Cambodia Holidays: An Overview

Cambodia is like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its turbulent past, and is fast becoming the South-East Asian holiday destination of choice. The Cambodian people are so hospitable, the food is a delicious blend of French/Asian fusion and the scenery is seriously impressive. Sold?

Cambodia is sandwiched between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in the very heart of South-East Asia, and ideally explored on a luxury holiday that combines some of its neighbours. Still a predominantly rural country thanks in part to the Khmer Rouge's tragically misjudged implementation of agrarian communism in the 1970s, Cambodia is a country emerging from its communist chrysalis and offering a genuinely warm welcome.

Resurrecting from a far from easy hand in life, Cambodia has a rich and proud culture, which must be seen and heard to be truly appreciated. Any Cambodia luxury holiday is bound to incorporate some cultural and historical learnings along the way.

Cambodia's geography is dominated by the Mekong River and jungle-clad slopes, some of which are still home to remote hill-tribes, well worth a visit on your luxury holiday. Phnom Penh, the capital, is a burgeoning example of modern-day life in Cambodia; it's peppered with French colonial influences. Want culture and history? Roof top bars? Roads streamed with markets? Phnom Penh has it all and is well under way in reinventing itself. However, Phnom Penh is also a good base to gain an insight into Cambodia's turbulent upbringing, as visitors can visit the nearby Killing Fields and S-21, otherwise known as Tuol Sleng, which are the blood-stained prison cells where Pol Pots' regime tortured many.

Siem Reap is the epicentre of tourist life as it is conveniently located near the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat. The 500 12th century temples are scattered throughout jungle-like terrain and invite visitors to gawp at their beauty and history (believe us, you'll be in a state of open-mouthed wonderment). Evenings here bring a cacophony of noise from the buzzing streets of Siem Reap with great night markets, restaurants and bars. Just wandering around and soaking up the culture will make a fantastic addition to your Cambodia luxury holiday.

As Cambodia's tourism is still in its infancy, many visitors have yet to explore coastal Cambodia with its stunning beaches and boutique resorts. Until now many travellers have combined the culture of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with the beaches of either Thailand or Vietnam. However that is no longer necessary, unless that is a desired choice, as the coast of Cambodia has white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, a national park some excellent hotels on its once uninhabited islands. Cambodia is now the full luxury holiday package.

After several recent research trips, Original Travel can arrange for luxury holidays to Cambodia far from the beaten track, with the most knowledgeable local guides. Of course no visit to Cambodia would be complete without a visit to the jewel in the country's tourist crown - Angkor Wat. While this is one of the finest ancient sites anywhere in the world that status brings with it hordes of tourists, and we have spent the past couple of years working out itineraries designed to avoid the crowds wherever and whenever possible.

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Koh Ker Site
If You Do Three Things
Explore the Lesser-Known Angkorian Temples

Look beyond the Angkor Complex and explore some of the lesser-known temples, such as the UNESCO protected city of Koh Ker, located about 60 miles north-east of Angkor (but with far fewer visitors). A highlight here is Prasat Thom, a seven-tiered pyramid with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside from the top. Or explore jungle-clad Beng Mealea, often described as the blueprint for Angkor Wat, just 25 miles away.

Forest in Cambodia
If You Do Three Things
Explore the Cardamom Mountains

Discover the beauty of the Cardamom Mountains, which form one of Southeast Asia's most pristine expanses of wilderness. Trek through the mountains with a local guide to admire the lush greenery while taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle and stopping off at various waterfalls along the way. This area is also home to a range of wildlife including elephants, tigers, gibbons, clouded leopards and more.

Phnom Penh skyline
If You Do Three Things
Explore Modern Day Phnom Penh

Spend a day exploring Phnom Penh by cyclo with a local architecture student to explore the city's post Khmer Rouge resurgence. Discover some of our favourite hidden gems in this multifaceted city as you weave through the colourful streets and soak up the city's architecture, from French colonial buildings to the post-independence New Khmer Architecture, which combined influences from the Angkor Empire with the use of new materials like concrete.

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  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cardamom Mountains
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat
Coastal Cambodia
Phnom Penh
Cardamom Mountains
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat
Coastal Cambodia
Phnom Penh
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Off season

Map of Cambodia

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A Note on Price

Cambodia is a reasonably affordable luxury holiday destination: a 10-day itinerary starts from approximately £1,800 per person (excluding flights), though stays in the most luxurious hotels could cost up to £6,000 per person for a trip of the same duration. There are no direct flights to Cambodia, so these commonly cost from £700 per person.

Itinerary Suggestions

Beach and Jungle; Vietnam and Cambodia

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Cambodia in Style: from Angkor to the Beach

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From £9,025pp