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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.                                                                                                      Why Cambodia?
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 kilometers, 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 projects and 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 Bangkok.

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 better rate.

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

HC Transport

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

Accommodation                                                                                                                                     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.

Security
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 & Sihanoukville.
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.

Mines
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 traveling 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
Adventure tours: 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: Excellent! Throughout!
 

Cambodia Itself?

Population
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.

Time
Cambodia Standard Time is seven hours ahead of Greenwich meantime (GMT +7). It is in the same zone as Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

Currency
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

Any questions?
Just drop us a line at hiddencambodia@yahoo.com


   
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