"what you need to know.."
Bike Tours & Terms
Day Tours- Angkor, lake & beyond
& Walk Tours
Adventure in Cambodia – what
you need to know
The below information covers introductory adventure information to Cambodia,
travel to and within Cambodia, transport and tours, security, accommodation,
health & road conditions.
Who visits Cambodia?
Loads! Nearly one million people
a year and growing. Cambodia is experiencing a tourism explosion. More
and more are discovering its beauty and numbers are on the increase. It's
hot new destination and offers a multifaceted locations for a safe
and enjoyable holiday.
Where is it? The area of Cambodia is 181,035 square
bordered to the north by Thailand and Laos, to the east and south by Vietnam
and to the west by the Gulf of Thailand. Most of the country is relatively
flat with some mountain ranges to the east and north of the country.
What is there to see? The Prize of Southeast Asia is
undeniably Angkor Wat. Many have heard of the main temple Angkor Wat,
but not many realize that the Khmer empire once reached in Lao, Thailand
and Vietnam. In and around Siem Reap province there are over 70 discovered
ruins spread over 200 square kilometers. This density of ruins is unparalleled
anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the Nile Valley.
Outside of Siem Reap, the number of ruins is staggering.
Not into temples? Throughout the country, whether exploring
by bicycle, car, 4WD or dirt bike, or on foot, Cambodia will amaze you
its friendly open people, stunning countryside, rich heritage and
unique history. There are lakes, mountains, forests, rivers, small
hamlets, big cities, great beaches, a wealth of interesting
developments to take note of while on your travels. Interesting arts, new NGO
projects, interesting people working in the provinces., daily life there,
handicrafts, shopping galore, new tourism sites opening up…
Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, our launching points are only one hours flight from Saigon or
How to get here?
Siem Reap International Airport now provides easy and direct flights to
Siem Reap from the capital city, Phnom Penh as well as from Bangkok, Phuket
and Sokothai in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon and Hanoi cities in Vietnam,
Vientiane in Loas, Singapore, Kuala
Lumpur and Hong Kong . Those based in Europe will often use Amsterdam,
Frankfurt or London as their hub to fly into Bangkok. Often going through
the Middle East (Quater, Dubai, Oman) rather than a direct flight will mean a
Those coming in from Australia or New Zealand many stop off in Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur or Ho Chi Minh before hitting Siem Reap with a direct flight.
North Americans generally end up in Bangkok before hitting Siem Reap with
a direct fight. See travel links for additional
information. Many travel overland from Bangkok to Siem Reap or up by boat
from Phnom Penh.
What can you do? Travel it,
Fly into Siem Reap and out of Phnom Penh and let us
plan every minute of it for you! 1 day to 10 days, we can detail it for
you. Go with a Khmer and International team who is
established tour operator , welcomed into every hamlet
and see a side of Cambodia that you could never have imagined existed...
Angkor , the cities. provinces and rural countryside offer exciting conditions and safe
travel opportunities and to bring you a unique travel experience
Toyota Camery Cars:
Perfect for city and inter city taxis,
air conditioned and comfortable. Four Wheel Drive: Powerful
air-conditioned 4WD vehicles which are ideally suited for dirt roads. Minibus: Anything above 4 and above people
with a driver and guide. Ideal for Angkor, inter city transport and
border runs. Comfortable and air-conditioned. Seating up to 12 guests.
Large Bus: Suitable for groups under 35 persons and large groups.
Motorbikes: We use Honda Baja's 250cc. The Honda Baja
is a very robust off road bike. It has the perfect power/weight ratio
for the conditions in Cambodia. We have over 10 well-maintained bikes,
all our own. These bikes are kept in top
condition for the bumpy roads ahead. This includes 2 XR 250cc's. 1 CRM 2
stroke and a 250cc Degree, lower to the ground for learners.
Balloon and inter city and local boat cruises: We book
and plan these also.
Travel and Tours in Cambodia
The range of accommodation available in
the major towns is excellent. Any adventure tour will involve a wide variety of accommodation and will include
a mixture of hotels, guesthouses and some private houses. As we tour through
remote areas of a developing country, it is to be expected that accommodation
is not five-star. Some upgrades are possible. Nevertheless, everywhere
we stay is clean, comfortable and the best standard available.
Accommodation in Cambodia
We can make reservations for you at your preferred hotel in Cambodia and organize pickups
and tour start opportunities in Siem Reap, Battembang and Phnom Penh.
Climate & Road Conditions
Cambodia is suitable to visit most of the year round because it lies in
a tropical zone. However, for adventure tours, during the rainy season,
roads may become rather challenging! It means some mud and difficult riding conditions. Some like this a lot!. We are up for it if you are!!! We conduct tours throughout the year. Some
remote locations may not be possible to visit. Check with HCAT before
planning your trip to get the latest information on possible routes.
Hidden Cambodia Adventure Tours travels most of the time on unpaved national
and provincial dirt roads. Riders: Some routes such as Bakan, and Koh Ker temples
can take travellers off the road onto a motorbike or oxcart road. These
trails are frequently used by the local people when traveling on foot,
by oxcart or by motorbike from one place to another. The conditions and
security of the trails are safe and widely known by those in the area.
At the moment, HCAT is not traveling any routes that are thought to
be a risk to the tourist's security. Security is no longer the worrying
concern that it was in the past few years. Cambodia is fast embracing
tourism, recognizing the value of tourism and the revenue it brings into
the country. Structures within the police and the army in Phnom Penh and
more importantly, its provincial branches have strengthened. The Ministry
of Tourism has placed increased emphasis on making it secure to bring
tourists to see other attractions outside of Siem Reap, Phnom Penh &
On all trips, prior to departure, we communicate with our destination
and our base with an expected time of arrival and group numbers. ICOM
was by far the most popular mode of communication in rural areas but now
nearly all areas have phone reception. HCAT has established local and
security contacts at provincial and commune level and helpers and tourism
providers on all routes. These people are there to facilitate the group
from one place to another, as the group goes through. Off the beaten track,
we don't travel by night, preferring to do all travel during the day,
leaving time for relaxing and sampling local cuisine.
On our routes to the north, northeast and northwest, local people are
very happy to see us. Visitors open up the hidden Cambodia to increased
tourism and related economic benefits. By traveling with an experienced
team and tour leaders who understands the countryside and the people, you
are assured that you're best interests are at heart. If and when sleeping
out in remote areas in hammocks, we usually have a couple of local police
who join us for a beer and sleep out also.
They do exist in rural areas. They are being cleared by a number of agencies such as
Halo Trust and CMAC. HCAT meets the de-miners regularly in various locations
throughout the northeast and north. They usually set up camp in a particular
area and once it is cleared, move on to another to continue their work.
They are an interesting group to see along the way and they carry out
a huge amount of valuable work. Tours can be organized to visit them in
the field or their head offices to understand more.
On some trips we travel through forested area, following a well-defined
provincial road. These routes are used all the time and are know to be
safe. All our routes are well checked out and well traveled. When
in Cambodia, it is not advisable to travel off any of the main paths/trails
in remote areas.
Vaccinations & Health
Ideally, as with traveling to many S.E. Asian countries, it is recommended
to get immunization against typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis. Many travellers
take precautions against malaria. Repellent should be used to prevent
bites and bottled water is available throughout. It is
a good thing to have holiday health insurance when traveling. A full medical kit
travels on all trips and our staff are trained in first aid and CPR. Those
with special medical requirements should always inform the tour leader
before a tour.
Cambodian and International food
Both are widely available!! There is a big selection of all cuisines in
the main towns. However, on bike trips, we have tried and tested the restaurants
we bring you to and have even checked their kitchens!! Food available
will depend on your route and accommodation options. On certain routes, there
is exceptional food available. On some tours, we bring supplies with us.
Bottled water is available as are all the major soft drinks and locally
brewed and imported beers.
F & B on Cultural and Inter city tour packages:
The total population is over 12 million, with 90% - 95% being made up
of Khmers. Other ethnic backgrounds include Chinese, Vietnamese, Chan
(Muslims) and minorities in the hill tribe areas.
Over 10% of the population live in the capital, Phnom Penh and a vast
difference lies between life in the urban sprawl to life in rural areas.
Cambodia Standard Time is seven hours ahead of Greenwich meantime (GMT
+7). It is in the same zone as Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
The unit of Currency is Riel but US dollar are accepted throughout the
country. It is always necessary to have some Riel for small purchases
such as change for water etc. Approx 400R to $1.
Many restaurants & large hotels and banks will give cash advances
on credit cards in the main towns. Traveler checks in major
currencies are also accepted and carry about a 1% - 2% service charge.
Visas & Airport Tax
Visas can be issued at any royal Cambodia embassy or consulate overseas. They can
also easily be obtained when flying into Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International
Airports on arrival. Alternatively, if traveling overland, immigration can issue
a month visa. Monthly extensions are possible. Cost is $25.
International Airport tax leaving from Phnom Penh is $25 .Domestic tax
is US $10
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