The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cambodia

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cambodia 369 246 Sheetal Khatri

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cambodia

Monks at Angkor Library
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

We merely imagined gigantic stone temples and floating villages before we took a quick trip to Cambodia. There is certainly more than that and our article below says all about our venture glimpsing into ancient history and life in this gorgeous nation.

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation encircled by Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and a prolong coast called Gulf of Thailand. The land comprises largely of alluvial plains, low uplands and the mighty Mekong delta streams flowing from Tibetan plateau till South China Sea.

The pyramid Temple Koh Ker
Cambodia

The borders of this country link to significant trade routes amid China, India and Southeast Asia. Cambodia embraces a rich and powerful history of once mighty Funan, Chenla and Khmer empires comprehending Hinduism and Buddhism in their precincts, architectures of which are stimulating tourism now.

It is intriguing to find out that there are still many outsized uninhabited regions in Cambodia, especially around Mount Aoral, the highest peak here. The two dominant hydro sources are Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap. The curved streams of delta crafting paths amongst forests were quite a sight from our flight window.

When to visit?

Pre Rup Temple
Pleasant weather in June

It is usually warm in Cambodia year around. Most tourists visit between November to March when it is cooler due to northeast monsoon. However, we really enjoy lower crowds and hence we preferred visiting during low season (May to October) in June.

It is the beginning of rainy season, we got short afternoon showers every day followed by cool misty evenings and we loved it. The skies were gloomy all day which really helped us while touring temples and we never had to be bothered by sun, see picture above. If you plan to visit after June, expect heavy rains in August and September.

Things to do

Cambodia

Ten best temples to visit in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ten best temples to visit in Siem Reap, Cambodia 369 387 Sheetal Khatri

Out of many gorgeous ancient temples in Siem Reap, it is confusing to find the most unique ones to visit. Here is a list of ten best temples to include in your itinerary.

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Siem Reap Beyond Temples

Siem Reap Beyond Temples 369 286 Sheetal Khatri

What to do next after abounding temple experience in Siem Reap? Here is a handful of places to explore beyond temples to make most of your Cambodian trip.

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How to choose temples to visit in Cambodia

How to choose temples to visit in Cambodia 369 246 Sheetal Khatri

Siem Reap is bursting with ancient temple ruins which makes it hard to choose the best ones to visit, especially when you have limited time. Here’s a list of aspects to consider before picking.

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Where to get a good night sleep?

It is best to stay closer to Angkor area if you plan to catch sunrise. The city center is close by however, to avoid the noise, stay a little aloof from city center. There are countless hotels and resorts that provide good services including transport to temples and guide/driver with minimal charges. We stayed at La Residence Blanc D Angkor, it was conveniently close to airport, restaurants, city as well as temples.

Their staff is friendly and humble; food is good too, we tried Khmer traditional ‘Amok’ which was delicious. There are surplus hotels, resorts and holiday home option available, we found this option via Airbnb, they provided us free airport transfers via tuk-tuk.

Local musicians outside temple
Local musicians, Cambodia

Visa, Transportation and Currency

The Cambodian Tourist Visa can be procured either by Visa on arrival or e-visa. The current visa fee is USD 35 per individual. We received our e-visa approval within an hour after applying online, isn’t that impressive?

They accept USD everywhere in Cambodia, it is like second currency here, we didn’t even bother carrying bunches of local Riel. Cash and credit cards (only Visa and MasterCard) are accepted, we could not use Amex in Cambodia.

There are all means of transport operating in Cambodia, however, the most popular means here is “tuk-tuk’, a motor bike with rickshaw attached to it. We paid approx. $1-$3 for nearby 4-5 km. There are various buses for major provinces like Phnom Penh, Koh Kong, Kep and Sihanoukville, etc. besides limited options when it comes to express van services. The difference in prices are slight too.

Many hotels help arrange for transport on request, sometimes charging for it.

Hope this article was helpful, read more about the ten best temples to choose from many in our next article below.

Cambodia
Carvings at Bayon

Packing Essentials

Cambodia is usually warm throughout the year, it is cooler during June-September when the rainy season hits. We usually check weather to pack the right stuff, few important things include:

  • There are attire guidelines for visiting temples so pack light cotton clothes for the purpose that cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Keep basic medication and mosquito repellent with you, there are several cases of tourists getting travellers diarrhoea, dehydration and fever.
  • Pack your best walking footwear and extra pair of general footwear as the temple premises are huge.
  • Ensure your camera lenses are inside proper cases as lenses may get condensation due to quick changes in temperatures.
  • Use a hat even you applied sun protection, you will need it especially if you are visiting temples during afternoons.
  • There may be afternoon showers during early June, stay handy with your personal umbrella, waterproof jackets or even an extra pair of clothes.

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Summary
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cambodia
Article Name
The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cambodia
Description
Things to know before planning a trip to Cambodia. The best temples to visit. Best time to visit, places to see, where to stay, cost aspects etc.
Sheetal Khatri
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