CAMBODIA TRAVEL TIPS

Cambodia Tours allow you to experience the tragic history, the rich culture, and active travel. The beginning of the tour in Cambodia is visiting the world heritage temples of Angkor in Siem Reap and learning the tragic story of the Killing Field and Tuol Sleng Genocide Musieum in Phnom Penh. Today Cambodia Tours offer much more than temples and war museums: lively markets, traditional villages, colonial architecture, delicious food, peaceful pagodas. These are some of the attractions and active travel that get you away from the typical tourist sights.

We also visit the unspoiled beaches of the Gulf of Thailand, that offer a range of water sports like paddle surfing or diving, as well as the tropical islands where it is possible to see the sunset with a cold beer.

CAMBODIA TRAVEL GUIDES

We help you to get ready

Cambodia Travel Guides will give you clear information of what to bring to Cambodia and how to access a visa upon arrival at the airport at the cost of USD30 for 30 days visit.

Here is a brief guide about the best times to travel to Cambodia:

Nov to Feb: the so-called windy season is the best all-around time to explore the country.

Apr to May: Khmer Year fall in mid-April and the mercury regularly hits 40C.

Jul to Sep:
 the green season, when rice paddies shimmer and downpours bring relief from the humidity.

A few brief facts about Cambodia:

Government: Democracy (Constitutional Monarchy)
King: Norodom Sihamoni, head of state (Born: May 14, 1953)
Prime minister: Hun Manet, head of government (Born: October 20, 1977)
Area: 181,035 square kilometers
Population: 17 million
Bordering countries: Thailand to the west, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, Thailand Gulf to the south
Religion: Buddhism (95% of the population), the rest are Christianity, Muslim, and others

Samban
Koh-Rong-Sanloem-Diving
CAMBODIA EXPERIENCES
Suggested Experiences in Cambodia
CAMBODIA TOUR PACKAGES
Featured Journeys

There are a variety of choices for Cambodia Tour Packages from classic to adventure tours. The classic trips cover culture, history, home stay, family, heritage, culinary, art, UNICCO, tribal. The adventures of Cambodia packages cover cycling, trekking, motorbike, 4WD tours and some more other outdoor activities.

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Cambodia Cardamom Off-Road...

Unique adventure by off-road dirt motorcycle from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh via Battambang, Koh Kong, Cardamom Mountain, and Chi...

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Cambodia Rainforest Off-Road...

The amazing Cambodia Rainforest off-road motorcycle, the tour will start and end in Siem Reap, the riding get through Battambang,...

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BMW Motorcycle Cambodia...

The highlights of 5 days beyond Siem Reap city to enjoy riding through countryside road to visit cities along the...

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ABOUT CAMBODIA

LANDSCAPE
Cambodia shares borders in the north with Laos and Thailand, in the east with Vietnam and in the southwest with the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia’s landscape is a blend of rice paddies, sugar palm plantations and remote jungles. While most visitors come to see the marvels of Angkor Wat, Cambodia offers plenty of natural beauty for those willing to explore. Bordering the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, Cambodia offers some lovely beaches, while to the north and northeast are mountainous. Life in Cambodia has always revolved around two bodies of water: the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake. Tonle Sap, the name of which means ‘Great Lake’, is Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake and is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

PHNOM PENH
Before civil war broke out, Phnom Penh was nicknamed ‘The Pearl of Asia’ as it was considered one of the finest cities in the region. Located in the south-central region of Cambodia, at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital for most of the last six centuries.
Having recovered from the dark legacy of the Pol Pot era in the 1970’s, Phnom Penh today is a vibrant economic center with a population of two million. Cafes, restaurants and hotels line the riverfront while boutique shops and art galleries sprout along smaller side streets. Even as it undergoes urban development, Phnom Penh has retained much of its old world charm as evident in the French colonial architecture and traditional ornate temples.
Rich in history, the city offers a number of cultural and historical sites including the National Museum, Royal Palace, and Silver Pagoda. To truly understand the country’s history and the people’s mindset, a visit to the Tuol Sleng Prison is a must. Also known as S-21, this former school became a torture center and has now been preserved as a museum.
On the outskirts of Phnom Penh are the Killing Fields, an area where some 17,000 men, women and children were murdered and dumped in mass graves. Not for the faint-of-heart, these sites are sobering reminders of the Khmer Rouge’s brutality—and of the rest of the world’s failure to intervene.

SIEM REAP
Siem Reap, located north-west Cambodia, is a charming provincial town defined by a cluster of villages, Chinese-style shop houses, and French-colonial architecture. As a gateway to the ancient temple ruins of Angkor, Siem Reap has experienced exponential growth in recent years with hotel and resort developments turning this once sleepy village into a tourism mecca.
Activities to experience in the town of Siem Reap include watching a traditional Cambodian “apsara” dance performance and participating in a Khmer cuisine cooking class to exploring the peaceful countryside on the back of a horse or on a quad bike. The rural outskirts offer plenty of interesting activities such as visiting craft villages, workshops and silk farms, taking a bike ride through the scenic countryside, or participating in a humanitarian assistance program by making a pump well donation or funding a local school.

TEMPLES OF ANGKOR
Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992, the Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses dozens of temple ruins whose artistic and archaeological significance and visual impact place it alongside other wonders of the world like the Pyramids, Machu Pichu and the Taj Mahal. Built between seven and eleven centuries ago the temples—about 100 of which are still standing—were devoted to Buddha and Hindu deities. Within the fortified city of Angkor Thom lies the Bayon temple, the third tier of which is lined by more than 200 huge, carved faces that stare down from 54 towers.
Other highlights include the Buddhist temple of Ta Prohm, which was not been restored and looks just as it did when French explorers stumbled upon it in the 1860s, and Angkor Wat, a vast temple complex dedicated to Vishnu in the early 12th century. Many of the temples are covered with fantastic carvings depicting religious stories and scenes from daily life.
When you visit the temples, you will be issued an “Angkor Pass” which is similar to an entrance ticket but has your photo on it. The pass allows you access to all the temples in the complex and some surrounding structures. Make sure you keep the pass with you at all times just in case you would like to explore the temples in your leisure time, as long as the date is still valid.

BATTAMBANG
Sitting on the Sangker River just south west of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang town is at the heart of Cambodia’s ‘rice bowl’. Although being the country’s second biggest town, Battambang still has a very local provincial atmosphere. Much of the architecture is traditional Cambodian and French colonial, evident in the town’s many French-style villas and storefronts. The nearby countryside also harbors old pagodas, Angkorian-era ruins, caves, waterfalls, and Khmer Rouge period killing fields.

RATANANKIRI
Banlung City is the provincial capital of Ratanakiri Province in the mountainous northeastern corner. It is one of the poorest regions in the country with a sparse population of 150,000. Ratanakiri is known for its lush forests and rich biodiversity, though recent development is threatening the province’s ecological health. Some of the most biologically diverse lowland tropical rainforest and mountain forest ecosystems of mainland Southeast Asia are located in Ratanakiri. Activities include excursions/treks to remote Khmer Loeu villages and jungle areas, waterfalls, gem mines, and Ratanakiri’s famous Yeak Laom volcanic lake.

MONDOLKIRI
Mondolkiri is the largest province of Cambodia but is sparsely populated with about 40,000 people. Located on the eastern highlands, Mondolkiri has scenery and a climate quite unlike anywhere else in the country. There are rolling grassy hills, serene rivers, powerful waterfalls, and forested mountains.
At an average elevation of 800m, it can get quite chilly at night. Mondulkiri has numerous tourist attractions such as waterfalls, indigenous hilltribe culture, national parks and elephant trekking. Sen Monorom, the provincial capital, is a quiet town with a frontier feel, although it has potential to develop into an eco-tourism center.

SIHANOUKVILLE
Located on the southwest peninsula facing the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville was originally founded as a port town half a century ago. Today this provincial town is Cambodia’s premier beach destination with miles of powdered white sand beaches, picturesque islands and warm tropical waters which can be visited year round. The nearby islands teeming with coral and colorful range of tropical fish offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. If you are a seafood lover, you will especially enjoy the local specialties of fresh caught crab and shrimp.

KEP
In contrast to the popular and bustling beachfronts in Sihanoukville, Kep is a small and low-key beach town. From the early 20th century through the 1960s, Kep was Cambodia’s premier beach town, drawing weekend holiday-makers to its picturesque shores lined with ritzy ocean side villas of the privileged class. Nowadays, the old villas are in ruins, and the town is known more for its oceanfront seafood stalls than for its beaches, which are narrow and stony, offering just a few slivers of sand. Nearby attractions include Bokor Hill Station, a mountaintop collection of colonial buildings (hotel, casino, church, and royal residence) constructed by French authorities in the early 1920s as a retreat for French officials and foreign visitors to old Indochina and Rabbit Island, a short 20minute trip from the shores of Kep with beautiful beaches and a very relaxed atmosphere. Getting here: From Kampot, it is a 25km (30-45 mins) trip on paved, smooth road through scenic Cambodian countryside. From Phnom Penh it is 3 hours.

Suggested things to do in Cambodia
  • Ziplines
  • Angkor Eye
  • Village Cooking class
  • Escape Break
  • Cyclo ride (rickshaw)
  • Helicopter
  • Camping
  • Phare, The Cambodian Circus
  • Kulen Forest Elephant R
  • Mondulkiri Elephant Valley
  • Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre
  • Preah Vihear UNESCO world heritage
  • Sambor Prei Kuk UNESCO world heritage
  • Koh Ker temples
  • Banteay Chhmar temple
  • Phnom Kulen Ancient City
Suggested hotels
  • SIEM REAP
  • Ambar Angkor Village (Standard)
  • Grand Bayond Hotel (Standard)
  • Somadevi Ankgor Hotel (Siem Reap | 4-star = Superior)
  • Royal Crown Hotel (Siem Reap | 4-star = Superior)
  • Lotus Balanc Resort (Siem Reap | 5-star = Deluxe)
  • Royal Angkor Resort (Siem Reap | 5-star = Deluxe) 
  • Borie Angkor Resort (Siem Reap | 5-star = Luxury)
  • Angkor Palace Resort (Siem Reap | local 5-star = Luxury)
 
 
 
  • PHNOM PENN
  • King Grand Boutique Hotel (Standard) 
  • Ohana Hotel (Standard) 
  • Anik Palace Hotel (Superior) 
  • Palace Gate Residence (Superior)
  • Sun & Moon Riverside (Deluxe) 
  • Capri Phnom Penh Hotel (Deluxe) 
  • Palace Gate Hotel & Resort (Luxury) 
  • Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh (Luxury)
 
 
 
Suggested restaurants in Siem Reap
  • Neary Khmer Restaurant 
  • Crystal Restaurant 
  • Morakot Angkor Restaurant
  • Khmer Grill Lounge 
  • Sugar Palm Restaurant 
  • Chanrey Tree Restaurant

PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION
Thank you very much for choosing to Travel with Merry Travel. We wish you a memorable trip in Cambodia and offer the information below to help you prepare for your trip.

VISA REQUIREMENTS
Most nationalities are eligible for a one-month visa on arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and all land borders with neighboring countries. The cost is $30 for a tourist visa and $35 for a business visa. Please bring a passport photo to apply for visa. If you do not have it, customs office will take your photo on spot but charge you extra USD1 to cover their administration fee. Bring payment in cash in US dollars. Please be aware that sometimes there can be long queues at the airport when obtaining a visa on arrival, however in general the queues move fairly quickly and it takes you around 10 to 30 minutes at the queue.

* Cambodia electronic-visa can also be obtained by accessing the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Kingdom of Cambodia at
http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa/ContactInformation.aspx. Please note that some land borders do not accept e-visa so please do check this on the website when you plan to arrive through land border.
* Please make sure your passport is valid more than 6 months from the date of arrival in Cambodia. Also, make sure you have at least two blank pages for Cambodia visa.

ARRIVAL INFORMATION
* After collecting your luggage and completing the immigration and customs procedures, you will walk through the exit gate. Look for our tour guide holding welcome sign with Merry Travel logo and your names. Here is the sample of welcome sign board

* If after some time you are unable to find the Merry Travel welcome signboard, please request the airport taxi stand to call us for immediate assistance on local emergency number listed on your voucher and at bottom of this document.

* Please keep a copy of your completed Immigration and Customs form as you will need to present it at Immigration upon departure from Cambodia.

FAST-TRACK AIRPORT ARRIVAL SERVICE 
If you have booked our fast-track airport arrival service, our immigration officer will meet you as you depart the plane and arrive at terminal gate and help you for immigration formalities. What you need to do it identify your luggage. Our immigration office and porters will escort you to meet your tour guide.  

TRAVEL INSURANCE
We recommend to buy travel insurance all our trips. Your Travel Insurance should cover trip cancellation, medical and helicopter evacuation. Our guide will ask for a copy of your travel insurance information in case of emergency. You can also send it to us in advanced if you like to.  

HEALTH
Please consult your doctor to discuss your particular health or immunization requirements.
If you would like to have a source of further information, please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov. If you have any medical problem, allergy, dietary restriction, please let us know so we can inform our guide and relevant suppliers.

CLIMATE
Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round. The climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. December to January are the coolest months, while the hottest period is in April. The average temperature is around 27-28ºC.

AIRLINES
Seat Assignment
For most airlines seat assignment is not always possible in advance. The best way to secure a seat of your choice is to arrive at the airport early and request this at check in.
Airport Security
Due to the current world security climate, you will find Cambodia airport security to be similar to those in your own country.
Luggage allowance
Each airline has its own luggage allowance policy, with most allowing 20kg checked baggage and 5kg carry-on. Excess baggage is charged at a specific rate depending on the route and airline. You are advised to check your airline prior to travel.
Departure airport tax
Airport tax is already included in your air ticket for both domestic flight and international flight.

MONEY
Cambodia’s currency, the Riel, exchanges at a rate of about 4,000 to the US Dollar. However, the US Dollar has become the country’s common currency. You can use US Dollar at all shops but it is advisable to carry some Cambodian Riel for small purchases. Bring clean bills in small denominations ($1 and $5) for making purchases. Credit cards and traveler’s cheques are widely accepted in most shops and restaurants that serve for tourists in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Many banks (open Monday to Friday) issue cash advances for Visa and MasterCard, usually for a small commission. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted in the cities although ATMs are widely available throughout Cambodia and this is the easiest and safest way of accessing money. When traveling to the countryside, VISA card can get you money at ABA or ACLEDA Bank ATM, which is in every provincial town.

TIPPING
Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the tourism industry. For reference, we have provided a general guideline for tipping as below.
Tour Guide/Drivers
If you are pleased with the services provided by your tour guide and driver, then a tip for their hard work will be very much appreciated. In general, we recommend around US$5 -10/day/traveler for guides and US$5-7/day/traveler for drivers if less than 4 people in a group. We recommend around US$3-7/day/traveler for guides and US$2-5/day/traveler for drivers if there are 5 people or more.
Hotel & Restaurant Staff
A tipping of 5-10% of the total bill in restaurants is appreciated. For porters, US$1-2/time/room is acceptable.
Boat Cruise
If you travel on a local boat such as in Tonle Sap Lake, a small tip from US$2-5 per boat, depending on the group size, is appreciated.

MOBILE PHONES 
Your guide can assist you to purchase a local tourist simcard and/or hand set at many mobile phone shops. ‘Top up’ credit vouchers are available at most phone shops, particularly ones displaying the network logo. 

CLOTHING
Since the weather is consistently warm throughout the country, it is advisable to bring comfortable lightweight, loose fitting, cotton clothing and long-sleeved items for protection from mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season open-toe sandals are recommended. A hat and high-factor sun block is advisable for protection against the hot sun when sightseeing.
T-shirts and knee length shorts are acceptable for visiting temples or pagodas, including those of Angkor Wat. Shoes are generally removed at the entrance to pagodas. For visits to the Silver Pagoda, which is within the Royal Palace grounds, visitors are advised to wear long trousers or long skirts.
At the Angkor Wat complex, you’ll be on your feet and walking a lot, sometimes over rough and slippery surfaces, so choose your footwear carefully. The soles of your shoes should offer good traction.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
You should bring a daypack to safely and conveniently carry your travel documents, camera, cash… Bring photocopies of your passport and visa, plus some extra passport-sized photos if you’re applying for on-arrival visas. We recommend that you keep a copy of your travel documents at home as well as email a copy to yourself in case you or your family needs it. Bring contact numbers of Merry Travel, Insurance company, credit card company, friends and family.

PACKING LIST
Our packing list should be used as a guide only and is not intended to be a complete packing list. Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion; however, you should attempt to follow our suggested luggage weight limit of under 20kg. Some items on this list may not be necessary for your particular trip. What you bring will vary according to the trip style you’ve chosen, the countries you’re visiting and when you’re travelling. We recommend you check the details of your trip when deciding what to pack. Please carefully consider the weather and time of year that you plan to travel. 

o Passport – Ensure that it is valid and in good condition with empty pages available. Make a photocopy as well
o Insurance – Ensure that it will be valid for the whole journey
o Passport Photos – Will always be needed for identification passes and visa
o Emergency contact numbers of Merry Travel, Insurance company, friends and family.
o Debit/credit card cancellation numbers
o Air tickets and Itinerary
o Money belt/daypack – Ensure that it is discrete and comfortable to wear
o First Aid kit – Basic travel kit to cover basic mishaps which may occur along the way
o Personal Medication –with international doctors’ note to ensure easy passage of medication across international borders
o Sun block – High UVA protection ideally
o Sunglasses & sunhat
o Antibacterial gel/wipes
o Comfortable walking shoes
o Mosquito spray & insect repellent
o Long sleeve top and trousers – Useful to protect against mosquitoes at dawn and dusk and the sun through the day
o Camera, battery and charger
o Cash in USD small notes
o Swimming costume
o Shaving equipment
o Mobile phone (for tourist local simcard or international roaming)

CONTACT US
If you have any questions or encounter any problems please contact us immediately at our Cambodia offices so we can provide an immediate solution.
Merry Travel Siem Reap Head Office
Address: 007, Backheng Road, Svay Dangkhum, Siem Reap.
HP/WhatsApp/Line: +855 12 766 971
EMERGENCY CONTACTS:
Operation Manager: Samban THENG (Sam/Mr.)