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Siem Reap

Recognizing the importance of the complexes of Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Angkor Thom, both for the sake of posterity and the present day tourism economy, the Cambodian government has made preserving this heritage a top priority.

Named for a crushing defeat inflicted on an invading Thai army by the Khmer Empire, the battle at Siem Reap was later avenged by another Thai kingdom, who went on to rule the area for a time before losing it to the French. Afterwards, Siem Reap fell into obscurity and as little as twenty years ago, was a sleepy town with muddy streets and a population of 5,000.

Today, thanks to its proximity to the superlative ruins of the ancient Khmer kingdom of Angkor, it has become one of the premier destinations not only in southeast Asia but the entire world, with five-star hotels and other, world-class facilities. Recognizing the importance of the complexes of Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Angkor Thom, both for the sake of posterity and the present day tourism economy, the Cambodian government has made preserving this heritage a top priority.

The Temples of Angkor, in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, remain today some of the most impressive heritage structures in the world, and certainly the most important archaeological site in Southeast Asia. Between the 9th to 15th century, the thriving Khmer empire built colossal temples over approximately 249 square miles, consisting of monuments, temples, hydraulic structures, and more. The most popular method of checking out this expansive area is by chauffeured vehicle, but why not take the experience up a notch and take in breathtaking aerial views of the ancient architecture? Aboard your cozy private helicopter, you’ll soar over important complexes, gliding easily to far-off temples that usually take hours to reach by car. Among the popular structures you’ll view from the air are Banteay Srei, Phnom Bok, the Roluos Group, Phnom Krom, the charming Tonle Sap floating village, and the rarely-visited hilltop Phnom Krom temple, all from the safe and secure comfort of your lightweight helicopter.

Region

Cambodia

language

Khmer

capital

Phnom Penh

population

245,494

area

331,212 km²

currency

Cambodia Riel

FIND YOUR

Inspiration

Decades of in-country expertise means our Destination Experience Designers can curate exceptional activities and experiences for you that are beyond the reach of the average traveller. Piece these together as a framework for your own bespoke adventure or find them in our featured journeys. Below itineraries are kind of holidays you may have, contact of destination specialists to get your dream vacation personalized custom designed.

TREASURE OF CAMBODIA: SIEM REAP & PHNOM PENH PRIVATE TOUR

Discover Cambodia in style with our hand-picked 6 day itinerary from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Experience an explosion of color, flavor and ancient intrigue in Cambodia, igniting your creativity in dynamic Siem Reap, surrounded by the mystery and enchantment of the Angkor temples, and unraveling layers of history in Phnom Penh with our exclusive Insider Access with cultural experts.

SIEM REAP LUXURIOUS ADVENTURE

Learn about Cambodia’s culture in this 5-day trip. Start off with a visit to a local archeologist who will explain the history of Angkor Park. Then go to Angkor Wat and drop by other historical temples such as the Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Ta Prohm. Partake in more culturally-rich activities by watching a performance by the Phare, the Cambodian Circus and observing the works of artists in Theam’s House.

AMAZING ANGKOR. CAMBODIA

Delve deep into Khmer history and culture with our in-depth Amazing Angkor itinerary. Explore the charming and lively town of Siem Reap, including its world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex, as well as lesser-known but equally-impressive temples such as Beng Mealea and Koh Ker, along with a cruise along the picturesque Tonle Sap lake. This luxury 4-day itinerary is the perfect way to experience Angkor in sheer luxury.

JEWELS OF ANGKOR, CAMBODIA

This is the ultimate private luxury program of Cambodia featuring the best of city, culture, island and nature, including the most extravagant accommodation and of course, Destination Indochina’s exclusive Insider Access moments. Experience an explosion of color, flavor and ancient intrigue in Cambodia, igniting your creativity in dynamic Siem Reap, surrounded by the mystery and enchantment of the Angkor temples, and unraveling layers of history in Phnom Penh. Then get in touch with your inner explorer in the wild jungles of Cambodia and savor tranquility at a remote island resort in the Cambodian Riviera.

CLASSIC CAMBODIA

This 6-day luxury tour offers travelers a well-rounded journey from the capital Phnom Penh to the temples of Siem Reap. On the way, you’ll visit Battambang, a former trading post for Thai, Khmer and French traders, with an interesting architectural legacy of French colonial mansions and elaborate Buddhist temples.

EXPLORE CUISINES & CULTURE IN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA

Experience the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on this 11-day journey that takes you through Vietnam, from north to south, and ends with three nights in the heart of the ancient Khmer civilization. Taste the culture and cuisine of Hanoi, witness the wondrous beauty of Lan Ha Bay with an overnight cruise and discover the quaint old town of Hoi An. Continue south, to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City before flying to Siem Reap, Cambodia to explore the lost temples of Angkor.

INSPIRING INDOCHINA: VIETNAM, CAMBODIA AND LAOS

Be inspired across Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos during this 16-day guided tour. Take in the spectacular sight of Siem Reap’s ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus,’ a theatre, music, dance, and acrobatics performance by the region’s youth – then after the show learn how it’s changed their lives. Explore Angkor Archaeological Park and watch the sun set over the ancient Angkor Wat. See the glittering skyscrapers of Ho Chi Minh from a speedboat. Travel to Ha Long Bay, through glistening emerald water as you step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. In Hue, enjoy a VIP visit to the Imperial Citadel; open just for you, you’ll have the royal court and its gardens all to yourself

CAMBODIA & VIETNAM IN STYLE

Experience the magic of Cambodia and Vietnam on a 2-week guided tour. Explore the ancient temples of Angkor Archaeological Park, including the infamous Angkor Wat. See the spectacular ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus,’ an acrobatic performance by local youth. In Ho Chi Minh, you’ll sail on a speedboat toward the Cu Chi tunnels, where guerrilla fighters once hid from combatant forces during the Vietnam War; here, a Viet Cong veteran will share his harrowing experiences with you. Enjoy a VIP visit to the Imperial Citadel in Hue, which is yours to see before it opens.

EXPLORE CAMBODIA WITH AN INSIDER

Adventure, nature, culture, history- Cambodia comes to life on this family holiday. Travel through time, climbing over ancient jungle-covered pagodas and riding a cyclo along the capital’s buzzing streets. Delve in to Khmer culture with an overnight village stay and encounters with local artisans. Take an in-depth family trip through Cambodia. See the main sites and explore hidden gems at a pace that is perfect for families with young kids. Experience a village homestay. Stay with a Cambodian family in their countryside home, a fabulous opportunity to experience local life and customs. Connect with nature. Venture through pristine natural scenes unique to the Cambodian landscape and encounter exotic Asian wildlife.

When to go

The best time to visit Cambodia is during dry season, which runs from October to April. The wet season runs from May until September, with the heaviest rainfall generally in August & September. Average temperatures range from 24°C in the cooler months of October, November & December to 35°C at the hottest time of the year from March until June.

Cambodia is blessed with one of Asia’s simpler weather systems. The country has two distinct weather seasons, but you can travel in Cambodia all year round. In general, the entire country is subject to the same weather patterns, mainly due to the relatively uniform altitude and latitude throughout Cambodia.

There are two distinct seasons – dry (October to late April) and wet (May to late September). Within each season there are variations in temperature, with the final few dry months leading up to the wet season (March and April) and the early months of the wet season (May and June) usually being the hottest of the year with temperatures in excess of 35°C at times.

Humidity is at its highest during March and April whilst the coolest months of the year tend to be between October and December, however this is cool for Cambodia but far from chilly with average temperatures hovering around 24°C-26°C.

Cambodia’s dry season lasts from October to April, when the dry north-east monsoon arrives, characterised by hot wind blowing across the entire country. Whilst November to January are quite cool (high 20°C’s), by April the weather is scorching making early morning and late afternoon Angkor Temple tours, with a few hours by the hotel pool at lunchtime, the preference for many. Thanks to the hot weather this is unsurprisingly the season when Cambodia’s tourist numbers peak.

In more remote parts, such as the north east regions of Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri, the roads are at their best and journey times are shorter because of this. Kep and Sihanoukville on the south coast are popular during this season as they bask in the brilliant sunshine and sea conditions are very favourable.

Cambodia’s wet season comes courtesy of the southwest monsoon and lasts from May to October, bringing with it almost 75% of Cambodia’s annual rainfall. Across Cambodia, throughout much of the rainy season, daytime temperatures average between 25°C and 27°C. The early months of the wet season (May – July) remain very hot with infrequent rainfall usually in the form of short downpours. In the latter months (late July – September) the rain tends to becomes more constant and is heavy at times, especially in coastal and rural regions.

Travel in the more remote corners of the country, such as Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri, is almost impossible due to the state of the roads and journeys into the north east are inadvisable during the peak wet season because of this. There is also very limited access to Bamboo Island (near Kep) due to high seas.
Why travel to Cambodia during green season?

On the upside, travelling in monsoonal Cambodia does have its advantages. The dust is gone and the lush greenery of the countryside returns. Angkor Wat in particular is stunning in the wet season, with moats brimming with water and a severe drop in visitor numbers. High rainfall make it the perfect time of year to visit the flooded forests and floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake by boat, as it swells to more than 5 times its size during wet season.

Destination Indochina DMC has been delivering rare opportunities to engage with beautiful Vietnam and her people. Our dedicated team of travel professionals have their finger on the pulse of what is new and trending in the region and our transformational journeys inspire travellers of all walks of life. Connect with specialists in culture, food, art, religion and history and get the best advice on where to eat, shop and unwind. Contact us today to get your dream itinerary personalized custom designed.

OUR PREFERRED

Accommodation

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap

A grand, historic hotel, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor opened its doors in the early 1930s. It is located on the main road to Angkor Wat and was planned so that it aligns on a north-south axis with Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Now sensitively restored, the hotel’s classic style coupled with its renewed modernity complement…

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