The majority of travellers on the Cambodia holidays will appreciate the crowning glory in this magnificent Southeast Asian country is the iconic Angkor Wat, but there are plenty of other things to see and do in this quite small country.
Other worthwhile places to visit include the bustling and exciting capital city of Phnom Penh; the Mekong River town of Kratie (especially for its river dolphins), the chic beach destination of Sihanoukville, and the largest lake in the region: Tonle Sap Lake.
For the tourists on the Cambodia tour packages interested in learning more about the country’s history and culture, a visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng prison are a sombre reminder of the past.
With Cambodia now shaking off its past issues and embracing its future, this is a perfect time to experience the holiday in a country that appears to have plenty of places to sightsee or completely relax on one of the gorgeous beaches.
A major industry in Cambodia that continues to develop is tourism with strong efforts continuing to be made to promote the region for its fascinating cultural heritage, rich diversity and unique attractions. Tourism in this country first started to get traction in the late 1970’s after the difficult period of the Khmer Rouge rule.
Cambodia continues to see greater political stability and peace, especially after the last national election. The country is now more open with the possibility to really explore the Angkor civilization and visit the little known areas that are rarely visited.
For the tourists planning the Cambodia tours, it is practical to visit this charming county at any time of the year. Cambodia has two different seasons: wet and dry. The wet season runs from May to September and the dry season is October to April. The weather can vary quite a lot during the year with the most intense heat noticed at the start of the wet season (May and June) with temperature likely to reach 35° C. Also, the humid weather is most noticed in March and April which keeps the sightseer warm.
For the traveller that prefers the cooler climate, a trip starting in October to December is more idea with an average temperature recorded at 24° to 26° C. Plus, most of the rainfall takes place in August and September, so appropriate wet weather gear should be packed for this period.
The state language in the country is Khmer – though there are a few other dialects spoken in Cambodia, such as Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai which are noticed in various different regions. Unlike neighbouring countries, the Khmer language is not tonal. It is more related to a multitude trip thongs, dip-, and vowels to make it a quite difficult language to learn for someone not familiar with it.
On the Cambodia private tour it is possible to notice the younger generation has a basic grasp of the English language and capable of speaking a few phrases, but the elder people are less likely to be versed in a foreign language.
However, the local Cambodian people will appreciate the travellers who make an effort to speak a few words in the local language. This is able to show a degree of consideration and respect to the local residents, so it may be worthwhile picking up a phrase book and using this on occasion.
The market in Cambodia makes it possible to use two forms of payment in the country. This includes the US dollar and local Cambodian Riel – although, the Riel should be used for smaller transaction because the US coins aren’t accepted in the shops, stalls or markets. While it is possible to use credit cards in more places, especially in the cities, it still benefits to travel with cash in either US dollars or Cambodian Riel. Cash is the only form of payment if planning to visit the more remote or countryside areas on the Cambodia travel. Also, for the less touristy regions, the Riel is the most practical payment method because there is a lot less US dollars around which means it may not be accepted or it isn’t possible to give change.
What to see and where to go
Cambodia has nearly 2000 temples scattered across the country in various states of repair which means that no matter the part of the country that is visited there is certain to be ancient temples nearby. By exploring these temples it is possible to fully appreciate Cambodia's past history. But, the tourist must make sure to wear the modest attire when visiting the religious buildings. All travellers should remove their shoes and hats and have the knees and shoulders covered.
A visit to the Koh Kong province is perfect for those travellers wishing to explore one of the largest Mangrove forests of Southeast Asia or trek the jungles of the Cardamom Mountains. This region has stunning scenery with its long untouched coastline, towering waterfalls, and abundant wildlife.
Koh Rong is well located and approx 25 km from Sihanoukville and the second largest island in the country. This island has some of Cambodia’s finest beaches. Plus, for the more adventurous, there is nearly 78 sq km of dense jungle to trek through.
Cambodia is a friendly and safe country to visit in Southeast Asia, but it can still help to abide by safe travel practices when in a new country, especially for those unable to use the local language.
Even though Cambodia was heavily bombed throughout the Vietnam War the leftover landmines or unexplored bombs in the major areas have been de-mined. Although, it is best go on a trek through the remote jungle areas with a host or guide because some of these areas are still left with hidden landmines in place.
Beyond using common sense when travelling around the country, a full comprehensive travel insurance policy is well worth investing in when visiting a foreign destination.