Southeast Asia is replete with romantic destinations, and in this blog we look at the most heart-fluttering honeymoon places in Cambodia.
This country on the Gulf of Thailand might not be the first place that comes to mind for a once-in-a-lifetime couple’s getaway, but across its charming cities, historic sites and idyllic beaches there’s plenty to be enamored with.
This sleepy city is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor site, with the famous Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Bayon temple. But that’s not all there is to the city.
Over the last five years, Siem Reap’s art’s scene has blossomed, with artisans from all over the world setting up there.
Aside from exploring the Angkor site, honeymooners can spend time together browsing artist galleries and handicraft stores to pick up a one-of-a-kind momento of their trip. Kandal Village is an atmospheric few blocks of converted old shophouses where local and expat artists have set up shop.
Siem Reap is also one of the best honeymoon places in Cambodia if you like adventurous dining. There’s a surfeit of street food, and an increasing number of upscale restaurants are reinventing traditional Khmer cuisine.
There’s Cuisine Wat Damnak, which fuses Cambodian and French food, Embassy Restaurant by lauded executive chefs, and twins, Pol and Sok, and Marum, based out of an old teak house, which provides vocational training to underprivileged youth and offers an illuminated terrace garden.
For honeymooners interested in an immersive culture trip, Battambang, not far from Siem Reap has homestays, ancient temples and serene, slow-paced countryside.
Honeymoon hotels in Siem Reap
The newly refurbished Raffles d’Angkor Hotel revives French-colonial grandeur with all modern facilities and haute Khmer cuisine in its onsite restaurant.
The Shinta Mani Angkor brings Bill Bensley style to the city, and offers a craft boutique where you can support local organizations by buying handicrafts and assorted objets d’art.
The FCC Angkor is a hip, modern hotel in a historical building, or if you’re looking for honeymoon places in Cambodia with a more local, boutique vibe, book in at the new art hotel Treeline, or Jaya House River Park hotel.
Unforgettable honeymoon activities Siem Reap
- An Angkor Wat tour: book a luxurious experience at this icon, with a champagne gondola ride in the moat, or get up early and watch sunrise over the peaks.
- A helicopter ride to remote temples: explore further, to a little-known site outside of Siem Reap. Enjoy wandering an ancient Angkor site with just the two of you.
- Breakfast by West Baray reservoir: this scenic spot makes for breathtaking photos.
- Phare Circus: watch a vibrant and moving performance by local actors and acrobats.
The Cardamom Mountains represent some of Southeast Asia’s largest remaining rainforest, and some of its most biodiverse terrain.
Logging and poaching threaten this 4.4 million-hectare jungle, but eco-travel and wildlife tourism in the area is help provide an alternative source of income for locals.
One of the best honeymoon places in Cambodia for nature lovers, a honeymoon here is perfect for those you want to be completely immersed in the wild. You can hike, go on night safaris, kayak, cycle, patrol with forest rangers, swim in rivers and even bathe under waterfalls.
Honeymoon hotels in the Cardamom Mountains
The super-luxurious and exclusive Shinta Mani Wild provides a glamping experience infused with Bill Bensley’s imaginative ‘old-world explorers’ narrative.
The designer is actually a vocal environmentalist, and created the resort without harming a single tree. The property is near a wildlife corridor, protecting the forests’ vulnerable wildlife from poaching.
It’s one of the most romantic honeymoon places in Cambodia for couples who want to be totally immersed in wild nature.
Cardamom Tented Camp is another eco-friendly ultra-glamping site with hiking and animal patrols.
Unforgettable honeymoon activities in the Cardamom Mountains:
- Forest patrol: join a Forest Ranger ona hike or kayaking trip looking for traps and other signs of poaching.
- Forage for food: find ingredients in the jungles then prepare your own hyper-local meal
- Mountain bike: explore jungle terrain on two wheels
- Zipline for cocktails: Shinta Mani Wild’s tents are connected by ziplines so as not to destroy the forest floor.
- Waterfall-related activities: swim under a waterfall, or picnic next to one.
As far as honeymoon places in Cambodia go, Phnom Penh is a charming colonial stepping stone to either the country’s southern beaches, a Mekong River cruise, or a cross-country tour through Indochina.
The capital offers up an exciting mix of history, culture and, importantly to honeymooners, great wining and dining.
For history buffs, there are poignant sites like Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, the National Museum of Cambodia, Wat Phnom and the Royal Palace.
For cultural sightseers, there are markets, architectural walks, bar-hopping tours and street food crawls, while those you like to be pampered will find some seriously luxurious hotels.
Honeymoon hotels in Phnom Penh
The new Rosewood Phnom Penh brings its upscale style to the middle of the city. Located on the top 144 floors of one of the city’s few highrises, it offers unparalleled views from its luxurious rooms.
Raffles Hotel le Royal is one of the best honeymoon places in Cambodia for a classic French-colonial stay, or there’s the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra for a French-infused five-star experience.
Phnom Penh is full of original houses that have been converted into cute four-star boutique hotels, all very affordable and cater more to adults, so honeymooners might want to split their time between a big chain and an independent boutique. Pavilion and The 252 are two examples.
Unforgettable honeymoon activities in Phnom Penh
- An architectural walking tour: see traditional temples, French-colonial buildings and the designs of legendary Cambodian architect Van Molyvann.
- Dine at Romdeng: this is perhaps the city’s most famous restaurant, where you can try fried tarantula (alongside more classic Khmer dishes).
- Gaze over the river: choose a bar or restaurant by the river and watch the world go by. The FCC Phnom Penh is in a good position.
- Cruise along the river: See the sights from a cocktail sailing at sundown.
The coastlines of the south offer up some of the best honeymoon places in Cambodia for beach and island lovers. The Gulf of Thailand provides all the ingredients for an idyllic couple’s getaway, with white sandy beaches, deserted islands, luxury resorts, cruising and diving.
Honeymooners can make a tour out of it starting in Sihanoukville and heading to Kampot and Kep for fantastic seafood, before choosing an island to disappear on for awhile.
There’s Song Saa, Koh Russey, Koh Krabey and Koh Tonsay and Koh Rong, to name a few.
Honeymoon hotels in Southern Cambodia
Song Saa Island is one of the top honeymoon places in Cambodia. This eco-friendly private island offers individual villas crafted from sustainable and found materials, with a second island attached by bridge that’s left completely wild.
Six Senses Krabey Island also does sustainability, placed amid virtually untouched jungle, with an organic farm and butterfly breeding program, and offering beach and ocean activities, as well as cultural trips.
The new Alila Koh Russey is another amazing retreat for honeymooners. Spacious villas are spread out over the island, blending in with the environment and surrounded by forest.
Unforgettable honeymoon activities in Southern Cambodia
- A pagoda blessing: get a good luck blessing from a local Budhist monk
- Snorkeling and diving: explore the waters via a day tour, or just swim off the beach
- Khmer cooking classes: take home some skills in local cuisine
- Castaway picnics: there’s no shortage of romantic deserted beaches for a picnic for two
- Relax in your private pool villa: most luxury accommodation in southern Cambodia will have private-pool villas where you can just enjoy quiet time together.