Known to house the world's largest ancient temple complex of world heritage site Angkor Wat, Cambodia offers a tremendous amount of history and cultural heritage to every Bamboo traveler. Many people visit Cambodia to witness its stunning temples, timeless ruins, breathtaking beaches and to experience its rich cultural heritage.
With Bamboo's Discover Cambodia professionally guided tours, safety measures are our priority as our English-speaking tour guides are with you every step of this journey. We'll show you the most popular tourist spots and some hidden gems that the country has to offer. With our exclusive offers and special permission granted for our eco-tours, you'll have endless opportunities to make the most of your time in Cambodia and take incredible photos while creating enduring memories and friends that will last as long as Angkor Wat herself!
We are a committed team of travel experts sharing our passion for travel and exploring the country together. We help you to have the most enjoyable experiences with like-minded travelers. After over 10 years of working in Cambodia, we will share some of the must-know travel tips on Cambodia, why you must visit Cambodia, and answer some of our most frequently asked questions, to ensure you have the most memorable experience in Cambodia. With Discover Cambodia group tours, You'll have your very own personal Cambodia travel guide all along the way to give guidance and travel tips, so you get the most from your time on this Adventure tour!
After many years of working in southeast Asia and in particular Cambodia our guides, travelers and partners have amassed a great deal of knowledge and often receive the same questions when it comes to travel tips. Here are our top 4.
Cambodia Travel Tip 1. The weather in Cambodia can get very hot. Therefore, you will want to get up early and explore the enchanting sites before the hottest part of the day.
Cambodia Travel Tip 2. There's a lot to discover in Cambodia, and while covering the ground, make sure you are well hydrated. Stick to bottled water to quench your thirst, and never drink water from the tap.
Cambodia Travel Tip 3. Brush up your bargaining skills. From local markets to taking tuk-tuk rides for traveling around, you will learn to bargain with a smile as is the Bamboo travel style.
Cambodia Travel Tip 4. Get hold of our exclusive and exciting group holiday deals and packages from Bamboo to enjoy the most reliable and comfortable stay in Cambodia. We guarantee nothing but the best traveling experience.
1st reason to travel to Cambodia. Visiting Angkor Wat, the world's largest temple complex, is an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. With your Bamboo tour guide, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the temples and the history behind them: many of them have beautiful carvings depicting tales from Hindu folklore and complex symbolism that your guide will happily discuss with you.
2nd reason to travel to Cambodia. Cambodia's landscape is beautifully diverse. Although it's most famous for its temples, it is also home to some of Asia's most exotic beaches, jungles, and bustling cities like Phnom Penh or Siem Reap something you can't miss when traveling to Cambodia.
3rd reason to travel to Cambodia. Believe it or not, Cambodia is emerging as one of South-East Asia's most exciting nightlife destinations, thanks to its affordable riverside scene in both Phnom Penh & Siem Reap.
4th reason to travel to Cambodia. For the lovers of art, theatrics, & dance, witness the magnificence of the Apsara Show, the traditional Khmer performance, one of the most exciting things to do in Cambodia. The Khmer circus in Siem Reap is also a must-see event that supports the local community.
5th reason to travel to Cambodia. You will witness not only a kingdom of wonder but a kingdom of kindness, Cambodians are famous for their hospitality and a proud nation emerging from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge to be a nation with a strong identity and a top destination for any ardent adventurer.
Here, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about Cambodia our guides have received over the years. We offer advice not only on our Cambodia tour but beyond.
Cambodia is becoming an increasingly famous tourist destination for explorers. It is safe for tourists and travelers, but it has some minor issues as with any tourist destinations. Stay together in a group and always follow the instructions of your tour guide.
Visitors can travel to Cambodia any time of the year, but the best time would be to travel in the dry season from October to April. The early summer season from May to June can also be an excellent time to travel for those who don't mind higher temperatures and more frequent bouts of rain. It may allow tourists better wildlife sighting opportunities and fewer tourist crowds at prominent tourist spots like Angkor Wat and around Phnom Penh. The monsoon season in Cambodia begins from July to September but it is not all day, every day, and has never changed or stopped our tours.
Many Asian and European passport holders are officially permitted to enter Cambodia without a visa and can remain in the country from 15 days to 30 days. We urge you to contact your national foreign office to fully understand the process for the passport you hold.
Short Answer: Yes, Cambodia is a family-friendly tourist destination. You can enjoy several activities with your family in Cambodia, such as going on a cycling tour at the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park through the village life, taking a boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, watching the Cambodian Pare Circus, or escaping to a beach resort for some fun family water activities.
The romork, more commonly known as the tuk-tuk, is an inexpensive, unique, and popular way to get around in Cambodia. You'll find them from the moment you arrive at the airport. They are the best vehicle you can take on for short distances depending on the places you go. For long distances you can take air-conditioned cars for the more comfortable rides; electric bikes or bicycles are also accessible for rent in areas of cities and towns. In addition, you can rent mountain bikes however, remember that visitors are not permitted to rent motorcycles and we strongly recommend you avoid them.
Cambodia celebrates many national festivals and local events. For example, January 24th is the Angkor Festival, while the Khmer New Year is celebrated in April. Another significant event, Royal Ploughing Day, takes place in April or May each year. Other important festivals include the Meak Bochea, popularly known as Festival of the Monks, celebrated on February 9th, and the Water and Moon Festivals are observed in October and November. Buddha's Birthday, which is celebrated on June 15th according to the Buddhist calendar.
Cambodian cuisine is quite similar to that of its neighboring countries Thailand and Laos. However, Cambodia offers some unique local eateries to attempt on your trip. Such as Khmer, the traditional Cambodian dish with the right balance of spices and exotic flavors. Like most other Buddhist countries, vegetarian food is readily available in most Cambodian restaurants and cafes. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, allergic to meat, Cambodia is the best place to hog on several tasty vegetarian delicacies.
Before you plan your trip and decide upon all the things you can do in this country, make sure you know what not to do in Cambodia to make your trip go smoothly.
Khmer language, also called Cambodian or Mon-Khmer is the official language of Cambodia which is mostly spoken by most of the people of Cambodia. Other than that most locals are well versed in the English language to an understandable degree.
Group travel has been scientifically proven to make you happy, especially if it's with a Bamboo group. This is a known fact! That said once you are comfortable we encourage you to go on solo adventures in and around the tour.
Cambodia is the land of surprises. One is easily mesmerized by its enchanting history and spectacular diversity of wildlife. Home of the Khmer Empire, Cambodia is a small country, but it offers a unique experience to every tourist. Discover Cambodia like never before with us and embark on an exciting adventure. Our Cambodia tours packages include Cambodia group vacations with family and friends and Cambodia group holidays with your loved ones designed around you. Cambodia is truly a paradise for lovers, and we are excited to be the one to show you its beauty. Are you ready for this adventure Travel Cambodia trip? Discover Cambodia with Bamboo.
v Firstly, on behalf of everybody at Bamboo, I would like to offer you our thanks for choosing to experience this incredible part of the world with us. We guarantee you an amazing time and we’re all very much looking forward to meeting you in Chiang Mai soon.
I imagine that right now you’re very excited about your upcoming adventure and this little guide has been put together to help you understand more about what will be happening, what to expect, how to plan and more. We guarantee your time with us will be unforgettable from start to end.
Bamboo is growing as our style of 'travel' has proven to be the 'way' to travel. You are now a part of this journey and we welcome you with open arms and hearts. This growing experience is down to people like you, so do get stuck in, become part of our way of life, live every moment and take nothing for granted.
Peace, Love & Bamboo
Mark (& the other Panda, Colin)
Experience some of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai
Share a mud bath with Thailand's most iconic gentle giants
Submerge yourself in traditional Knmer culture and customs
Travel back over 1,000 years to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat
Give your blood, sweat and tears to support the communities in Siem Reap
Experience authentic and traditional, mouth-watering Thai and Khmer cuisine
Leave a lasting legacy and positive footprint at our supported NGO projects
Depending on your country of citizenship you may be entitled to a 30-day visa-free entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. This means that you can simply turn up at the airport, present your passport and receive free entry for a maximum of 30 days.
These countries include the U.S.A., the U.K., Australia, Canada and most European nations.
To check if you’re entitled to this, find your country in the following list:
Please note that entry into Thailand is at the discretion of the Immigration officer at the Passport Counter and Bamboo will not be held responsible for any individual prohibited from entering.
Please be aware that you cannot obtain a visa for Thailand from within Thailand
The Airport Code for Chiang Mai is CNX.
Did you know that Thais refer to Chiang Mai affectionately as “The Rose of the North”
To enter Cambodia on a tourist entry stamp, you will need to complete the secure online e-visa form before your arrival.
This is a simple process and can be done here: www.evisa.gov.kh
STEP 1: Confirm and pay,
STEP 2: Get your approval letter within 3 days.
STEP 3: Print and bring your e-visa certificate to show immigration upon arrival.
We ask you to do this to save yourself and your other travellers time when arriving at Immigration in Cambodia.
Please note: Your successful Cambodian E-Visa will be active for three months from the online application date, not the arrival date. Please make sure you apply for your E-Visa within three months of your Cambodia arrival date.
Your passport MUST have at least 6 months validity from the date that your Cambodian entry stamp expires and must have at least 2 empty pages. Once your passport is returned to you it is your responsibility to check that your Cambodia visa has been issued correctly.
Your passport should not be damaged or have any pages missing as this could result in your being denied entry.
Your passport MUST have a minimum of 6 months validity from the date your entry stamp expires. If it doesn’t have 6 months validity you will not be allowed entrance into Cambodia and you will have to leave the tour at your own expense. Your passport must also contain at least 2 empty pages.
To enter Cambodia on a tourist entry stamp, you will need to complete the secure online e-visa form. Confirm and pay, get your approval letter within 3 days, bring your e-visa certificate to show immigration upon arrival. We ask you to do this to save yourself and your other travelers time when arriving at Immigration in Cambodia.
In Cambodia, the US Dollar is the primary currency. There is around 4,000 Cambodian Riel for $1. Coins are not used here so in place of a 25¢ coin you would use a 1,000 Riel note. This sounds confusing but after a short time, you’ll get used to it!
Cambodians are very picky about the quality of the notes you hand over, make sure you're given crisp, new bills with no tears or writing on them or it’s likely that they will not be accepted.
When it comes to advising on how much money to bring, it’s entirely up to you. All our BamFam members are very different. Where some go all out, others are on a budget. You can find both high end and budget restaurants, bars and shops in both countries.
We don’t recommend bringing traveller's cheques with you. The reason for this is that banks across Thailand and Cambodia have odd hours of operating, and it may cause unnecessary hassle finding a bank open when you wish to make a transaction.
ATMs, or cash machines, are prevalent throughout both Thailand and Cambodia. Cash machines in Thailand will only issue Thai Baht, while cash machines in Cambodia offer US Dollars.
We recommend you take out US Dollars only since they'll be easier to use. If you do plan to bring your ATM card with you, we recommend that you inform your bank and also check about any fees they may charge for overseas withdrawals.
Packing for a trip to the unknown is always tricky. It’s definitely worth doing a little bit of homework on this one and to consider local culture when deciding what clothes to bring. For example, Thailand and Cambodia are both predominantly Buddhist countries so dress modestly and respectfully. We live by the rule ‘one in, one out’- in other words, you need to have either your shoulders or your knees covered at all times. In addition, in Asia, it’s often customary to remove your shoes before entering a building so a pair of flip flops is very much advised.
Being such religious countries, temples and Buddhist monasteries are everywhere. If you want to go to the top of Angkor Wat, your ankles also need to be covered.
During the work with the Elephants you need to be wearing long-sleeved tops and long trousers, make sure you are aware of this when packing. It is highly likely that your clothes will get dirty, sweaty or ripped, so please consider this. You can of course buy cheap clothes in Bangkok and Siem Reap that you are more than welcome to donate once you’ve finished with them.
You should also consider the weather. Thailand and Cambodia both have two prominent weather seasons: hot and dry and hot and wet.
Hot and dry usually runs from November to April, hot and wet from May to October. The daytime temperature in both countries is quite consistent throughout the year with highs around 33-38 degrees. The nighttime does vary with lows ranging from 15 degrees to 28-30 degrees. A sweater/jumper is recommended for the chilly evenings.
Take off your shoes when you step indoors. Whether you’re entering a temple or someone’s home, always take off your shoes.
This also applies to some old-fashioned places of business, but not in most modern shops.
For up to date information about the best travel vaccinations to have before arriving in Thailand we urge you to contact your own GP, a travel health clinic or to check the World Health Organisation's website. Bamboo are not medical professionals and therefore can’t offer you medical advice.
Thanks to the world wide web we all now have access to great flight deals through websites such as Skyscanner, Google Flights and more. If you’d rather use the services of a booking agent, the likes of Trailfinders and Flight Centre are available online.
To be eligible for the airport pick-up, please arrange your flight to arrive into Chiang Mai's International airport (CNX), on the Friday that your tour starts between 6am and 8pm.
The tour ends two Fridays later in Siem Reap, Cambodia. From there you’ll need to make your own arrangements for onward travel. Siem Reap has a rather wonderful international airport known as Angkor International Airport (REP). Major carriers pass through this airport as well as many local Asian lowcost airlines such as Bangkok Airways, AirAsia and many more
Did you know that?
Thailand is the world’s 20th most populous country, with close to 67 million people.
Did you know that?
On a flight, the bathroom door isn’t really locked when you’re inside. Lavatory doors can be locked and unlocked from the outside for a multitude of reason. It allows flight attendants quick access to locked lavatories in case of emergencies.
In other instances, it allows the cabin crew to restrict access to bathrooms during takeoff and landing.
If you arrive into Chiang Mai International Airport on a domestic flight, once you’ve collected your luggage you’ll immediately walk into the arrivals meet and greet area. At this point please head to exit Door 2 (Please wait inside)
If your flight is arriving into the international terminal, once you have passed through Immigration (Passport Control) and collected your luggage, please make your way through the green ‘Nothing to Declare’ channel and then head to exit Door 2 (Please wait inside).
Waiting for you will be one of our team holding a sign and wearing a t-shirt proudly displaying the Bamboo logo. Walk on over, introduce yourself, be prepared to hi-5 and we’ll whisk you off to the first hotel as soon as we can. Please be aware that we may be waiting for several adventurers to arrive so you may be asked to wait a short while for the others to meet us.
In the unlikely event that you can’t find any of our team, don’t panic, as long as we have your correct flight arrival information then one of our team will be there. Please call the number that you will receive approximately 2 weeks prior to your tour start date and they will be able to let you know exactly what’s happening.
If your flight is delayed, don’t worry. As long as we have your correct flight arrival information we will be checking for delays and one of our team will be at the airport to meet you once you land.
Please ensure that once your flight to Chiang Mai is booked and confirmed that you send to us the correct flight number and arrival time. Without this information, it’s impossible for us to organise your airport pickup and transfer.
The first leg of the trip will take you from the city of Chiang Mai to the Elephant Camp located about 1.5 hours away by truck (also known as a songthaew).
The famous Chiang Mai Express Train to the south is an adventure in itself taking you comfortably overnight straight through the country. A fully stocked diner car on board offers all the comforts for you to relax and enjoy each other's company before getting a good night’s sleep and waking up in bustling Bangkok. The train is fully equipped with WiFi so a great opportunity to upload all those ele’ photos fro the week before!
Please note that at certain times of the year, the train is unavailable to book. In these situations you will travel by comfortable VIP sleeper bus instead.
You'll take a short flight from Thailand to Cambodia, usually completed in less than 50 minutes
Any tour is only as good as the guide – fact. The input of a tour guide cannot be understated. Their input into your tour, their little insights, the off-the-beatentrack adventures, the knowledge and experiences that they share with you will make or break your time wherever you are in the world.
At Bamboo, we take the selection and training of our guides and coordinators very seriously. Each guide undertakes a structured training program of three months and only once we’re convinced that they are genuine representatives of Bamboo are they signed up to the family.
Each of our tours has English-speaking guides to support you, answer your questions, educate you and to ensure that your time is unforgettable. From time to time we may have new guides-in-training on our tours. If you’re lucky to have a trainee on your tour, please be patient. They are undergoing training and therefore their knowledge won’t be that of the trained and experienced guide who will be accompanying them.
Our guides are the face of Bamboo, and they come in all shapes and smiles.
We love each and every one of them more than Elephants love bananas.
Whilst most of them are elite travel mavericks in their own right, you may come across newbies who are on the path to greatness.
If you're lucky enough to meet a fresh-faced newbie, be sure to show them your support and patience, most guides remember their first tours forever, so let's play nice.
Although not in any way expected or encouraged, anybody who goes over and above the call of duty to ensure that you have the very best time, may deserve a special little thank you.
Did you have extra special service in a restaurant? Did the bus driver make an additional pit-stop just for you? Did your guide go out of the way so that you could experience something unique? At Bamboo we’re firm believers in Karma – what goes around most definitely comes around!
Have you packed the following?
Everyone is different, so the following list is just a few suggestions of things you may like to consider bringing.
Rooms here will be twin share. All rooms include air conditioning, a satellite TV, a mini fridge and a private bathroom.
Our chosen accommodation has a private restaurant that opens daily and offers a variety of local and international meals. Drinks are also available for purchase.
Located in the heart of Bangkok's nightlife, your guesthouse includes free WiFi and air conditioning in every room. It is also equipped with a private western-style bathroom (no squatting)).
Rooms here will be twin (2 separate beds) share. Double beds are also available on request.
Your accommodation at the sanctuary is basic but clean and comfortable. The accomodation style varies, some are wooden houses, some are dorm style and others are twin share.
Thai style mattresses are provided for all guests in addition to mosquito nets - This is all part of the full-on authentic, mahout experience.
All cabins have an outside sitting area where you'll be able to relax, have a coffee and take in those jungle views. There are shared bathrooms with western toilets and showers.
There is no hot water, but after a long hot day with the elephants, a simple shower is the only way to cool down!
Your accommodation here will be on a twin-share basis. All rooms come equipped with air conditioning, western bathrooms, TV, fridge, towels and are extremely comfortable.
The hotel also features a wonderful restaurant and bar where snacks and cold drinks are available throughout the day. There’s also a large swimming pool that's ideal for cooling down after a hot day at your project.
Welcome to a face-to-face encounter with Bamboo's favourite gentle giant! At the camp, our volunteers will be helping out with different projects from farming to development around the camp as well as having the opportunity to interact directly with the elephants.
This includes feeding, bathing and experiencing mud baths with these incredible animals! Just for the record and so there’s no confusion...
THERE IS NO ELEPHANT RIDING
Your stay at the camp will be made even more enjoyable as you immerse yourself in the local lifestyle - you will really be able to experience nature, living in bamboo huts in the jungle, with shared bathrooms and refreshing cold showers.
You will also get to spend time swimming in waterfalls and exchanging stories around a bonfire - best day ever!
You will have the opportunity to get to know each of the remarkable elephants and gain a special understanding of their daily lives and behaviours.
Experience life with the elephants in their natural habitat - a freely roamed environment which is both safe and sustainable. You will walk alongside the elephants to a nearby river and join them for a bath in the refreshing water.
You will also be able to join the elephants while they enjoy wading through the mud bath. Feel free to get down and dirty as you cover the elephants in a protective layer of mud!
On our development project in Siem Reap, you will assist local builders and contractors with the completion of a community development project.
This could include building a house, toilet, water pump, classroom, recycling bins, water filters or doing improvement work around school grounds.
Duties could include digging, bricklaying, cement mixing, sanding, sawing, heavy lifting, plastering and hammering.
You are also expected to assist in projects upon completion of the primary building project. This may include litter picking around the site and the community, school cleanup, or other small-scale development projects within the community.
You should be physically fit, willing and able to work outdoors in the possible sun and heat for up to 6 hours a day. We always advise people to only work within their own limits and don't push themselves if they are not comfortable to do so.
Your coordinator will update you on what project you will be involved in at your orientation Saturday evening.