If you’ve got a hankering for tasty curries, deep-fried spiders and a tonne of awesome temples, you’ve come to the right place: Cambodia.
There’s more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat. But let’s face it – exploring this fascinating temple complex alone would make a trip to Cambodia worth it.
Cambodia is also wild jungles, sleepy beaches, shocking history and brag-worthy food rolled into one little package. In Sihanoukville, it’s all about islands, clear waters and unplugging from the world. In Kampong Cham, you’ll find yourself cycling over bamboo bridges while discussing baguettes and fried spiders. In Phnom Penh, you’ll get insight into the country’s troubled past and in Siem Reap, you’ll get one of the best foot massages you’ve ever had.
What people say
Our tour through Cambodia was great, we really did have a grass roots experience. I came away from the tour in love with the country, and would recommend my tour to anyone looking for an authentic travel experience, with like-minded people.
What people say
Felt like I truly got to see the real Cambodia as the tour guide was a local and extremely knowledgable! All the optional activities especially quadbiking biking were worth doing and the opportunity to stay in a home stay was an amazing experience.
Cambodia travel highlights
“Angkor what?” said no one ever. Have your mind blown by the architecture and beauty of this famous Khmer temple complex
Royal palaces and silver pagodas, old-world charm and new-world traffic – Phnom Penh is, well, rather phenomenal
Warm weather and warmer locals make Sihanoukville (named after the Cambodian royal family) a great place to chill for a few days
Cycle across the famous bamboo bridge. Rebuilt each year out of thousands of pieces of bamboo, it’s a picturesque testament to Cambodian ingenuity.
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Transport in Cambodia
Why hail a plain old cab when you could ride a bicycle or jump onto a cyclo? Half the fun of travel is experiencing a destination just like the locals – including how they get around. Wherever possible, Geckos Adventures uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport. This way we can reduce our environmental impact, support local operators and have a great time.
Remork: Cambodia’s version of the tuk tuk is a fun way to see the sights when travelling short distances.
Cyclo: See Cambodia from ground level while being peddled around by your friendly cyclo driver. The seats in front mean you can see more of the scenery and less of your driver’s head.
Bicycle: Whether you’re peddling through rice paddies or lush countryside, the Cambodian views are so much better from a bike.
Cambodia travel FAQs
New Zealand: Yes
South Africa: Yes
United Kingdom: Yes
Most visitors to Cambodia require a one-month tourist visa. Travellers from most nations can obtain this visa on arrival for USD 30. Make sure to bring one passport-size photo, or you’ll be fined USD 2 for not having one. An e-visa can also be obtained online ahead of time, but be aware, e-visas are only accepted at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports and two main land borders.
It’s generally a good idea to make sure your passport is valid for a minimum period of six months after your arrival date in Cambodia. For the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements, please contact your local Cambodian embassy or consulate.
IMPORTANT: Please note the Cambodian Government has reported many fraudulent e-visa websites that pretend to be official e-visa websites. Geckos recommends obtaining e-visas only using the official website (www.evisa.gov.kh) or by contacting your Travel agent.
Tipping isn’t customary in Cambodia, but it is appreciated. Feel free to tip drivers and restaurant staff if you feel the service has been good.
Internet can be accessed at internet cafes in larger cities, but be aware, the speed may be slower than what you are used to.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Cambodia’s urban areas, but may not be available in rural areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Squat toilets are most common in Cambodia, although western-style flushable toilets can be found in larger hotels and some tourist areas. Be prepared to pay a small fee in order to use a public toilet, and always carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are usually not provided.
Street snack = USD 0.50 – USD 1
Bottle of local beer = USD 1.50
Simple meal at a local restaurant = USD 5 – USD 10
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = USD 25 – USD 50
Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Cambodia. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.
Credit cards are usually accepted by modern hotels, large retailers and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller shops, cafes and market stalls in rural areas. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.
ATMs are widely available in larger cities, like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but are less common in small villages or rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Geckos are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women’s Day
Mar 12: Meak Bochea Day
Apr 13: Cambodian New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 10: Buddha’s Birthday
May 13-16: King Sihamoni’s Birthday
May 13: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
June 18: Former Queen’s Birthday
Sept 19: Pchum Ben Day
Sept 24: Constitution Day
Oct 29: Coronation Day
Oct 31: Former King Sihanouk’s Birthday
Nov 2-4: Water Festival
Nov 9: Independence Day
Dec 10: International Human Rights Day
For a current list of public holidays in Cambodia go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/Cambodia/public-holidays/
As a whole, Cambodia is a hassle-free destination for LGBTQI-travellers. The former King was a keen supporter of equal rights for same-sex partners, and as a result, most of the population is fairly accepting. Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have small gay scenes, though they are decidedly more low-key compared to some parts of Asia. Be aware that Cambodian people typically do not engage in public displays of affection, regardless of sexual orientation.
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