Top Tips Cambodia
Our “Top Tips Cambodia” blog is designed to demonstrate what an amazing country this is to visit. Discover beautiful destinations, history dating to generations a thousand years back and much more. The Kingdom of Wonders lives in the stone, dust and in the blood of its people. This journey to find things to see while travelling to Cambodia has stunned me. The architecture of the temples, the warmth and friendly approach from the locals, and the sheer beauty of the coastline has left me only yearning for more! Please read on for our recommended top tips Cambodia.
There are tons of attractions waiting for you to explore. From busy, bustling cities to small villages to wild jungles and stunning coastlines. This land is rich in culture, customs, and religion. The Cambodians are amazingly lovely. They are friendly, hospitable and always full of smiles, despite their tragic history. We hope you’ll have a tremendous trip in this beautiful country. Here are some of our top tips Cambodia to help you enjoy your holiday to the fullest.
Exploring the Iconic Angkor Wat Temples
Maybe the number one top tips to see in Cambodia is, of course, the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat. An architectural marvel, genius of engineering and craftsmanship at its best. Cambodian temples are spectacular. The temple complex of Angkor Wat is the undisputed highlight of Cambodia. Since 3D aerial laser scans were completed in 2016, the archaeological site is understood to have not just been the world’s largest religious monument but also a huge ancient city.
Angkor Wat is massive. The much-photographed main temple is just a tiny part of the 400-square-kilometer site. Many travelers come to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat: Top Tips Cambodia: explore the temples during the early morning. There are fewer people and you’ll avoid the searing midday heat. To explore the larger area, be sure to rent bicycles or a tuk-tuk for the day. Ask your driver to take you beyond the standard circuits.
There are some outer-lying temples that can take 30 to 60 minutes to get to. They are not often visited by the larger tour groups. If you’re lucky, you can still be there alone hearing only the buzz of cicadas and the chatter of tropical birds. Outer temples are not as well-restored and are more overgrown by jungle, giving them a more mysterious feel.
Top Tips Cambodia: The best time of the year to visit the temple would be either during shoulder season: July to August (also known as the wet season) or during the low season: April to June (hot season) & September till October (wet weather).
Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Samloem
White sand beaches, nearby deserted islands, great diving and amazing seafood. There is also a buzzing nightlife filled with cheap booze making this spot a favorite among travelers.
With all the walking, traveling and sight-seeing behind you it is now time for pure relaxation. Here you will find yourselves in a state of total bliss. It was very hard to get up from the beach-side hammocks and head back to the speedboat that returns you to the mainland.
Top Tips Cambodia: catch a flight from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. You will save time and you won’t have to rush on your last day in Cambodia. Ensure you have extra hours to swap planes in Siem Reap as the Cambodian Airlines are notorious for running late!!
Since it’s the city nearest to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap inevitably became Cambodia’s main tourist destination.
Besides serving as a base for temple exploration, you’ll find numerous other tours and services here. Cooking classes, pottery classes, quad bike tours, Vespa tours, ziplining, massages, fish pedicures and gondola sunset boat rides. When darkness falls, look no further than Pub Street for cheap booze and entertainment. After a much needed sleep and a short walk later, we found the old Siem Reap. The old market is there, almost exactly as we remembered it on the banks of the river. Beyond the river, the old wooden houses remain.
A beautiful temple, beautiful people and a change of accommodation did a lot to improve our moods. Cambodian people are the friendliest, happiest, most joy-filled people in the world.
A walk along the river promenade will give you some excellent opportunities for people-watching. Not much happens there during the day. However, at night this area comes alive with colored lights and street vendors. People line the streets lighting incense sticks at Buddhist shrines. Phnom Penh has an interesting rough-edged feel for the most part. However, with a rising middle class also comes plenty of glittering new malls, sky bars, and cineplexes. It is definitely not to be missed!
Young Khmer go out to places like Jet’s Container Night Market. An assemblage of hip neon-lit bars and restaurants built inside stacked cargo containers. Tourists instead favor the so-called Russian Market. A great place to get some cheap street food or to buy souvenirs.
Cambodia is a highly religious country, with the dominance of Buddhism. It’s okay if the visitors are not familiar with the local customs. You should however always be respectful.
One thing to remember is you must dress appropriately when visiting the religious sites. Your legs and shoulders should be covered. Also, remember to remove your shoes and hats before entering a temple.
Refrain yourself from shouting, or acting aggressively. This is because to their culture, “losing one’s cool” in public is completely unacceptable. Always be kind and polite to people, especially the elders and the monks. Never bring up sensitive subjects such as war, violence, or the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia is a splendid and spectacular destination with beautiful nature and rich cultural heritage.
The paradise for street food
Chive Cakes, also known as Num kachay, originated in China. Putting aside the heaps of heavy herbs and spices in the Chinese recipe. Cambodians keep their Chive Cakes simple with just rice flour and chopped chives as primary ingredients. Garlic, sauce, baking soda, sugar, pepper are added. This helps the food taste much better. The cakes are fried on a hot shallow pan in a seriously generous amount of oil.
They will be served up with a very sweet, spicy popular Southeast Asian fish sauce. This food is best eaten fresh off the hotplate. Please be careful or your mouth will be burnt.
Pate Sandwiches (num pang pate)
This convenient street food was introduced by the French at the time of their Indochina colonization. It’s a mixture of a variety of meaty ingredients such as pâté, pork, ham, pickled vegetables, carrots, and onions. Sometimes they added some peppers.
Cambodian Bamboo rice (Kralan) – Bamboo rice – Khmer cuisine
Kralan is a delicious traditional food in Khmer cuisine. Cambodia sticky rice is roasted with coconut milk. It includes black-eyed peas or soybean stuffed in bamboo. Then it is typically cooked over a charcoal or wood fire for a long time to create smoky flavors. You can eat Kralan anywhere and anytime, in the bus, during break time, checking your phone or reading a map. It’s very sticky so you will need some napkins if you don’t want the rice to stick to your book or your phone. Kralan with coconut milk does not keep well beyond two or three days, so it’s better to eat in the day you buy.
Fried noddles – local life
To young people, fried noodles (mi char) seems to be the most popular. You can find them in Old Markets in Seam Reap or any streets in Phnom Penh during your Cambodian day tour. Fried noodles are sold from mobile stalls on the streets in the evenings. There are many kinds of Mi Char: rice noodles, egg noodles and instant noodles. Most of them have the same primary ingredients, such as fish sauce, soy, vegetables, noodles, and of course, they can not be without chili sauce.
Normally, the fried noodle seller often cooks one packet of instant noodles and then fries it with vegetables and other ingredients.
Iced coffee – drink for your Cambodia days
Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk is easy to find throughout Cambodia. Cambodians call it cafe “toek doh koh toek gok”. These Small iced coffee carts have been part of Cambodian life culture for a long time. Wherever you go, you seem to see locals sipping it any time of day or night. Cafe “toek doh koh toek gok” is very refreshing and a delicious drink to enjoy on the streets of Cambodia.
I hope you enjoyed reading our “Top Tips Cambodia” Blog. Written by – My Anh
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