Updated 2 years ago

Leisure is probably an essential part of an expatriation project. If you are moving to Cambodia, here is how to keep yourself busy.

Moving to Cambodia can be a real adventure, whether you are going to work or you are retiring there. There is so much to do and discover in this South-East Asian country during your leisure time. In fact, various leisure activities are available in most of its cities, and even in rural regions thanks to its breathtaking landscape and the numerous historical and cultural places of interest it hosts. Hence, you are definitely not likely to get bored.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital city, is with no doubt the most popular city with tourists and expatriates. You can find anything you could imagine there in terms of leisure, including stadiums, swimming pools, fitness, martial arts and yoga clubs, as well as gyms and golf courses. You can even join aerobic classes which are held on the Sisowath Quay and on the steps of the Olympic stadium.

You will also find parks and many public open spaces which you can enjoy after working hours or during week-ends. You can even organize a family outing in one of these parks. The Kirorom National Park which is found at two hours drive from Phnom Penh and the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Reserve, which is at some 10 km from the city-center, are other places of interest that you should not miss.

To discover the capital city's traditional side, take the time to visit the Psar Thmei Central Market which is covered with a huge dome and the Psar O Russei night market.

In terms of history and culture, you will be delighted by the following:

  • the Wat Phnom, Wat and Tonle Bati Ounalom (30 km from Phnom Penh) temples
  • the National Museum and Khmer Rouge museums and memorials, namely Tuol Sleng, Chieung Ek, Killing Fields, etc
  • the Independence Monument
  • Koh Dach or the Silk Island
  • the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is just a few kilometers away from the Angkor temples. Although the region does not offer a variety of leisure activities, it is deemed to be one of the country's most worthwhile spots according to expat testimonies on the web. The Psar Kandal covered market, for instance, will give you a life glimpse of the traditional Cambodian lifestyle. You can as well enjoy Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon temples stretching over some 400 km².


Sihanoukville, for its part, its famous for its beaches. In fact, most of its beaches are equipped with tourist facilities and other leisure infrastructure. It also hosts many spas, diving clubs, recreational grounds, etc. If you like sports, why not try water sports, combat sports, or even martial arts.

Finally, surprising as it may seem, Sihanoukville hosts a Khmer cooking school.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Leisure in Cambodia Forum 
Expat.com – Cambodia Leisure Directory
Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia www.tourismcambodia.com
Travel and Leisure – Phnom Penh www.travelandleisure.com
GoSihanoukville www.gosihanoukville.com
Sihanoukville-Cambodia www.sihanoukville-cambodia.com
Siem Reap Cambodia www.siemreapcambodia.org

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