Two Cambodian monks in orange robes at a temple

Cambodia - Best Tours & Trips

Since the dark days of Pol Pot in the 1970's, Cambodia has become a leading destination for travelers in Southeast Asia today. It's best known as the site of the ruins of Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious complex, and its fantastic river cruises on the Mekong river.

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Top Cambodia Experiences and Attractions


Top Cambodia Experiences

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Top Cambodia Attractions

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Cambodia Trip Reviews


575
Cambodia Tour Reviews - Summary
99% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 438 Great 128 Average 7 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

A

Recommends

Well organised, with excellent guides October 2018

4.0

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was efficiently organised and the guides - especially Trung - did
all they could to make the tour a well-informed and smoothly-run experience.
The hotels were comfortable and a couple were positively luxurious, though
taxis in the evening in Hoi An were difficult to obtain. We were not overly
impressed with Saigon and would have preferred, instead, to have spent more
time in Hoi An or Can Tho. Cambodia was wonderful..
The temples in Cambodia. We visited five and Ta Prohm - still covered in
vegetation - was mind-blowing, even before we arrived at Angkor Wat. Visits
do not always live up to expectations but dawn over Angkor Wat was everything
we could have hoped for and more.


Excellent. Trung went far beyond what could be reasonably expected. He was
full of energy, well informed and quickly established a warm relationship
with the group. He certainly earned his crust.


Bring dollars. Essential in Cambodia and welcome in Vietnam, where they are
easy to exchange for local currency in hotels. Bring plenty of changes of
light clothing; it can get very muggy. Our guide organised a group kitty for
tips, which made life easier for all.


Halong Bay is beautiful but is clearly suffering from the high number of
visitors.


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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

An excellent adventure October 2018

4.0

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
My husband and I enjoyed the whole trip. We were with a group of 16 and we
all got on fabulously. The Vietnamese people are very resilient and hard
working.
This trip is well suited for active seniors and it does have a lot of free
time if you want to explore on your own .
The War remnants museum is a very sombre experience but it teaches you a lot
about the whole war experience from the Vietnamese point of view . Ha Long
Bay is a must see but be prepared for the plastic garbage floating around.
The cave system was something else. Hoi An was my favourite place to
stay....it is a smaller town but lots to see and buy! We did a cooking class
here which was a lot of fun.


Cong was our guide in Vietnam. He was very amiable and very
knowledgeable...he kept us on track and went at our leisurely pace. He
recommended where to eat and except for 1 meal in HCMC , all food was good.
He took good care of us especially when crossing the very congested roads!
Our guide in Cambodia , can't remember his name, was also very knowledgeable
and obviously loves his job.


Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone when eating and drinking.


Hotel we stayed in in the Mekong Delta, can't remember the name, accused one
of our group of stealing a towel...make sure you count the towels when you
enter the room! ... Fortunately, the towel was miscounted by the staff, but
it wasnt fair for our fellow traveller to be accused. Cong was with her all
the time while this was sorted!


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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

Broad sweep through Vietnam ending in the highlight of Angkor Wat October 2018

5.0

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Broad introduction to Vietnam with extension to Angkor, which was perfect
climax to trip.
Angkor Wat lives up to the hype though it can get over-run with large groups
who only seem interested in taking selfies with the temples as a backdrop.
However, it is easy to find quieter temples. Siem Reip caters to the western
traveller, but has a fine selection of bars and restaurants.


Katie in Vietnam was charm personified. I think we all appreciated her
concern for each and every member of the group. She was young, but her
youthful enthusiasm carried us all along. I think the tour would have
benefitted from wider use of local professional guides ie in Hoi An and Ho
Chi Minh to really bring the cultural and political context alive.
Jonny in Cambodia was excellent. Amusing, personable and nothing was too much
trouble. He was pretty good on the temples too. He had a knack of finding us
the quietest corners for viewing and the best places for photos.


I was dreading the early starts and the last half post-Hoi An can seem
relentless. However, I quickly followed the local pattern of rising with the
sun and breakfasting at 6am and this made the whole experience much more
enjoyable.
The group was varied, but eveyone rubbed along together very well so no fears
here.
Do read up on both countries before leaving as there is just too much to see
and take in en route.


Hotels were good and hotel staff invariably amazing and helpful to a fault.
Food was excellent and there were really good Western options almost
everywhere for those tiring of pho and spring rolls.
Some of the sites in Vietnam can feel like a tourist sausage factory and we
seemed to do more or less what every other tour party did in Vietnam. I
expect that this is what the Vietnamese government wants tourists to
do-perhaps the trip would be better with a few more off piste things? The
cruise is really just a chug for an hour and then settling down for the night
with around 50 other similar vessels before chugging back in the
morning.However, food on board was excellent.
Flights to Vietnam can involve long layovers in Hong Kong etc, including the
group flight in Kuala Lumpur. I would urge people to consider the direct
flights with Vietnam Airways which, apparently, were very good.


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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

Leisurely Vietnam adventure October 2018

5.0

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Excellent trip. Well organized and interesting. Good quality accommodations.
Many good moments. Hard to select one.


Nhi Pham in Vietnam was excellent. I nominated her for leader award.
Leader in Cambodia was very knowledgeable, but not very experienced in
interpersonal skills.


Recommend the trip for educational and general informative content.
Except for short Angkor leg, it was also not very exhausting.


It would be better if Angkor leg was less intense and maybe could take longer
to accommodate higher temperatures.


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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

Classic Vietnam & Angklor-- a tremendous travel experience! October 2018

5.0

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Traveling with Exodus was indeed a tremendous experience and far surpassed
any group travel I have previously encountered. Hotels selected were of very
high quality with excellent locations, allowing for easy access during free
time to various opportunities. Activities scheduled were both educational
and enjoyable, reflective of meaningful experiences in the history of each
country visited. The tour was perfectly paced for active seniors, with enough
activity without being overload, interspersing in enough free time to add in
those activities which we might wish to choose for our personal enjoyment.
Most importantly, the other 14 members in our group were totally enjoyable,
warm & friendly, thereby creating an unanticipated group experience for
sharing in these foreign turfs. Excellent tour which is highly recommended
for anyone with an interest in both history and culture in the countries of
both Vietnam & Cambodia
There were many inspirational moments in our trip but if one need be selected
perhaps it might be our visit to Halong Bay, where we stayed overnight on a
boat while cruising among the islands. Visits to Mekong Delta as well our
kayaking experience were also very special experiences, as well as the visit
to Hoi An, a lovely town in central Vietnam where we were able to mingle more
with the local culture. The most emotionally challenging experience of the
trip was a visit to the Vietnam War Museum wherein via photos of effects of
Agent Orange, we were exposed to the tremendous devastation which the USA
inflicted upon these countries. The trip was both experiential on multiple
levels and allowed one to pursue history and culture to whatever degree
chosen.


Our group leader, Nye, in Vietnam was beyond excellent. Her knowledge and
presentation of information in both a casual yet educational manner was
tremendous. Her capacity to keep organization in a group of 16 people while
retaining a warm & cooperative spirit greatly encouraged a group experience
and enable the schedule to run in an organized manner. Her flexibility to
allow for individual deviation when desired as well as her capacity to show
personal interest in each group member's activities was remarkable & would
inspire me to nominate her as a best group leader ever experienced on a tour.

Our group leader in Cambodia was also very knowledgable and presented
educational material beyond expectations on Angkor. His presentation was less
personally influenced and casual than our previous leader and somewhat more
difficult to focus upon due to his tendency to present infinite tangential
information. The heat in Cambodia also exacerbated the difficulty of this
part of the tour, which may also reflect a wish for less detail in this
experience.


I would highly recommend Exodus travel after researching numerous companies
as an excellent tour company and suggest this tour for anyone with interest
in these countries from an educational and cultural perspective. We chose
February as the month least prone to monsoons and weather was quite
accommodating during our Vietnam portion of the trip. Heat is Cambodia was
more than anticipated and did have some effect on our willingness to explore
further on our second day, but fortunately, the group was in consensus
regarding this concept.


While not a major problem, due to the high quality of all other hotels, we
were slightly less than satisfied with our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, the
Millennium Boutique Hotel, which was not only a considerably smaller space
than the others, but also had a cooler which did not cool, a necessity for
keeping cool water, and was less effective in maintaining toiletries in the
bath area unless requested. Staff in the hotel was very cooperative so it was
not unsatisfactory, simply less pleasant than other places we stayed,
especially after such an excellent stay in Hoi An.


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Operator Exodus Travels

Cambodia Tours and Travel Guide


Cambodia Attractions & Landmarks Guide

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.

Built between the years 1130 - 1150, the temple of Angkor Wat is the most famous and well known perhaps because it is still in use today. Most historians agree that the temple was used both as a tomb and temple, a fact supported by its western facing carvings and doors, and the bas-reliefs were designed to read in a counterclockwise direction.

To protect this magnificent site, be respectful of areas that are off limits, dress appropriately, and take your time. The many gorgeous carvings along the walls reveal epic stories, myths, and describe a people close to their religion and extremely devoted. Breezing through to check the site off your bucket list will ultimately leave you disappointed and rushed - this is a site which begs to be examined and appreciated for all its historical significance and beauty.

Top Temples in Cambodia

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 Temple

Boasting realistic and iconic faces pointed in the cardinal directions, Bayon is a spectacular and mysterious temple. Take your time exploring the different levels of Bayon, as there are 214 of these iconic faces to be found. Built in approximately 1190 AD, Bayon is a Buddhist temple which incorporates Hindu elements as well. This is probably one of the more commonly visited temples in Angkor, other than Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm Temple. Be patient with the crowds and go at your own pace - there are many details here you don’t want to miss by feeling rushed.

Ta Prohm Temple

Built in 1186, Ta Prohm is one of the only Angkor temples to provide inscriptions within the stone walls that give an indication of why it was built, and a record of its inhabitants. It was built in dedication to the mother of Jayavarman VII.
With its crumbling walls and jungle setting, visitors will have the sense that they have stumbled upon the ruins of a lost city. Gigantic trees entangle themselves among the rocks, and some of the best photo opportunities can be found here.

This is also the famous “Tomb Raider Temple”. A famous shot from the entertaining franchise featuring Angelina Jolie took place here. This also means, however, that it is quite overrun with tourists seeking their own version of the movie still. For a similar looking temple, where nature seems to be overtaking the man-made stone elements, head to Preah Khan - farther away, but worth it to escape the crowds of “Tomb Raider” fans.

Preah Khan Temple

Serving the needs of Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, Preah Khan was dedicated to over 500 divinites. You could say that Preah Khan was the Mykonos of ancient Cambodia - the party temple, hosting no less than 18 festivals during the year. To keep the space maintained during its heyday, thousands of people lived and worked here.

Phnom Bakheng Temple

If you’re looking for the perfect place to watch the sunset from at Angkor, this is your spot. This is a popular activity - for good reason - but it gets crowded extremely early by eager tourists jostling to find a good place to sit or set up their camera. If you have the time to spare and are ok waiting around, try to settle in around 4pm to beat the crowds. A maximum of 300 people are permitted into the temple for sunset viewing.

This is also a great temple to visit for those interested in Hinduism. There are seven levels at Phnom Bakheng, each representing one of the seven Hindu heavens.

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.

Food in Cambodia

Fish is a huge staple in Cambodian cuisine. Much of it comes from enormous Tonle Sap Lake, situated in the middle of the country. Tonle Sis is an important source of this commodity, and a key element in the daily lives of the many Cambodian communities who make their home on Tonle Sap.

Among the dishes you may have that feature fish, one of the most popular is Fish Amok. Fish mousse (really) combined with coconut milk, and Khmer curry paste with flavors of lemongrass, turmeric root, garlic, shallots, galangal, and fingerroot (chinese ginger).

Many Southeast Asian countries near Cambodia have their own versions of this traditional dish. Cambodian Fish Amok stands out due to their use of a local herb called “slok ngor” which adds a delightful bitterness to the dish you won’t find elsewhere.

Fish Amok is popular from street venders, where it often has more of a soup consistency than its fine dining counterpart, where it is often served in a banana leaf.

Grilled fish and other seafood is also popular in Cambodia, and it’s always very fresh, considering with Cambodia’s close proximity to fresh-water from Tonle Sap and the ocean to the south west.

BBQ is another huge cooking style in Cambodia. A popular breakfast dish is bai sach chrouk - BBQ’d pork. This is a traditional meal, so every household has their own way of making it. But the essentials are always the same: pork that’s been heavily marinated in garlic, soy, and coconut milk and served over rice. Often accompanied by green tomatoes and a side of pickled vegetables it’s the perfect way to start your day!

Noodle soups feature prominently throughout Cambodia, typically featuring light broths, rice or egg noodles, a variety of vegetable toppings and usually a protein of some sort.  

Cambodian food exhibits strong contrasts - one dish or item may be full of tremendous combinations of sweet and savory, spicy and cool. For most meals you receive side plates of condiments; peppers, different sauces, limes...these serve to help draw the flavor profiles out and provide incredible depth to the dish.

Mangos are another very popular item in Cambodian cuisine, used at all stages of ripeness in salads, sauces, and sweet dishes.

You also may have heard of “Balut” a Southeast Asian delicacy which nevertheless can cause even the most adventurous western traveler to squirm. This dish consists of a partially fertilized egg, and while the taste may be very similiar to simply eggs, the visual cues can be enough to dissuade many.

What to Wear in Cambodia

You’ll be visiting a lot of temples during your Cambodia tour. Dressing appropriately is important. Respectful attire will include covered knees and shoulders at the minimum. Most temples will allow you in with sandals, though close toed shoes are generally more accepted.

Lightweight long sleeves can be helpful protection against the sun, but dressing for humidity as well presents unique challenges. Basically its pretty difficult to be one hundred percent comfortable in one hundred percent (or close to it) humidity. Temperatures often reach into the hundreds during Cambodia’s dry season, December through April. The hottest months are January and February.

Wearing breathable materials, that don’t cling, is advisable. Avoid denim or tight shorts - long, flowy and light material for pants or skirts will be extremely helpful in staying comfortable. Remember that your knees should be covered for visiting Cambodia’s many temples.

The rainy monsoon season is between May and November, with the most heavy rains occurring between July and September. During this time, it’s also extremely warm and humid, though not quite as unbearable as during the dry season. Dress in water resistant layers, and carry a light poncho if you want to avoid getting drenched. Be very careful climbing temple steps - they can be slippery!

The rainy season in Cambodia is a great time to visit to avoid crowds, and the roads are also less dusty after all the rain. Lightning storms are common, so be cautious, but also have your camera ready, especially if you happen to be exploring the countryside or Angkor when a lightning storm hits. The dramatic effect and clouds creates incredible photographs!

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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All Cambodia tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Cambodia trips.

413 trips from 75 tour companies with 575 reviews

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