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Cambodia Travel Introduction Information

Cambodia Destination Management Company SAM INSPIRE

Table of Contents

Introduction of Cambodia Travel Information

SAM INSPIRE Cambodia are very pleased to extend to you a warm welcome to the Kingdom of Cambodia, a country of immense cultural and historical contrasts.

We are delighted to have you with us. As your hosts we would like to ensure that your stay will be an enjoyable and memorable one. This Welcome letter contains your schedule of activities and general information about the destination.

Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the Southern portion of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered with Thailand to the Northwest, Laos to the Northeast, Vietnam to the East, and the Gulf of Thailand to the Southwest with an area of 181,035 square kilometers. The Kingdom of Cambodia was part of the ancient kingdom of Funan. Today it comprises twenty-five provinces and municipalities, with a country population of over sixteen million.

The Mekong River, which flows through the country, and the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) are the lifeline of the people who live along the waterways. The Tonle Sap is one of the richest sources of freshwater fish in the world. There are three main mountain ranges, namely the Cardamom mountains in the Southwest, the Dangkrek mountains in the North and the Annamite mountains in the North East.

Local Cambodia Destinations

Phnom Penh is the capital city and Siem Reap your gateway to the Angkor temple ruins.

Phnom Penh is a captivating city and crossroads of Asia in the past centuries. This enigmatic capital city remains small in comparison to its bordering countries however retains a charm of colonial influence, architecture, and cultural pride.

The name can’t help but conjure up an image of the exotic. The glimmering spires of the royal palace, the fluttering saffron of the monks’ robes, and the luscious location on the banks of the mighty Mekong; this is one of Asia’s undiscovered gems. Phnom Penh is a crossroads of Asia’s past and present, a city of extremes of poverty and excess, of charm and chaos, but one that never fails to captivate.

Visit the many markets, see temples and Royal palace, and enjoy the riverside ambience as you sit al fresco at dusk on the banks of the mighty Mekong.

Siem Reap is a small, charming gateway town to the world-famous heritage of the Angkor temples. Thanks to those attractions, Siem Reap has transformed itself into a major tourist hub. Despite international influences, Siem Reap and its people have conserved much of the town’s image, culture, and traditions. Angkor itself is one of the most beautiful and mysterious historical sites in the world.

Spread around the jungle outside the town of Siem Reap, you will find the ruins of the great ancient Angkor temples. They are by the National Geographic considered as one of the three most important cultural attractions in the world and are also on UNESCO’s World Heritage list over cultural sites that must be preserved.

Many people who have never been to Angkor believe that it is only one monument. However, Angkor was the capital of the mighty Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 14th century. From here a dynasty of Khmer kings ruled one of the largest and most sophisticated kingdoms in the history of South-East Asia.

Cambodia is blessed with stunning coastal destinations that offer a tranquil and breathtaking escape from the bustling city life. Sihanoukville, often called “Snooky,” is a popular beach resort town with pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, perfect for sunbathing or indulging in water sports. Kep is known for its laid-back atmosphere and picturesque seafood market, where visitors can savor the freshest seafood while enjoying panoramic views of the Gulf. Kompot offers a blend of charm and natural beauty, from its colonial architecture to its serene riverside setting, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and exploring pepper plantations. Koh Kong, located near the Thai border, provides an off-the-beaten-path experience with its untouched beaches and lush forested mountains, enticing adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. For those seeking a tropical paradise, the islands of Cambodia, such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Thmei, boast pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life, and a sense of tranquility that will leave you rejuvenated. Apart from these public islands, there are also some private island resorts that you can indulge in natural luxury such as the Koh Song Saa and Koh Krabey Six Senes. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, Cambodia’s coastal destinations have something to offer for everyone.

Cambodia is not only known for its stunning temples and beautiful coastline but also for its fascinating plateau destinations. Preah Vihear Province, situated in the northern part of the country, offers breathtaking views from the Dangrek mountain range. Visitors can explore the magnificent Preah Vihear Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site perched atop a cliff. Furthermore, Preah Vihear consists of many other hidden historical sites such as Preah Khan Kompongsvay complex and Koh Ker temple group. Rattanakiri, located in the northeast, is famous for its lush greenery, waterfalls, and indigenous hill tribes. Travelers can embark on treks through dense jungles, visit gem mines, and immerse themselves in the unique cultural traditions of the local communities. Mondulkiri, another jewel of the northeast, boasts stunning landscapes with rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, and rich wildlife. Adventurers can enjoy elephant trekking, go hiking to discover hidden waterfalls, or simply relax and soak in the tranquility of this untouched paradise. These plateau destinations in Cambodia offer a different perspective on the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, making them must-visit places for any traveler seeking a unique experience.

Hotel Accommodation in Cambodia

Cambodia is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia, offering a diverse range of hotels and resorts that cater to both luxury travelers and budget-conscious explorers. From the bustling capital of Phnom Penh to the historical and cultural destruction of Siem Reap, Angkor and to the charming coastal towns of Sihanoukville and Kep, there is no shortage of options. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil beachfront retreat, a vibrant city escape, or an immersive cultural experience, Cambodia has it all. With their warm hospitality, world-class amenities, and stunning architectural designs, the hotels and resorts in Cambodia guarantee an unforgettable stay, leaving visitors with memories to last a lifetime.

Restaurants and Dining in Cambodia

When it comes to restaurants and dining venues in Cambodia, there is a wide selection that caters to various tastes and preferences. From traditional Khmer cuisine to international flavors, visitors can indulge in a culinary journey filled with unique and delicious dishes. Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, is a hub for gastronomy, offering an array of high-end restaurants, trendy cafes, and vibrant street food markets. Siem Reap, the gateway to the iconic Angkor Wat temples, also boasts an impressive dining scene, with a mix of local Khmer eateries and international fusion restaurants. Whether you’re craving authentic Cambodian dishes like Fish Amok or Beef Lok Lak, or prefer to explore global cuisines, Cambodia has something to satisfy every palate.

You may interested in reading our related blogs of “Where to dine in Siem Reap” and “Where to Dine in Phnom Penh“.

Packing – Travel Item Check List

Cambodia Visas

Express Check-In and Check-Out (Airport Services)

Guests can leave their passports with our airport staff, who will take care of the visa formalities with the immigration officials and return the passports to the hotel later the same day.

Angkor Wat Entry Passes

During your visit to Angkor Wat ruins, a special entry pass is needed. This pass will be done upon arrival at the check point. You are required to photograph, and your picture will be printed to the ticket. You can keep it as a souvenir after completion of your tours. The ticket could be purchased online and in person with the following categories and prices:

  1. One-day visit: USD 37 per person
  2. Two-day to Three-day visit: USD 62 per person
  3. Four-day to Seven-day visit: USD 72 per person

Remark: USD 2 from the above automatically donated to Children Hospital.

Climate – What is the Weather Like in Cambodia

Cool:    Nov to Feb        17-27C                         Rainy:   Jun to Oct         27-35C

Hot:      Mar to May       29-39C                         Dry:      Nov to Feb        17-27C

Attire for Angkor Temples Visit

Wear light, airy clothing that will protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes and required to “cover up” shoulders and legs. The sun can be intense, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sun block. Comfortable walking shoes is a must to visit the temples.

Medical Assistance

If you need medical attention, please contact your guide or the hotel reception. Retain all receipts for medication/consultation, as these will be required if you wish to make an insurance claim on your return to your home country. There are international hospital here.

Shopping in Cambodia

Cambodia, especially Siem Reap is not a shopping destination with only limit to some souvenirs for home only. Cambodian artisans are very skilled and there is no shortage of articles to buy. Unique is the Krama, a checked scarf made of cotton or silk. Silk is still hand woven in Cambodia and is a ‘must buy’ either as lengths of material or in the form of scarves, bags or purses. Silver boxes are traditional souvenirs, many in the shape of animals, which were either used in ceremonies or to hold betel leaves. Visitors are advised that there are strict controls on the export of antiques and stone carvings in particular.

Bargaining is expected in the local markets (Leur Market and Old market in Siem Reap). Beware of buying seemingly valuable goods from bazaars since there is no guarantee of authenticity!

Shopping hours: 08.00am – 08.00pm there are Night market: 04.00pm – 11.00pm and shopping mall: Lucky Mall and Heritage Walk: 08:00am – 10:00pm.

Languages used in Cambodia

The official Cambodian language, called Khmer, is part of the Mon-Khmer family enriched by the Indian Bali and Sanskrit languages. The script derived from the South-Indian alphabet is written from left to right and leaves no spaces between the words. English & French are also spoken. French more by the older generation and English by the younger.

Food – What to Eat in Cambodia

Khmer cuisines are the tastes of everyone worldwide, they are closely related to their neighboring countries Vietnam Laos and Thailand, although it is not as spicy. Amok is the signature of Khmer cuisine. Cambodians perfected the art of blending spice paste using many ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and turmeric. They add other native ingredients like galangal, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves to these spices to make a rather distinctive and complex spice blend known as “kroeung”. Cambodia is well known in the region for its Prahok, a strong, fermented fish paste used in a variety of traditional dishes. Western food can be found in most hotel outlets and several colorful restaurants. Recommended Khmer authentic dishes to try are:

Banks & Currency Exchange

The currency of Cambodia is the RIEL, 1US$ around 4000 Riel. US Dollars are the de-facto currency of the country and you can pay anywhere in Dollar. However, you should change large bills at banks, Hotels, or exchange places purchases. Banks are open from 08.00am to 03.00pm from Monday to Friday only or Saturday morning, but there are Bancomats or ATM machine at the Airport, Banks, Supper markets, Big shops in town and along the main streets are available 24hr. Cash Withdrawal will come in US$ notes and Riel only.

Water – Is Tap Water Safe to Drink

It is advisable to drink only bottled water and they are available for purchase everywhere. In all hotel rooms bottles of water are given complimentary every day. However, SAM INSPIRE Cambodia which is a responsible company committed to Green and Natural, we suggest using the refilled bottles and refilling your water from the big containers arranged by our company. Water from taps is not common to drink even it is safe sometimes.

Tipping and Suggested Amount to Tip

It is customary to tip if you are in favor of the service. Those who walk in travel and hospitality are paid at the very minimum wage. Everyone of them are trying to offer extra better services with an expectation of some tips in return. It is not bad to leave a tip at 1$ or 2$ per person at every meal. For driver, 3$ to 5$ per person per day and for tour guide 5$ to 10$ per person per day. This is is just to give some ideas, it will be at your own discretionary to tip or not. Most of Cambodian people will be staying happy and prompt to you.

General Check-in and Check-out Time at the Hotel

The official hotel check-in is at 02.00pm. Early check in is subject to room availability. Credit has not been established for your incidentals. Please register your credit card with the front desk to guarantee any additional room charges. Your luggage will be delivered to your room shortly after check-in.

Our guide / tour escort will advise you every day about meeting times and as well as the procedures for collecting your luggage. Please settle any incidental charges you may have with the front desk and take all your valuables out off the safety deposit box.

Your included buffet/a la carte breakfast will be served at the hotel main dining Restaurant generally from 6:00 to 9:30 am.

Nevertheless, as a normal procedure, guests will be having a short hotel orientation in which all the above information are included specific to their property.

Safe Deposit Box – Safety Box

Please use the safe deposit box provided by your hotel for all your valuables. During your tour do not carry large sums of money or valuables with you.

Moving Around – Local Taxi in Cambodia

Cap taxi is not common in Cambodia, to move around Remoak, known as Tuk Tuk is the best way, you may negotiate for 2$ per 1 km depending on the number of passengers. However, you may download the Mobile Apps of Grab Taxi, PassApp Taxi in Cambodiato make the taxi meter order.

Event Agenda – Tour Program

Kindly note that the timings reflected in the agenda / itinerary serve as a guideline only and is subjected to minor adjustments whenever necessary. A local Cambodian tour guide conducts the tour in English. Meals as indicated in the itinerary are inclusive in the package. Should you have a special diet i.e. vegetarian or otherwise, kindly inform the Tour Escort or local guide in advance, so that we can arrange the meals during your tour.

Conclusion and Contact Information

At least, but not last, on behalf of SAM INSPIRE Cambodia, we wish you a pleasant and experiential stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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