Skip to content
Captivating Cambodia - Insight Vacations

Cambodia

Step into an entrancing world of intricately carved temples, spectacular monuments and pagodas, floating villages on stilts, captivating wildlife, and abundant artistic expression, dating back to an ancient civilisation existing as early as 4200 BCE. The tropical country of Cambodia is bursting with colourful celebrations, ceremonies and festivities, many of which are based on the Buddhist lunar calendar and influences from Indian culture.

Geographically neighbouring Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, Cambodia has had a turbulent history, including being occupied by Japan in World War II, and the Khmer Rouge take over led by Pol Pot in 1975. Despite the struggles Cambodians have faced as a nation, you will be welcomed by people who are exceptionally polite, friendly, smiley and generous in spirit. 

View more trips to Cambodia.

If you’re interested in the artistic history of Cambodia, the National Museum is a great place to start your journey of discovery, where the building alone will leave you awe-struck. For those who are temple-bound, Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world, originally built to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. This treasure trove of archaeological riches, set amid the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Archaeological Park, covers over 400km2 and includes majestic trees growing through its ruins.

As the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, the fascinating Tonlé Sap Lake in Siem Reap is filled by the only river in the world to flow in both directions; after draining in the dry season, the vast quantity of water in the Mekong River causes the Tonlé Sap River to reverse its flow during the rainy season. A diversely rich ecosystem results with a multitude of wildlife species, including Siamese crocodiles, Irrawaddy dolphins, Indochinese tigers, Asian elephants and sun bears.

Cambodia’s Asian cuisine shares similarities with Thai and Vietnamese food but is by no means a lesser version. Soups, noodles, stir-fries, curries, fresh vegetables and tropical fruit are a plenty. Rice is a given staple at every meal, including breakfast. Pra-hok (a pungent fermented fish paste) and kapi (fermented prawn paste) are both regularly used to flavour dishes. If these acquired tastes are not to your liking, you can find multiple restaurants serving international cuisine, and many options to meet vegan, vegetarian or halal dietary requirements.

Travel Director recommendation

Food for thought

Try to learn a few phrases to use on your vacation. It's amazing how far a 'hello' or 'thank you' will go with the locals - your Travel Director will be around to help if you get stuck.
Tour Director - Gigi Smith

Gigi Smith-Bromage

Travel Director, Western Europe

Factfile

Know before you go
  • Spring

    Mar-May

    Sun

    Av temp: 35˚C95˚F

  • Summer

    Jun-Aug

    Rain

    Av temp: 31˚C88˚F

  • Autumn

    Sept-Nov

    Rain

    Av temp: 35˚C95˚F

  • Winter

    Nov-Feb

    Cloudy

    Av temp: 35˚C95˚F

  • Time difference

    London GMT + 7hr

  • Currency

    Cambodian Riel (KHR)

When to go: As a country that is consistently warm, factors determining your optimal time to visit might include the temperature, humidity and rainfall at varying times of the year. November to March is the most popular time with visitors, given the Mediterranean-like temperatures, while in April and May, the heat can reach 40oC (104oF).