeological site that spans more than 740 acres but is significantly less visited than Angkor Wat. 

The surrounding area of Angkor Borei is very low, so during the rainy season, it floods and is often underwater. You might need to take a small boat to get here, which is also a fun experience. 

Phnom Da is located at XX7Q+RFF, Angkor Borei, Cambodia. The temple is free to enter and is usually open from sunrise to sundown. 

 The Angkor Borei Museum and archaeological site are located at XXVH+M4Q, Angkor Borei, Cambodia. It’s open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket prices start at $22 USD. 

I recommend booking a tour of both these places so you can see them both on the same day. Booking a tour also makes transportation super easy. 

boat ride to phnom da, brown water, two trees coming from the water in the distance, phnom penh day trips, day trips from phnom penh

5. Oudong Temple 

Just a little over an hour away from Phnom Penh, you’ll find the amazing Oudong Temple. The grounds and palaces around the temple used to host the royal family. It also used to be the capital of Cambodia for more than 250 years. 

The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is stunning. At the bottom, you’ll see a meditation center with several smaller temples surrounding the largest. 

There’s a dress code to enter all the temples. Men and women need to have their knees and shoulders covered. Since Cambodia’s weather is so hot, I usually bring a scarf or wrap to tie around my shorts or skirt. 

Make sure to add Oudong temple to your Phnom Penh itinerary especially if you’re interested in learning about the ancient royal family and their Buddhist traditions. 

Oudong Temple is located at QQRC+PVW, Cambodia. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. It costs $2 to enter. 

oudoing temple, shrubs with pink flowers growing around the temple, sunny blue skies, day trips from phnom penh

6. Kampong Cham 

If you have enough time for a longer Phnom Penh day tour, check out Kampong Cham. It’s about 3 hours one way, so it’s a long day trip. 

Most people love Kampong Cham so much though, that they end up spending a night or two here. 

The town is small, but people love the laid-back environment, the chance to meet and chat with locals, and to bike around the town. 

The best things to do in Kampong Cham include:

  • Shop in the local markets. Since this town is more local, you’ll find more authentic Cambodian goods here rather than the cheap tourist stuff they sell in Phnom Penh markets. 
  • Take a sunset boat ride on the Mekong Delta. As you glide along the calm waters, you’ll see fishermen catching things to sell in the market. You’ll also pass a few tiny villages. 
  • Climb the French Lookout Tower: You’ll need to take a motorbike here as the ride to it isn’t the best for tuk-tuks. The 100-step climb is a bit claustrophobic. Once at the top, you can see the breathtaking view of the entire town. 
  • Cross the Ko Paen Bridge. You can cross this huge, super rickety bamboo bridge if you’re brave. The locals reconstruct it yearly, but it’s still in pretty bad shape. Many tourists just come to take photos, but you can also drive or walk over it if you feel courageous. 
three buddhist monks dressed in orange crossing the bamboo bridge, kampong cham

Top Things to Do in Phnom Penh

Now that you’ve taken a few day trips and gotten out of the city, here is a list of the best things to do in Phnom Penh:

  • Learn about the Khmer Regime at the Killing Fields: If you’re in Phnom Penh, you need to visit the Killing Fields so you can learn more about the Khmer Regime. There are also a few genocide museums around the city, just a short drive from the Killing Fields, so you can visit several places on the same day. 
  • Tour the Royal Palace: This is a great place to tour to learn more about the royal family of Cambodia as well as the history of the country. You can tour many of the rooms as well as the outdoor temples. 
  • Walk and eat along Sisowath Quay: This is the beautiful little riverfront district in Phnom Penh. It’s breezy and a great place to walk and people-watch. It’s also known to have some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes. 
  • Shop at the Central Market: Going to a Khmer market is a must in the city because they have everything from local produce to designer goods to cheap souvenirs. If you’re coming to the city as an ex-pat, this is also a great place to get the cheap things you might need for your new apartment. 
  • Take a food tour: I recommend doing a food walking tour in every place you visit, but especially in Phnom Penh. You can learn where the best food around the city is as well as ensure you are only eating only safe street food since the guide knows the best spots. 
  • Exercise at Wat Botum Park: Even though Phnom Penh is a large city, Wat Botum Park is a nice green area right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. There are also several monuments throughout the park, including the Cambodian-Vietnam Friendship Monument. During the weekend, the park often has live dance performances that are worth seeing. 
sisowath quay at sunset, lights around the palm trees, cats going up and down the roads, river and tall buildings in the distance

How to Get to Phnom Penh 

Phnom Penh has an international airport you can fly to from many international destinations. You can also easily get to Phnom Penh airport if you’re coming from Siem Reap, Bangkok, or Ho Chi Minh City. 

If you’re on a strict budget and have more time, you can also take a bus to Phnom Penh from other Southeast Asian cities. 

When to Visit Phnom Penh 

Phnom Penh is warm and humid all year round. From November to May, the weather is slightly less humid, making exploring the city and walking around a more enjoyable time. 

This time of year also sees a lot less rainfall, so you don’t have to worry about being caught in the rain. 

Don’t Miss These Fantastic Day Trips From Phnom Penh! 

If you’re searching for the best day trips from Phnom Penh, this guide should have all the details to make the perfect itinerary for traveling around Cambodia. 

Taking a few Phnom Penh day trips is a fantastic way to experience more of local Khmer culture, visit some lesser-known temples, and meet locals!

If you’re heading to Phnom Penh, which of these day trips will you take first? 

You Might Also Like

Like it? Pin it!

Please share if you enjoy this content!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *