Droves of tourists visit Cambodia every year to Angkor Wat; the famous temple is one of many within the Angkor Archaeological Park. The grand scale and minute details are too extreme to be captured in any one photograph. Many travelers put aside 2-3 days to visit the park, but it is not advised to put such a time restraint on oneself for this country. The park itself takes more than a week (or even two) to fully visit if you include the outlying temples and don't get "templed out."
Moreover, Cambodia is worth a longer stay for many of its other unique sites. Travel between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh can be taken by boat through Tonlé Sap Lake wherein lie the stunning mangrove forests and a chance to visit the floating villages.
Learn more about the political history involving Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge by visiting the Phnom Penh Killing Fields, memorial cemeteries and local museums, or visit more relaxing locations such as Sihanoukville, Koh Kong or Kampot. The dry weather with perfect blue skies and cumulus clouds extends from December to April. In May through December, monsoons can lead to heavy flooding.
Hints and Tips for Cambodia
- Visa-on-arrival costs US$20 (at the time of this writing) and an additional $1-$2 if you do not have a couple passport-sized photos. Land crossings from surrounding countries may require more haggling of higher fees. Look into the Ordinary Visa for longer or multi-entry visits.
- Outlying temples are not included in the initial fee for Angkor Archeological Park. If you have hired a tuk-tuk/taxi driver at a fixed daily rate, fares to outlying areas will cost more than that daily rate. Most drivers will tell you in advance while others will mention the fact after the trip.
- Some areas of Cambodia have higher incidences of Malaria, Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis, so use mosquito repellent.
- Landmines tend to be a non-threat to tourists travelling in well-known areas, but heed any warning signs and exercise caution in rural areas where landmines may still exist off the beaten path .
- You will be turned away from temples if you are wearing a sleeveless shirt or shorts/skirts the guards deem unacceptable for temple attire.
- Watch out for adults (even if they are authoritative figures) and children who attach themselves to you and act like guides without any previous arrangement. They will demand payment and though some can be quite helpful and are worth tipping, others are trying to scam you for money.