Places in Cambodia

Top events in Cambodia

November
27

Also know at the ‘Water Festival’ this regatta event includes boat races, concerts and millions of people celebrating the reversal of flow on the...

December
02

Held at Sihanoukville, this event and attracts runners from across the globe from all over the world, who come to compete against a stunning...

January
07

Ceremonies to celebrate the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 take place on 7 January to honour the memory of the thousands of people who died. The...

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Cambodia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

181,035 sq km (69,900 sq miles).

Population

15.2 million (2013).

Population density

84 per sq km.

Capital

Phnom Penh.

Government

Constitutional monarchy since 1993.

Head of state

King Norodom Sihamoni since 2004.

Head of government

Prime Minister Hun Sen since 1985.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are in use. Power cuts are frequent.

Cambodia might be one of South East Asia’s smallest countries, but it is superlative in stature. Though the nation was brought to its knees under Pol Pot's destructive regime in the 1970s, it has recovered sufficiently to become one of the highlights of South East Asia. It’s a beloved spot for backpackers, who can enjoy 50-cent beers whilst overlooking some of the most awe-inspiring historical remains on the planet. While, the striking magnificence of the Angkor Temples has long been the main draw for budget and luxury travellers alike, as has the country’s ancient Khmer heritage, wild jungles, steamy cities and a past that's equal parts inspiring and saddening.

Approximately 2 million tourists visit the country each year. Uber cool bars and decadent hotels have popped up in Cambodia’s main cities Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to serve this growing industry. Meanwhile, the up and coming beach town Sihanoukville offers a laid back Asian beach vibe, golden sands and opaque waters to those seeking solace, away from the chaotic cities.

Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, is one of the region's most absorbing cities - a laconic waterside feel offset by rampant nightlife and a proud local culture. In recent years the city has evolved into a somewhat arty hub, with its boutique fashion store shops and galleries, yet the authentic buzz remains. A simple street walk offers a unruly, yet beguiling, scene of rickety tuk tuks, wayward moto drivers and vendors selling everything from Balut – fertilised duck egg – to bowls of spiders, both popular street food.

Elsewhere, beaches and lashings of tropical adventure all help keep visitor numbers healthy. The intrepid may seek out the hill tribal region of Mondulkiri or Rantanakiri, the sleepy conservation village of Chi Phat, the isolated temples of Preah Vihear and Banteay Chhmar, and the lesser travelled areas of Kampot or Kep.

Cambodia’s national parks are also a must visit. The country is filled with minerals, exotic fauna and over 240 reptile species, 850 freshwater fish species and 212 mammal species, including 16 globally endangered mammals such as Indochinese tigers, Asian elephants and freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Wildlife specialists frequent the region to monitor these incredible creatures, while eco-tourists take part in activities and tours to help maintain funding for various conservation projects.

Other tourist sites include both world-wonder-worthy ancient temples at Angkor Wat and, in stark contrast, the Killing Fields - exhibiting the atrocities that took place under Khmer Rouge. Somehow, through Cambodia’s traumatic history, which included years of torture, colonization, carpet-bombing, pillaging and poverty, Khmer people remain some of most gentle, happy and friendly sorts on earth.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 22 November 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border.

National elections took place on 28 July 2013 in a mostly peaceful environment. The main opposition party disputed the results and this led a number of protests, most of which took place in Phnom Penh. While most demonstrations were peaceful, some clashes occurred. The most severe took place on 3 January 2014 when 5 protestors died.

On 22 July 2014, a political agreement was reached by leaders of the ruling party and the opposition, but it is possible that further protests may take place. You should avoid all public gatherings and monitor local media closely.

123,000 British nationals visited Cambodia in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free but there have been reports of assaults and armed robberies against foreigners.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

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