Cambodia Travel Guide

A country of rich cultural heritage and spectacular natural scenery, Cambodia has a sad recent history from which it is still picking up the pieces. From the former heights of the mighty 10th century Angkor Kingdom to the lows of Pol Pot's murderous regime that wiped out a quarter of the population, Cambodia has had an eventful past.

What’s Cool

Angkor Wat, glitzy casinos, Sihanoukville's empty beaches, Phnom Penh's vibrant backpacker scene, Mekong Island's wildlife, dolphin spotting in Kratie, cheap hotel rates, interesting museums tracing Cambodia's tragic modern history.

What’s Not

Widespread prostitution and poverty, unexploded ordinance, scams, hot and humid weather for most of the year, occasional violence and political tension, unreliable transport, pot holes, lawlessness and firearms.

When to Go

Best: March-April
Worst: November-December

Visas

US/Can: no (30 day)
EU: *no (30 days)
Aus/NZ: no (30 days)

Essential Info

Time: GMT+7
Electricity: 220V 50Hz 3-Pin Plug
Money: Baht: 1US$ = 32 Baht
Phone: ICC (+66) Outgoing: 001

Cambodia might be quite low-key compared to its more popular neighbor, Thailand, yet it has plenty of charms of its own. With ancient temples, fascinating ruins, peaceful beaches and the very touristy Angkor Wat, Cambodia is slowly making its way to becoming one of the more popular destinations in Southeast Asia.

The capital, Phnom Penh, caters well to backpackers with its budget lodgings and lively bars while the likes of Siem Reap have more upscale offerings to cater to the increasingly sophisticated Angkor Wat crowds. The macabre Killing Fields are a sombre reminder of the nation's turbulent past but essential viewing for anyone who wants to get to grips with Cambodia's turbulent modern history.

Travel to Cambodia - Getting There

The fastest way to arrive in Cambodia is by air. The airport in Phnom Penh receives flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City and Guangzhou. From the airport, local buses are provided to take you to your destinations while taxis are aplenty at the airport and in the city. There are also frequently flights to Siem Reap from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and other regional airports - for convenient short trips to Angkor Wat. Alternatively, you can reach Cambodia by waterway from neighboring countries. The country's international seaport is located in Sihanoukville. To get around, use the services of trishaws and taxis. The road network is in a poor state and land transport is both tedious and uncomfortable.

Cambodia Things to Do

Angkor Wat
Siem Reap acts as the gateway to the world-renowned temples of Angkor, a true wonder of the world and the remains of an ancient Khmer city and religious center. The nearby Bayon and Ta Prohm temples are also worth visiting.
Phnom Penh
Many outstanding colonial architectural wonders, old temples, the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, and busy streets attract tourists to Cambodia's capital city where unique historic charms fill the air.
Mekong Island
Visit a small zoo and weaving villages. Befriend big, friendly elephants and explore the island on their backs.
Sihanoukville
This resort town in the south boasts tranquil beaches, several natural spots such as waterfalls and rolling hills, and is a great place to relax with plenty of peaceful resorts.
Battambang
Cambodia's second-largest city, about 290kms from Phnom Penh, features many temples and villages. A small museum displays a selection of Angkor-era artifacts while a large lake is an ideal place for relaxing amid nature.
Diving
Good diving spots can be found in Sihanoukville where waters are unspoiled and rich with marine life. There are more than 20 islands to choose from. The best scuba destinations are K. Tang, K. Prins and Poulo Wai.
Dirt-Biking
big trend in Cambodia, dirt-biking routes include a motor cross track over the Japanese bridge where races are held every month. The country offers the best off-road trails in the region, with the remote and untouched eastern provinces recommended.
Whitewater Rafting
Not for fainted-heart, white-water rafting in Cambodia is sheer madness. This adrenaline-pumping activity is usually organized on the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers.
River Tours Trips
Cruising along some of the beautiful rivers here is a great way to see the city from a different angle. You might also spot Cambodia's famous freshwater dolphins.
Nightclubs
Many visitors find the disco nightlife in Phnom Penh vibrant and exciting. Clubs are packed with both locals and tourists. There are many 'hostess clubs' outside Phnom Penh where ladies are also welcomed.
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