Luxury Holidays in Cambodia
An bewitching country in the heart of Southeast Asia Cambodia has an ancient culture that is sure to amaze you.
Tailor-Made & Luxury Holidays to Cambodia
The major drawcard for your Cambodia touring holidays is Angkor Wat. The largest religious structure in the world, this is one of the wonders of any era. Millions of people come each year just to capture that sunrise with Angkor’s reflection shimmering in the pool before you.
Angkor Wat is just one of many ancient temples dotted around the country, some of which pre-date Angkor. Many can be found in relatively remote spots inviting the Indiana Jones in you.
There is a saying in Cambodia tourism, that you arrive for the temples, but you live remembering the warmth of the people. Certainly, Cambodians are the most friendly and hospitable people, and you will most likely depart remembering their smiles as much as the enigmatic face of Bayon at Angkor Thom.
In recent years the country has also been investing heavily in eco-tourism, with eco-lodges and community-based tourism initiatives opening up parts of the country to tourism that was previously barred.
Much of the country is dominated by flat rice fields interspersed with the occasional sugar palm tree, although the edges have beautiful hills especially around the Cardamom Mountains. The interior of the country is also dominated by the Tonle Sap, a lake that becomes a river, the only one in the world where the flow changes direction with the seasons.
Add in to the mix the most wonderful artistic and cultural tradition stretching back to the Apsara dancing of the time of Angkor, a much underrated cuisine and untouched islands off the south coast, and you really do have a country rich with amazing holiday experiences.
Also, in the current climate, it is a point worth making that there have been no COVID-19 deaths in Cambodia and the country is officially COVID-19 free, making this both a safe and a wonderful travel destination.
Our favourite Cambodian Stays
Here is a selection of our most popular places to stay in Cambodia.
These are just a sample of the holidays available, but if you already have a place in mind, we would love to help tailor-make your dream Cambodian holiday.
Places to visit in Cambodia
There really is only one place to start – Angkor Wat. Built for the Khmer King Suryavarman II at the start of the 12th Century, the temple was originally a Hind temple dedicated to Vishnu.
Visitors to Angkor, stay at Siem Reap, a city that has developed to service tourists, while maintaining a rural charm, as well as developing a strong cultural reputation.
You can also use Siem Reap as a base to visit Preah Vihear, a temple to rival Angkor Wat, close to the Thai border, overlooking the Dangrek Mountains.
The capital Phnom Penh was called the Pearl of Asia by the French. Although in recent years the city has experienced a massive construction boom, it still maintains remnants of its colonial charm, especially around the old post office. Also the Royal Palace, bears comparison with the equivalent in Bangkok.
In the past Cambodia touring holidays used to include Siem Reap and perhaps Phnom Penh, but never delved deeper into the country. However, now many are including the tranquil islands off the cast, near the to-be-avoided Sihanoukville, as well as charming Kampot, with its exceptional pepper, and nearby coastal Kep, the favourite spot of the farmer king Sihanouk.
Battambang is another city with a laidback atmosphere and strong artistic tradition which is well worth visiting, and further north you can watch the Irrawaddy dolphins swimming in the falls near the town of Kratie.
All Cambodia touring holidays include a visit to the temples of Angkor, including sunrise at Angor Wat. You can take a tuk tuk around the temples, or for the more fit and eco-conscious ride a bike. The terrain is flat, although temperatures can get baking hot in the mid-afternoon. Ensure you include Bayon and Angkor Thom, as well as Ta Prohm in your tour of Angkor. Also if you have time explore some of the less visited temples nearby.
Those wishing to go beyond Angkor could sign up for a Siem Reap art tour. Many artists, photographers and tourists have been drawn to Siem Reap from around Cambodia and all over the world, due its strong artistic heritage. An art tour provides a wonderful insight into the culture of the country.
Another unmissable cultural experience in Siem Reap, is to watch an Apsara dance performance. Glimpsing the beautiful and graceful movements of these dancers will transport you back to the tame of Angkor.
With the most amazing light, and unspoilt countryside, Cambodia is provides for great photographic opportunities. A great way to see the country is to go on a Cambodia photography tour.
Although Cambodian cuisine has not developed the same repute as neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, there are very interesting food tours in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, led by locals. Although the fermented fish prahok might be a taste too far for many, fish amok is a wonderful dish.
One of the key ingredients in many a Cambodian dish is Kampot pepper. We guarantee that you will be taking some back with you at the end of your Cambodia touring holidays. The riverside town of Kampot is one of the most pleasant in the region. Combine a stay here with a trip to one of the pepper plantations and a journey up Mount Bokor to visit the remains of the old French hill station. You could also take the short trip to Kep to try some of the fresh crab with Kampot pepper in the shacks overlooking the sea.
The capital Phnom Penh has lost some of its Bohemian vitality in recent years, but it still has a great food scene, wonderful boutique hotels, interesting art galleries and an interesting nightlife, especially around Bassac Lane.
Most people choose to visit the darker side of Cambodian history while in the capital, by going to the nearby Choeung Ek Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng (S21) Genocide Museum. A harrowing experience, you might prefer to go on an architectural tour of the city, taking in the Olympic Stadium and the wonderful art deco Central Market.
Whichever Cambodian experience you elect to take, you are sure to return home wondering why you never visited this most remarkable county before.
When to travel to cambodia
Cambodia used to have two defined seasons – the wet (or green) and the dry. From November through to March you could guarantee clear skies, while in the wet season you could almost set your watch by when the rains would roll up each day. However, climate change has affected all that and Cambodian weather has become more erratic.
As a rule if you are as sun seeker you should aim your Cambodia travel for the dry months (November to March), while if you prefer verdant paddy fields and tropical storms that make the building in which you are standing shake, then time your Cambodia touring holidays for April to October.
In many respects the best month to visit Cambodia is January, which is also the height of the tourism season. During this ‘winter’ period the temperatures are less extreme than at other times of the year.
As the rains start to approach, the humidity ramps up throughout the country towards April and May. This is not a good time to be in Cambodia unless you are by the coast.
Don’t be off-put by the rains that arrive in May as this is when the country is at its most beautiful and green. The improved road system means that even the more remote parts of the country are now accessible during this period, and Cambodia is never struck by the monsoons and typhoons you associate with other parts of the tropics.