Cambodia! Ruined cities clad in steamy jungle, where flocks of parrots and squabbling monkeys dart between mysterious stone carvings. Certainly way up on the list of the world’s most exotic wonders yet, despite the Khmer people’s more recent tragic history, you will also meet some of the friendliest people in Asia; in Phnom Penh visit one of the region’s most exciting and fun cities and discover some of Southeast Asia’s most picturesque scenery with our range of original Cambodia tours.
Classic temple tours combined with unusual off the beaten track destinations will reveal Cambodia’s famous sites as well as plenty of the country’s hidden secrets. Over 15 years experience in organizing Cambodia tours, as well as knowledgeable, fun and fully licensed guides, gives us an in depth knowledge of the region and allows All Points East to optimise tour programmes for popular sites; – avoiding the heat, crowds etc – as well as offering safe and comfortable trips to such out of the way sites as the remote mountain-top UNESCO site of Preah Vihear, the sacred mountain of Kulen, charming seaside Kep or traditional villages in the Battambang countryside.
Just a few of our favourite things to see, do and experience in Cambodia...
Angkor Wat - its iconic towers crown what is considered to be the world's largest religious structure
Cambodia's capital - one of Southeast Asia's most chaotic & hectic cities but also one of its most friendly, charming and fun
Ruined temples and lost cities - Angkor's lesser known, but equally impressive, ruins from Bayon's mysterious carvings to jungle-clad Ta Prom and Preah Khan
Sangkar River - travelling through vast waterbird filled swamps and past unique,floating villages is one of Southeast Asia's most fascinating river journeys
Food - there's far more to Khmer food than fried tarantulas and one of the region's least known cuisines consistently receives rave reviews from our guests
Culture and Customs
Knowing what to expect from local culture and customs will help you get more out of your Cambodia tour
Cambodia lies in the heart of Indochina, or Southeast Asia; bordered to the west & north by Thailand, northeast by Laos & east by Vietnam. The south & southwest buts up against the Gulf of Thailand
The Mekong River, running north south & Tonle Sap Lake in the centre/west of Cambodia dominate the interior plains while the surrounding hills & mountains completes the country's bowl shape
Cambodia is relatively hot all year round with peak temperatures experienced during March to May & coolest in Nov to Jan. The intermittent rainy season lasts from May to September
The majority of the population is ethnic Khmer with large Cham, (Vietnamese Muslim) & Vietnamese minorities. As usual in Southeast Asia urban populations contain numerous ethnic Chinese
Predominantly, officially, Theravada Buddhist with around 10% Muslim adherents & a smaller Christian minority. Khmer Buddhism still retains strong elements of earlier animism
In accordance with its geographical position Khmer cuisine demonstrates strong Thai and Vietnamese influences, (though without the former's chilies), along with obvious Chinese ones
Genuine local knowledge is what turns a good travel experience into an unfforgettable one. Here's our shout-out to the locals that help maket that happen.'
Rany, a native of Battambang, runs our All Points East, Cambodia office out of Siem Reap as well as raising 2 kids and running a boutique guesthouse in her spare time. Unflappable; nothing's a problem, nothing fazes her and all's done with a smile. Perfect requisites really!
Chou Ratanak, or more simply Nak, has lead and guided our tours the length and breadth of Cambodia; from the jungles of Koh Kong to the wetlands along the Lao/Cambodian border and from Phnom Penh markets to remote Angkor temples. Extensive knowledge; a great guide and great company!
Things To Know
Useful information and practical tips you should know before you travel to Cambodia
Helpful Country Info
Kingdom of Cambodia
c 16 million
Cambodian Riel with $US widely accepted
ATMs and money changers widely available
230V; sockets variable, 2 pin round or square or 3 pin
WiFi widely available in urban areas
3G/4G SIM cards available
Khmer with some English spoken in urban areas
Theravada Buddhist with Muslim and Christian minorities
Frequently Asked Questions
When’s the best time to go to Cambodia?
The cooler drier period (by Southeast Asian standard) is usually end October to March but there are many advantages to visiting throughout the year.
Why should I visit Cambodia between April and September?
With regional variations, most of mainland Southeast Asia experiences a rainy season or western monsoon period from around early May through to late September. During this period, the tourist traffic in much of Cambodia is down to a trickle which makes visiting Angkor extra special. Often there are discounts to be had from airlines and tour operators, including All Points East! The image of all day every day rain is completely false; typically tropical rain falls in short sharp bursts so often humidity will build up during the day resulting in an afternoon or evening downpour. Some of these tropical storms can be spectacular but rarely long and often only mean sheltering in the nearest cafe for an hour or so until the rain stops. Landscapes will be lush and green, rivers and waterfalls at their most spectacular and the fauna too is more active and plentiful; nature comes alive so to speak!
What innoculations do I need?
For most of Southeast Asia, there are no compulsory inoculations – however, Hep A, Polio, Typhoid and Tetanus are recommended. If you are considering anti-malarials we recommend you consult a health professional, but whatever you do or don’t do about anti-malarials, we recommend a 50% DEET based insect repellent. A useful resource for information on travel health is the Scottish National Health’s Fit For Travel site
Do you recommend your tours for people travelling on their own?
Our small group tours make ideal holidays for solo travellers. Small fully escorted groups, eating together family style, no compulsory single supplements all go towards making you feel like you are travelling with a group of friends. If you don’t want to share then ask about single room supplements.
How do I pay for the holiday, and is there a surcharge for credit cards?
We ask you to pay a 10% deposit upon booking your holiday with the balance being due 60 days prior to departure. There is no surcharge for paying the deposit by credit card but we charge 2% if the balance is paid by credit card. There is no charge for debit cards. We accept most major credit cards including American Express.
What’s your policy for tipping?
Tipping is discretionary. People always appreciate a gesture for their hard work and dedication but staff are paid and don’t rely on tips. It’s hard to give a guideline before a tour as it does depend on the group size. The tour leaders don’t collect money for tips but are happy to advise. ~What often works well is if the group appoint someone to collect and distribute tips on behalf of the whole group.
If we book flights through you, which airlines do you use?
If we book flights through you, which airlines do you use? We are happy to book your flights from the UK to Cambodia. There are no direct flights but we can offer a wide range of options, from regional airports as well as London using most major airlines – most often Thai, Emirates and Qatar. Prices on the website are a guideline and we find the best prices and routes for you. Upgrades to Premium Economy or Business class are available.
Packing light is a virtue, it'll make getting around easier and gives you room for souvenirs and the special things you find along the way. Packing "as little as possible" doesn't mean you have to forego comfort and any items you may forget are usually available locally for a fraction of the price.
What to Bring
Here is our list of what to pack based on our experience travelling in Cambodia...
- Day pack/ small bag Sufficient to carry water, sun block, camera etc
- Suitcase/ bag Any smallish bag that can be carried over short distances
- Waterproof bag*Opt Useful for boat trips if you want to keep your camera etc dry
- Hat Can be bought cheaply locally
- Light walking boots Something waterproof can be useful
- Light waterproofs Useful for rainy season but remember it is still hot. Easily purchased locally
- Lightweight cotton clothing Long trousers are essential for temples and long sleeves can be useful in the evening. Nights can be cool in winter
- Swimming costume/ shorts*Opt Some hotels have pools
- Warm clothing (eg fleece)*Opt Necessary at certain times of the year - it can be cool in the mountains during the winter (Dec to Feb)
- Umbrella*Opt A small umbrella can be useful
- Basic medical kit You will never be far from a pharmacy so basic is the key
- Mosquito Repellent Containing DEET
- Sun block
- Guide book*Opt Please bear in mind even the newest book is likely to be at least 12 months old
- Torch/ flashlight
- Mobile Phone/ internet Refillable SIM cards can be purchased locally. For roaming and 3G check with your local provider. Internet access is available in most larger towns and cities
What NOT to Bring
There are somethings you just don't need to worry about when travelling in Cambodia...
- Towel Provided by all hotels and guesthouses
- Water purification tables
- Film/ Camera Equipment Most common brands are widely available as are batteries, digital camera cards etc