Visiting the Kingdom of Wonder doesn’t have to set you back a fortune. Consider tagging this fascinating country, one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, into your itinerary, if you happen to be holidaying in one of its neighbouring countries (Thailand, Laos, or Vietnam). Regional carriers such as Silk Air, Bangkok Airways or Air Asia offer flights costing just $60 from other major Asian cities. The intrepid traveller can even catch a Giant Ibis bus from Bangkok for as little as $15. A 30-day tourist visa costs $30.
The most popular time to visit this amazing country – steeped in history and tradition with a cuisine and culture all its own – is from November through to March because of the dry weather and school Christmas holidays. Avoid these months, however, and your deal will be a lot sweeter for everything including flights, accommodation, tours, and eating out. The long rainy season puts people off unnecessarily – the rain is rarely more than a quick flash in the afternoon which brings a post-rain coolness. If you are by the pool with a glass of Anchor beer (0.50 cents) in your hand, you won’t feel hard done by!
Consider tagging this fascinating country, one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, into your itinerary.
Why visit this charming country? Highlights of your visit must include a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second largest city and home to the ancient temple ruins at Angkor ($15 for use of a tuk tuk driver and $20 Temple Pass). This 164 hectare site is made up of a complex of temples dating back to the 12th century, including the spectacular Angkor Wat. Tourists can enjoy tours of the bustling capital, Phnom Penh, or trips out into the rice fields and farming villages of the lush, fertile countryside. Travel by bike, jeep, or mini van. Opportunities to volunteer (longer term) with community projects are plentiful, too – check out VSO International for reputable projects. It’s worth remembering that no charity worth its salt will charge you money for volunteering.
Getting around by bike is very easy and cheap, and most hotels will provide them free to guests, or hire them out for less than $5 per day.
Yoga, art, food, and spa lovers will really enjoy Cambodia as the low prices mean your favourite activities cost just a few dollars, for example a full body Khmer massage will set you back around $8 for an hour. As the terrain is flat, getting around by bike is very easy and cheap, and most hotels will provide them free to guests, or hire them out for less than $5 per day (just check the quality and mechanisms before setting off and make sure your deal includes helmet hire and a lock). The White Bicycles is a non-profit bike rentals organisation supporting education and clean water projects with its proceeds. Street food (sample Fish Amok or Beef Loc Lak) will set you back small change and shopping in local markets brings welcome income to local traders.
Hostel beds start at $8. Try Mad Monkey hostels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. For a stay with more comforts, try Rosy Guesthouse where a standard twin costs $22 per night, or stylish Arun Villa Boutique Hotel in Phnom Penh with double rooms just $35. Airbnb is active in both cities, too.