Discover the strength and courage of Cambodian society for the ability to overcome what was one of the greatest tragedies over human history
General Tips to travel to Cambodia
Your first words in Cambodia
Thank you: Saum Arkoun
You are welcome: Saumosvakom
Currency: Cambodian reil (KHR)
Population: 16, 01 million
Main religion: Theravada Buddhism
Safety Rating: According to the Global Peaceful Index, Cambodia is the number 89 out of 163 countries.
Solo Female Travel: It is not dangerous if you are cautious. During the day, if you are not on a very lonely street it is safe. At night you should not walk in the street alone. Be especially careful in Phnom Penh, the most dangerous city of Cambodia. In Cambodia, thieves go on motorcycles and steal handbags and backpacks from people in the street.
Cambodia has a tropical climate, as most of the rest of southeast Asia.
It has two main seasons clearly determined by the Monsoon.
The rainy season is from April to October while the dry season goes from November to March. In any of these seasons, temperatures vary a lot. Temperature moves in the range of 20ºC to a maximum of 35ºC.
Accommodation in Cambodia is quite cheap, but it is not as cheap as in the rest of Southeast Asia. You can find fewer options for people traveling on a budget in its neighboring country (Vietnam).
If you want to spend a night on a hostel in the main cities of Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh) you will spend from 5$ to 8$. Try to find a hostel with a swimming pool as it is very hot during the day.
There is a small difference if you are looking to spend your holidays in the heavenly island of Koh Rong; here your accommodation will cost approximately 4 $ more than in the mainland.
If you want to be alone and sleep in a private room with bathroom, the prices will go up until 16 $/ night.
The main airports in Camboya are the International Airport of Angkor, the International airport of Phnom Phen and the International airport of Sihanoukville.
As distances are not too big to travel around Cambodia you will find that the most common mean of transport is the bus. You will also be able to find night buses in Cambodia.
What is the night bus?
It is a normal bus, but instead of seats, it has beds and it travels during the night. The two main pros I see to the night bus are:
- Price: they are very cheap (8 hrs ride for 9 $).
- It travels during the night: You save the money of one hostel, that way you don’t spend time or money during the day traveling.
This is the most common way of traveling for the backpackers as it is the cheapest.
In order to travel to the islands, you need to go to the port of Sihanoukville and book a ticket there: there are plenty of companies doing the route, make sure you pick up one good one. Do not go for the cheapest while choosing a boat!
- Amok: The amok trey is one of the national dishes of Cambodia. It is a delicious combination of fish with a very tasty and spicy coconut sauce. All this is steamed in a creative cup made with banana leaves. It is very unique and simply exquisite.
- K’tieu: A noodle soup usually served for breakfast. It can be prepared with pork meat or marine products. Flavors are added in the form of lemon juice, spices, sugar or fish sauce.
- Chok Nom Bahn: Banana blossoms are sliced and added to some noodle soup, as a result, you have this incredible traditional dish.
- Red tree ants with meat and basil: In Cambodia, you are going to find ants of very different sizes. Some of them are small and they are barely visible, others can measure several centimeters. In Cambodia, people eat ants bysautéing them with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, onions and sliced thinly. The dish can be accompanied with chili peppers to give it an aromatic touch, but without removing the bitter taste that ants’ meat has. Ants are also usually served with rice.
Attention! Be careful when you order chicken as sometimes they can serve you dog instead of what you have ordered! Nauseating…
5 things to do in Cambodia
S-21, the killing fields’ museum of the Genocide
This is a must to visit once you are in Cambodia, be ready to have a hard day as you are going to be visiting a horrible part of the Cambodian history.
The killing fields are in Toul Svay Prey School, on a dusty road on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge renamed the high school as S-21 and turned into a torture, interrogation and execution center.
Visit Koh Rong
It is a very beautiful island in Cambodia for a perfect holiday. If you go around the island you’ll find a wild landscape with infinite beaches. It is also good to enjoy amazing parties as it is full of great bars and good restaurants at the beach.
Relax in Koh Rong Salom
This island is the twin-island of the one above. The only difference is that this one is deserted. It has only some hostels and hotels for a limited number of travelers. If you are looking for disconnecting from the world (no signal for phones) and relax, this should be your next destination!
Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. It contains remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. On December 14th, 1992, it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake
Between the city of Siem Reap and Battambang there are more than 100 floating villages. It is ideal to spend a few days in the area and get to know some unrevealed towns (such as Phoum Kandal and Chong Kos), in addition to the more touristic ones (Chong Kneas, Kampong Khleang, and Kompong Phluk).