Holidays in Cambodia
With its neighbours, Vietnam and Laos, Cambodia forms the region known as Indochina. This friendly country really is the Asia of old, with neatly tended rice fields, ornate temples, charming people and a traditional way of life.
Only relatively opened to tourism, Cambodia offers a unique mix of first-class hotels set alongside its ancient architecture.
At Freedom Destinations, we’ve been designing tailor made holidays for over twenty years and our team of Travel Experts would love to use their specialist knowledge to help you plan your Cambodia holiday.
Things to do in Cambodia
From the enchanting Temples of Angkor to the idyllic beaches of Koh Rong, the countryside of Kampot to the buzz of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a country brimming with incredible scenery and exciting things to do. Our Asia Experts recommend taking time to do the following:
- Explore crumbling temples entwined with vines and ancient relics reclaimed by nature on a tour of Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Learn about life under the Khmer Rouge regime with a visit to the extremely moving Genocide Museum and Killing Fields
- Try Cambodia’s national dish, a Khmer curry called Fish Amok, at one of the many street food stalls found at Phnom Penh Night Market
- Enjoy a taste of the castaway life on Koh Rong, an idyllic island framed by white sands and crystalline seas
- Wander around the National Museum of Cambodia and muse at one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art
- Take a cyclo tour of Phnom Penh, and visit the beautiful Royal Palace, home of a near life-size diamond encrusted Buddha
- Experience a unique three day adventure glamping in the Cardamom mountains, staying at the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge and kayaking through mangroves
- Visit a Kampot Pepper farm and sample Cambodia’s only product with Protected Geographical Indication status (like Champagne and Parma Ham!)
- Cruise past floating villages and fish farms on a tour of Tonle Sap, South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake
- Discover Wat Phnom, an ancient Buddhist temple situated on the only ‘hill’ in Phnom Penh. Fun fact: it is this temple that the Cambodian capital is named after!
- Learn how Cambodia’s specially trained ‘Hero Rats‘ are helping make previously conflicted land safe to use again, by sniffing out landmines
- Dine on fresh crab at one of Kep’s beachside restaurants – seasoned with Kampot pepper of course!
Places to Stay
Best known for its awe inspiring temples, thick jungles and tranquil lakes, Cambodia is a country of endless possibilities. Its three main regions are:
Siem Reap is a vibrant and colourful city with plenty to do and see. By day, visit the iconic ruins of Angkor Wat and the lesser-known Ta Prohm temple; and by night, stroll along the iconic Pub Street in search of bars, restaurants, and nightlife. From Siem Reap, you can also visit Tonle Sap Lake and witness the daily life of the people who have settled on the floating villages here.
Freedom Favourite Hotel:
- Shinta Mani Shack – a stylish boutique hotel located within the leafy French Quarter. The owners of Shinta Mani also run a charitable foundation to educate the local community, and a percentage of your stay is contributed to this programme.
Cambodia’s capital city Phnom Penh is a vibrant destination filled with reminders of a colonial past and a riverside full of shops, bars, and restaurants to choose from.
Phnom Penh is also where you will find the insightful yet painful history of Cambodia’s Killing Fields and Genocide Museum; an unpleasant yet important tour to take for anyone wanting to really get to know Cambodia.
Freedom Favourite Hotel:
- Raffles Le Royal – a historical landmark that has been welcoming visitors since 1929, the beautiful Raffles Le Royal is an oasis within the city, boasting two swimming pools fringed by Frangipani-lined tropical gardens.
The Gulf Coast
Cambodia’s Gulf Coast has quaint riverside towns, charming seaside retreats and superb beach resorts with plenty of restaurants and cafes. It provides a haven after the hustle and bustle of the main cities. Relax on one of Sihanoukville’s beaches, visit the quiet fishing town of Kep and explore the charming town of Kampot with remnants of the French colonial era.
Freedom Favourite Hotel:
- Moonlight Beach Resort – this unique property on Koh Rong offers dome-shaped rooms with a skylight, enabling guests to fall asleep under the natural glow of the moonlight.
Browse our full range of accommodation on our Cambodia hotels page…
When is the Best Time to Visit Cambodia?
With a minimum temperature of 23°C no matter the season, Cambodia makes an appealing holiday destination year-round.
Unlike European countries, Cambodia has just two main distinct seasons – wet and dry. The dry season lasts from November to April, with average temperatures of 32°C. November to January are the coolest months, with temperatures usually in the high 20s, making this an appealing time to travel for those seeking a little winter sun.
The months of March to May are some of the hottest, with temperatures frequently sitting in the high 30s. For those seeking a beach holiday, this can be a great time to relax on one of Cambodia’s golden sand beaches.
When the monsoon season begins, lasting from May through to October, Cambodia’s landscape changes, the high rainfall giving life to lush green rice paddies and the iconic reflective pools around Angkor Wat. These can be some of the cheaper months to travel in Cambodia due to the short-but-heavy downpours.
How Long Should I Spend in Cambodia?
Most people choose to visit Cambodia for one to three weeks, with many combining their trip with another destination in South East Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand or Laos. Some of our most popular multi country itineraries include:
At Freedom Destinations, we specialise in multi centre holidays and would be happy to design an itinerary for you that includes Cambodia and any of our other Asian destinations.
Flights to Cambodia
Cambodia has three main international airports: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanouk International Airport. There are currently no airlines that fly directly from Cambodia, so a stopover in Asia or the Middle East will be necessary before you are able to depart onwards. Popular stopover destinations include Singapore, Saigon and Bangkok; just speak to your Asia Consultant if you would like to extend to your stay in any of these locations.
Getting Around in Cambodia
To make the most of your time away, we would recommend flying between Cambodia’s main cities and centres. For example, it is a 5-8 hour drive south from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, in comparison to a short 40-60 minute flight. All internal flights and hotel transfers can be booked by your FREEDOM Consultant as part of your holiday package.
What Language is Spoken in Cambodia?
Khmer is the sole official language of Cambodia and is the main dialect that you will hear throughout the country, though English and French are also common, particularly in tourist areas. You will also notice many street signs are written in both Khmer and English, making travelling around an easy and simple process.
Key phrases to learn are “Susadei” (hello) and “Arkun“ (thank you)!
2021 & 2022 Cambodia Holidays
It’s never too early to start planning your next adventure! We anticipate 2021 and 2022 will be bumper years for travel, leading to limited availability on the best hotels, tours and experiences.
Booking early gives you the chance to secure the best possible price for your holiday, with many resorts and hotels in Cambodia offering early bird discounts, and flights typically cheapest when they are first released.
Plan Your Adventure…
If you’re looking for holiday inspiration, our range of multi centre Cambodia holidays are a great place to start. Each of these itineraries has been designed by our team of Asia Experts, using their first-hand knowledge, and travelling experiences. You can book these holiday packages as they are or change any part of them to suit your plans.
Alternatively, take the stress out of planning and let us design a bespoke Cambodia or South East Asia holiday for you. Just let us know your interests and how long you would like to go for, and we will do the rest!
Plan your holiday