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How to Plan a Trip to Cambodia: Frequently Asked Questions

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Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia’s rich history and culture are a dream to discover, and the following answers to frequently asked questions about the country can help you plan your trip.

Whether you wish to see the iconic Angkor Wat at sunrise, spend time on the Cambodian islands for your honeymoon, or explore the jungle temples and culinary delights with your family, our guide gives you tips, tricks, and helpful information with which to make your trip a reality.

From the best time to visit Cambodia to the top things to do there, these answers cover typical questions our travelers raise when planning a vacation.

Overview

  1. Can I travel to Cambodia?
  2. Where is Cambodia?
  3. When is the best time to visit Cambodia?
  4. How many days should I spend in Cambodia?
  5. What is Cambodia famous for?
  6. What is Angkor Wat and where can I see it?
  7. What are the most popular destinations in Cambodia?
  8. What should I do on my trip to Cambodia?
  9. What are the most popular islands to visit in Cambodia?
  10. Does Cambodia have good beaches?
  11. Is Cambodia a good place for hiking?
  12. Where can I see wildlife in Cambodia?
  13. How do I travel around Cambodia?
  14. Is Cambodia a good destination for families?
  15. Is Cambodia suitable for senior travelers?
  16. Is Cambodia suitable for couples or honeymooners?
  17. What food should I try in Cambodia?
  18. Is Cambodia safe to visit?
  19. What should I not do in Cambodia?
  20. What is the culture and religion of Cambodia?
  21. What language do they speak in Cambodia?
  22. What vaccinations do I need to travel to Cambodia?
  23. Is Cambodia easy to visit?
  24. Which airports should I plan for?
  25. Do I need a visa for Cambodia?
  26. What currency does Cambodia use?
  27. How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to Cambodia?
  28. Where can I find recommended itineraries for my trip?

Can I travel to Cambodia?

Cambodia is open to American travelers.

There are very few entry requirements, if any, and you can visit the Southeast Asian country with few concerns. Your Zicasso travel specialist will keep you updated on any changes to Cambodian entry requirements as you plan your trip.

Most of Southeast Asia is open to travelers and our guide on Where Americans Can Travel Right Now offers more insight into recommendations, depending on where you visit.

Learn more: Plan Your Trip to Cambodia

Where is Cambodia?

Cambodia neighbors Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos in Southeast Asia. Several islands off its coast form part of the nation. You can easily explore Cambodia, its islands, and neighboring countries with our Southeast Asia Tours & Vacations.

When is the best time to visit Cambodia?

The best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season, from November through April, when the temperatures are warm, but not hot, there is hardly any rain, and clear skies are perfect for outdoor activities.

It is possible to plan trips to Cambodia during other times of the year and your dates depend on your preferences. Do you want to visit Cambodia when it’s quieter? Then June through September is the best time to avoid the crowds. Are you traveling with your family? Then September through October allow you to plan a vacation during the school break.

April is Cambodia's hottest and most humid month, and May marks the arrival of the southwest monsoon, bringing plenty of rain across the country. Therefore, we advise avoiding these months if you do not wish to experience sweltering heat or heavy downpours.

Learn more: Best Time to Visit Cambodia

How many days should I spend in Cambodia?

Ten to 14 days is a popular duration for trips to Cambodia as it gives you more than enough time to visit Angkor Wat and explore Siem Reap, tour the bustling capital of Phnom Penh, and see a selection of islands or rural, inland Khmer villages.

With 10 days in Cambodia, you can tick off bucket-list experiences and enjoy a day or two at leisure. Upwards of 14 days gives you time for trips that include a stop in neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Our Vietnam & Cambodia Tours and Thailand & Cambodia Tours showcase sample multi-country trips that include visiting Cambodia.

You could also spend less than 10 days in Cambodia. Trips as short as seven days are ideal for travelers with limited time or those who wish to spend their trip in famous tourist destinations or experience iconic sights.

What is Cambodia famous for?

Cambodia is famous for Angkor Wat, one of the most important and breathtaking heritage sites of the Khmer Empire. Beyond Angkor Wat, other Cambodian temples and spiritual complexes exude character and reveal the country's dramatic history.

Cambodia is also known for its distinct Southeast Asian cuisine, tracing origins back to the Khmer Empire and other cultural influences. You can experience these culinary traditions, cruise the Mekong River, and visit historical sites highlighting the Cambodian people's tumultuous history and resilience.

What is Angkor Wat and where can I see it?

Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s main attraction, a Buddhist temple complex and the world's largest spiritual site. You can visit the impressive complex in the northwestern city of Siem Reap.

What are the most popular destinations in Cambodia?

From enormous cities that exude Cambodian charm to jungle-clad towns in far-flung corners of Cambodia, there are many places to visit. Below, we offer a list of the most popular destinations to help you narrow your choices and curate an itinerary to experience the best of Cambodia:

  • Phnom Penh
  • Siem Reap
  • Koh Rong
  • Tonlé Sap Lake
  • Sihanoukville
  • Battambang
  • Kampot
  • Kratie

What should I do on my trip to Cambodia?

Cambodia boasts pearl-white beaches with tropical trees, dewy forests teeming with wildlife, cultural villages where traditions are kept alive, and busy cities that merge old architecture and modern art. The following recommendations share the top things to do:

  • Discover the ancient sandstone spiritual complex of Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s most remarkable temple, at sunrise
  • Try Cambodian dishes at street food stalls, gourmet restaurants, cooking schools, and more culinary hotspots in bustling cities and traditional villages
  • Visit the memorials and historical exhibits of Cambodia’s emotionally moving museums, including the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
  • Snorkel the crystal-clear waters surrounding Koh Rong to see magnificent marine life and swim with bioluminescent plankton at night
  • Spend time with the locals and immerse yourself in Cambodian culture at traditional floating villages hovering over the tranquil Tonlé Sap Lake
  • Trek or cruise through the unspoiled Cambodian wilderness at national parks teeming with wildlife, flora, and fascinating geological features

To learn more about Cambodia and the experiences that await you, browse our guide on the Top 7 Things to Do in Cambodia, where we share what to expect on your Southeast Asian vacation.

What are the most popular islands to visit in Cambodia?

There are many spectacular islands off mainland Cambodia where travelers can snorkel to see marine life, relax on sunbeds while sipping Cambodian cocktails, or watch wildlife wandering around forests flanking sun-baked beaches. Here are our recommendations for the most popular islands to visit:

  • Koh Rong
  • Koh Rong Sanloem
  • Koh Ouen Private Island
  • Koh Ta Kiev
  • Koh Thmei
  • Koh Tang
  • Koh Sdach

Does Cambodia have good beaches?

Cambodia, along the Gulf of Thailand, has some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. Its white-sand beaches, sapphire seas, and emerald greenery, with thatched pergolas and cocktail bars, provide spectacular backdrops for relaxing beach vacations. Below, we list the best beaches in Cambodia:

  • Long Beach, Koh Rong
  • Coral Beach, Koh Ta Kiev
  • Kep Beach, Kep
  • Sner Beach, Koh Kong
  • Sabay Beach, Kampot
  • Ream Beach, Ream National Park
  • Victory Beach, Sihanoukville
  • Sokha Beach, Sihanoukville
  • Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Sanloem
  • Private Beach, Koh Ouen Private Island

Is Cambodia a good place for hiking?

Lush rainforests, sprawling jungles, rolling hills, and golden plateaus dominate Cambodia’s countryside and rural regions, with exceptional hiking on trips that take you to these far-flung places.

Hiking in Cambodia showcases the country’s flourishing environments and wildlife. The trails also connect travelers to local culture, with tours taking you to villages disconnected from the rest of the world. You can also find ancient temples within the jungles and capture cinematic photography from lofty viewpoints.

Wherever you go in Cambodia, there is a route to take, be it a challenging or demanding trek up a mountain or a casual walking trail through a rainforest or palm groves.

Best hiking trails in Cambodia: Mondulkiri Project Hiking Trail • Kulen Mountain Trail • Pinnacles Hiking Trail • Kalai Jungle Hiking Trail • Kep Mountain Trek • Kirirom National Park Trails

Where can I see wildlife in Cambodia?

Wildlife thrives in Cambodia’s unspoiled environments, encouraging travelers to step off the beaten path and explore the wilderness that covers vast parts of the country. On your trip, you can explore the following best places to see wildlife in Cambodia and spot the creatures that call Southeast Asia home:

  • Phnom Tamao Rescue Centre • Elephants, tigers, and leopards
  • Wildlife Release Koh Kong • Sun bears and gibbons
  • Kratie • Irrawaddy dolphins
  • Botum Sakor National Park • Bengal slow loris and Sunda pangolin
  • Ream National Park • pelicans, Rhesus monkeys, and sarus cranes

How do I travel around Cambodia?

Getting around Cambodia is more accessible than expected as there is reliable transportation in major cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. You can take planes between the two cities, book private transfers in and around cities, rent a car, use public buses or minibusses, cruise on ferries or speedboats, and catch a tuk-tuk.

While there are many options available in the major tourist cities, transportation is less reliable the further away you travel from these cities. Sometimes transport does not arrive on time and fewer options are available to you in remote areas.

When visiting the Cambodian countryside villages, we recommend traveling with your designated guide in the transportation arranged with your Zicasso travel specialist.

Is Cambodia a good destination for families?

Cambodian culture is family-oriented and the country’s tourism industry is rife with family-friendly activities, making it the perfect Southeast Asian destination for such a trip.

You can build sandcastles, snorkel crystal-clear bays to see the colorful marine life, and hear birdsong as you unleash your inner explorer in temples in the jungle.

From hiking to scuba diving, Khmer cooking classes to ziplining, family experiences in Cambodia invite you and your children to create new memories among cultural and natural diversity.

Is Cambodia suitable for senior travelers?

Cambodia is the destination of a lifetime for senior travelers who desire to explore the dramatic history unfolding from temples and museums, or enjoy the luxuries of a private beach.

You can uncover the origins of Khmer culture as you walk among the ancient murals and sculptures of Angkor Wat, escape the sun in lavish bungalows with panoramic views of seascapes, and indulge in Khmer cuisine on food tours of celebrated restaurants.

With access to reliable transportation, knowledgeable guides, and welcoming concierges, your stay in Cambodia will cater to your every whim, whether you are an active senior or visiting the country with a group of older travelers.

Is Cambodia suitable for couples or honeymooners?

Watch the breathtaking sunrise over Angkor Wat, indulge in a dinner for two on a private beach, or explore the natural beauty of Cambodia, a top destination for couples or honeymooners.

Cambodia is a picturesque part of Southeast Asia and an excellent choice for romance away from the crowds that flock to Thailand and its islands.

There is a wealth of history, timeless culinary culture, and spellbinding scenery to experience as a couple or honeymooner visiting Cambodia for the first time or returning to cherish its cinematic coastlines and wilderness.

What food should I try in Cambodia?

With regional cultural influences and inspiration from other parts of the world, Cambodian cuisine traces the country’s history and represents a blend of traditional cooking with modern gastronomy. There are authentic Khmer meals to try, iconic street foods to enjoy, and gourmet cuisine prepared at private resorts. The following are some must-try Cambodian dishes:

  • Amok Trei, Khmer steamed fish curry
  • Samlar Machu, sweet and sour fish soup
  • Char Kroeung, stir-fried lemongrass beef
  • Twa Ko, Cambodian pork sausage
  • Nom Banh Chok, Khmer rice noodles
  • Bai Sach Chrouk, grilled pork with steamed rice
  • Kuyteav, Cambodia rice noodle soup
  • Lok Lak, Cambodian pepper beef

Is Cambodia safe to visit?

Cambodia is generally a very safe country to visit. Its safest places are Koh Rong, Kampot, Kep, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, though you should always stick with your guide, especially when touring cities at night.

Some travelers express concerns when visiting Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia. However, you can mitigate safety risks such as pickpocketing in busy areas by remaining aware of your surroundings and watching over your personal belongings. Although rare, these petty crimes are possible and you should exercise caution in crowded areas, regardless of where you visit worldwide on an international trip.

Most Cambodian travel experiences occur outdoors along the pristine coastlines, in rural villages, or in jungles and forests. We recommend joining a tour guide when exploring rural villages or jungles as they can provide additional safety tips or protective equipment for specific activities. When on Cambodian beaches, use plenty of sunscreen, swim and snorkel in designated areas, and be careful of stepping on sea urchins.

We also recommend mosquito repellent as there are plenty of them in Southeast Asia. Also, note there is limited internet access further away from main cities, so always travel with a tour guide in Cambodia’s rural regions and countryside.

What should I not do in Cambodia?

Beyond standard safety precautions when traveling internationally, you should be aware of what not to do in Cambodia that may be disrespectful to the locals or a cause for concern during your trip. The following list shares our guidelines:

  • Feed monkeys and other animals in national parks and wildlife reserves
  • Dress inappropriately when visiting temples or spiritual sites. For the most part, you should keep your shoulders and knees covered
  • Take photos of everything you see and wherever you go as some establishments, like temples, may not permit photography
  • Touch or come into very close contact with monks
  • Travel through the Cambodian wilderness without a guide as there are dangerous animals in parts of the country
  • Ride on elephants as this is an unethical tourist activity that the government is working to phase out

What is the culture and religion of Cambodia?

Cambodian locals are amiable, the lifestyle is laidback, and spirituality is a cornerstone of daily life. The culture is born from the resilience of the locals who have had to face dramatic events, their gentle nature stemming from religious tradition and pride in Cambodian history and achievements like the Angkor Wat.

Most Cambodians practice Theravada Buddhism, the country’s state religion. There are also Muslim Cambodians, the Cham and the Malay, a small number of Christians, and rural villagers who practice tribal religions.

What language do they speak in Cambodia?

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer.

Most of Cambodia’s population speaks Khmer, though several foreign languages, including French and English, and minority languages, including Cham, Vietnamese, and Tumpoon, are also spoken. You should be able to communicate in English in cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Your guides will be available to translate should you experience communication difficulties in these or rural regions.

What vaccinations do I need to travel to Cambodia?

The CDC Cambodia Vaccination Information provides a list of vaccination requirements and recommendations.

You should consult your travel nurse or doctor before traveling should you have any further questions or vaccination concerns.

Is Cambodia easy to visit?

Southeast Asia is a tourist hotspot and Cambodia is one of the most popular destinations in the region, with airports that make international travel easy.

Which airports should I plan for?

Several airports accept international visitors. Your Zicasso Cambodia travel specialist will help you book airplane tickets to the most appropriate airports for your itinerary, with the most common international airports listed below.

  • Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), Phnom Penh
  • Siem Reap International Airport (REP), Siem Reap
  • Sihanouk International Airport (KOS), Sihanoukville

Do I need a visa for Cambodia?

You will need to apply for a visa to visit Cambodia. A tourist visa is the most popular and allows travelers to stay in Cambodia for up to 30 days from the date of entry.

Your Zicasso travel specialist can provide you with more visa information as you plan your trip, helping you arrange the appropriate documentation and providing you with online resources to submit your application.

What currency does Cambodia use?

The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian riel (៛). However, Cambodia's most widely used currency is the US dollar and most establishments will accept it.

You should travel with US dollars and Cambodian riel in cash, especially on trips that include tours of rural areas where the US dollar and electronic payments are not accepted. Bear in mind that ATMs are not widely available in rural areas, so you must carry cash. In tourist cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, you should be able to use a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express at many establishments with electronic payment facilities.

How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to Cambodia?

Zicasso Cambodia travel specialists can help you plan your vacation every step of the way. From preparing your itinerary to arranging accommodation and tours, you can enjoy the peace of mind of having a destination expert arrange your dream vacation. You can explore our Cambodia Tours & Vacations to start finding inspiration for your trip.

With a better idea of what Cambodia offers and how Zicasso trips can bring your travel dreams to life, you can complete a Trip Request to provide additional information regarding your budget, travel style, and duration.

Our Travel Care team will then be in touch and match you with a top Cambodia travel specialist. They will organize every detail of your trip, providing you with answers to your questions and curating your custom itinerary. Your travel specialist will also be available for the duration of your trip should any emergencies arise.

Learn more: How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip in 4 Easy StepsHow to Plan Your Zicasso Trip Budget in 3 Easy Steps

Where can I find recommended itineraries for my trip?

Royal Palace in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Royal Palace in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Immerse yourself in Cambodian culture, discover the country’s intriguing creatures on tours through the wilderness, and embrace the best things to do with our Cambodia Tours & Vacations.

Our answers to your questions and the insights from our Cambodia travel specialists can help you plan a comfortable vacation, making your travels stress-free, exclusive, and tailored to you.

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