A Guide on Things to Do in Angkor, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Dr Prem Jagyasi

Cambodia’s reputation in the global tourism market doesn’t need any special mention. Angkor Vat has been fascinating tourists since long. Nearly, 2.6 million tourists visit Angkor Wat in Siem Reap every year.  In this guide on Cambodia, we take you through significant things to see and do in Angkor and Phnom Penh sparing you from strenuous information-digging exercise.

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A Guide on Things to Do in Angkor, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Dr Prem Jagyasi

Guide on Phnom Penh

central phnom penh city in cambodia

Phnom Penh is a fascinating and energetic city in Cambodia. The capital city of Cambodia is situated amongst the three great rivers—Mekong, Tonle Sap, and Bassac. The Urban Adventures allow the tourists to explore the chaotic city of Phnom Penh and learn about the different monuments, explore the Russian and Central markets, relish the local Khmer delicacies and take a walk in the area where the three rivers meet.

Itinerary

Phnom Penh is a fascinating city with graceful tree- lined areas and riverfront promenades. It is a chaotic place with motorcycles, vendors selling their goods and drivers shouting for business. The Phnom Penh tour starts with the tourists on cycle passing through the French colonial buildings which lead to Wat Ounlam –the home of Buddhism. Monkeys are spotted on the roadsides and one has the opportunity to explore the Central market that is located in an Art Deco building with a distinctive dome.

Independence Monument

 Independence monument,

A visit into the Independence Monument one gets to hear about the connection of Cambodia with France and Vietnam. A little ahead is the RoyalPalace which is the home of the King of Cambodia. In the middle of the palace grounds there is a magnificent silver pagoda which is made up of around 2000 silver tiles.

There are some not for -profit eating places selling local Khmer food which are set up to help the street kids of Cambodia. The Phnom Penh city tour continues to the Russian market where there is a variety of things sold. These vary from CDs DVDs to crafts, jewellery, silk and many more things. The tour finishes with a walk on the river front at Chatomok where the three rivers meet. There are stalls selling fried cockroaches, spiders, crickets or grasshoppers which are considered to be the cooking delights of the place.

Details of Urban Adventures

Urban Adventures is Global Tour Company working with local teams. The offices of this tour company arefound in more than 80 countries in the world. The tour offered by them are small day tours that take the tourists behind the destinations to explore and reveal the hidden gems in the form of art, buildings, monuments and local delicacies of the city.

  • Urban Adventures are tour organisers who operate responsible tours in the cities Cambodia and also in cities of other countries.
  • The duration of the tour is about 8 hours with local English-speaking guide. The transportation of the tour is via cycle and air-conditioned vehicle.
  • They manage to arrange for enjoyable trips to travellers and give them an opportunity to interact with the local people.
  • Dress standards for the tour are conservative and tourists are expected to wear modest dresses which mean that the clothes should cover the shoulders and knees. As the climate of Asia is hot the clothes need to be loose, lightweight and cool. People visiting the RoyalPalace need to wear knee length shorts or skirts, long sleeve shits and shoes or sandals.
  • Children below the age of 6 are not allowed to join the tour.
  • Urban Adventures Tourist of different styles which include – Food Tours, Bike Tours, Hiking Tours, Kayak Tours, and Beer Tours.In many cities like Penh cycling is the main form of transportation for locals. It is just a great way to stay active while travelling and to cover a lot of ground.

Major Attractions of Phnom Penh

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH CENTRAL MARKET PSAR THMEI

  • The major boulevards of Phnom Penh run parallel to the banks of the Tele Sap and Bassac rivers.
  • Royal Palace is situated near the banks of River Tonle Sap and is still the home of the King of Cambodia. Visitors are not allowed in the palace but can enter the compounds of the palace
  • Silver Pagoda is situated in the palace grounds which havean Emerald Buddha statue in it. There are several other statues of Buddha in the shrine.
  • Wat Phnom is the highest hill point.  Phnom means hill andit is the heart of the Phnom Pehn
  • National Museum has some very interesting exhibits which include an eight armed statue of Vishnu, a statue of Shiva and a statue of Buddha belonging to the ancient times.
  • Independent Monument is the largest centre of detention and torture in the country. The museum in the monument displays many rooms containing photographs of men, women and children who were victims of S-21.
  • PsarThmei is the Russian marketwhich is commonly known as the Central market. There are many souvenir shops around this market place. Other things sold in this area are diamonds, precious stones, watches and silver and gold items. Some famous silk products like Khmer skirts known as Sampots are sold there. 

Guide on Angkor in Cambodia

Did you ever explore tourist attractions in Angkor of Cambodia? This destination might be unfamiliar with many people around the world. But, once you visit the place, it will give you a true meaning of holiday. You will be able to visit the most famous temples of Angkor and even will be cheerful to see the smiling faces of Bayon. Another important fact is the Khamer feast which should be availed by each and every traveler visiting Cambodia.

Important Highlights 

The temple built in red sandstone was forgotten for centuries and rediscovered 1814 in the jungle of the Angkor area of Cambodia

  • Visitors can look at the Marvel at Bayon which include 54 towers which is decorated with more than 200 types of enigmatic smiling face.
  • Get a mouth watering experience to taste the delicious Khmer lunch
  • Visitors must reach to Angkor Wat, known as largest Hindu temple of the world
  • You can also get a city tour with a trek through Ta Prohm – a well known jungle temple having its trace in the movie of Tomb Raider

Style of Tour

The tourist guide will show you the culture, heritage and speak about the history associated with the place. People residing in the particular place with local life and culture are depicted through this touring package.

You will need to dedicate your entire day at Angkor Archeological park. The pass and all will be arranged by the tour management team. The visitors will get an air conditioned vehicle for the transportation. The local guide has the knowledge of English as well as local language. Khmer local lunch is another wonderful facility.

Group size, duration and other information

Group of Young People Boarding on Travel Bus

One tourist guide will be able to manage maximum of 12 people as all visitors will be provided with individual attention. They have to dedicate 7-8 hours of their time for the entire city tour. The pickup time will be 8:00am to 8:45 am in the morning from the hotel located centrally in Seim Reap. Please check the latest restrictions of group travel.

Voucher will be provided to each and every tourist before going out for the tour. It is important for the visitors of show the voucher when they are in the verge of starting the tour. Generally, this place comes within the temperate zone. Thus, visitors may feel hot and thus the tourist guide will stop in the middle to buy some snacks water, sunscreen, hat etc. If you want to extend your trip of Angkor, $20 extra can be provided and availed the same.

Dress standard

Since Asian countries are conservative towards their dress standard, tourists are instructed to wear the modest, shoulder covered, light clothing. Even the clothes must cover their knees. You must wear shoes that can pass little air as the Asian climate is not very cool.

Itinerary

Ta Prohm temple bound by massive roots of huge trees at Angkor

To start with the city tour, you will be picked up from the central location at around 8: to 8:45 am. First of all you will be taken to Angkor Wat temple, which is known as one of the most famous Hindu temples. Then you have to move towards the Angkor Thom with Bayon as the next destination.

It is a wonderful place with 54 towers. All these towers have a typical way of decoration, i.e with 200 types of enigmatic smiling faces. It is wonderful to view the faces of elephants, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper king, Baphoun etc.  Your morning with be completed with this enchanting photogenic place.

You will be shown the struggle in cosmic tug a war in the south gate of the Angkor Thom city, The gate being crowned with the four large faces are faced in different directions. You will be provided with the delicious lunch in Khmer style in the local restaurant. Near SrasSrang, the feast will be really appreciable.  It is quite fascinating to explore the local way of lifestyle of the people staying in the particular area.

The beautiful Ta Prohm temple is another important tourist spot enjoyed by many tourists within the tour package. This is the temple duly made famous by the famous Hollywood actress Angeline Jolie. You must extend your stay to enjoy brick shaped pyramid and many more with us.

Top rated sites in Cambodia

Apart from the above two sites, we have listed other top-rated sites in Cambodia to help you in planning a full-fledged itinerary:

  1. Tonle Sap Lake– The southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake with 170 floating villages is worthy of adding in your ‘things to see’ list.
  2. Sihanoulville Beaches, a great place for beach lovers seeking sand, sea, and surf. While the Sokha Beach and Independence Beach take pride in luxury starred hotels, Otres Beach in the south is perfect for those seeking serenity.
  3. Ratanakiri– A nature-dense spot to give relief to your eyes from excessive temple viewing. A great spot for adventure trekking, gibbon sighting in Virachey National Park, and swimming in Yeak Lom Crater Lake.
  4. Prasat Preah Vihear – A dramatic location at the top of Dangrek Mountains offering a dizzying view of the surrounding plains.
  5. Battambang – A tranquil rural scenery carefully holding on to its historical riches. The much-famed single line Bamboo rail track and unique carriages still manage to draw the tourists’ gaze.
  6. Koh Rong Samloem – A beautiful Cambodian tranquil beach island to spend some time away from the din and bustle of the city.
  7. Banteay Chhmar – Another mammoth temple complex within a dense jungle built in 12th Intricate designs on stone walls are a real treat for the eyes!
  8. Kampot– This riverine town surrounded by lush paddy fields creates a laidback ambience of yesteryears where life moves at a slow pace. The town studded by shop house architecture is a great place to hop around.
  9. Kratie–A charming place to enjoy the Mekong experience with exciting dolphin-watching trips. It is a conservationist approach to save endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, endemic to the Mekong.
  10. SamborPrei Kuk – A 7th-century temple site of the pre-Angkor age sheltering 100 brick temples of Hindu gods amid the forest. Mammoth tree roots have nearly swallowed these temples but that does not erode its historical value.

Best time to visit

Kampot. Cambodia, Preah Monivong Bokor National Park

December to February are cooler months where one can travel comfortably without facing the troubles of humidity. But prices of everything remain high since it is the peak season. The low-cost convenient option would be to visit in March and early April when the humidity is bearable to carry on site seeing and other activities. Always check the travel protocols and regulations before planning the itinerary.

Cambodia reopens for international tourists

According to the editor of Cambodiaonlinevisa.com, Cambodia has started issuing e-tourist visas. International tourists can apply for a tourist visa online for non-essential travel. However, there are specific quarantine restrictions for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers which is available in details in the website.

Although it is recommended to get fully vaccinated before entering Cambodia, a non-vaccinated tourist will be allowed but with extended quarantine. RTPCR tests and quarantine apply to all travelers with the vaccinated travelers needing shorter quarantine period. The details are provided here.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (C)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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