Some Tips for Cambodia Tours
It’s clear that Cambodia is experiencing a rebirth making it a top destination on many traveler’s lists. Yet part of the main appeal of this unique destination is its centuries of history embedded into the culture and sights. While many visit to get a glimpse of one of the seven wonders of the world, Cambodia offers a wealth more to explore during your Cambodia Tour. We’ve outlined some helpful tips when planning a trip with us to this mesmerizing SE Asian country.
When to Go
The most ideal time for a visit to Cambodia largely depends on what you hope to include on your itinerary. If you’re looking to head to the coast and hit the beaches, we advise you visit during the dry season which runs from late November to April. During this time, the days are longer, the skies clearer, and of course the rainfall minimal. This is also an ideal time of year to visit the famed Angkor Temples, although prepare to encounter larger crowds as it is peak tourist season.
However, visiting during the off-season ( also the rainy season), can have some advantages. From July to November, you’ll get the most out visiting temples and areas that are normally packed with other tourists. Additionally, Cambodia’s countryside and Tonle Sap Lake will be lush and green due to the increased rainfall. Higher water levels will also give you better access to floating villages and swampy forests.
What to Do
Tour the Temples of Angkor Wat
Start your excursion to these famed temples before sunrise and you’ll get a chance to see a particularly stunning morning scene as the sun comes up over the river. You’ll move on to soak in Angkor Wat, the largest and most breathtaking monument at Angkor. For the remainder of the morning, you’ll have the chance to explore the rest of this magnificent man-made compilation of temples.
Contribute to Global Basecamps Clean Water Project
Currently over 50% of the rural Cambodian population does not have access to clean drinking water. We believe that the most valuable travel experiences are created through establishing personal connections with the people we encounter along the way. With this in mind, we’ve created a unique excursion
that allows our travelers the opportunity to deliver water filters to the floating village of Kampon Khleang, located just an hour outside of Siem Reap. This fascinating village boasts wooden houses on 10-meter-tall stilts, surrounded by water in the wet season and set on the lake’s floodplains during the dry season. In addition to getting to explore the village, you’ll also have the opportunity to see how the water filters you flew are installed and
connect with local villagers.
Visit the Beaches of Koh Rong
While the mesmerizing ancient temples and mouth watering street food are often what take center stage on a Cambodia tour, it’s island beaches shouldn’t be overlooked. One such island oasis is Koh Rong
. Located in the west of the country - very close to neighboring Thailand - Koh Rong is one of Cambodia’s prime beach destinations. It’s turquoise blue waters and powdery sand even served as the back-drop for a season of the reality show Survivor. One particularly incredible highlight of this less-traversed Cambodian island is the chance to see glowing plankton. While this phenomenon is present elsewhere in the country, the rare lack in light pollution on Koh Rong makes for ideal viewing conditions. You’ll get to see these iridescent blue creatures shine at their brightest, a natural sight sure to stay in your memories.
Bike Around the Island of Koh Doch
Situated on the Mekong and sufficiently isolated from Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh, Koh Dach is renowned throughout the country for the quality of its silk, which you may get to witness being woven by hand. During a bike ride
through the countryside roads of this lush island, you’ll have time to mingle with local residents, take in the stunning scenery, and end with a trip to a colonial style market where perhaps you’ll find a snack or souvenir.
Spend a day out on the water and get some exercise while you sight-see along the coastlines of Hong Island. This crescent shaped island features shallow coral reefs and a breathtaking lagoon making it ideal for spotting sea-life as you kayak. You’ll paddle through towering cliffs and onto a beautiful bay, where you’ll have the chance to sit back, relax, and soak up the sun.
Other Cambodia Tour Tips
Common Etiquette and Customs
As you’ll likely be visiting some of Cambodia’s beautiful religious sites and potentially local homes, it’s important to take note of the regional/religious etiquette to abide by. Shoulders and knees must be covered when entering temples or any religious structure ( for women it is recommended to bring a shawl or scarf that can easily be draped over bare shoulders). It is polite to remove shoes before entering a house. Public displays of affection are considered to be quite offensive and should be limited.
While less famous for its dishes than its neighbor Thailand, Cambodia nonetheless has a variety of enticing and interesting dishes to taste during your Cambodia Tour. We recommend trying the following dishes: Bai sach chrouk ( pork and rice), Khmer red curry, Nom Banh chok ( khmer noodles), and Kdam chaa (fried crab).
Entry and Exit Requirements
Visitors to Cambodia must have a passport valid for six months after your final departure date. You must also obtain a Tourist Visa for Cambodia which you can either secure upon arrival or get an E-Visa prior to your trip.