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Welcome to Cambodia

There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.

Sharing borders in the north with Laos and Thailand, in the east with Vietnam and in the south-west with the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia lies at the very heart of Southeast Asia.

Although slowly recovering from the horror of Pol Pot’s three-and-a-half-year reign, the country is once again attracting visitors from across the world; and despite unexploded land mines, the occasional bandit and poor transport, they journey in their thousands to the spectacular temples of Angkor’s ‘Lost City’ at Siem Reap, gritty Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.

Such interest is not surprising. Cambodia, with its warm, welcoming people, lush green forests, dense jungles, abundant wildlife, banana plantations and mighty rivers is breathtaking.

Here is a world largely undiscovered – from Banlung’s hill tribes to Battemban’s colonial architecture and Sihanoukville’s beautiful sandy beaches.

Set against this, the country’s brutal past is both puzzling and disturbing – the reason so many visit the Killing Fields is to understand better the reason for the Khmer Rouge’s cold-blooded slaughter of two million people.

Thankfully, today, peace and tranquillity reign, making it possible for travelers to explore large areas of this wonderful country in relative comfort.

Cambodia’s currency is the Riel (CR), although US dollars are widely accepted along with credit cards. ATMs are available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Traveller’s cheques are not recommended.

Weather

Cambodia is tropical with hot weather year-round, although from November and through January temperatures are slightly cooler. April is the hottest month, when thermometers can soar above 40°C. June to throughout October is the monsoon season, with very heavy rain, powerful winds and high humidity.

The average monthly temperatures for Cambodia are:

 

°C

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Day

32

32

34

35

34

33

32

32

31

31

30

30

Night

21

22

23

24

25

24

25

25

24

24

23

22

Shopping

Shopping

Head for Cambodia’s markets – open every day from 7 am-5 pm – for souvenirs and bargains galore. Phnom Penh has two:

  • Central Market – great for jewellery, gifts, and clothes

 

  • The Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung) – stuffed with stalls selling silverware, jewellery, CDs, DVDs, bags and ceramics

 

When it comes to souvenirs, Cambodia is tops for silk – still woven by hand. Buy it at a good price in the form of a bag, scarf or purse, or if you prefer, in lengths. The krama, the country’s unique checked scarf is available in both silk and cotton.


Cambodian silver is another must-have. Look out for exquisite dining ware and cutlery and intricate necklaces and anklets created by Khmer silversmiths.

Always haggle!

Food & Drink

  • GINGA Japanese Restaurant

  • Khmer Borane Restaurant

  • Mount Everest Restaurant

  • Malis Restaurant

  • Blue Pumpkin Restaurant

  • Khmer Kitchen Restaurant

  • Meric Khchei Khmer Cuisine

  • Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant

  • THMOR DA - Cambodian Restaurant

food-dirck

entertainment

It pays to be choosy when planning a night out in Cambodia. In Phnom Penh and Siam Reap, and to some extent in Sihanoukville, things can get fairly lively thanks to the many visitors and ex-pats. Bars and restaurants abound: however, there are few clubs and places that provide live music. Remember, cover charges at strip clubs in Phnom Penh’s main tourist areas can be heavy.

 

Bars and night-spots:

 

  • Heart of Darkness bar – Phnom Penh
  • Phnom Penh Internet Café Pub – Phnom Penh
  • Laundry Bar –Siem Reap
  • Linga Bar - Siem Reap

 

Other entertainment

  • Water Festival. The Tonie Sap river’s change of direction in October/November is used as a great excuse for people to make merry. Crowds gather on the banks to watch as colorful boats paddle for prizes
  • Cambodian Aspara dance. Although sometimes seen in villages, Siam Reap is where this traditional dance is most frequently performed
Shopping

festivals month

  • October

    Water Festival
  • November

    Water Festival

excursions

Take a bus ride, the most common mode of transport, and get to relaxing beaches at Kep, Sihanoukville and elsewhere.

Health & Safety

Before heading for Cambodia be certain to check with your doctor about vaccinations.

Risks include: malaria, bilharzias (schistosomiasis), giardiasis, dysentery, typhoid fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, hepatits B, avian flu, HIV/AIDS. Avoid mains water, uncooked meat, unpeeled fruit, salads and fruit from street vendors.

Remember medical facilities are poor and health insurance is essential. As for personal safety, with much of the country still heavily mined, be sure to travel with a guide and avoid travelling at night.

Street crime remains a problem in Phnom Penh and violent crime in Seem Reap and Sianoukville. Terrorism is still a concern throughout South East Asia.

Passport & Visa

Before travelling to Cambodia please check the Visa and Passport requirements at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice