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Cambodia

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Cambodia

  • Getting there: Fly into Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), landing directly in the country’s capital or Siem Reap International Airport (REP), for those wanting easy access to the temples of Angkor. Overland travel is also feasible as the country boasts numerous land crossings with all of its neighbours. Entering by boat from Vietnam is another — more intrepid — option.
  • Capital city: Phnom Penh.
  • Population: 15.794 million.
  • Religion: Theravada Buddhism.
  • Language: Khmer.
  • Currency: Cambodian riel (KHR).
  • Climate: A tropical climate, making it warm to hot and humid all year-round. There are two distinct seasons, the rainy season (June to October) and the dry season (November to May). The dry season is further divided into two sub-seasons: cool (November to February) and hot (March to May).
  • Transport: Several bus fleets run between Phnom Penh and outlying provinces. Scenic boat rides connect Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Within towns the options are the reumork-moto (motorised rickshaw), cyclo (pedicab), moto (motorcycle taxi), outboard (river-bus) and standard taxis. Cambodia Angkor Air operates the country’s only domestic flights. Travel can be difficult over public holidays — locals return to their home villages and the transport goes with them.
  • Best time to travel: The country is warm all year round, but the cool dry season (November to February) is peak tourist season as the temperatures are more comfortable and yet still warm enough for the beach.
  • What to wear: Lightweight loose-fitting cotton clothes especially for the hot dry season and a rain poncho or umbrella for the rains. When visiting Angkor Wat or other outdoor temples, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable but at the Silver Pagoda within Royal Palace grounds both sexes must cover legs and shoulders. If trekking the outdoors, light long pants and long sleeves will help avoid the swarming mosquitoes.
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