Reasons to Visit
Otherwise known as the water festival, Bon Om Tuk is when Siem Reap and Phnom Penh come alive. Cambodia's most important festival, Bon Om Tuk celebrates the turning of the water in the Mekong, a phenomenon to which the Tonle Sap owes its very existence.
Despite Cambodia`s turbulent history the Khmer people show true strength of character. Everywhere you travel you will be greeted with a smile, from the urbanites of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to the eclectic indigenous populations of the remote Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces.
Often overlooked by the more famous cuisine from its neighbours Cambodia is actually home to some savoury delights. Sample a tasty amok at the market in Siem Reap or indulge in Kep's delicious crab. For those more adventurous you could try an infamous deep fried spider or cricket!
From the sleepy coastal town of Kep with its dilapidated 1960s villas to the mangroves near Koh Kong, the Southcoast has plenty to offer. And for a bit of barefoot luxury, you can spend some time at Song Saa or the 'Sweetheart' islands.
The number of visitors to Angkor multiplies exponentially each year but we can recommend ways to appreciate even the busiest sites, like Angkor Wat, and would encourage you to visit some of the lesser-known temples, such as Beng Melea and Banteay Srei. Alternatively, escape the crowds and explore the temples further afield on a temple camping safari.
It's hard to ignore the mass genocide of an estimated 2 million people. The effects of Polpot transcend the nation and every Khmer can tell you a story of their time under the despot, the history can be felt and explored throughout the country - from the historical musuems in Phnom Penh to the final resting place of Pol Pot near Anlong Veng.
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This is a rough guide to when to travel to this region. Choose a month of travel to see typical temperature and rainfall around the country. The ticks indicate our recommended months to travel.
Cambodia is hot all year round, with very little rainfall between November and April.
The monsoon season starts in April and picks up in May, continuing until October. Visits are still possible during this period as the rain usually consists of only short, but heavy, downpours.
The optimum time to visit is November when humidity is low, the rivers and waterfalls are full and the countryside is at its most colourful.
The annual Songkran Water Festival is celebrated in both Thailand and Cambodia as it coincides with the New Year of both these countries. People carry containers of water or water pistols and drench each other. There is also traditional dance and music.
The Temples of Angkor, the famous 'lost city' of the Khmers, is the most astounding archaeological site in Asia and undoubtedly one of the world’s great travel highlights. Read why December is a good time to visit.
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Further reading:Tours in CambodiaHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout CambodiaCountry Guides
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