The Kingdom of Cambodia is a small country packed with astounding sites and stories. Where the Khmer Empire, one of Asia’s influential kingdoms flourished between the 9th and 15th century, the country has preserved relics from its impressive past that visitors can admire its heritage sites. You will notice a number of temples in your Cambodia tour package. This Buddhist country has over 4000 temples, each one with its own quaint charm. Besides historical attractions, your Cambodia tour package will also include contrasting metropolitan areas. The cosy cafes and upbeat nightlife of the urban areas are enough for you to get a healthy fill of epicurean delight. Cambodia especially stands out owing to its unparalleled scenic beauty.
The rustic feel is pervasive across the country, intensifying as you move deeper into its rural core. Its landscapes are characterised by lush stretches of palm trees and vast fields of rice paddies. Dazzling islands and undulating mountains home to exotic flora and fauna are also a sight for sore eyes. The most touching experiences one can have in the country are the interactions with the locals. Horrifying instances of political instability in the past have not deterred its population to hold on to their traditional values. They continue to welcome travellers from all over the world with open arms and reassuring smiles. If you want to experience a unique destination and culture, book a Cambodia tour package now!
Cambodia’s identity is split among tourists. While some see it as a magnificent repository of ancient Asian history, others picture vibrant postcard-perfect landscapes and verdant pockets blooming with life. Both are contrasting yet accurate descriptions of this multifaceted country. The major highlight of your Cambodia tour package will be your exploration of the Khmer Empire’s architectural relics in Angkor, the world’s largest pre-industrial city. The temples of Angkor, over a thousand in number constructed by deified rulers, are each grander and more glorious than the other. The largest religious structure, not just in the country but in the world, Angkor Wat is what attracts most travellers to book Cambodia tour packages. This astounding complex is surrounded by thickets and reflects a unique combination of ingenuity, devotion and beauty and has become synonymous with the national identity. It is meant to represent Mount Meru, home to the devas and the centre of the spiritual universe, which probably explains why it is often dubbed as the eighth wonder and heaven on earth. The temples have been in use since time immemorial and are a top pilgrimage and tourist spot. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Another UNESCO heritage site is the splendid temple complex of Prasat Preah Vihear. Situated at the top of the Dangrek Mountains near the border with Thailand, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a stunning product of a brilliant artistic endeavour. Sambor Prei Kuk was recently ascribed as a world heritage site by UNESCO as well. It is a pre-Angkorian site consisting of some of the oldest structures from Cambodia’s history. You will see a number of dilapidated temples dotting the forest, some even completely covered by roots of trees. The primary temple groups to visit here are Prasat Sambor, Prasat Yeai Poeun and Prasat Tor. This destination stands out in Cambodia tour packages owing to the excellent community-based tourism initiatives taken here. Koh Ker is one of the lesser-explored historical places to visit in Cambodia that you should add to your itinerary if time permits. The shiftless town of Kampot with its colonial-era charm is one of the most favoured spots of slow travellers.
Besides getting reacquainted with Cambodia’s rich heritage, you can choose to unwind amidst natural beauty. Sihanoukville is a popular beach destination where you can indulge in kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling. The island of Koh Rong, with its fine coral sand shores and clear, blue water, is an unmissable beach destination too. Ratanakiri should definitely be in your Cambodia tour package itinerary – the captivating reddish hue of the dusty landscape as well as opportunities to go on a trek and spot wild animals at nearby locations such as Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area and Virachey National Park make for unforgettable experiences.
There are pristine lakes and waterfalls not far from the city either. Battambang is the epitome of the rural scenery, a major reason for many travellers to book Cambodia tour packages. The picturesque farms within small villages here and the nearby pious temples Phnom Sampeau, Phnom Banan and Wat Ek Phnom are appealing places to include in your Cambodia tour package. A fun activity to participate in Battambang is to take a ride of a norry – a carriage made of a bamboo platform running on a single track. A few hours away from Battambang lies the capital of the country, Phnom Penh. It is a frenzied city that can be overwhelming on the first impression.
As you settle in though, you will come across some of the best cafes, restaurants and clubs in the country. This city encapsulates the best of Cambodia’s history at the National Museum and the Royal Palace as well as the country’s most horrifying and brutal experiences under the Khmer Rouge regime at Tuol Sleng Museum and the mass graves of Choeung Ek. This country is a product of the confluence of its past and present, evident through its antiquated architecture, pastoral countryside and modern cities. If you wish to visit a destination with something unique to offer, then Cambodia tour packages are just what you need!
Are you not sure which destinations to include in your Cambodia tour package itinerary even after reading all about the mesmerizing places to visit in the country? The best way to shortlist the locations and activities you want to experience in your limited time is by reading authentic travelogues by real travellers. You can find myriad guides and stories on Cambodia on Tripoto. Reading genuine travel accounts of people’s experiences after booking Cambodia tour packages will help you go on a trip here confidently and make the best of what the country offers. The following are some excerpts of the best travel Cambodia travel blogs on Tripoto:
Cambodia is a popular Southeast Asian Country for backpackers because it is cheap and offers a lot of options to travelers. But, what if I told you that you can further reduce your travel cost to this amazing country even while traveling solo? I traveled to Cambodia solo for my birthday and was able to enjoy myself for 10 days here in just 34,000 INR.” – Rachita Saxena
‘Sihanoukville is famous for its various beaches. Some are very popular while others still relatively less crowded. Sip on coconut water, get a tan, build a sandcastle or actually wade into the water! It has a large tourist population but there's always room for one more. There are a host of brilliant eateries all around so getting a finger-licking meal at the end of the day won't be a problem.’ – Sharmistha Chaudhuri
“The rich history and culture is something to be discovered and when you do, you will fall in love with this enchanting place. From a tragic and troubled past to flourishing present and future, if you are looking for an affordable vacation, Cambodia should be your choice hands down.” – Shweta Apte
No matter for when you book a Cambodia tour package, you will be greeted with warm and humid weather. The temperature is almost always above 20 degrees Celsius. The major factor to consider while booking a Cambodia tour package is the distinction between the dry and wet season. The latter lasts from May to October. Monsoon in Cambodia is not intense – it just implies afternoon rains every other day interspersed with bright sunny periods. Hence, the season is not particularly disruptive to tourists in most places. Moreover, during these months, the greenery is at its peak and the landscapes are an incredible sight to behold. It is a great time to enjoy the natural beauty of the country and see the moats around Angkor temples brimming. During the dry season, from November to April, Cambodia hosts a large number of tourists. The maximum temperature is about 35 degrees Celsius. The lack of rain makes the surroundings slightly grubby, but the dry weather also makes navigating areas around ancient temples easier. Between these months, throngs of travellers book Cambodia tour packages, hence the touristy spots can get crowded. If you want to skip the queues and avoid the rush, it is advisable to plan a visit sometime between May and October. As it is the off-season then, Cambodia tour packages will also be cheaper in comparison.
If you want a taste of Cambodian culture and traditions, you should book Cambodia tour packages keeping its festivals in mind. Arguably the most significant festival in the country is Khmer New Year. It takes place each year in the month of April. It connotes the end of the harvest, hence celebrations are enormous. You can experience the best of the New Year in the rural areas. Since this is an important event, many tourists flock here to witness it. You should book Cambodia tour packages in advance to avoid inflated prices. Another festival you can attend is Pchum Ben. It lasts for 15 days, starting at the end of September or beginning of October and commemorates the souls of one’s ancestors. The festivities reflect the profound spirituality of Cambodians. On the last day of Pchum Ben, the festival of Bamboal Krobei is held in the village of Vihear Sour Cheung. Several activities are hosted, meant as entertainment for the ancestors’ spirits. In November, you will see the locals gearing up for Bon Om Touk, a festival marking the end of the wet season and reversal of the flow between the Tonle Sap and the Mekong River on the day of the full moon in the Buddhist month of Kadeuk. Festivities include fun fairs and firecrackers. The best part of the merriment is the boat parade and race that takes place. To have a holistic cultural experience, make sure that your Cambodia tour packages allow you to participate in some of these festivities.
The country is a great place to explore ancient ruins and temples and for enjoying the simple yet resplendent places with naturally endowed beauty. Cambodia tour packages are highly appreciated by families. An abundance of cultural experiences based on a rich heritage and age-old traditions catch the attention of travellers of varying preferences and ages. The ease of booking and managing Cambodia tour packages now has contributed to raising the country’s spot on families’ vacation bucket lists. A large number of Cambodia holiday packages are available online enabling you to customise your itinerary according to your family’s needs. The tropical weather, delicious food besides the safe and memorable destinations in the country are appropriate for both the kids and elderly in your family. Hence, you do not need to think twice before booking a Cambodia tour package.
Cambodian food is sinfully underrated. The various condiments and herbs used in the food merge to create a distinct flavour and every morsel leaves you craving for more. Notwithstanding the physical journey you will embark on via your Cambodia tour package, indulging in the Khmer cuisine will give you the opportunity to go on a grand culinary adventure. The flavours are mild yet zesty to the tongue. You might notice similarities when you compare the food to that of neighbouring countries Thailand and Vietnam, and even to French and Chinese cooking styles. Rice and fish are the staples of this cuisine. Interestingly, a typical meal consists of three or four dishes, each contributing a different taste. Like other Asian countries, street food is high in demand and makes for an exquisite experience. Some of the dishes you must plan to eat while you book your Cambodia tour packages include fish amok, lap khmer, banana flower salad, beef loc lac, samlar kakou, Kampot Pepper Crabs and Nom banh chok. The cuisine also has some unusual dishes that you can try if you are feeling intrepid, such as red tree ants with beef, balut and tarantula and scorpion on a stick.
Booking a Cambodia tour package is easy as the visa process does not cause much hassle to tourists. Indian travellers entering the country need a visa. Only people coming from Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Seychelles are exempt. You can also get a visa on arrival for 30 days at the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports. Submitting a passport-size photograph is a must so do carry one with you! Keep in mind that your passport needs to be valid for another six months from the day of entry in the country to get a visa. The 30-day visa on arrival will cost $20, which can be extended for another 30 days with additional charges. Visitors hailing from nations other than Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Syria can also obtain an e-Visa for $30. You can also get a visa at the international borders if you are travelling by land from Thailand, Laos or Vietnam. However, there is a chance of being over-charged as the payable fee is asked for in local currency. Other than that, you can acquire a visa from the Cambodian Embassy in New Delhi. A tourist visa for Cambodia is valid only for 90 days from the day you receive it. It is fairly easy to obtain a visa and you do not necessarily require your Cambodia tour package to make arrangements.
Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house Tripoto writer.