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The small charming town of Siem Reap is the base for exploring the Angkor Temple complexes and has grown into a resort destination in itself with wonderful galleries, handicrafts and a plethora of unique, boutique hotels. The town is a fantastic place to forage for bargains in reproduction antiques, contemporary art, fine art photography and Khmer-inspired clothing. Whilst it is very difficult to describe the scale and majesty of Angkor Wat and surrounding temples, it is certainly possible to put into words the aura of mystery and atmosphere of the complexes. Built by kings who were said to be incarnations of the gods, these incredible temple-cities were once home to hundreds of thousands of people, each built to outshine all its predecessors in scale and grandeur. The city of Phnom Penh is one of the precious few cities left where some of the atmosphere of old Indochina remains intact. With the wide expanse of the Mekong as a backdrop, the riverside is a splendid way to spend a few hours watching Buddhist monks, wooden boats, cyclo pousses and street traders meander by. Sihanoukville on Cambodia’s coast is a total contrast from the rest of the country with palm fringed beaches. A visit to Cambodia is rewarding, touching and thought provoking, leaving you thirsting for more.

• Angkor Wat
• Siem Reap
• Phnom Penh
• Sihanoukville
• Tonle Sap

Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, where the rainy season runs from May through to November typified by sultry, oppressive days with high humidity. December to April is the dry season with a lot of sunshine, however temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year (around mid 30 degrees celcius)

Where do I start? Perhaps the capital city, Phnom Penh is logical. I really like this town sitting along the bank of the Mekong. The impressive Royal Palace is well worth a visit and allow at least 2 hours to see it properly. If interested in history the nearby museum is excellent. Confronting but essential is a visit to S21, the Tuol Sleng prison where despotic Pol Pot imprisoned so many in the 1970s. From here they were generally taken to the Killing Fields situated about 30 minutes outside town which may also be visited, whew! It is hot here in Cambodia year round and what better way to relax at the end of the day than to sit in the famous bar of the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) and enjoy an ice cold beer as life on the Mekong passes by. The FCC was the watering hole for all the foreign journalists during the Vietnam War. The sense of history here is palpable.

I travelled between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap by river. These couple of days are brilliant as you cruise the Mekong and across the enormous Tonle Sap Lake, a most important source of food for Cambodians from the massive tonnage of fish caught there every year, before arriving at Angkor Wat. You really get to appreciate the importance of the Mekong to IndoChina, it is the lifeblood of the region and the stilt house built on and alongside the river offer a fantastic insight to a way of life very different than our own. Over the years I have been lucky enough to visit most of the great archaeological sites around the world; the Sphinx and Pyramids in Egypt; Machu Picchu in Peru and Tikal in Guatemala are amongst my favourites. They are all rivaled by Angkor, the remarkable Khmer city built about 1000 years ago. Spend a minimum of 2 days exploring these temples. Our local guides bring them alive. They are extraordinary. Some temples are overgrown with jungle and others cleared. Each has its own special appeal. You will be blown away by the massive size of some and delighted by the beautiful art in others. I have been there several times and look forward to going back.
Chris

Currency Riel (KHR) – US Dollars widely accepted

Language Khmer is the official language of Cambodia

Why we love it Hear the name Cambodia and you must surely be instantly transported to the atmospheric mystery of Angkor, massive temple cities built by kings revered as gods. From the delicate Bantei Sreay, the Temple of the Women, through to Ta Phrom slowly being reclaimed by jungle with tree roots growing right down into the stonework, the temples of Angkor retain an other-worldliness that is hard to beat. Cambodia is so much more than Angkor though with palm fringed beaches in Sihanoukville, saffron clad monks wandering silently in pilgrimage and traditional farming methods displayed on Tonle Sap Lake that have endured for centuries.

Weather Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, where the rainy season runs from May through to November typified by sultry, oppressive days with high humidity. December to April is the dry season with lots of sunshine, however temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year (around mid-30oC).

Social customs & quirks The majority of Cambodians follow the principles of Theravada Buddhism which teaches the concept of reincarnation. How you conduct yourself during your human life will have a bearing on whether or not you come back as a higher or lower being. Adhering to this belief system, the Cambodian people are always mindful of their manners, being careful not to cause offence to others, and show the respect required in what is a hierarchical society. Foreigners will find them to be a friendly and polite people and, if in doubt of Cambodian etiquette, the rule of thumb is to follow their lead and refrain from being too exuberant when exchanging greetings.

Festivals & events Cambodia has its fair share of festivals including the Water Festival marking the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing fertile land and abundant food. Pchum Ben in September is the most culturally significant event of the year and blesses the souls of ancestors, relatives and friends passed. All Buddhist Temples are the focus for the festivities where most Cambodians will come to make offerings and pray. King Sihanouk?s Birthday in October, Khmer New Years Day in April, the Angkor Festival in November or December, Royal Ploughing Day, Independence Day, Chinese New Year and National Day also have great significance.

Health* There are currently no compulsory heath requirements to enter Cambodia other than a Yellow Fever certificate if entering from an infected area. Being up to date with your general immunisation programme is recommended, as is having malarial prevention medication. Please contact your health practitioner for full and current details.

Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.

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Amansara
Price from$2,946 SELECT

Asia
Resort perfect for exploring the temples of Angkor Wat

Aman opens doors to discovery in exceptional locations, both remote and urban. Meticulously designed to frame their natural settings, Aman destinations are renowned for...

Angkor Discovery
Price from$1,166 SELECT

Asia 4 Days / 3 Nights Roundtrip Siem Reap

Whilst it is very difficult to describe the scale and majesty of the Temples of Angkor, it is certainly possible to put into words...

Best of Vietnam & Cambodia

Asia 19 Days / 18 Nights

Our most comprehensive tour of Vietnam and Cambodia takes you to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and more. Featuring...

Cambodia Culture & Cuisine

Asia 7 Days / 6 Nights Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Our Cambodia Culture & Cuisine tour is the perfect holiday package for those aspiring to learn about the country's history, tradition, and cooking. In...

Cambodia in Depth
Price from$3,143 SELECT

Asia 11 Days / 10 Nights Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or vice versa

Cambodia's culture and history is on show in this exploration starting in Siem Reap with a bird's eye view of Angkor Wat from a...

Cambodia in Style
Price from$1,364 SELECT

Asia 5 Days / 4 Nights Phnom Penh to Siem Reap or vice versa
Luxury journey

Our Cambodia in Style tour lets you discover the history of this country with visits to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and history museums...

Culinary Vietnam & Cambodia

Asia 10 Days / 9 Nights Siem Reap to Saigon or vice versa
A luxury journey

Experience first-hand the delicious cuisine, colonial architecture, ancient temples and fascinating history of Vietnam and Cambodia. Visit colourful markets with top chefs, enjoy...

Culture, Heritage and Cruising
Price from$8,875 SELECT

Asia 14 Days / 13 Nights

On this small group tour (maximum 10 guests) explore Vietnam and Cambodia, two very vibrant and fascinating countries. Spend 14 days absorbing the culinary...

Highlights of Indochina
Price fromRequest SELECT

Asia 20 Days / 19 Nights

Our most comprehensive tour of Indochina showcases the highlights of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. See French colonial Phnom Penh and the marvellous temples of...

Meandering Mekong
Price from$2,364 SELECT

Asia 10 Days / 9 Nights Saigon to Siem Reap or Vice Versa

The Mekong Adventure is extremely popular with travellers. It combines the attractions of Vietnam's capital, Saigon with the enchanting history of the cities and...

Song Saa Private Island
Price from$3,555 SELECT

Asia 5 Days/4 Nights Roundtrip Sihanoukvile
Ultimate Luxury

Song Saa Private Island lies secluded in this magnificent seascape, just 40-45 minutes by boat from the international port of Sihanoukville. Most of...

Jayavarman

The Lost Civilisation

Price from$2,448 SELECT

Asia 8 Days/7 Nights Saigon to Siem Reap or vice versa
Mekong River Boutique Cruises with Heritage Line

Save up to 20% on select departures!

The Mekong Delta is at the heart of Vietnamese life, as the people depend on it to irrigate their glistening rice paddies, fruit orchards...