WHY VISIT CAMBODIA
Cambodia is a beautiful country. There’s so much to see and do, or you can simply relax and do nothing.
Top attractions in Cambodia include:
1. Angkor Wat – the one must-see sight in the entire country! Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most incredible places you could ever hope to visit.
Plan on three days just exploring the main temple complex, and another day or two for the temples and sights in town and outlying temples. You can overdose on culture and history, so a certified guide is an excellent idea.
The temples are spread out and the weather is hot.
You’ll need a visa-type photo to get your picture ID pass.
2. Battambang. Visit the last remnants of colonialism. A few traces remain, and the lake-side setting is
great. A not-to-be-missed adventure to consider is the speed-boat ride from Siem Reap through miles of floating villages to Battambang.
3. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda/Emerald Buddha in Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh has a fair amount of Colonial architecture, some interesting temples, and a few good museums.
4. The Tonle Sap – part lake and part river. The floating villages..
5. Former hill stations and tea-growing areas.
6. Other pre-Angkorian wats and ruins.
The people across Southeast Asia are warm and welcoming. They are becoming more experienced in dealing with Western travelers and their needs and desires.
Cambodia is a rugged country with a very poor infrastructure. Getting around is not easy, so you need to factor travel time into your plans. We recommend at least a week, and two weeks is better, to get a feel for the country.
Tourism is a fast growing industry in Cambodia.
Cambodia is a multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993.
As for safety issues, check the latest travel advice from your home country.
Two weeks, leaving from Thailand
Day 1: Travel to starting point, from Bangkok to Poipet and on to Battambang. Note the abrupt change from relative prosperity to serious poverty as you cross the border to Cambodia. The roads also degenerate severely.
Day 2: Spend the day in Battambang – a relaxing stop before hitting the temples of Angkor.
Day 3: Travel by boat to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat). Be prepared to swamp small floating villages and possibly go for an unplanned swim.
Days 4-6: Explore the “Grand Circuit” – the roads around and past the many temples at Angkor Wat. Spend part of a day in the village of Siem Reap visiting a market or two. Watch the sunrise/set at one of the temples. You can also take a boat ride to a floating village (pretty touristy but still interesting).
Days 7-8: Take the boat (beats the roads!) to Phnom Penh and spend the next day or two exploring the city.
Day 9: Take a tour to the Killing Fields.
Day 10: Travel by bus or mini-van to Sihanoukville on the coast.
Day 11: Explore Sihanoukville, then take a boat to Koh Kong (Thailand).
Day 12: Travel by bus back to Bangkok.
Two weeks, leaving from Vietnam
Day 1: Travel by train or van to Phnom Penh.
Days 2-4: Explore Phnom Penh and the Killing Fields.
Day 5: Fly or travel by bus/van to Siem Reap.
Days 6-8: Explore the Grand Circuit around Angkor Wat, visit a floating village, and explore the local markets in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Take a speedboat across the Tonle Sap to Battambang.
Day 10: Chill out in Battambang.
Day 11: Take a mini-van to Bangkok.
Possible extension: Travel by van to Sihanoukville from Battambang, then to Koh Kong and on to Bangkok.
Option: Omit trip to Battambang and fly from Siem Reap to Hô Chi Minh City.
Cambodia travel guide homepage
City Guide homepage