Angkor Wat is definitely the star attraction of Cambodia and is certainly one of the most impressive structures on the planet. We will never forget driving up to the complex and seeing Angkor Wat standing proudly over the water or the adorable little girl that sold us post cards as she recited our capital city of Canada. But once you have your fill of temples, head over to the country’s capital Phnom Penh. Relax by the Mekong River, check out the Royal Palace and then hire a guide to the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields; the most compelling and profoundly moving sight in Phnom Penh. This Cambodia travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Cambodia Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Cambodian power voltage is 220/230 V 50 Hz; Power sockets A & C
- Cambodian currency is the Cambodian Riel (KHR) and is around 4,000 KHR for 1 USD
- If you want to skip getting a visa upon arrival, than citizens of most nations can apply for an e-Visa online on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation website. The price is indeed a little higher, due to a processing fee, and the e-visa only valid for entry by air or at specific border main land crossings.
- Do some good and have a drink at The Foreign Correspondents Club or a meal at Friends (215 Street 13; 00855 12 802072; friends-international.org), where street children are trained to be waiters and chefs.
- Take small note denominations in US dollars – $1 bills are ideal – for tipping and small purchases.
- Make sure to book in advance if you plan on visiting during mid-April’s New Year celebrations or for the Water Festival in Phnom Penh in November.
Top Packing Tips for Cambodia Travel
Cambodia is in a tropical zone, affected by two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Monsoon season is from May to October, raining usually for a short time in the afternoon. The dry season is from November to March where temperatures hovering around 95°F (35°C). Phnom Penh is always very humid.
- Umbrella / Rain coat: Climate change means that Cambodia experiences rainstorms during the dry season and cool temperatures in the hot season – in short the weather can be unpredictable. Make sure to bring an umbrella or rain coat.
- The protection basics – Travellers should stock up on the essentials: sun block, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat. If you plan on traveling in rural areas, make sure to avoid mosquito-born dengue fever by wearing clothes that cover the arms and legs and spraying yourself with DEET. Mosquito coils can also help/
- Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate. Think “cool but conservative.”
- Footwear – to make visiting temples and homes easy, look for a pair of supportive and sturdy sandals that can be easily slipped on and off. For hiking and trekking, pack a pair of boots. Last make sure to pack a pair of flip flops for those long walks along the beach.