Nestled in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of rich culture, remote islands, and beautiful beaches. Though there have been periods of darkness its history, Cambodia has risen to be one of the most popular destinations for travelers in the region, and travel companies increasingly offer dynamic and immersive tour options through the country.
If you are looking for a country in which to experience culture, history, food, and hospitality, a guided tour through Cambodia is a great choice. Tour providers offer tours for every kind of traveler, from adventurous treks to indulgent foodie experiences, luxury stays to budget backpacking. Check out tour providers below or learn more about traveling in Cambodia in the rest of this guide.
Cambodia offers travel experiences for every kind of traveler. Read on to learn more about some types of travel you can enjoy.
Many tour providers allow travelers to experience the active travel in Cambodia, such as kayaking, scuba diving, and trekking. You can pass among preserved ruinous temples or dive in some of the world's best sites. If you want to join a group tour and spend each day active, Cambodia is a great choice.
Culture & History Tours
Cambodia is country well known for its cultural and historical sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Angkor Wat is the most famous by far, but there are others including the Temple of Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk. There are also almost 10 other sites pending UNESCO approval; there's no shortage of interesting cultural experiences you can have on a tour in Cambodia. Many providers focus on tours that allow you to see several of these sites comfortably by taking care of transport and logistic issues.
As mentioned, Cambodia is a great destination for travelers who love to try new foods. Several tour providers offer food-focused tours that allow you to eat Cambodian food for every meal, or to do cooking classes and learn how to prepare the dishes yourself.
Planning Your Trip
Best Time to Visit Cambodia
The best time to visit is during the dry season, which is also considered the high season. This starts around November and ends around the middle of May, when it starts becoming rainy season, which is from May until October.
Temperatures in the dry season begin around 68°F (20°C) and climb beyond 90°F (32°C) during the hottest part of the year (April). During the wet season, there are multiple thunderstorms throughout the week and sporadic rain showers.
What to Look for in a Tour
When comparing tours in Cambodia, consider several things: the value of the tour (by comparing the total cost to the number of days you'll be traveling), how immersive your tour will be, and the reputation of the tour provider. As Cambodia has seen a flood of tourism, some providers of lesser reputation have been able to gain a foothold; it's important to read reviews from fellow travelers to make sure you'll have a great experience too.
Regarding the immersiveness of your tour, consider: are meals included, and will you be eating locally? Is accommodation provided, and will those accommodations be local hotel operators or global hotel chains? If you want to support the local economy while you travel, look for tour providers that partner with other local businesses to build their itineraries.
Typical Tour Costs
Tour costs vary widely based on the length and quality (3-star, 4-star, etc.) of your stay. In general, a tour in Cambodia will cost $1000-$1500 per person, based upon double occupancy.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
When visiting Cambodia, plan for tropical to equatorial heat, depending on the time of year, as well as humidity and/or rain. You'll want light, breathable clothes, but be conscientious to dress appropriately especially when visiting temples or other cultural sites.
If you are on a tour which requires gear, you can expect this to be provided by the tour operator. Be sure to double check this when booking!
- Costs - The country is relatively cheap; food is typically $2-5. Western food is more expensive and can range anywhere from $6-15. Food and accommodation throughout the entire country are relatively the same price.
- Visas - Traveler’s entering Cambodia receive a one month tourist visa for around $30 USD.
- Currency - Cambodia uses both the Cambodian Riel and USD as their currency. Using smaller change during any transactions is recommended. Many shops and tuk-tuk drivers won’t have change, so try and break your $100 and $50 bills when possible.
Health & Safety
No specific vaccines are required for Cambodia, but typical vaccines such as typhoid and tetanus are recommended for any travel in Asia, so talk to your doctor to be sure you’re up to date on your routine vaccines. Be sure to only drink bottled water while in Cambodia.
You can take preventative malaria pills to ensure you’re safe from malaria. Bug spray may be a more recommended, preventative measure, but be sure to talk to your health care provider to figure out what works best for you.
Take the usual safety precautions as you would in any country to prevent theft. Don't leave your belongings unattended, and keep your bags close to you.
Also be wary of scams. One of the most common scams in Cambodia is the gambling scam, where foreigners are approached by a friendly Cambodian who speaks perfect English. Once you tell them from where you're from, they will tell you that their relative is visiting that country and will invite you over for dinner to learn more. Once you're at their house, they will ask you to help them 'with a gambling scam.' They will take you to the casino, tell you they need more money for the game and that you will get it back, take you to the ATM, and ultimately rob you.
Another is the baby milk scam, where a mother approaches you with her baby and asks you to buy her baby milk. The store owner will charge you a steeper price than what it's supposed to be. Once you buy it, the mother will return it and make profit.