Cambodia Overview

Location: Cambodia is a Southeast Asia country located in the Indochina Peninsula, bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia's capital is Phnom Penh, which is also the largest city in the country.

Language & Religions: The country's official language is Khmer, it is spoken by the majority of the population. Regarding religions, Buddhism is the dominant religion in Cambodia with around 95% of the population practicing Buddhism. The other religions are Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism.

The best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season from November to March with less rainfall, lower humidity, and comfortable weather. Normally April and May are the hottest months. From May to October is the rainy season but it can also be a great time to visit as the landscapes become lush and green. 

The currency of Cambodia has been called the Cambodian Riel (KHR) since 1980. However, US dollars are widely accepted and used alongside the Riel in everyday transactions, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. The exchange rate between the Riel and US dollar is relatively stable.

Cambodia travel guide location map

Cambodia travel guide location map

How to get a visa to Cambodia

Cambodia tourist visa, also known as the T-class visa, allows foreign tourists to stay in Cambodia for 30 days for the purpose of tourism. A tourist visa is mandatory for all visitors to Cambodia, except nationals from the following countries:

  • Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, and Vietnam (30 days stay with single entry).

  • Thailand, Myanmar, Brunei, Seychelles (14 days stay with single entry).

  • Philippines (21 days stay with single entry).

You can check the website of the Cambodia embassies to see if you are eligible for a Cambodia visa on arrival or an e-visa. Typically, the visa processing time takes around 3 days or longer (excluding weekends and public holidays). The cost of obtaining a Cambodia visa ranges from $30 to $36.

Trips to Cambodia cost -  cambodia travel guide

Trips to Cambodia cost

Requirements to apply for a tourist visa on arrival in Cambodia:

  • A passport that is valid for more than 6 months and has at least 1 blank page.

  • Two passport-size photos.

  • Fill on the visa application form.

  • Receive your visa on arrival at international airports or border checkpoints.

Requirements to apply for a Cambodia tourist e-visa:

  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months.

  • A valid international credit or debit card

  • Fill out the application form on the website eVisa Kingdom of Cambodia (the official Cambodian government website).

  • Provide an email address to receive the e-visa results.

  • Print 2 copies of your Cambodia E-visa to present upon entry and exit from the country at entry points available for E-visa.

How to get around Cambodia

In this part of the Cambodia travel guide, let’s explore the best ways to get to Cambodia:

  • Travel to Cambodia by border checkpoints of neighboring countries: Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

  • Travel to Cambodia by airplane: The busiest International Airports in Cambodia are Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Check for available flights from your country to Cambodia. In case there are not any direct flights from your country to Cambodia. You can reach Cambodia’s international airports via Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and several other destinations.

How to get around Cambodia

The Poipet border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand

To travel within Cambodia, you can consider the following options:

  • Tuk-tuk: This is a popular mode of transportation in Cambodian cities. Tuk-tuks are small, three-wheeled vehicles that can accommodate a few passengers.

Price: About 1-2 USD for 1-3 km transfer. 15 - 20 USD for 1 day traveling in Angkor Wat. You can use online apps such as PassApp or Grab to have a better deal.

  • Motorbike: Renting a motorbike is a common option for independent travel in Cambodia. However, make sure you have the necessary license and wear a helmet for safety.

Renting price: About 5 USD/day.

  • Taxi: Metered taxis are available in major cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Depending on the distance traveled and the type of seat (economy class, comfort class, and minivan car), taxi fares in Cambodia range from $25 to $150 USD.

  • Bus: The bus network in Cambodia connects various cities and towns. There are both local and long-distance bus services available. Some popular bus companies in Cambodia include Giant Ibis, Mekong Express, Virak Buntham, and Capitol Tours.

Ticket price: About 8 - 11 USD.

  • Train: Although the train network is limited in Cambodia, you can catch a train from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, Battambang, Kampot, Poipet, and Takeo. You should check the schedule in advance as trains may not run frequently.

Ticket price: About 4 - 8 USD.

  • Cyclo: Cyclos are bicycle rickshaws commonly found in tourist areas. They provide a slower and more scenic way of exploring the cities.

Price: about 5 - 6 USD.

Best attractions and experiences in Cambodia

Cambodia, a country of pristine nature, rich indigenous cultural heritage, and inspiring landscapes, offers a multitude of wonders waiting to be explored. Let’s discover the best options to travel in Cambodia with the help of this Cambodia travel guide.

Cambodia travel guide to best attractions

Cambodia travel guide to best attractions

Temples and ruins

Angkor Complex (Siem Reap): The ancient Angkor temple complex is not unfamiliar to anyone who knows about the country of Cambodia. The image of Angkor Temple also appears on the country's national flag. The UNESCO heritage site is also the largest religious monument in the world.

Banteay Srei (Siem Reap): The highlight of Banteay Srei is its exquisite architecture and unique sculptures on its pink sandstone blocks. Visitors can marvel at the intricate palaces, towers, and stunning sculptures that seamlessly blend with the majestic and enigmatic nature surrounding the area.

Beng Mealea Temple (Siem Reap): Beng Mealea is a sprawling temple complex that has been partially reclaimed by the surrounding jungle, giving it an adventurous and mysterious atmosphere. Exploring the temple allows you to walk through ancient ruins, climb over fallen stones, and discover hidden passageways.

Bokor Hill (Kampot): Located within Bokor National Park, the hill offers stunning views of lush greenery, misty mountains, and the Gulf of Thailand. Bokor Hill features several abandoned structures, including the eerie Bokor Palace Hotel and an old casino. These decaying buildings add a sense of mystery and intrigue to the area.

Preah Vihear Temple (Preah Vihear): The ancient temple situated atop the majestic Dangrek Mountain on the border of Cambodia and Thailand, is an ancient temple of immense allure and deep historical significance. With its captivating viewpoint and profound sense of importance, Preah Vihear Temple emanates an aura of grandeur that is truly captivating.


The serene beach of Cambodia

The serene beach of Cambodia

Cambodia's top coastal cities with beautiful beaches are Sihanoukville and Kep. Sihanoukville is renowned for its pristine beaches such as Ochheuteal Beach, Otres Beach, and Serendipity Beach, as well as the picturesque Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem islands. Visitors can enjoy beach activities and indulge in entertainment options like restaurants, cafes, bars, and casinos.

Kep, on the other hand, is known for its iconic spider crab and is worth a visit to admire both its unique charm and savor its delectable cuisine. Additionally, Kep offers opportunities to explore captivating French colonial architecture and the tranquil island of Koh Tonsay.

Nature sites

Cambodia is a pristine and remarkable natural destination. Check out the following places in this Cambodia travel guide to find the perfect choice for you.

Nature sites in cambodia

Travelers to Cambodia are challenge to explore the spooky lands

Tonle Sap Lake (Siem Reap): It is easy to recognize that Tonle Sap stands out as the largest freshwater lake in the continent of Southeast Asia when examining the map. It stretches across multiple provinces in Cambodia, offering a convenient opportunity for visitors to observe the abundant biodiversity and the unique floating communities that reside within the lake's boundaries. 

Battambang Countryside: Battambang is a peaceful rural area with vast rice fields, perfect for those seeking a retreat and a break from urban life. 

Mondulkiri Plateau: Mondulkiri is a captivating region known for its diverse indigenous communities. This area is renowned for its abundant wildlife, with elephants, gibbons, and a variety of bird species finding sanctuary within its rich biodiversity.

Krampi (Kratie): Krampi is famous for its rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that can be spotted swimming on the surface of the water. Visitors often come here to admire these unique dolphins and also explore the local village in the area. 

Additionally, you can also visit Cambodia's top national parks such as Bokor, Phnom Kulen, Kirirom, and Ream. These parks offer opportunities to engage in hiking, camping, trekking, bird watching, and exploring historical temples and ruins.

What to eat in Cambodia

Cambodian cuisine - cambodia travel guide

Cambodian cuisine is a rich combination of natural tropical ingredients

It would be a mistake to overlook the culinary delights of this destination. Let's continue exploring the cuisine of Cambodia in this Cambodia travel guide:

  • Fish Amok: Fish amok is a renowned delicacy from Cambodia, representing the essence of its culinary tradition. Amok refers to a delicious steamed curry dish prepared using fish, shrimp, or chicken, delicately flavored with chilies and served alongside fragrant rice. This specialty is traditionally cooked within a banana leaf, adding a distinctive and enticing aroma to the overall experience.

  • Bai Sach Chrouk: This is a popular breakfast dish in Cambodia. Bai Sach Chrouk consists of rice, tender pork, fresh herbs, and a savory-sweet sauce. It is often served with a ripe banana on the side.

  • Nom Banh Chok: This is a traditional rice noodle dish in Cambodian cuisine. The noodles are made from translucent white rice and topped with coconut-based sauce, fresh vegetables, pork sausage, fish cake, shrimp, or salmon.

  • Beef Lok Lak: Beef lok lak is a delectable beef stir-fry delicacy, typically served on a vibrant assortment of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. It is commonly enjoyed with a delectable dipping sauce, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.

  • Kdam Chaa: Kdam Chaa refers to stir-fried crab. This dish is prepared by stir-frying crab with garlic, onions, chili, and other spices to create a spicy and enticing flavor.

  • Here we end the food list of the Cambodia travel guide with Kuy Teav - a hearty noodle soup made with pork or beef broth, rice noodles, and an assortment of toppings like sliced meat, bean sprouts, and fried garlic.

Top Hotels and Resorts in Cambodia

Top Hotels and Resorts in Cambodia

Welcoming staff at Jaya House River Park Hotel 

Furthermore, if you desire to experience a vacation in Cambodia with the best hotels, we have some suggestions for you in this Cambodia travel guide: 

Jaya House River Park: This hotel offers not only a great space and convenient location but also exceptional service and meticulous care. 

Address: River Rd, Krong Siem Reap.

Room rate from 242 USD/night.

Golden Temple Residence: Located in the city center, this hotel boasts a beautiful and impressive design and is only 6.6km away from the Angkor Wat temple. A customer named Dirk reviewed, "The great service, friendly staff, spacious rooms, wonderful massages, great breakfast, convenient location, and tranquil atmosphere make it a truly remarkable choice."

  • Address: Sok San Rd, Krong Siem Reap 17252.

  • Room rate from 98 USD/night.

Central Suite Residence: This hotel offers elegant and lush accommodations. From here, you can easily visit Pub Street and many nice restaurants.  “There are so many unique touches that they provide that made our stay so special. A personalized welcome - handcrafted from lotus plants was arranged on the bed upon entering. Every time you leave the hotel, they wish you a fun and wonderful day, and every time you arrive back at the hotel, they tell you, "Welcome home"(greeted again with cooling towels). The staff were absolutely lovely.”, written by Iloyd on Tripadvisor.

  • Address: Sok San Rd, Krong Siem Reap.

  • Room rate from 51 USD/night.

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel: Sofitel is one of the top accommodation choices in Phnom Penh. The hotel offers convenient access to several iconic capital landmarks such as Wat Langka (1.8km) and Bophana Center (2.1km).

  • Address: 26 Old August Site Sothearos Boulevard, 12301.

  • Room rate from 263 USD/night.

Sokha Beach Resort: This beachfront hotel allows you to comfortably enjoy and explore the beauty of Sihanoukville. The resort offers great food and services along with its private beach.

  • Address: Preah Sihanouk, Sihanoukville.

  • Room rate from 94 USD/night.

Veranda Natural Resort: From Veranda, you can easily walk to Kep’s famous attractions such as the Crab Statue (1.4km), Jasmine Valley Skate Bowl (1.5km), or Patio (3.3km). The resort offers a beautiful design, open and airy spaces, and a close connection to nature. 

  • Address: Kep.

  • Room rate from 77 USD/night.

Travel advice when visiting Cambodia

Cambodia travel guide and tips

Cambodia travel guide and tips

Lastly, in this Cambodia travel guide, let's go through some important points to note when traveling to Cambodia. 

  • When exchanging money, it is advisable to carry smaller denomination Riel notes as vendors may not always have change for larger notes or prefer USD. 

  • The weather in Cambodia is generally hot and humid due to its tropical climate with significant rainfall. There are also many temple sites in Cambodia where it is recommended to dress modestly, so remember to check the weather and pack suitable clothing. 

  • Greetings in Cambodia are often done by pressing both palms together, similar to a prayer, with a slight bow forward. This is particularly important when meeting monks, elderly people, or leaders in Cambodia, as well as when entering someone's home or a temple. 

  • Ensure that you do not cross your legs, but rather place both feet on one side to avoid inadvertently pointing your feet toward others. When exploring temples in Cambodia, it is customary to exhibit reverence by removing your hat and shoes prior to entering. Additionally, it is considered respectful to avoid positioning yourself in a higher seat than the esteemed monks.

  • In Cambodia, it is considered impolite to point directly at someone, touch or pat anyone's head or hair (as the head is considered sacred), and avoid tapping children on their heads. 

  • When dining or engaging in various activities in Cambodia, it is customary to use your right hand rather than your left hand, especially when shaking hands with others. This is because Cambodians believe that the left hand should only be used for activities such as using the restroom.

Tonle Sap lake - largest lake in south east asia

Tonle Sap the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia

Here is the end of this Cambodia travel guide. We hope that New Asia Tours has provided you with useful information throughout. Visit Cambodia and share with us your journey, as we look forward to hearing about your experiences and admiring your beautiful photos. And if you are looking for Vietnam and Cambodia package tour, feel free to contact us!