Cambodia's timeless temples, deserted beaches, mighty rivers and remote forests place it highly among the most remarkable of South Asia's last tourism frontiers. Once isolated from the outside world due to war, neglect and social unease, it has opened its doors to reveal an enchanting kingdom full of charisma, charm and inimitably hospitable locals.
Blessed with a rich cultural heritage dating back thousands of years, it's a heaven for historians, a treasure trove for archaeologists and an adventure for those who wonder about the ancient world. The jewel in Cambodia’s crown is the magnificent 12th century architectural ruins of Angkor Wat; mysterious temple complex, UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of mankind's greatest feats of ingenuity, it has become a symbol of hope for the country's people. Beyond this, the country’s friendly cities, intriguing culture and mesmerising coastline are just waiting to be explored.
Beyond the characteristic temples, historic ruins and truly fascinating culture, Cambodia’s cities are well worth exploring. Charismatic Phnom Penh, the riverside capital, is a lovely city with its own particular crumbling grace, still exuding a notable French influence and offering plenty to do, see and eat; monuments and wats are on every corner, whilst the bustling central market is a maze of stands selling everything from silver and antiques, to clothes and food. Siem Reap, a diverse and vibrant hub, offers much more than just the Angkor temples, whilst laid-back, scenic Battambang is an up-and-coming spot loved by visitors.
Bordering the shimmering Gulf of Thailand and including a number of picturesque tropical islands – including the utterly luxurious and exclusive Song Saa Private Island – Cambodia is home to some of the most stunning beaches in South East Asia. Blissfully undeveloped when compared to neighbouring Thailand, the pristine coastline is truly unrivalled in beauty, characterised by powdery white sands that lead out to the gulf’s calm turquoise waters – perfect for simply unwinding beneath the sunshine or discovering a colourful marine kingdom on an unforgettable snorkelling or scuba-diving excursion.
A land of unique traditions, fascinating culture and truly wonderful inhabitants, allow yourself to be immersed in the enigmatic world of Cambodia. Get into the rhythm of rural life with a trip to the countryside’s enchanting rice paddies and swaying sugar palms, or explore Tonlé Sap – the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia – home to many ethnic Vietnamese and Cham communities, living in fascinating floating villages around it. Explore Phnom Pehn’s Old Market, bargaining for silk, statues, trinkets and souvenirs; observe the wonderful chaos of the food market or take a traditional tuk tuk to travel in true Cambodian style.
Temples of Angkor
Prepare to be utterly awe-struck as you first glimpse the mysterious and mesmerising temple complex of Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The world’s largest religious building and the heart and soul of spiritual Cambodia, Angkor Wat perfectly combines a spectacular scale with artful intricacy, decorated with over three-hundred heavenly nymphs, each one entirely unique. At the heart of Angkor Thom is the mind-boggling, 12th century Bayon Temple – boasting 54 gothic towers, adorned with over 200 faces that embody Buddhist compassion – whilst the atmospheric Ta Prohm has been fascinatingly consumed by the jungle it stands in.
A country backed by an utterly intriguing, although at times, grizzly, past, Cambodia’s museums offer an insight into the nation’s diverse history. After exploring the splendidly ornate Old Palace in Phnom Penh, discover the historical and archaeological treasures in the nearby terracotta building of the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculptures. Angkor National Museum’s displays are themed by era, religion and royalty as you move through the impressive galleries, whilst a guided tour around Toul Sleng Genocide Museum offers a heartbreaking, yet necessary, look into Cambodia’s dark past.
Booking a luxury Cambodia holiday with Elegant Resorts and staying at Amansara means you can enjoy a variety of house outings and customised excursions, vailable as part of your Amansara guest experience. Conducted early morning and late afternoon to avoid the sun and crowds, the complimentary excursions focus on the temples surrounding Angkor Wat. Several of the tours utilise Amansara's own fleet of remorks (moped-powered trishaws) each with its own Amansara driver and English-speaking guides guide who is well informed on both ancient Khmer history and modern Cambodian life.
Beach & Culture Combination
Guests staying at Soneva Kiri can enjoy an excellent tailor-made trip to Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex via the hotel's very own private plane (approximately a two-hour flight ), where they can spend as much or as little time as they please exploring this formidable landmark.
Between November and February Cambodia is cool and dry. From March it gets much hotter, with temperatures soaring into the high 30's. The monsoon comes in June with most rains falling in the late afternoon or at night. For comfort the best time to visit is between November and February but during the rainy season, the moats at Angkor are full.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Cambodia.
British Airways, Thai Airways International and EVA air from London Heathrow to Bangkok, with onward connecting flights to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Flights with Emirates (via Dubai) from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow and flights with Vietnam Airways from London Gatwick are also available.
From London Heathrow to Cambodia: 14 hours, 25 minutes (excludes touchdown time in Bangkok).
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Visas are required for travel to Cambodia. An e-visa (electronic visa) can be obtained through the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website www.evisa.gov.kh/ - a charge of approximately US$37 will apply. Alternatively, visas can be obtained on arrival at most ports of entry, for approximately US$30 in cash, but two passport photos must be provided.
Entry requirements section: new rules have been announced to increase the daily overstay fine from $5 to $10 and to refuse applications for visa extensions from those who have overstayed their visa validity by over 30 days; these rules haven’t yet been implemented and no date for their implementation has been set.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.