- Uniquely Red
- The Red Journal
Cambodia is a happenin’ country! The energy is palpable and is evident in the arts, culinary explosion, and the desire to preserve the cultures, ancient temples, and age-old practices. After your trip here, you’ll be inspired by the friendliest people you will ever meet anywhere and at what a nation can do to overcome dark times in its history. Check out the itineraries below to inspire your exploration.
Cambodia’s history is still raw and often provides an unusually emotional travel experience that is both educational and rewarding. Most travelers to Cambodia are inspired by the beautifully resilient people who have moved beyond their country’s recent troubles. This trip starts at Cambodia’s modern and vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh where you will learn a dark chapter of their history before exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat and ... View Itinerary
Get-off-the-beaten track in Cambodia to explore lesser known provincial areas. Starting at Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh before venturing to the long abandoned French colonial outpost of Kratie to see the endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Continue on to the pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, recently inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then end the trip clambering through the vast ruins of Angkor’s lost temples in the jungle ... View Itinerary
This itinerary is designed for outdoor enthusiasts with a passion for wildlife and nature. Journey deep to Botum Sakor National Park, Cambodia’s largest National Park where you will meet park rangers to learn about their wildlife rescue efforts. Enjoy jungle hikes with rangers or go on a river kayak to spot wild life. Explore the historic Angkor group of temples by bike along hidden paths and explore floating villagers by ... View Itinerary
Cambodia has two distinct weather seasons: wet and dry. However, it’s possible to travel in Cambodia all year round. You’ll find fewer crowds at the most popular sights during the wet season and lower rates at hotels.
The dry season is from October to May with the most comfortable months in terms of temperature and humidity being November through February. The wet season is from June through September with daily thunderstorms being the norm but not constant rain.
The shoulder seasons may be the ones to avoid. Those are the months of April and May when the temperatures are in the mid 90s (F) with humidity to match. September and early October can also be susceptible to floods which means that more remote areas can have accessibility issues.
We’ve inspected and stayed in dozens of hotels throughout the country. We will not only recommend which hotel may be best for you, but which room category. Here’s a few that we highly recommend based on the quality of the rooms and facilities, cleanliness, standard of service, and locations. These aren’t always the cheapest hotels, but they are among the best hotels in their category. We tend to have a preference for high-quality boutique hotels that have a great location, excellent food, and a local ambience, or perhaps a colonial style atmosphere that conjure images of former eras.
An oasis of tranquility and a place of history and inspiration, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is a haven for the well-travelled. Thoughtful, detailed service and old-world charm are the hallmarks of this iconic hotel in Siem Reap that has an excellent location in the town.
A visa is required for most foreign nationals, but it’s very easy to get. For most tourists that aren’t intending to stay longer than 30 days, the best options are the Tourist e-Visa or the Tourist Visa on Arrival.
The easiest way to enter Cambodia as a tourist is by applying online for the e-visa, known as the T class visa. It’s a simple process and takes less than three business days to be processed, but most applicants receive their visas via email within 24 hours. The cost is $36. The main advantage of this visa is that you can skip the lines at the airports for the visas-on-arrival before going through immigration, but not all land border crossings accept this visa. This is the official web site to apply for the visa: https://www.evisa.gov.kh/.
Tourist Visa on Arrival
Tourist visas, or T class visas, can also be obtained on arrival in Cambodia. Long lines and sluggish processing for visas on arrival are the norm, so the e-visa is usually your best bet.
Cambodia is not currently open for tourists and they are seeing the biggest surge of cases since the pandemic began along with other SE Asian countries. The US Statement Department has a Level 3 travel advisory in place, which advises to “Reconsider travel to Cambodia due to COVID-19″.
It’s difficult to predict when the country might open because the government is not providing timely information. However, it likely won’t be before the end of this year. Here’s a link to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh Covid Information Page.
If booking a private tour with us, costs can range from $250/day/person for staying in nice 3-star quality hotels to over $500/day/person in high-end luxury hotels. Staying in small luxury boutique hotels can cost an average of $300 to $400/day/person. These cost estimates include not just accommodation, but also internal flights, airport transfers, tours and activities, entrance fees, private guides, and private vehicles with driver.
There are so many that it’s hard to quantify, but here’s a few major benefits: 1) the tour is customized for your interests, which means you get to see and do the things you’re most interested in. 2) you’re not running on a fixed daily schedule, which means you have flexibility to stay as long as you want or move on early from something or even skip it altogether if that’s what you decide on the spot. 3) We’re able to design the activities at popular sights to avoid the crowds!
It’s generally best to avoid tap water and ask about the source of water in restaurants, but ice is usually safe. It’s best to use bottled or purified water in hotels to drink…and brush your teeth.
Yes, 4G connectivity is very good in Cambodia. Some providers, like T-Mobile allow for free unlimited data internationally, though it is usually at a 2g speed. However, that’s often good enough for texts and emails, using Google maps, and some browsing. If you’re staying long enough and always want good data access while you’re out and about, buy a local SIM card with a data plan for your phone. They’re quite inexpensive.
Almost all hotels have US-style outlets that are fine for plugging in electronics. However, the voltage is 240 volts, so be sure your devices can handle that. Most can!
Actually, it’s possible to never have to use the Riel, Cambodia’s currency. Most restaurants, shops, and tuk-tuk drivers will accept US dollars. It’s good to have a large supply of $1 bills. Just be aware that you may pay in US dollars, but receive change in Riels. Also be sure that your money is in good physical condition–no tears, major wrinkles, or dog-eared corners. Also be sure to inspect bills that you receive from money changers, shops, and restaurants.
ATMs are plentiful and most accept international debit cards. However, they charge from $4 to $6 per transaction. So be sure to withdraw enough to make it worthwhile. You can exchange cash at money changers, just shop around for the best exchange rates.
Upscale hotels, shops, restaurants, and markets will accept credit cards.
Tipping is expected by private guides and drivers, however, the amount depends on the quality of service. Generally for private guides, we recommend about $5 to $10 per person per full day in your group and about $3 to $4 for drivers. For example: if you’re a couple and you’re in Siem Reap for two days and have a full schedule of tours and airport transfers and you’re very happy with everything, tip the guide about $40 and the driver about $15.
Elsewhere such as restaurants, tuk-tuk drivers, and hotel staff, tipping is not expected but can be an appreciated surprise. Try to give the money directly to the person you want to tip so that you can be sure they get it.
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