Best Time to Travel:
November to February is the best time to travel to Cambodia, as the weather is cool and dry. Once March rolls around, the temperature starts to climb before the rainy season in the summer time hits.
Spend some time on the coast in Sihannoukville (Kampong Som), where white sand beaches are a treat. This is great place to relax before or after an adventure up to the temples. While you’re on the coast, try some local favorites like fish amok, a fish mousse with coconut milk and curry paste. Ang dtray-meuk, or grilled squid, is also a favorite. Bushed with lime juice and then barbecued, the squid is then served with a Cambodian sauce made from garlic, chilies, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
A visit to the capital, Phnom Penh, is a must for a taste of the city. Considered one of the loveliest French built cites in the 1920s, Phnom Penh is still a treat to visit. In November, a Water Festival happens, celebrating the reversing flow of the Tonlé Sap river. But even if you’re not there for the festival, there is still plenty to see, like the Royal Palace compound. While a number of buildings on the compound are closed to the public (the royal family still lives there), gardens and the stunning Silver Pagoda, complete with a diamond encrusted Buddha inside, are just a few of the sites tourists can see.
A stop in Kratie is a treat, as many tourists don’t go through here. Marvel at the Mekong River that cuts through this province. Irrawaddy dolphins make their home here, as well as many fish and birds. But the Irrawaddy dolphin is a special sight, as they are threated in most parts of Southeast Asia. Biking through this area would be ideal, as paved roads or trails are sparse.
Spending time in Cambodia would be incomplete without a trip to Angkor Wat. First a Hindu temple, but now Buddhist, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and is still used for religious purposes. Huge temples and stone facades cover the grounds, which are surrounded by a rectangular reservoir. Although built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat remains almost untouched, though work was done in the ‘90s to help restore some parts. This is one of the largest tourist attractions in Cambodia for a reason.
Consider hiring a guide and driver, you’ll be happy you did.
Many tourists check out Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia at the same time. Ask us about adding another country or two to your itinerary.