Cambodia is the perfect luxury holiday destination for those who really want to get under the skin of the country they are visiting. It has so much to offer – iconic cultural sites, ancient and contemporary history, renowned hospitality, excellent food, plus an undiscovered, authentic feel, which you simply can’t find elsewhere. From the breathtaking temple complex at Angkor, to the frenetic but alluring capital of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s culture, landscapes and flavours will reinvigorate your senses. For a slower, more contemplative experience. Luang Prabang’s captivating natural beauty and stunningly well-preserved ancient monuments are like stepping back in time to the Asia of old.
Things to do
No visit to Cambodia would be complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring temple complex at Angkor, and in particular, the iconic and breathtaking Angkor Wat. Built to replicate the heavens on earth, this dazzling temple complex is every bit as striking as it looks in photographs. To do the whole site justice, it’s essential to allocate more than a day exploring, so spend a couple of days at Siem Reap and get lost in the ancient Khmer city at your leisure. Angkor Wat is especially beautiful at sunrise, and the iconic shot of the temple and lotus filled moat bathed in the early morning light is well worth getting up early for.
Eat like a king
With a focus on flavourful noodles, spicy soups, stir fries and plenty of rice, the flavour of Cambodian cuisine comes from its distinctive blend of spices which are collectively known as ‘kroeung’. This is a blended paste which includes galangal, garlic, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, said to be more aromatic and less spicy than cooking elsewhere in the region. The flavours of Khmer cooking tend to be fresh, clean and delicately spiced, and you’ll be able to try different regional specialities during your visit. Try a local cooking class back in Phnom Penh, or if cooking’s not your thing, sample the city’s sophisticated dining scene with its thriving hawker stalls and market cafes to fine dining restaurants.
Get out on the water
Get a taste of rural Cambodian riverside life with a visit to the Tonle Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Each year the river swells by five times its size and floods the surrounding plains and forests, creating a rich and diverse ecosystem. An afternoon cruise on the lake will take you past the fascinating floating villages where you’ll see local fishermen and traders at work, and children playing by the riverside. There’s also the opportunity to spot some of Cambodia’s colourful birds, plants and other wildlife living amongst the mangroves.
Where to Stay
The capital city of Phnom Penh is where most visitors start their Cambodia holiday. Situated on the banks of the Mekong River, this is a bustling, lively city, where modern high-rises stand side by side with pagodas, temples and elegant colonial properties. Phnom Penh has developed a thriving cultural and foodie scene – and the riverfront is a perfect place to take a stroll ahead of an evening dinner. Further northwest, Siem Reap is most famous for being the gateway to the world-renowned Angkor temple complex. It is also a lively city boasting luxury hotels, excellent restaurants, bustling markets and a captivating surrounding countryside. For a taste of a more rural life, combine your Holiday in Cambodia with a trip to Laos. Its capital Vientiane is a monument to Buddhism, with its iconic Great Stupa, its gold dome shimmering proudly against the bright sky. Take an evening stroll by the Mekong River for breathtaking views of the sunset. Don’t miss the chance to travel to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, with its impressive temples, waterfalls, caves and surrounding rural villages.
Flight time from the UK (London): Approximately 12 hours and 30
Arrival Airport: Phnom Penh airport, Siem Reap airport. Transfers take approximately 30 minutes (Phnom Penh) or 20 minutes (Siem reap).
Entry details (for British passport holders): A visa is required and may be obtained on arrival. Charges Apply. Passports need at least 6 months validity from your date of entry. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.
Time difference: GMT +8 hours
Currency: Cambodian Riel, although the American Dollar is also widely accepted.
Here to help:
A local Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and direct you to your pre-booked transfer vehicle. You'll receive a welcome pack containing information on the local area and all contact details.
Best time to go:
Cambodia enjoys a warm, sub tropical climate with the ideal time to visit being between November and April. Earlier in this period is best, as the temperatures are warm but humidity and rainfall are relatively low, plus there is a pleasant cooling breeze making ideal conditions for both sightseeing and relaxing on your 5 star holiday. From April onwards temperatures and humidity start to rise, and the monsoon rains arrive in June. October is also a good time to visit Cambodia as the sites are slightly less crowded and, as a result of the ending monsoon, lush tropical foliage and beautiful flowers surround many of the temples. The annual festival of Bon Om Tuk takes place in November and Khmer New Year is in April, and it’s well-worth timing your visit during either of these colourful and vibrant celebrations.