Things to know before travelling to Cambodia

The Far East was once very remote. Air travel has brought it so much closer and relatively speaking it has become fairly cheap to enjoy Cambodia tour packages. There is still the feeling of an exotic region that has not yet quite revealed itself but those who have visited, perhaps enjoying Indochina tour packages which can include up to five countries, will have certainly learnt more. These days it is possible to do research online into particular things of interest and good tour companies are able to do tailor-made tours to Cambodia to concentrate on particular aspects of the Country.

Cambodia has a rich history but in many ways part of its recent history can only be described as horrific. The regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge did not last very long before the Thais came to defeat it.  However in the few years that it ruled it is thought that as many as 1.5 million Cambodians were innocently slaughtered. Inevitably that period has left its effects and tourists can go to see evidence of the atrocities. Fortunately Cambodians have shown their resilience and their naturally friendly demeanour has prevailed.

If you are considering Cambodia for your next holiday then it is worth learning a little more before you travel to Cambodia even though if you select Cambodia tour packages which obviously make all the arrangements for you.

cambodia tour package

Advice
•    Negotiate. Most of the time you will be able to bargain for a better price. Locals will usually expect it but you cannot blame them for trying to get a little extra profit from a tourist who appears to have plenty of money.What the final price will be depends on your negotiating skills and the extent to which you are concerned about what you pay. Locals will not like to lose face but they will also want to sell to you. The ball is in your court as they say.

•    Food.  Everyone wants to stay fit and healthy and avoid a delicate stomach. That means looking for places where you can trust their cleanliness and the freshness of their produce. If you are on Cambodia tour packages your meals will often be already arranged but there will be times when you are free. There is no reason to be fearful of street food if the vendor is busy because nothing will have stood for very long. Similarly if the locals are patronising a vendor or a particular restaurant that is a recommendation in itself.

•    Explore. One of the great thingson Indochina tour packages is that there is always something unexpected likely to happen. It might be during your free time though no one would advise exploring strange places after nightfall just as you would be reluctant to do so at home.

•    Publications. Pick up leaflets and magazines if they seem current. They may contain news and something that might interest you.

•    Different. Cambodia tour packageswill introduce you to new foodand the local drinks, soft and alcohol. You may see some labels you recognise. They are not necessarily the same as the products you are used to at home.

•    Tours. Your itinerary will be arranged for you if you are on Cambodia tour packages but if you have some free time there may be something else that you can see using local tours.

•    Transport. When you have free time buses are cheap and the best way to get around. If you get in a taxi be sure you know the costs involved in your journey.

•    Health. Health facilities are not as good as home, especially in remote areas. Carry a basic first aid kit just in case.If you feel you will need particular medication then take it with you but follow any advice about notifying your tour company.

Warnings

•    Crime. It pays to be careful because there are pickpockets in large cities, as there are all over the world. Keep your documents safe and don’t carry things you don’t need. It makes sense to have photocopies of things like your passport and tickets just in case.

•    Strangers. They usually mean no harm but as an obvious tourist strangers will see you as a chance to help and make money. If you politely refuse an approach they are likely to go away. When all your arrangements are made for you then there will only be limited occasions when you might look lost and in need of help.
Attractions

Cambodia has a great deal to reveal to the tourist. That includes many historical landmarks, a wealth of religious and cultural attractions and the sheer quality of the natural environment. During the rainy season from May round to November there are fewer tourists but that means that it is easier to see some of these attractions. Certainly Cambodia tour packages are available all year round.

•    The complex at Angkor is the highlight of any Cambodia tour packages and arguably Indochina tour packages. Angkor Wat has been photographed millions of times and the image has been used countless times in travel publications. The site itself is around 400 square kilometre and quite rightly is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Khmer Empire existed for many centuries and its architecture is a reminder of its stature. The buildings were constructed between the 9th and 15th Centuries.

•    The Bayon is another highlight. It stands within the Angkor Thom which is surrounded by a moat. There are four stone gates as entrances to a place with numerous statues some of gods and others of giants.

•    Ta Prohm Monastery and the nearby templeare east of Angkor Thom. They were found surrounded by jungle often with trees growing out of the ruins. They have been left in the condition they were found and hence can provide memorable photographs.

•    Indochina tour packages usually include Siem Reap simply because it is so close to Angkor Wat. Its highlight is Tonle Sap, the largest lake in Indochina. It is a birdwatchers’ paradise. It covers 15,000 square kilometres to a depth of 8 metres at the height of the monsoon though towards the end of the dry season it will be only a fifth of that size and down to 1 metre in depth. Inevitably that means the environment changes enormously at different times of the year. The villages are on stilts so they have no problem but agriculture obviously changes with the season.

•    Phnom Penh is the capital and it has its share of high rise buildings. However it has much more. The top attraction is the Royal Palace built in 1866. The site has several interesting buildings including the Silver Pagoda, the Throne Hall, the Royal Treasury and Napoleon III’s villa.

•    The regime of Pol Pot was mentioned earlier in this article. ‘’The Killing Fields’’ of Choeng Ek are just outside Phnom Penh. A huge number of Cambodians were tortured and killed by the regime. The Tuol Sleng Museum was formerly a prison where many were tortured and there is a very poignant memorial, the Choeng Ek Memorial to ensure that no one forgets the horrors that Pol Pot inflicted on his people.Cambodia tour packages will always include aspects of this terrible chapter in national history.

•    The iconic Mekong River starts in the Tibetan Plateau flowing southwards through China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and out to the South China Sea. Indochina tour packages contain some activities relating to the River. It is in fact navigable all the way down from Phnom Penh to the sea.

•    Sihanoukville was first created as a coastal resort fifty years ago. It is now a port but also a popular tourist location because of its fine beaches and offshore islands. It is an ideal place to take a break from a hectic schedule or actually to finish a holiday in Cambodia before the journey home. There are plenty of water sports for the active and the chance to go sailing unless you simply want to sit and relax.

•    Battambang is one of the best places to see French colonial architecture. It still has that ‘’small town feel’’ which is often the case in Cambodian towns. It is up in the north west of the Country and was an important trading place especially because of its proximity to Thailand. At one time it was actually under Siamese control. Kamping Puoy Lake is nearby, famous for its lotus flowers.

•    It is important on any travel in Cambodia to see and enjoy its natural beauty. The Cardamom Mountains make this list of attractions, largely because of its great waterfalls. You must be prepared to trek and if you do you can exploreIndochina’s biggest mangrove forests. The highest peak is over 1,800 metres and the fauna is abundant. Realistically you are very unlikely to see the rare clouded leopard and even less so the severely endangered tiger. However there is a better chance to see gaur, wild dog and gibbon while dolphins in the rivers are a delight.

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