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Cambodia HEAD

BEFORE YOU GO TO CAMBODIA - TIPS FOR TRAVEL

 

When to go to Cambodia

The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and May, when the weather is dry and warm. Temperatures are quite decent till February and that's why this time is the tourist peak season. From March to May it's really warm and dry, most of the rivers are dry and without any water and roads are very dusty. Even a large lake Tonle Sap is affected by the drought and noticeable decrease of water prevents regular boat traffic between Siem Reap and the capital Phnom Penh. Monsoon season lasts from June till October.

  

 

Where to go and what to see in Cambodia

Cambodia Angkor temples

Most tourists who travel in southeast Asia and decide to visit Cambodia, usually fly to Siem Reap for a while, to visit Angkor Wat which is a complex of temples, and then fly back or continue further to Bangkok, Saigon or Hanoi. Siem Reap itself has almost nothing to do with the rest of Cambodia, it is full of bars, hotels and restaurants.

You can say pretty much the same thing about Sinahoukville resort, which is popular amongst tourists who travel between Thailand and Vietnam on land. Here, you can find alongside six beaches a bunch of karaoke clubs, bars, nightclubs and nature and peace is hard to find. There are few islands nearby, which offer better experience for a holiday, for example Koh Russei, Koh Tas, Koh Sdach or Koh Ta Kiev. The best island to visit though, is undoubtedly Koh Rong, which can be reached on a boat from the city in two and half hours. On this island you'll find three small and simple resorts for few tourists, few long beaches with fine white sand, beautiful nature and peace. There are few national parks near Sihanoukville, for example Kirikom, Reap, Kampot and Bokor. They offer an ideal one-day trip outside of the city.

The third place which is most popular with tourists is the capital Phnom Penh itself, which lies on the junction of rivers Mekong and Bassac and on the edge of lake Tonle Sap. The city doesn't have any skyscrapers, is full of live and has its unique atmosphere.

Other places in Cambodia are a bit hard to reach, there are no proper roads into some of the provinces and transport can often take the whole day. To plan a trip to any of the nature preserves in the remote areas suitable for eco tours in Cambodian jungle, you can use website www.chi-phat.org. Thanks to this site I visited Cardamom mountains. Official website of Cambodian tourism is www.tourismcambodia.com.

 

 

Travelling in Cambodia on your own

Cambodia Koh Rong beach

I packed all my things into a small cycling backpack – check out article 'What to bring on a trip', which in the end didn't weigh more than six kilos. I had all my personal hygiene products packed in containers under 100 ml, so I could take my backpack on board of a plane.

Check if you need a visa to visit Cambodia. Cambodia doesn't have an embassy in my country, however you can get a visa when you land in any of the international airports in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, on main road boarder crossings or even on the crossing on Mekong, where I got from Vietnam to Cambodia myself.

Cambodia is quite as big country and it's easy to travel within the country on modern climatized buses, which can take you to any of the main touristic destinations [tarmac roads] and are available through a number of bus lines. Tickets can be often bought in hotel receptions and includes the price of a tuk tuk ride to the bus station (or for ticket reservation check site https://12go.asia). To conquer shorter distances for example in the city, it's best to take a ride from local bikers, who make a bit of cash on the side by giving lifts to tourists for a dollar. A bit more expensive are tuk tuk drivers. You can rent a bike in Siem Reap for a ride around the complex of temples.

I got my accommodation on the spot and didn't have any problems with it. Usual price per night is around 10 dollars.

I was mostly eating in restaurants and meals cost around 2-3 dollars. Cambodians only use spoon and fork when they eat. My most purchased meal was Lok Lak, beef with fried egg, vegetables and rice. Locals usually add ice to their drinks, even to tea, coffee and beer. Big bottle of water costs 50 cents, packet of cigarettes costs a dollar.

They use double currency in Cambodia. Apart from local riel they also use dollars. Even though the currency rate changes every day, Cambodians make it simple for themselves and set the exchange rate to 1 USD to 4000 KHR.

Healthcare here is not good at all, even though it's slightly better than 35 years ago, when Red Khmers ordered to treat any disease with herbs...In case of serious health issues, it is recommended to travel to Bangkok. While I was there, I was asking locals about malaria, but everywhere I went they kept saying that it's not common in this area. However, it advisable to check your mosquito net before going to bed, sleep in pyjamas that cover your whole body and have a repellent.

It is not recommended to walk freely outside of marked pathways in Cambodia. From the original number of 10 million mines, there are still around 7 million of them left in the ground. Mines were placed there by Red Khmers and Vietnamese army.

 

 

VISITED COUNTRIES

zeme 100

37

KM ON THE ROADS

km 100

48 560

DAYS ON THE ROADS

dny 100

397