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Landscape of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia Travel Guide

Cambodia offers a treasure trove of highlights for travellers seeking a truly immersive experience. One of the top attractions is the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest religious monument in the world. Exploring the ancient temple complex is a journey back in time, where you can marvel at the intricately carved stone structures and witness the breathtaking sunrise over the iconic Angkor Wat temple. Beyond Angkor Wat, Cambodia's rich history and cultural heritage can be further discovered in the vibrant city of Phnom Penh. Visit the haunting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields to gain insights into the country's tragic past, and then immerse yourself in the lively markets and vibrant street life of the city.

Another highlight of travelling in Cambodia is the opportunity to experience the warm hospitality of the Khmer people. From the bustling streets of Siem Reap to the tranquil countryside, you'll encounter friendly locals eager to share their traditions and way of life. Take a boat trip along the Mekong River to explore floating villages and witness the rural charm of Cambodia. For nature lovers, a visit to the pristine Cardamom Mountains offers a chance to trek through lush jungles and encounter rare wildlife, including gibbons and elephants. With its blend of ancient wonders, cultural landmarks, and natural beauty, Cambodia is a captivating destination that promises an unforgettable travel experience.

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  • Cambodia makes a brilliant break for the budget traveller and is gap year gold! 
  • The perfect place to start your Asian exploration, Cambodia’s close proximity to other amazing Asian destinations such as Thailand, Laos and Vietnam makes it part of the perfect gap year Asian tour.
  • See one of the world’s most astonishing archaeological sites at the temple complex of Angkor Wat.
  • Enjoy a flavour of the real Asia in the unspoilt countryside and lush forests of captivating Cambodia.
  • Have budget backpacking fun in the cool cities of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. 

Phnom Penh is a city that has risen from the ashes of its violent past and is now a heady mix of ancient and modern, a vibrant and colourful city bursting with spectacular sights. 

  • Visit the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and see the sensational Silver Pagoda, where a life-size solid gold Buddha sits adorned with diamonds and precious stones. 
  • Learn about the horrors of Cambodia’s history at the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, which reveals the truth about the infamous genocide under the regime of the Khmer Rouge. 
  • See the stunning city of Siem Reap, and discover the charms of Cambodia, whiling away a few days in its shady streets.  Then hop across to Angkor Wat…
  • Be overawed by the amazing Angkor Wat, the important, world-famous UNESCO archaeological site with stunning temples making up this incredible and ancient complex. 
  • Experience the haunting atmosphere of the Killing Fields, where you can take in the full enormity of the terror inflicted on Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
  • Visit Tonle Sap, South-East Asia’s largest freshwater lake, and see the Vietnamese community who have taken up residence in a unique floating village on this languid lake. 
  • See the remote and, until recently, the inaccessible temple complex of Koh Ker.  Discover this hidden gem sheltering in the lush forest floor and marvel at the history and culture on offer in Cambodia. 
  • Go to Bokor National Park and be surrounded by the rainforest as you see if you can spot some of the rare wildlife that dwells in the tropical trees. 
  • If you want a bit of beach bliss, head to the sandy shores at Sihanoukville and soak up a bit of Cambodian sunshine.
  • Take a Cambodian cookery course and sample all the mouth-watering flavours of their spicy cuisine. 

The staple of Cambodian cuisine is rice, served with most dishes.  Curries, soups and stir-fries share characteristics with Thai or Vietnamese food but tend to be less spicy.  Chilli is often served as a side accompaniment.  A meal usually consists of several dishes, including a soup and a mix of spicy, sweet and sour dishes.  There is some influence from the French colonial past, with baguettes making for a popular snack.

Ingredients such as fermented fish paste, chilli, tamarind, black pepper, coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass are widely used.  Freshwater fish is a staple, chicken and pork are popular meats, and noodles are also widely used.  Cambodia also offers a wide range of delicious tropical fruit and vegetables. 

Cambodia makes for a good year-round destination, although the most popular times to visit are in December and January when the weather is fine and warm.  From February to April temperatures soar, and can push 40°C and above.  From May or June, humidity rises and Cambodia enters its wet season, which lasts through to October.  Rain comes in tropical downpours and doesn’t generally hinder travel except in really rural areas. 


Visas may be required in order to enter or transit through certain countries depending on your passport nationality, your reason for travel and how long you intend to stay.

Visa, passport and entry rules are subject to change and you should check the most up-to-date information from the relevant embassy or visa specialist.

To make things easier we have teamed up with The Travel Visa Company who are one of the UK’s leading travel visa specialists. You can use their website, alongside embassy websites,  to find out the specific entry requirements for the countries you intend to travel to.

For a fee, their dedicated team of experts can also apply for visas on your behalf, taking away the hassle and streamlining the process for you if you wish. For more details on the services they provide please click here – The Travel Visa Company


Passports must be kept in good condition. Travellers with damaged passports may be refused entry at immigration. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that all travel documents are in good condition before they travel. Most countries will also require at least 6 months of validity on your passport from the time you finish your trip. 

Further Entry Requirements

Some countries will require proof of certain vaccines, such as yellow fever or covid, in order to gain entry. Please check with the relevant embassy or a visa specialist before travelling.

The official language in Cambodian is Khmer or Cambodian.

Most electrical sockets in Cambodia are two-pin European or American-style plugs, although some hotels have British-type G plugs. UK travellers will need to take a universal adaptor for use with British appliances. 

Cambodia is a welcoming but somewhat conservative culture, where public displays of affection are frowned upon.  Be aware that the head is considered the superior part of the body in Cambodia, and as such, touching someone’s head is considered disrespectful, as is using your foot to point to someone. Greetings are often made with a small bow, with the hands brought together. 


Visit your GP several weeks before you travel to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations.  Some recommended vaccinations for travel to Cambodia are diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Hepatitis A and B, among others.  If you are travelling from an area with Yellow Fever you must present a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate on arrival in Cambodia.  Urban areas of Cambodia do not present a malaria risk, but you may need to take preventative medication if travelling in more rural areas. 

Don’t drink tap water in Cambodia, stick to reputable brands of bottled water and don’t have ice in drinks. Avoid shellfish and meat that has been undercooked and be wary of street food, and make sure all vegetables and fruit are washed in purified water before consumption.  Diarrhoea is a risk but if you take preventative measures it can be avoided.   Medical care is basic in Cambodia, apart from a few private clinics in the capital city.


Despite the violence of its past, Cambodia is generally a safe country in which to travel.  In remote areas, always stick to marked routes due to leftover landmines.  Avoid the areas of Preah Vihear and Ta Krabey temple on the Cambodian/Thai border, where there is an ongoing dispute over border rights.  Petty crime and theft are a problem in tourist areas, especially in areas of Phnom Penh and the beach region of Sihanoukville. 

Roads are generally in poor condition in Cambodia and you should use reputable transport and avoid travel at night.  Be aware that penalties for involvement with drugs, as in neighbouring Asian countries, can be extremely severe. 

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