‘Grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome,' declared the French explorer Henri Mouhot, who rediscovered the fabled temple city of Angkor, the spiritual and cultural centre of Cambodia. These staggering ruins, some partly covered by trees and creepers, others salvaged from the jungle and free to explore, remain the country's major draw.
But there's plenty more to this beguiling country, which is moving on from the blood-tinted days of the Khmer Rouge and is an increasingly popular destination for travellers. Many of the old colonial buildings from the French protectorate are being restored in pretty towns like Kep, and awareness is growing of the allure of Cambodia's natural wonders alongside its architectural gems.
Rare Irrawaddy dolphins can be seen at Kratie on the Mekong River, an artery that flows through beautiful countryside dotted with small villages and pretty waterfalls. Cambodia's other great waterway is the Tonlé Sap, the ‘Great Lake' that provides food in abundance and floodwaters that, after the summer rains, turn this into the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia.
Elsewhere, coastal reefs shelter abundant marine life and forest-clad mountains are home to elephants, tigers, monkeys and bears. Of course you'll want to visit the mysterious remains of Angkor, but leave a little time for some other attractions too.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Cambodia, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Tropical monsoon climate, with the monsoon season from June to October. The best time to visit is from November to May, during the dry season.
Chaul Chnam Chen, the Lunar New Year, is celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese in late January or early February. The Chaul Chnam, or Khmer New Year, celebrations bring the country to a standstill for three days in April. The Khmer calendar's most important festival is Bon Om Tuk, celebrating the end of the wet season in early November.
Influenced by Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, but with less spice. Fish, soup, and salad are favourite dishes, incorporating coriander, lemon grass and mint flavours. Amok is a Cambodian coconut curry, typically fish, steamed in banana leaves. Nuts, bananas, coconuts, jackfruit, and lychees are often used in sweet dishes.
Sensitivity to politically-related subjects in conversation is advisable. Avoid pointing your foot at a person or touching someone on the head. Women should wear long clothing that covers the body. It is polite to ask permission before photographing Cambodian people, especially monks.
Pochentong (PNH), 12 km from Phnom Penh. Angkor (REP) 8 km from Siem Reap. Sihanoukville (KOS) 18 km East of the town.
Some rail services operate, but many need restoration. Boats and government run ferries frequently used. Driving can be hazardous, due to the awful conditions of the roads and accidents caused by reckless driving are relatively frequent. Car hire is generally not recommended and visitors are advised to hire a car with driver for approximately the same cost.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Cambodia. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Cambodia. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Cambodia, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in Cambodia. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Alex Brossler - Asia Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0613