“Welcome to the incredible Kingdom of Cambodia!”
WhereToStay WhatToSee GetAround
Cambodia is located to the East of Thailand, also bordering Laos to the North and Vietnam to the East. The Kingdom of Cambodia is an incredible country, some say it gives the ‘un-touched’ feeling Thailand had thirty years ago, wonderful beaches, lush rainforests, ancient temples and amazingly kind people. Considering what happened pre-1993 with the Khmer Rouge which saw a heavy dictatorship, mass genocide and isolation from the outside world; Cambodia has come on a long way and has a much brighter, prosperous looking future. It’s a great place to travel to in South East Asia, and with it brings a completely different experience to what you may have had in Thailand.
The tropical climate ranges from 20 – 35C and experiences monsoons from May to October. Heaviest rain is typically from September – October, with the driest from January to March. However, Cambodia is an unforgettable experience year round, being the most popular from January to August.
This is where prior knowledge is extremely useful before visiting the Cambodia, and thankfully TrekTrendy does this for you! Cambodia is unfortunately still quite a corrupt country, and there the notorious visa scam to watch out for if you arrive by land, especially from Thailand. The Official price for a visa is US$20, but make sure you have a passport photo with you or else it will be an additional US$5 for them to photocopy your passport. They do often accept this Visa payment in other currencies such as Thai Baht and Euros, however the exchange rate they give you will mean you are paying a lot more than US$20.
The official cost is US$20 and you must insist on this price as many touts persuade you to pay upwards of US$50. The best way to ensure this is to only part with your money when you have cleared Thai Customs and are entering Cambodia. These agents will tell you that this is not possible, but we assure you this is just part of the scam.
airentry (Siem Reap / Phnom Penh Airports)
Arriving by air you have the option of getting a visa on arrival or getting the E-Visa before arriving. When you land you will be shuttled to immigration where you will have to firstly pay US$20 to customs officials for the visa and then an additional US$5 if you don’t have a passport photo. This takes between 30minutes to over an hour at busy times, make sure you have US Dollars with you as the ATMs have been out of order in the past. Again skipping this step and just getting an E-Visa prevents this issue.
Our overall advice to you is to get a Cambodian E-Visa. It’s possible to do this online, before you arrive and costs US$28. Available here: http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa/ . The cost breakdown is US$20 for the Visa, US$5 for the processing charge and US$3 for the bank charge. Yes this option seems more expensive, but we assure you, it is the most straightforward way of entering the country preventing excess delay on arrival.
locationlocation – Where to go in Cambodia
Siem Reap is located in North-western Cambodia, more tourist friendly than Phnom Penh in our opinion; and for good reason with Angkor Wat a few kilometres out of town. Siem Reap has great local cuisine and plenty of western options, all centred around the central nightlife zone, known as Pub Street. Accomodation is great and incredibly cheap, with 4 star hotels starting at just £8 a night!
The capital of Cambodia, situated on the banks of the Mekong River. Phnom Penh is very different to other cities in SE asia, such as the cosmopolitan metropolis of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpar,with few skyscrapers, and far fewer recognizable brands, though this is slowly changing. But don’t let this put you off, the experience is quite something, with fantastic food and entertainment along the riverside as well as it’s fair share of luxury hotels.