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Top Trip Memories

  • Losing yourself in the largest single religious monument in the world: Angkor Wat.
  • Walking past Angkor Wat’s Hindu and Buddhist temples that have lasted almost a millennium as you take in the majesty, curiosity, and grandiosity of one of the world’s most impressive archaeological ruins.
  • Sailing down the Mekong on a river cruise from Vietnam to Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat.
  • Diving into the tranquil, emerald green splendor of the 700,000 year old crater lake in Yeak Lom, after listening to local legends about the mythical creatures that are said to call the lake home.
  • Discovering incredible birdlife -- including large storks and pelicans -- in a unique biosphere at Prok Toal Bird Sanctuary.
  • Contemplating the darkest aspects of our human history at the informative but respectful memoirs found at the Killing Fields Museum.
  • Becoming inspired by true changemakers, such as the volunteers at the Elephant Valley Project who prepare overworked elephants for a return to natural habitat.
  • Lapping up the sun on the beautiful and vibrant beaches of Sihanoukville, either during a mellow sunset or the flurry of activity in the tropical heat of day.
  • Exploring the fascinating exhibitions in the beautiful terracotta villa that makes up Cambodia’s national museum.
  • Visiting the traditional Khmer designed royal palace of King Sihamoni in the capital and cultural hub of Phnom Penh.
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Tour Tips

  • Prepare for adventure. Cambodia is at once a rewarding destination nestled in a country that is still very much developing. Rely on Stride travel tour operators to help you wade through the confusion of the country’s many quirks.
  • Explore all Cambodia has to offer. Many tourists just go to Angkor Wat as a side trip from Thailand, but the country has a lot to offer to those willing to go a bit outside their comfort zone.
  • Learn a few words of the fascinating local language: Khmer. The locals will appreciate the gesture and you will gain insights into Cambodia’s unique linguistic culture.
  • Put Cambodia’s second most impressive temple, Prasat Preah Vihear, which was built by the same monarchs who built Angkor Wat, on your list. Preah Vihear provides a mystical experience that’s less impacted by tourism.
  • Consider volunteering while spending time in Cambodia. Cambodia has a troubled past but a rich soul and is teeming with opportunities to solve the challenges of a country on the rebound.
  • Consider taking in some of the city sights and other locations by bicycle. Not only is it the local way to travel, but it is a relaxing and beautiful way to connect with the splendors of Cambodia’s cities and countryside.
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Cambodia Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

2,370 Reviews

  • Excellent 1,889
  • Great 480
  • Average 12
  • Disappointing 4
  • Terrible 2

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.8
  • Guide
    4.8
  • Activities
    4.8
  • Lodging
    4.8
  • Transportation
    4.8
  • Meals
    4.8

Tour Reviews

Classic Vietnam & Cambodia - Awesome!

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Takes a while to get used to the frenetic pace of Vietnam (ie; confidence to cross the road!) People were so friendly. Halong Bay was magical, even though the weather wasn't brilliant and the kayak was worth it. At times it felt a bit rushed although that may be because most opted for the additional activities. Very little down time. I'm glad we finished with Cambodia and the temples as it felt slightly calmer. Wish we had one more day in Cambodia to do a bit more than the temples, ie; visit the food markets.
Halong Bay - cruising through the structures and the first glimpse of Angkor Wat. Both truly magical
Hoi An because it was a bit quieter and pedestrianized so easier to walk around and explore.
Street food tour in Hanoi.

Our group leader in Vietnam Mao was great. We were a large group of 16 and he did well to manage and accommodate us all. He had a lovely temperament and was always courteous and polite. He had a lot of knowledge to share and did well to keep us in check.
Our guide in Cambodia was also very good, but at times it felt as though other groups received more information. To be honest, we only had a few days with him so it was hard for him to build a relationship with us. However, the driver he organised for us was just so helpful keeping us supplied with water and cold wipes.

This is a full on trip - be warned there is not much down time.
Pools in most hotels, but little opportunity to use them.
The sunrise over Angkor Wat is worth it, but you will be sharing it with thousands of others.
If you get hit with D&V you can buy Cipro over the counter which worked for me.

The place was inundated with selfie sticks which was really annoying!
Don't do the buffet style meal in Cambodia - there must be better quality places to eat.
The litter in Vietnam is a real issue and takes something away as it's everywhere. For example, there is no way I would have swum in Halong Bay as the water is full of rubbish. Conversely Cambodia was relatively clean.

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Cambodian Adventure

Cambodia Adventure

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
An excellent trip which combined awesome historical sites, modern cultural encounters, fun activities in great natural surroundings all with fantastic food shared with great people, an excellent guide and a steady driver to hold it together.
Aside from the chilling poignancy and reflective moments of the killing fields in Phnom Phenh, cycling around the Battanbang countryside, meeting farmers, strolling around local market and trying bamboo rice on the roadside as well as enjoying a delicious homestay lunch. In the evening watching millions of bats leaving their cave was a natural wonder.
Although Angkor Wat was impressive because of its size, Banteay Srey Wat's amazing intricate stone carvings, Ta Prohm and Banyon were astounding.
Don't miss the $20 day trip to Koh Kong island's deserted tropical beach with an amazing lunch cooked by the boat crew.

Lee was a very knowledgeable, patient, easy going and a fun leader who took our group to excellent restaurants allowing us to sample delicious Cambodian food.
During the course of the trip he shared his culture and told us much about the ancient and recent history of his country and some of the experiences of his family. A perfect combination of efficiency and cool!

For an easy life, don't bring cash Pounds or Euro's. Almost everything is priced in US dollars, and most cash machines dispense US dollars. Shops and restaurants all have lots of small denomination dollars, or will give small amounts of change in Riels.

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Cambodian Adverture

Cambodia Adventure

3.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Well constructed trip to see the life and history of this country.
Angkor Wat at dawn

Group leader was well organised and managed the various needs of the member of the group

Go with the flow and wear plenty of Deet!

Great experience doing the two bike rides on the trip, you get to see and feel so much more of Cambodia

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Cambodian Adventure

Cambodia Adventure

4.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Interesting and enjoyable holiday,
There were 5, The bamboo railway for man's ingenuity, the killing fields for man's inhumanity, the smaller villages for the hard working local population for low wages. Angkor Wat for being Angkor Wat, and the people on the trip with similar interests and sense of fun.

Very good, well up with history of country, religious heritage, honesty when giing information, and organisation, never seemingly to to get flustered.

In their documentation I did not think Exodus make it clear about currency, the Currency of Cambodia may be the Riel, but the currency on the street, shops and used by Exodus for any optional extras is the US dollar, I would advise taking US dollars, do not bother changing any money into Riel, apart from a few traders in remote villages, everyone uses and quotes dollars, in Restaurants your bill will automatically come priced in dollars and Riel give dollars you will get change in dollars, with small amounts in Riel, everywhere prices are marked in Dollars. The hotels happily changed larger bills into smaller notes. If you can get some small dollar bills take them.

I am not a foody, friends say the best they get out of me is "it was OK" but food and its presentation in the places we ate at was excellent, best food I have had on holidays around Asia. Would recommend the Kampot Pepper dishes.
The accommodation we stayed in was excellent.

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Superb entry into cycling abroad

Cycle Indochina & Angkor

4.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The was to be my first cycling holiday abroad and I didn't know what to expect. The organisation of the trip, the bike teams who provided superb snacks at every stop, the excellent bikes, the superb leader, the amazing views.. they all helped make it an enjoyable experience.
Several members of the group didn't really cycle much at all but we all managed it, with the more experienced cyclists offering help and advice as needed.
I personally loved cycling in Vietnam. We were out in the villages more and every kid and some of the parents would say hello. The kids would even line up to get "moving hand slaps". It was all great fun and we felt incredibly welcome.
The Angkor wat temple complex was amazing too and cycling around it was a great way to see it.

Is was one of the best tour leaders I've every had on a group trip. All of the bike teams in the three countries were superb too.

First off, do not take Stirling currency. Take usd instead. In terms of fitness preparation, I'd recommend at least doing 4-6 spin classes but ideally do some cycling too to get your butt used to the miles! I'd also recommend cycling shorts - which are acceptable to wear - and a gel saddle. You'll also need a pair of "temple shorts" which are below the knee to put over the top and shoulders will need to be able to be covered for temples too. If you have very fair skin like me, get used to be adding suncream very regularly. Alternatively, take long sleeved tops or separate "cycling sleeves".

Everyone except serious cyclists will wonder if they can manage this. You can! Just do some prep back in the uk and you'll manage.. and love it!

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Cambodia in 1 Week

In one week, you'll hit many of Cambodia's main attractions, including the entrancing city of Angkor Wat. It's enough time to experience some of the best that Cambodia has to offer in cuisine, culture, and history.

Day 1-2, Phnom Penh: A vibrant combination of ancient and modern, history and nightlife, Phnom Penh is a natural place to start your tour of Cambodia. Visit The National Museum, take an architecture tour to learn about the distinct French influence, and enjoy delicious fusion cuisine. Visit the impressive Silver Pagoda, the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

Day 3-4, Siem Reap: In Siem Reap, you’ll enjoy time outdoors, exploring colorful markets and meeting locals. Enjoy classic Cambodian cuisine, and appreciate the slower pace compared to Phnom Penh. Of Siem Reap’s main attraction, the ancient city of Angkor, is one of the highlights of this visit. Visit at sunrise for unbelievable lighting and photo opportunities

Day 5, Angkor Wat: Angkor Wat is the main temple within the ancient ruin city of Angkor. There are actually several temples to visit within Angkor, and you can take up to two to three days and still not see everything there is to see. Tours will often dedicate more than one day to Angkor. Take a 20 minute drive from Siem Reap to the city and begin exploring it’s many walkways, statues, and carvings.

Day 6, Siem Reap: Return to Siem Reap for more exploring of the city’s main sights and other activities. You might visit Tonle Sap Lake, or take a cooking class, or choose to spend more time exploring Angkor.

See All Cambodia in One Week Trips

Cambodia in 2 Weeks

With two weeks in Cambodia, you can take the time to explore farther afield than just Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Enjoy everything from beach days to National Park Days, to bike days and history tour days.

Day 1-2, Phnom Penh: Phnom Penh is where many tours in Cambodia begin. This city is a vibrant combination of ancient and modern, history and nightlife. You’ll visit The National Museum, observe the photogenic French influenced architecture, and enjoy delicious fusion cuisine, as well as spectacularly classic street food.

Also in Phnom Penh, you’ll take a tour of the infamous Killing Fields. This excursion can be hard, as it exposes a particularly ugly period in Cambodian, and in fact, human history. During the time of the Khmer Rouge regime, more than a million people were killed, and this mass grave marks the horrific events.

Day 3-4, Khmer homestay: Experience local life in a traditional Cambodian household. You’ll learn about the everyday tasks of rural province living, get to participate in each part of the day, learn to cook meals, and meet friendly families of all ages. You may also get to see and learn traditional dances and customs.

Day 5-6, Floating Village of Kompong Luong: This floating village is quintessential Cambodia, providing a glimpse into a unique community. The residents here live entirely in “floating houses”, raised on stilts, rising out of the Tonle Sap waters. Take a boat trips through this fascinating microcosm of daily life, and be sure to have your camera ready for some beautifully poignant shots.

Day 7-8, Battambang: Unique stone statues of animals and deities line the streets in this quaint colonial town, with perfectly preserved architecture and distinct French influence. A lovely riverfront, calm town, Battambang is a great place to rent bikes and experience a slower paced Cambodia than is found in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap.

Day 9-11, Siem Reap: In Siem Reap, you’ll enjoy time outdoors, exploring colorful markets and meeting locals. Enjoy classic Cambodian cuisine, from street stalls as well as many restaurants and markets. Drive back to Phnom Penh after you spend a few days exploring Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat - Siem Reap is of course the jumping off place for tours to Angkor Wat. Generally one day is not nearly enough time to get a full appreciation of the breadth and depth there is to see and do among the many temples of Angkor. Try to spend at least two days to explore this ancient, beautiful ruin city.

Day 12-14, Sihanoukville: Finish your Cambodia two week tour with a visit to Sihanoukville, where you will spend a day exploring the marine reserve of Ream National Park. Sihanoukville is a beautiful and relaxing coastal beach town, perfect for a final day of beach relaxation before you head home.

See All Cambodia in Two Weeks Trips

 

Cambodia Trips & Tour Advice

Cambodia is a small country with a big heart. Though recovering from a troubled past, Cambodians maintain a positive spirit and rich soul.

Cambodia is famous for the unparalleled Angkor Wat, but many visitors leave just as deeply impacted by the fortitude and courage of the Cambodians themselves. Come to Cambodia with an open mind: it provides at once a connection to an ancient past and a perspective on the modern challenges of the developing world. In short, though it is not the easiest country to explore, it is one of the most rewarding.

Angkor Wat

Simply put, nothing in the world can be compared to Angkor Wat. The towering gopuras that top the city’s temples are so famous that they adorn the Cambodian flag. The massive temple-filled city seems to contain an infinite level of mysteries and wonder.

Though built as a Hindu temple, as evidenced by the scrawling Sanskrit that adorns the ancient stones, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple during the height of the Khmer empire. The temple mountains have no equal in the world and provide an open and expansive format that allows you to explore for hours or days.

Temples and More Temples

Angkor Wat itself is the main temple and the single largest religious complex in the world. However, it is but one of dozens of elaborate and fascinating ancient temples in the area. The “city of temples” boasts more than ten unique architectural styles spanning over a thousand years. Going to the different temples, some brick, some sandstone, some laterite, is like walking through time.

Bayon boasts realistic and iconic faces pointed in the cardinal directions. Diving further in, one can find Beng Melea, or the Jungle Temple, which archaeologists decided not to restore in favor of leaving the snaking vines and squeezing tree roots that give the temple a haunting and natural beauty.

Though most tourists stick to the “main” temples, tour guides often help visitors find hidden secrets of Angkor Wat: the island temple, the temple of the sacred cows, the exquisite untouched details of Neak Pan, or the best sunrise vista from the heights of Phnom Bakheng.

Natural Cambodia

From the beaches on the gulf of Thailand to the majestic Elephant Mountains to the biodiversity hotspot of Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia has a host of natural gems.

Natural landscapes are dotted with charming “real Cambodia” towns like the relaxing Kampong Cham, a countryside village that takes pride in its natural beauty aside the Mekong. Close by is Yeak Lom, a near perfectly spherical crater lake that was formed by a meteor impact 700,000 years ago and is endowed with mythical legends by the local town.

Tonle Sap is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and a unique wonder. Nature lovers often stay on floating villages to discover the superlative diversity of fish, birds, reptiles, and other wildlife that call the UNESCO-protected lake home. The bird sanctuary at Prek Toal, in particular, provides a unique opportunity to watch abnormally large storks majestically take off in flight.

Cultural Cambodia

Cambodia’s landscape is punctuated by reminders of its long and complicated history.

Preah Vihear, a temple which predates Angkor Wat, summits a hilltop vista that will mesmerize you. Climb the 162 steps to explore the gopuras that adorn the temple. After exploring Preah Vihar, you can fast forward to the French colonial period at Bokor National Park. The park’s natural beauty is centered around the ruins of the Bokor Palace, a former hotel that has been made famous as a popular set for Hollywood movies.  

You cannot fully visit Cambodia without coming to terms with the raw, emotional vestiges of the country’s turbulent 20th century. Close by Siem Reap is the Cambodia Landmine Museum, which plays a role in helping people understand the true cost of war. The killing fields museum also causes pause for reflection on the nature of humanity.

However, it is not hard to find a strong and courageous side of Cambodia, determined to learn from the scars of its past. The best way to see modern Cambodia and its resolve is in the vibrant Phnom Penh. Once known as the “pearl of Asia,” the French-built capital is full of national architectural monuments. Temples and colonial villas compete with high rises and commercial centers to make for one of the more unique Asian capitals.

After seeing the terra-cotta structure that houses the national museum, you  can appreciate the local Khmer-inspired architecture of the royal palace. Most notable, however, is the steely resolve and warm hospitality of the Cambodians themselves, the most likely reason why you will be so glad you journeyed to this vibrant, dynamic, and beautiful country.

Once you’re there...

  • Crime is an issue in some cities. Stick close to your travel guides and follow their instructions to maintain your safety.
  • Be careful what you eat since some local plates can contain food-borne illness.

Related Guides

Continent:             

Asia

Local Attraction:  

Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, Sihanoukville, Koh Ker, Kratie, Bokor Hill Station and Many More

Top Activities:      

Explore CultureRiver Cruises & History Sightseeing

Similar Destinations:                    

CambodiaThailandBurmaVietnam, China

 

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