Cambodia – The Kingdom of Wonder

Conjuring images of adventure and early explorers, Angkor Wat and the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor are undoubtedly a reason for many people visiting Siem Reap and Cambodia.

There are, however, less-visited temples still buried in the jungle; hill tribes settled in remote and yet unexplored areas; jungles and waterfalls; unspoiled beaches and islands surrounded by crystal clear waters; friendly and welcoming people – all just awaiting to be discovered!!!

  • The Mekong River boasts the world’s largest inland fishery, accounting for up to 25 percent of the global freshwater catch. –World Wildlife Fund

  • At least 1,100 freshwater species swim the waters of the Mekong River – including the last remaining populations of the Irrawaddy dolphin, giant freshwater stingray, and the Mekong giant catfish.–World Wildlife Fund

  • The Greater Mekong region is home to more than 300 million people from nearly 100 distinct ethnic groups.–World Wildlife Fund

  • The Mekong giant catfish can weigh up to 770 pounds and is the third largest freshwater fish on the planet.–World Wildlife Fund

  • Often called ‘the Asian unicorn’, the enigmatic saola are found only in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos.–World Wildlife Fund


Cambodia at a glance:

Official Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Capital: Phnom Penh – 1.7 million (2015 est.)
Population: 15.7 million (2015 est.)
Area: 181,035 sq km
Language: Khmer. English widely spoken in tourist areas.
Currency: Khmer Riel (KHR). US$ widely accepted.
Time zone: GMT+7 (Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta)
Dialing code: +855
National bird: Giant Ibis

Famous sights and popular places:

Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor – the very reason many people visit Cambodia
Phnom Penh – bustling Cambodian capital
Sihanoukville, islands and southern beaches – serene white sandy beaches
Kampot and Kep – quaint seaside towns, home of the world renown Kampot pepper and a paradise for seafood lovers

Reading up on Cambodia – books for the backpack

We believe reading up a little bit on the destination before, during or after you travel not only makes you understand the destination better, but it can also enhance the overall travel experience. Therefore, we have compiled a selection of books and recommended reading you might find useful when planning a trip to captivating Cambodia.

Volunteering and Responsible Travel
Khmer food and Cambodian cooking

For more inspiration, ideas, books, recommended reading, gadgets, gizmos and other travel items that might be useful before you go, bring in your backpack during your travels, or after you get back home, please also visit and

FAQs about Cambodia

  • Do I need a visa to Cambodia?
    Travellers from Australia, USA, UK, EU and most western countries can obtain a 30-day single entry tourist visa on arrival at a cost of US$ 30. Visitors from Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar (Burma) are exempt. Check with your local embassy for the latest updates.
  • Are credit cards accepted in Cambodia?
    Major credit cards are usually accepted by hotels, restaurants and shops in tourist areas. We would, however, recommend to have some US$ in small denominations to cover miscellaneous expenses when visiting local markets and travel to more rural areas.
  • Are there ATMs / cash machines in Cambodia?
    ATMs are widely available in places like Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, but do make sure to bring some cash if travelling to more rural areas as ATMs might be hard to come by.
  • Is it safe to drink tap water in Cambodia?
    We recommend drinking bottled water. Do also consider bringing a refillable bottle so you can quench your thirst when out and about.
  • Should I tip in Cambodia?
    Tipping is not expected, but it is very much appreciated. Especially so if someone has done a good job. Many hotels and restaurants have a ‘shared staff tips scheme’ where all tips are shared equally between the staff.
  • Should I visit an orphanage when in Cambodia?
    Whilst most people want to travel responsibly and ‘do some good’ whilst travelling, there are , unfortunately, some unscrupulous people that take advantage on their generosity and genuine want to do good. For some, ‘a visit to an orphanage’ has even become an integral part of the tourist trail without thinking about the potential consequences. We don’t think children should be tourist attractions and, therefore, we strongly encourage people to do some research and learn more about the unintended consequences of people visiting (and volunteering at) orphanages. If in doubt, chances are that there are better ways to use your enthusiasm and benefit the local community.

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