Cambodia has emerged from its turbulent and tragic recent history to become an exciting and vibrant holiday destination. It is less developed for tourism than its neighbour Vietnam and offers one of Asia's greatest and most iconic attractions - Angkor Wat with its surrounding temples. Many chose to visit Angkor after a tour of Vietnam, but for those who choose to explore the country in more depth they are rewarded with an insight into an Asia lost in many other countries.
Stay a while in Phnom Penh, the so called ‘Paris of the East’ with its tree lined boulevards and café culture before journeying to Siem Reap where the sun rising over the ancient Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat, engulfed in jungle, is a magical experience. Stay in the lap of luxury at Amansara, built in 1962 as the royal guesthouse of King Sihanouk or Residence D’Angkor for understated luxury.
Cambodia is not renowned for its wildlife but its few National Parks offer some truly stunning landscapes and colourful flora and bird life.
Travel on to the sun-drenched beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep, laid-back and beautiful or splurge with a stay at wonderful Song Saa, an indulgent island resort in the Gulf of Thailand.
When to go
Cambodia is hot throughout the year with the main criteria for choosing when to visit being the rainfall. The rains or monsoon start in May and continue through until October. It's quite possible to visit during this time, the rainfall mostly coming in short, sharp downpours, with broken sunshine in between. The dry season is the rest of the year - November until April - and this is the most popular time to visit, with very little rain and with lower humidity. The high season is November until January where the humidity is at its lowest but the lakes and rivers are full, and the jungle and vegetation lush and green.
Roughly speaking Cambodia has four key seasons:
1. November to February, cool and dry.
2. March to May, hot and dry.
3. June to August, hot and wet.
4. September to October, cool and wet.
The hot season rarely reaches above 35C and the cool season may go as low as 20C. The monsoon rains follow a regular pattern of 1 to 3 hours of rain in the afternoon making them easy to plan around.
The biggest attraction by far in Cambodia is the lost city of Angkor. For over 600 years from 802 AD this city ruled an empire that covered much of South-east Asia. At its height the city covered over 75 square miles, a size London didn't get to until well into Victorian times. Although most of the buildings were made of timber and have rotted away, the huge canals, lakes and temple complexes still survive, with more being discovered in the surrounding jungles every year.Continue Reading...
The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, a city that marries the elegance of the old French colonial architecture with the frenetic pace of modern Asian life. You can explore its sights and museums by rickshaw, eat in its lovely restaurants off the central boulevards and explore the markets and shopping areas.Continue Reading...
Cambodia has seven National Parks dotted around the country as well as nine wildlife sanctuaries and 3 protected wet land zones. Although not known for its wildlife, its network of Parks offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and the chance to walk through pristine forests. There is a vast array of flora to enjoy, a wide variety of bird life and animals that range from gibbons to sun bears.Continue Reading...