Travelers can visit Cambodia any time of the year, but the most popular time to travel would be the dry season from October to April. Early summer can also be a great time to visit for those who don't mind higher temperatures and more frequent bouts of rainfall. Visiting Cambodia during this time from May to June may allow for better wildlife viewing opportunities as well as fewer tourist crowds at popular sites like Angkor Wat and around Phnom Penh. The monsoon season runs from July to September and should probably be avoided as it can rain up to 2 out of every 3 days.
2. What are the accommodations like?
In each location, we strive to use charming accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of the area. These range from charming, family-run bed & breakfasts to luxurious, boutique hotels. Most hotels have private baths, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms except in instances where noted, such as a homestay. We strive to also find hotels in good locations, whether that be walking distance to main attractions or out of the city if it is consistently noisy. Larger hotels are used in metropolitan areas as typically these are the only available options. Some rural hotels may be family run lodges that only offer shared bathroom facilities and freshwater showers.
3. Do I need a converter/adapter for the electricity?
Cambodia uses 230V, 50Hz AC electricity with A / C / G sockets being used. It is recommended to bring a converter.
4. Are meals included?
Many meals are included for travelers as well as your guide, except in cities or areas where many options exist that might cater to English speaking visitors. You will occasionally need help translating the menus, and thus the guide will typically eat with you in rural areas unless you specify a different arrangement. When you are in a larger city with many restaurant options, meals may be up to you. This gives you the freedom to try what you want, and your guide can give you restaurant recommendations.
5. What are the tour guides like?
Our tour leaders are exceptional! They are fluent in English and Khmer, and some other rural dialects as well. Some more regional rural guides may not speak English as well as those in metropolitan areas, but certainly make up for it with their welcoming hospitality. Our tour leaders all complete the Cambodia national guide certification program, which takes three months. In addition, we do our own Adventure Life training that focuses on customer relations and tour specifics. Many were born and raised in the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Some specialize in specific adventure activities as well, such as hiking. All of our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
6. What type of transportation is used?
Cambodia tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans/cars, 4x4 vehicles, internal flights, etc. We use a mix of private/public transit to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Although, we do not utilize public transportation very often. Occasionally, we may include non-typical transportation modes (tuk-tuk, bicycle taxi, etc.) for short distances to give travelers a sense of local flavor. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
7. What type of food is typical of Cambodia?
Cambodian cuisine is similar to that of Thailand and Laos. However, there are unique local dishes to try. The overall consensus is that Khmer cooking is similar to Thai cooking but with fewer spices. Like all other Buddhist countries, vegetarian food is readily available in most restaurants. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, allergic to any foods or adhere to a special diet, please advise us prior to your trip so we can comply with your dietary requirements. It is not advisable to drink tap water in any South East Asian countries. Bottled water is recommended but do check the expiry date before opening it. Ice is widely used in Cambodia and it is produced with treated water.
8. Are these trips suitable for kids?
While the trips are suitable for kids, they may not be ideal. Some tours involve a fair amount of car travel and transit between main destinations that may not be suitable for younger children. Also given the recent past of the Khmer Rouge, some of the sites around Phnom Penh may not be appropriate for younger kids to witness. We are happy to customize an option that involves less travel time in between activities, as well as more engaging activities (and fewer temple visits) when asked. Please just let us know what you prefer and we can put something together that keeps the whole family engaged, or recommend a better destination in Southeast Asia.
9. What is the typical age range on the Cambodia tours?
Typically, ages range from 25 to 65, however we have seen children as young as 6 and the "young at heart" as old as 90 on our trips! Siem Reap & Angkor Wat are popular sites to visit. Certain things at these sites, like the Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Prison and tours that teach people about the Khmer Rouge and genocide, can be very heavy for anyone. However, travelers should use extra special care considering if it is something their children should experience.
10. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
Absolutely! Our Cambodia tours tend to attract a great mix of solo travelers, families, friends, etc. We can often match you up with another group traveling on one of the set tours if your dates are flexible. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures.
11. Do tour rates include international flights?
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange them with an airfare consolidator who specializes in international flights.
12. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
A driver will be there to greet you at your arriving airport holding a sign with your name on it. They will take you to your hotel the first night. Taxis should be avoided from the airports in Cambodia.
13. Are there any discounts available?
Absolutely! We offer select trip discounts periodically throughout the year. Check out our Travel Discounts page for the latest offers and on-going discounts.
14. How much should I budget for tips?
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary to offer a small tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, but our recommendation for a full day tour is $3-$5 per day for your guide and $1-$3 per day for a driver. Other travelers opt to bring small gifts from their home to give to service providers along the way.
15. How far in advance should I book?
You can book your Cambodia tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (3 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the high season to ensure that first choice hotels are still available. Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. We are often able to accommodate last minute travelers as well (some even departing in less than one week!!), so give us a call and we will do our best! For last-minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice hotel may not be available for your selected dates, but your trip planner can probably recommend some similar options that would be equally interesting!
16. Are tour dates flexible?
YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed online. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as hotels and a guide are available.
17. Can I extend or change my stay?
Absolutely! Contact our office for ideas in all of Southeast Asia. Extra days can also be arranged in neighboring Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam or other areas if desired. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
18. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list after you book your tour. Since the climate varies depending upon locations and season, it is difficult to offer many generalizations. Comfort is the rule and fancy clothes are not necessary for any of our Cambodia tours.
19. How concerned should I be about the altitude?
This is not a concern for most of our travelers in Cambodia. Unless you are doing serious trekking in the Cardamom Mountains of Eastern Cambodia, altitude is not an issue.
20. How safe is Cambodia?
Cambodia is a relatively safe country both in the rural countryside as well as in larger cities. As always, travelers need to be aware of their surroundings and use common sense when venturing out at night. Crime rates in general are very low, particularly against tourists. The most common issue reported are pickpockets when visiting crowded marketplaces or shopping areas. Be wise and keep your possessions hidden under your top layer of clothing to prevent anything from being stolen.
21. Is the water safe to drink?
The tap water is generally NOT safe to drink anywhere in Cambodia. Bottled water is readily available at tourist sites, hotels, & restaurants, and hot water (boiled to make it safe) or hot tea is generally offered with a meal at a restaurant. Travelers can also use bottled water when brushing your teeth to be extra cautious.
22. Can I use US dollars or do I need local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
The official currency is the Khmer Riel. American dollars are however widely accepted in Cambodia and even preferred in larger stores and supermarkets. Make sure you have small dollar and Riel notes since these are more practical and economical for day-to-day purchases. Upon arrival, you should plan to exchange your money at a bank. The airports and hotels generally will give you a worse exchange rate. Check out a currency converter such as,www.oanda.com/currency/converter/, for the latest exchange rates.
23. Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
ATMs are widely available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville and they also give out US dollars. Outside of these areas, however, there are no ATMs so it is recommended that you carry cash with you (in small notes as people may have difficulty making change). Allow about USD $8-15 per meal for additional lunches or dinners not included in your tour price. You may also want to have some money put aside to sample local foods at the markets or for souvenirs.Credit cards can be used at hotels and restaurants in the metro areas but cash will be needed in rural areas. Travelers checks are not accepted.
24. Can I use my cell phone?
Yes, so long as your carrier has not locked your phone and it is possible to operate on their network. You should contact your carrier to find out if your phone will work properly. Another option is to buy a local SIM card once you are in Cambodia if you do have an unlocked phone. It is advised to also double check your international calling rates with your provider.
25. Do I need a visa/passport?
A passport with at least six months validity is necessary for travel to Cambodia. A visa is required for most nationalities, including US citizens, and is available upon arrival at both Phnom Penh & Siem Reap international airports. A tourist visa costs USD $30 and a business visa costs USD $35. Two passport photographs must be submitted with the visa application form. A tourist visa can be extended from one month to three and a business visa can be extended indefinitely. Cambodia also enforces a departure tax on domestic flights (USD $6) and international flights (USD $25), which is already included in the price of your ticket.
26. What immunizations are recommended/ required?
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Cambodia. A yellow fever vaccination is required if you are arriving from another country with risk of yellow fever. This vaccination, which is valid for 10 years, must be administered at least 10 days before your arrival in the destination with yellow fever risk. Travelers must bring along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended. Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria, and Rabies preventatives are also loosely recommended depending on where you plan to travel in Cambodia. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site.
27. What time zone is Cambodia?
Cambodia is in the Indochina Time Zone, or UTC+07:00.
28. Is travel insurance recommended?
Absolutely!!! We work with a company called TravelGuard that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage. Check out our Once You're Booked page for more information.