Best for: History, spirituality, nightlife, movie reenactments
Hey, look, we’re back to gay-friendly territory! Also, Phnom Penh is pronounced “P’nom” Penh, not Nom or Fnom or anything like that. Speaking of, if you’re in Phnom Penh you might consider setting aside an afternoon for Tuol Sleng, the national genocide museum. I will not bullshit you -- this was, emotionally, the most difficult museum I’ve ever visited, and I respect that your vacation days are precious and you don’t want to spend them doing things that don’t make you feel good. But the legacy of the Cambodian genocide is not a thing that’s really separable from daily life, and ultimately you get more out of a trip when you understand how and why a place came to be the way it is. Plus, you’ll find more than enough good vibes during the rest of your stay, such as:
Best place to go: Rent a bike for like a dollar and ride around Angkor Wat -- that temple you’ve seen in Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones -- drinking palm juice. If you’re coming from Phnom Penh, skip the bus or car -- instead opt for a river taxi. This mode of transportation is a good way to see what Cambodia looks like to real Cambodians, not to backpackers or expats (though if you want to party with other backpackers, this is certainly one of the places to do it; just check into the biggest hostel you can find and let nature take its course). Fair warning, what is advertised as a journey of a few hours might take, I dunno, all day, depending on how healthy your river taxi is, but this is one of those things where you need to just let go and surrender to the process. You will get there when you get there.
Food to eat: Don’t @ me for this being too basic, but honestly the fruit juice. Anyone stands to be delighted by the endless succession of perfectly ripe Cambodian fruits that someone will squeeze into your glass for probably around $1. Try sugar palm if you want something new.