When to go:
November through April are the best months to visit as this is dry season and visibility is at its best; however diving can be great year round.
When to Get the Best Deals:
Although flights might be cheaper outside of December and January, cost for accommodation typically remains relatively stable throughout the year.
What to Pack:
3/2 mm wetsuit, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, your PADI and DAN card, conservative clothing (covering shoulders and knees - if visiting temples). Most gear is available for hire, but it might be wise to book in advance during peak seasons.
Varies with location and season, but is usually around 25°C/77°F.
Usually remains around 30°C/86°. Cambodia has two seasons: dry and wet. Dry season is usually from about November through to about May and the wet season is typically from about June to around October.
While the Cambodian Riel (KHR) is the official currency, US dollars are accepted (and sometimes preferred) throughout the country including tourist areas. There are no ATMs on the islands, so bring some change with you.
Valid passport; check with your local immigration office for visa requirements. Some nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival and it’s advisable to enter into Cambodia with some US dollars for this method if eligible.
This should be included in your airfare, but check with your travel agent or airline.
Contact your local doctor regarding what is necessary.
What to Eat:
There is a range of delicious flavors floating around Cambodia. A well-known local option is the irresistible Loc-lak. This is a delightful stir-fried beef (which explodes with a sweet and sour flavour) - served on a bed of fluffy rice or friend potatoes with lime juice, cucumber and a side of tomatoes. Amok Trey is a mild fish curry which is also a popular local food for those looking to sample local cuisine.
What to Drink:
Cambodia has a delicious and interesting version of an iced coffee (where milk and water is replaced with condensed milk) and is well worth a try. Near the beach you’ll never struggle to find fresh juice or a refreshing Angkor beer.
Once you have explored the magnificent Angkor Wat, a sunset cruise along the Mekong River is a fantastic experience. Once on the tropic islands, there are small towns to explore and mountain hikes that lead to nearly undiscovered beaches or breath-taking views. For a stimulating shopping experience head to the Russian market in Phnom Penh where you’ll find touristy trinkets and souvenirs.
Customs and Culture:
When greeting in Cambodia, it is traditional to bring your hands together at chin level and bow. It is a good idea to be mindful of tradition such as wearing conservative clothing to view the palace in Phnom Penh. Also, consideration should be taken when touching the locals, especially on the head (as this is considered rude).
To celebrate the reversing flow of the Tonle Sap River – the Annual Bon Om Touk (water festival) is held in November. The festival is colourful, exciting and includes boat racing along the Sisowath Quay (Phnom Penh). Additionally, Khmer New Year is celebrated in mid-April.
Electricity and Internet:
220 V; Plugs A & C. Wi-Fi is available in most cafes and hotels in tourist areas.
Drink the water?
Bottled water is highly recommended and essential in most areas.
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. English is spoken in tourist areas.