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Once the greatest empire in Southeast Asia,
Cambodia’s colorful history and awe-inspiring sites make it one of the most exciting countries in the region to visit. Cambodia, with the ancient archaeological ruins of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the virgin forests, waterfalls, and remote hill-tribe villages in the northeastern provinces, is a raw, alive, beautiful and challenging destination that bring you a feeling of being a part of its mysterious history.

Visit to Phnom Uodong and Kampong Tralach
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Real life stories of Pol Pot survivor
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Angkor temple with Khmer scholar
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Visit to Angkor Thom & Ta Phrom
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Dinner with traditional Apsara dance perfor...
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Khmer food tasting exp by tuktuk at night
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The best time to visit Cambodia

Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid with two distinct seasons: rainy season and dry season. During the peak of the rainy season (June to August), the humidity is higher and the temperatures can reach the upper 30°C (86°F), From September to early November, it is wet and slightly cooler. Seasonal flooding in Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia occurs in September and October which may cause disruption to travel. The dry season (November to May) is pleasant from November to February and becomes hotter from March to May, where temperatures can soar as high as 38C (100F).

At the end of the summer one of Cambodia’s true wonders comes to life — The Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and home to Cambodia’s floating villages

Cambodia Predeparture

Visa requirements:

Most nationalities are eligible for a one-month visa-on-arrival at Phnom Penh airport or Siem Reap airport, and at land borders. The cost is US$30 for a tourist visa and US$35 for a business visa, with a US$2-4 sometimes charged to cover administration fees. Bring payment in US dollars and one passport photo. 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.

You can apply via the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Cambodia (http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/) to obtain an electronic visa

Even when organizing your own visa from home or other countries, it is a local requirement to provide Justravel Asia with your full passport and visa information prior to entering Cambodia. This is also applicable for the airlines to issue the air-ticket and for the hotels to prepare the check-in procedure.

Please make sure your passport is valid more than 6 months from the date of departure of each country you are visiting. Also, make sure you have enough blank pages – you may need up to 1.5 pages for each country you visit in Southeast Asia.

The following countries are not eligible for visa-on-arrival: Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Nigeria. For these countries, they must arrange the visa in their home countries before arrival.

Insurance:

Travelers are highly recommended to purchase trip and travel insurance. Trip insurance covers the cost of your trip should you be forced to cancel your trip before you start the trip. Travel insurance covers such costs as emergency and medical evacuation, hospital fees, property loss, etc which could possibly happen during the trip. If you would like Justravel Asia to have a copy of your travel insurance information in case of emergency, please forward these details to your agent who will in turn forward to our office. 

Health:

In general, health requirements for Cambodia are little different to most destinations. 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 

Money:

Cambodia’s currency, the Riel (Real), exchanges at a rate of about 4,000 to the US Dollar. However, the US Dollar has become the country’s common currency and Riel notes are used for fractional dollar amounts as U.S. coins are not in circulation. Bring clean bills in small denominations ($1 and $5) for making purchases. Credit cards are widely accepted in most hotels, major restaurants and large shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Outside of these they are rarely accepted. Do not accept torn or worn US$ notes as change as you will have problems spending them. Travellers cheques are no longer accepted in Cambodia (the only exception being ANZ Royal Bank branches, but the transaction can be lengthy). 

Many banks (open Monday to Friday) issue cash advances for Visa and MasterCard, usually for a small commission. Credit cards are accepted in the cities although ATMs are widely available throughout Cambodia (dispensing USD) and this is the easiest and safest way of accessing money. When traveling to the countryside, VISA card can get you money at ACLEDA Bank, which is in every provincial capital. 

Mobile Phone:

Your guide can assist you to purchase a local SIM card 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. You can place international phone calls and send faxes at most hotels, although hotels often charge extra fees

Internet:

Wireless (wi-fi) Internet access is available in most hotels throughout Cambodia and free wifi is available in many restaurants, cafes and bars. Be careful to not save your password or sensitive information on public computer terminals. 

Electricity:

Electricity in most of Cambodia is 220V, 50Hz. Electric power sockets generally fit two round pins. Three-pin plug adapters are usually provided by deluxe hotels. In all countries, protect sensitive electronic equipment like laptops from power fluctuations by using a surge-protector. 

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, an umbrella and open-toe sandals are recommended. Cambodia is a very casual country and a lightweight jacket may only be needed in the more upmarket hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning. 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 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 money-belt to safely carry your travel documents and cash, and ensure that your luggage has a lock. Bring photocopies of your passport and visa, plus some extra passport-sized photos if you’re applying for on-arrival visas. When flying into or within Cambodia, you will probably be given baggage claim tags (they will be stuck to the back of your ticket). Keep these, as you may need to show them when leaving the airport. 

Tipping

While not compulsory, tipping is greatly appreciated throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the service industry, when you are pleased with the services provided. For reference, we have provided a general guideline below: 

  • Guides (>4 travellers): $10-$15 per day per traveller 
  • Drivers (>4 travellers): $5-$7 per day per traveller 
  • Guides (<5 travellers): $5-$10 per day per traveller 
  • Drivers (<5 travellers): $3-$5 per day per traveller 
  • Restaurants: 10-15% of the total bill 
  • Hotel Maid Service: $2 – $3 per day 
  • Porters: $2 – $3 at time of service 
  • Local Boat Transport: $5 – $10 per boat 
  • Overnight Cruise: $5 – $10 per night per traveller (to cover all crew) 

Water

It is advisable not to drink water from the tap unless it is boiled properly.

Medical

Medical care has come a long way in Cambodia, though it is still lacking in comparison to its more developed neighbours. In the event of serious injury, evacuation is necessary. For minor injuries, the Royal Rattanak General Hospital in Phnom Penh, the Royal Angkor in Siem 
Reap and the newly opened Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital in Kep are acceptable. Outside the major cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, local hospitals are far below international standard and should be avoided. However, pharmacies can be found throughout the country but may lack certain medications and may only sell generic brands of common medicines. 

Should you need medical assistance while travelling in Cambodia, please inform your guide. 

Visit to Phnom Uodong and Kampong Tralach

Spend the day exploring historic temples in the Cambodian countryside around Phnom Penh. Depart on a 1-hour drive to Phnom Udong, Cambodia’s capital between 1618 and 1866 and home to impressive Khmer architecture reflecting Cambodia’s glory days. Explore the ruins scattered across two ridges. The smaller of the two ridges contains two ruined buildings, several stupas, and the Ta San Mosque, which is still used by the Jahed sect of Cambodia’s Cham Muslims. Explore the surrounding smaller pagodas, stupas, and Buddha statues. Climb the stairway to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Drive to the village of Kampong Tralach in Kampong Chhnang Province, which is home to an ancient pagoda. Observe the remarkably well-preserved wall paintings at Wat Kampong Tralach Leu, which depict scenes of rural life from over a century ago. Return to your hotel.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Tour duration: 8 hours
  • Guests are recommended to bring sun protection. Please dress modestly when visiting wats and temples. Shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.
Real life stories of Pol Pot survivor

During this uncivilized period from 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge invaded and killed miliions of innocents, left traumatic memories to Cambodian until now. Today meet up with a Pol Pot survivor who has been trying to move on with his life, listened to the true stories of his own experiences during the Khmer Rouge. The stories are not to be shared as moaning, but for people to recognize how difficult it was and how war damages people’ life. It’s hard to ever imagine, the overall message is a strong belief of joy and liberty that the local people have for their life in the country. Your guide will facilitate chats with him, allowing you to understand an incredibly powerful story, a fight for survival, peace and happiness. 

Notes:

  • Duration: 1-1.5 hours, combined with Toul Sleng visit
  • Capacity: max. 20 pax
  • Accessibility: Accessibility: all vehicle type 
Angkor temple with Khmer scholar

Visit Angkor Wat, one of the world’s modern wonders and most important religious sites, with a renowned Khmer scholar. He will be able to share his wide experience with you and provide you with a succinct overview of Khmer history, culture, archaeology, and civilization. He has been working with the Angkor Temple Conservation Institution for many years and is well-versed in the temple’s history as well as how it will be preserved in the next decades. Take a stroll through the intricately carved corridors of Angkor Wat as the Khmer kingdom is brought to life through the scholar’s explanations of the numerous stories included in each of the bas reliefs and paintings. This private tour will last roughly two hours and will be tailored to your level of interest.

Notes:

  • Availability: Morning, Afternoon
  • Suggested time: 09:00, 14:00
  • Duration: 2 hours
Visit to Angkor Thom & Ta Phrom

Visit Angkor Thom, the ancient royal city of the Khmer Empire, and its centerpiece, the Bayon temple. When you get closer, you’ll find the enigmatic faces of previous King Jayavarman VII smiling at you from every angle. Your guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform for the King to welcome back his triumphant troops, and the Terrace of the Leper King, which features elaborate sculptures twisting along a tight passageway leading to the Baphuon complex

Continue on to Ta Prohm Temple, one of Angkor’s crown jewels that is overgrown with fig trees and thick vegetation, creating a melancholy yet fascinating ambiance. The majestic roots of the trees have mingled with the temple’s massive stone blocks throughout the centuries, emphasizing a ‘lost city’ impression. King Jayavarman VII commissioned the construction of the shrine to honor his mother. Take your time walking through the temple from the East to the West entrance (around 1-2 kilometers), where your vehicle will be waiting for you.

Notes:

  • Availability: Morning, Afternoon
  • Suggested time: 08:00, 13:30
  • Duration: 4 hours
Dinner with traditional Apsara dance performance

Traditional Apsara dancing has a long history in Cambodia, dating back to the 7th century according to some stone temple carvings. In Hindu mythology, Apsaras were beautiful female creatures who descended from heaven to entertain gods and kings with their dancing. This traditional dance is meaningful in many ways as it constitutes a link between the different religions prominent in Cambodia, including Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Also notice the symbolic and elegant finger gestures and the ornate silk costumes inspired by the wall carvings of the Angkor temples.

Transfer to Apsara Theatre Restaurant where you will enjoy a majestic performance of Cambodian dances and savor dinner with Khmer delicacies. 

Notes:

  • Availability: Afternoon only
  • Suggested time: 17:30
  • Duration: 2 hours
Khmer food tasting experience by tuk tuk at night

Spend the evening with your private guide gaining a genuine insight into Cambodian food the way the locals like it. You will be picked up from your hotel and whisked away by tuk tuk as darkness begins to fall. Make several stops around the town to sample the delicious snacks available on almost every corner, walk through the alleys and side streets around the old market to discover the hidden gems of Khmer cuisines. Have a sip of local beer as you stroll passing the busy pubs. Continue on to Angkor Kyung Yu road, otherwise known as Road 60 where busy street food stalls well away from the cozy tourist bars line up along the streets. This area is hugely popular with local families who come out to dine in the early evening, it’s a real feast for the senses. Finish the evening with a quick stop to sample a traditional Cambodian Tipple with a twist. Return to your hotel in the late evening. 

Notes:

  • Availability: evening
  • Suggested time: 17:30
  • Duration: 3 – 4 hours 
  • Various snacks including fruit and meats, coconut, local beer or soft drinks are included for tasting. 
  • Please note that vegetarianism and Veganism are not commonplace amongst Cambodians and not well understood, we therefore cannot provide an exclusively vegetarian or vegan tour however there will be items to sample which will appeal to all guests. We can provide the experience without pork or red meat involved if requested.
  • Capacity: min 1 pax – max 8 pax
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Hanoi countryside tales by traditional crafts

Today, drive an hour along the Red River to Ha Noi’s neighboring countryside through immense rice fields and fruit farms. Visit the village that birthed Vietnamese incense upon arrival. This village’s incense, made from over 30 herbs with skills passed down from generation to generation, is known for its pure, light scent. A guided stroll through the hamlet with older residents will take you to various family-run workshops to see the entire incense-making process and hear about the glory days of this traditional craft. Help the host make incense.

Take another short drive to a rural community behind endless rice fields and duck farms. The locals’ 200-year-old fish-pot crafting heritage includes bamboo weaving. Walk around the village to see the typical Northern countryside architecture: dark brown tiled roofs, three-room houses with elders sitting in front weaving fish-pots and chatting. Visit a local artisan who rode his bike across Vietnam to proudly promote his village’s unique traditional craft. Create your own fish pot with his help and give it as a present.

Notes:

  • Availability: Morning
  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Duration: 6 hours

*Optional to add Nha Xa silk village
*Incense making at Thon Cao, Hung Yen. Fish-pot making village at Thu Sy, Hung Yen.
*Possible to have lunch at Hung Yen