Bursting with temples, UNESCO World Heritage sites and silky beaches, Cambodia has overcome its recent tragic past to become one of Southeast Asia’s best travel destinations.
In the captivating capital Phnom Penh, broad tree lined boulevards and ramshackle French-colonial architecture provide an attractive backdrop to the colourful markets, riverfront and roadside vendors.
For many, a highlight of any visit to Cambodia is the vast temple complex of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Superbly preserved and visually entrancing, the vast centrepiece Angkor Wat was built to replicate the heavens on earth. Gateway to the temples is the former backwater town of Siem Reap, now a lively city with sophisticated restaurants, bars and shops.
Within easy reach of Siem Reap are the string of floating villages and stilted houses on Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Also close by is Battambang, an engaging city known for its striking colonial architecture and contemporary arts scene, as well as the departure point of the quirky Bamboo ‘Train’. In southwest Cambodia amid the wildlife-rich rainforest and coastal mangroves of the Cardamom Mountains, get back to nature with conservation activities, wildlife treks, kayaking or simply absorb the incredible vistas. The riverside city of Kampot is very atmospheric and ringed by tranquil countryside and pepper plantations.
Where better to conclude a beguiling cultural tour than Cambodia’s southern beaches. Kep, which originated as a retreat for the French elite in 1908, has a tranquil air and is famed for its seafood. For pure escapism it’s hard to beat the untouched Koh Rong Islands with their pristine sands and warm crystal-clear waters. Equally idyllic, Krabey Island is a droplet of paradise and will suit anyone seeking a secluded beach experience.
GMT +7 hours
Phnom Penh is approximately 13.5 hours from the UK (via Bangkok).
Cambodia enjoys a tropical climate and has constantly high temperatures all year round, with the least rainfall between November and April. The monsoon season is from May to October, however as the rain usually consists of short, heavy downpours, it is still possible to visit during this period. Humidity is lowest in November and December.
A visa may be required. Please ask for details.Find out more
This full day begins with a visit to a local Phnom Penh market where La Rose Restaurant chef explains about Cambodian fruits, vegetables and herbs. Return to the restaurant and the chef will demonstrate the three dishes that you will prepare and enjoy for lunch! In the afternoon prepare further dishes including a dessert and get to take home a booklet of recipes.
Visit La Rose Spa in Phnom Penh for a Khmer Traditional Massage lesson during which you’ll learn the process techniques and sequences of massage from head to toe, enabling you to perform a simple Khmer massage for relaxation. The course is from 9am-4pm and includes lunch along with a complimentary one hour massage for you after the lesson and transfers from your Phnom Penh hotel.
Travel on the back of a Vespa scooter on this acclaimed food tour of Siem Reap. First stop is a chic bar for cocktails or beer before you head off to the local hustle and bustle of street vendors where you get to try a variety of real Khmer cuisine and flavourful Cambodian rice wine.
From £89 (including food & drink)