Real Food Adventure - Cambodia Trip Notes

Real Food Adventure - Cambodia

Last Modified: 08 Feb 2016
Real Food Adventure - Cambodia
Trip code: TKZP
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2017
Forget any resemblance to the cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand and Laos; Cambodia has a unique and ancient food culture that is truly exotic. Using pepper rather than chilli to add spice, Cambodian cuisine is laden with fresh herbs, spices, rice, freshwater fish and condiments. And while there are influences from French and Thai cooking, Cambodian food has a style and flavour all its own. While travelling from Phnom Penh through to Siem Reap, discover the sights, sounds and flavours of Kampot, Battambang, Banteay Chhmar and Angkor Wat, and marvel at a cuisine, culture and population so special that you will very quickly be won over for life.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeAlternate Finish point instructions
ThemesYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
MapSingle travellersEmergency funds
ItineraryAccommodationVisas
Also available to purchaseMeals introductionIssues on your trip
We also recommendMealsWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerTransportHealth
Culture shock rating Group leaderSafety
Physical ratingJoining point Travel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyFinish point Responsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point instructionsCarbon offset
Departure taxAlternate Finish point Feedback
Important notesAlternate Finish point descriptionFurther Information
Style
Original
  • Our Original style trips have a great balance of included activities with your group and free time to explore independently. Where we stay ensures we keep our travellers firmly entrenched in a region’s people and culture, and provides them with unique local experiences that benefits the community too. In most locations we stay in simple tourist-class hotels (i.e. 2-3 stars), plus on many trips you'll also get to experience a night with a local family on a homestay or something a little different like a Bedouin camp in the Sahara. Original style trips come with all manner of transport modes and use a mixture of local and private transport. You might find yourself sailing in a dhow in Zanzibar, jumping on a rickshaw in Sri Lanka or sailing on a yacht through the Galapagos. No matter the mode, it's all about minimising our environmental impact and making getting around part of the adventure.
Themes
Food
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Phnom Penh
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia.
The sensational ruins of Angkor may be the main attraction, but Cambodia’s exquisite temples, secluded beaches, charming villages and magical markets deserve lots of attention too. With genuine locals always ready to share a sincere smile, Cambodia will steal your heart and enrich your spirit.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture.
Wandering through the broad tree-lined boulevards dotted with old colonial villas you'll find that the city has managed to retain much of its original charm, especially as it hasn't (yet) been overwhelmed by too many towering high-rise developments. Life in Phnom Penh centres around the lively river-front area where in the evening the locals come to take in the air, snack on the street hawkers food and enjoy the impromptu waterside entertainment along the long grassy promenade. The capital is also a fantastic place for souvenir shopping and with its great range of restaurants it's the perfect place to sample Cambodian cuisine.
For those with extra time in Phnom Penh, consider a visit to Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named - according to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill. Or make a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and checkout the National Museum - housed in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship. For a more relaxed experience simply stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.
Cambodian food has traditionally been played down in guide books, and is often overshadowed by the focus on neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. In fact, Khmer cuisine is one of the world's oldest living food cultures. The Cambodian cooking pot also combines an eclectic mix of local and international influences and, as a result, has a flavour all its own.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Kick off this food adventure 'eating for a cause' at an inspirational hospitality school that provides vocational training for former street youths in Phnom Penh. A great opportunity to sample some tasty modern Cambodian cooking.
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
1 Dinner
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Kampot
This morning we drive south along National Road 2 through the town of Takeo towards Kampot, one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns (approx. 2.5 hours).
On the way, confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, located in a former high school which served as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979.
(Note: These are important cultural sites, however, if you do not wish to visit them, please inform your tour leader.)
Arrive in Kampot by early afternoon.
Famous for its pepper, Kampot supplied most French restaurants with this vital spice for many years during colonial rule. Today, the region is also renowned for its plantations of durian, a spiky, pungent fruit that either incites adoration or sheer loathing.
The rest of the afternoon is free for your own relaxation.
You might choose to stroll along the riverside and observe the French colonial architecture or have a cup of coffee on the veranda of one of the riverside restaurants and admire the view of Bokor Mountain Range. A massage at Seeing Hands Massage is also highly recommended. Staffed by blind massage therapists, in a country with no social security, the training and support provided by the centre allows blind Cambodians to support themselves with dignity.
Tonight we head out into the small town to sample some popular Khmer drinks - from Angkor beer to tarantula wine!
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Evening Drinks Tour
  • Phnom Penh - Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) / Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Guided Tour of Choeung Ek
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Kampot
Rise early and wander down to see the activity at the port at Kampot as the fishing boats coming in with their catch of seafood. The market stall holders in Kampot and from other parts of the country buy the fish while live and transport it to some of the best restaurants in Cambodia. A meal of crab, prawns or squid cooked up with Kampot green pepper corns and served with rice is a Cambodian favourite.
Afterwards we visit the owner of a small wood fired oven that produces some of the tastiest baguettes in Kampot. This bread is ubiquitous in Cambodia – a legacy of French colonization. Many roadside carts sell baguette with meat, sauces and salad as a quick early morning snack favoured by workers. With good timing we will enjoy some freshly baked bread that is crunchy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.
After a quick stop we head out into the countryside to taste some locally grown seasonal produce. If you are lucky and travelling during the fruit season, you will taste some of the best durian in Cambodia, or perhaps rambuttan, lychee, pineapples, mangos and bananas in an assortment of colours and sizes.
Next, visit the Kampot Pepper Project. Pepper has been grown in Cambodia for centuries and today is considered one of the finest peppers in the world. Kampot Province rose to prominence for its pepper production during the period of French colonisation, however the pepper industry was almost entirely wiped out by the Khmer Rouge regime from the late 1970s, when the land was seized from local farmers and used exclusively for rice production. In the late 20th century, after the civil war, families began to return to their ancestral homes and started to cultivate pepper once again. Today, Cambodian pepper is an important symbol of Cambodian regeneration.
Kampot is also the district where much of the salt comes from in Cambodia. At certain times of year you will see the salt water left to evaporate, while at other times mounds of dry salt will lie in heaps with workers shovelling and transporting it by hand.
A short walk through the rice fields and a climb provides a lovely outlook over the surrounding countryside. A few steps later and you enter the mouth of Phnom Chhnork limestone cave which has a small 7th century brick temple inside it.
Then take a short trip across to the lively Kep Crab markets. Here, crabs are kept fresh in pots that float in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand until required. Join the throng and bargain for your lunch. Then have your crab cooked to perfection and enjoy your feast on the pier overlooking the ocean. After lunch, stretch your legs with a walk along the beach at Kep. Explore the old buildings near the ocean front. The town used to be Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town from the early 1900's until the 1960's. During the Khmer Rouge years many of Kep's mansions and villas were destroyed but the ghostly remains of many still stand as a silent reminder. Alternatively why not relax in a hammock or go for a swim in the warm South China Sea.
Return to Kampot by early evening.
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Food tour and lunch
  • Kampot - pepper plantation visit & salt field tour
Meals Included
1 Lunch
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Phnom Penh
Return to Phnom Penh (approx. 3 hours).
Take a cycle-rickshaw (cyclo) tour around Phnom Penh, taking in some of the interesting sights, sounds and smells of the capital, including the wonderful art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market). Discover the building blocks of Khmer cuisine. Kroeung (fragrant herb paste), prahok (Cambodian fish paste), lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind and the famous Kampot black pepper are just some of the flavours you will encounter. Next, check out the food stalls in front of the Royal Palace and taste some of the best street food in the capital – fried cricket snack anyone?
During free time this evening, you might choose to have a relaxing sunset drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a great way to while away the evening.
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - City Food Tour
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Battambang
Travel by minibus to Battambang (185km/approx 5-6 hours including stops)
Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang, (pronounced Battambong) is an attractive riverside town with traces of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and well-preserved colonial architecture.
Time permitting, you have the option to join the locals for a ride on their famous bamboo train transferring goods such as rice - a great local interaction opportunity!
You may also wish to join a local Battambang foodie for a home-cooked meal.
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Bamboo Train - USD10
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Banteay Chhmar
Wake early and take a bicycle ride into the countryside (Cambodian motor-remork – a reticulated tuk tuk – is available if you do not want to bike ride). Our ride is easy and takes in mostly shady roads and countryside through local villages. Along the way, stop and experience rice paper-making, fruit drying and preparation, production of the famous prahok (fish paste) and rice wine-making. Finish up at the best kralanh (sticky rice in bamboo) stall in the district.
Then travel by private bus to Banteay Chhmar – Citadel of the Cat (approx 4 hrs). Some of the road is unsealed which slows down our journey but it is worth it to visit this small community. The 9th century temple here is a top candidate for World Heritage Status, with the ruins surrounded by an impressive 9km long wall.
Experience true Cambodian hospitality by staying with a local family in a traditional Khmer wooden stilted house. As the day draws to a close, we enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner by torch-light in the grounds of the temple.
Included Activities
  • Battambang - Rural Food and Cycle Tour
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Day 7 Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
This morning after a simple local breakfast at our homestay we pack our bags for the journey to Siem Reap (approx 4 hours).
The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. Its markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food. When we arrive we take a short introductory walk around the centre of town. With its cafes, bars, restaurants, food and drinks stands Siem Reap caters for foodies of all persuasions.
Included Activities
  • Banteay Chhmar - Silk Farm
  • Banteay Chhmar - Market tour and cooking class
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Siem Reap
On our first morning in Siem Reap we temple-hop with our local guide, making the most of our visit to the world-famous Angkor complex. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day - watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so we'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological site.
In the afternoon, take a motor remork around the hidden local street food treasures of Siem Reap. If you are lucky you might find fried tarantulas which are usually enjoyed with a cold beer; fried crickets which taste like potato chips; barbecued meat on skewers; Khmer Fried Chicken; green mango served with chilli and salt; ducks eggs; barbecued corn; and durian - the smelly King of all fruit. Continue on to a local restaurant to sample some tasty local delicacies before finishing at a dessert stall where fruit shakes, fruit with sweetened condensed milk and baked puddings are the specialty.
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Street Food By Night Tour
  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD3
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Siem Reap
This morning, perhaps take a trip to the countryside to see sugar palm candy production and learn about the local agricultural industry.
Or alternatively you may wish to experience "Flight of the Gibbon" Zip-lining and Canopy Walk for something completely different.
Alternatively, spend your morning exploring Siem Reap.
Late afternoon, join your hosts for your final cooking class. A local expert will explain a little about Khmer food culture and superstitions related to food, then help you to cook up a few signature dishes. Say farewell to this delicious Real Food Adventure over a Cambodian feast you've helped to create!
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Khmer Cooking Class
Optional Activities
  • Angkor National Museum - USD12
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Siem Reap
Your trip concludes this morning. There are no activities planned for this final day and you are free to leave at any time.
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Real Food Adventure - Cambodia - Single Supplement (TKZP)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Real Food Adventure - Japan (CJZF)
  • Real Food Adventure - China (CBZF)
  • Real Food Adventure - Vietnam (TVZY)
  • Real Food Adventure - Thailand (TTZF)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Culture shock rating

Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
Money Exchange
The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel (KHR).
Unofficially however, US currency (US$) runs the country and is the currency you should bring, mostly in cash - notes should be 2006 series onwards. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Notes should be 2006 series onwards. Torn, dirty or old notes, as well as the $2US note will be refused in most businesses. ATMs are available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap and also dispense in both KHR and US$.
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are now available in most towns and visa cash advances are available in major banks. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange; clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
CAMBODIAN FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS:
During public holidays and festival periods in Cambodia many businesses may close, transport may be extremely busy and travel times may increase. During these times please be patient and consider these moments as an opportunity to interact with the locals. Particularly worth noting are Khmer New Year (3 days in mid-April), Pchum Ben (3 days in early October) and Water Festival (3 days in late November).
WET SEASON:
During the rainy months (approx. June to October), our mode of transport can be changed at short notice due to weather conditions.
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
While we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please contact your agent at time of booking for further information. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, you must notify your booking agent prior to departure so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.
Group size
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that on the following nights the supplement is not available:
Day 4 - homestay
Accommodation
Hotel (8 nts)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
WINDOWLESS ROOMS:
Some hotels in Vietnam and Cambodia have windowless rooms, or windows that don't necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also don't require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren't always available.
Meals introduction
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Please refer to the IMPORTANT NOTES section of these Trip Notes for important information on Dietary Requirements.
Meals
6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
USD 150.00
Food is cheap in SE Asia and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home; high energy snacks are not readily available locally. For snacks and drinks during the rides, a kitty is normally arranged.
Transport
Private minibus, Bus, Cyclo
Group leader
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point
Cardamom Hotel
No. 69, St. 174, Sangkat Phsar Thmey III, Phnom Penh
Khan Daun Phenh
Phnom Penh
CAMBODIA
Joining point description
The Cardamom Hotel is located in the heart of vibrant Phnom Penh, a walk or quick 'motoremork' (Cambodian tuk tuk) away from landmarks such as the Central Market, Wat Phnom, the National Museum, the Royal Palace, the Independence Monument, and Sorya department store as well as a handy local supermarket. The hotel has a total of 102 guests rooms, a lobby bar, restaurant and free WiFi. Check-in is 14:00.
Joining point instructions
Please note a complimentary arrival transfer to the Cardamom Hotel is included if you are travelling on an Intrepid COMFORT trip. Intrepid provides one complimentary arrival transfer per booking even if travellers are arriving at different times. If your travelling party is arriving on different flights the complimentary transfer can be booked to meet the last flight arrival with earlier arrivals waiting. Alternatively an additional arrival transfer can be purchased.
If you are travelling on an Intrepid REAL FOOD ADVENTURE an arrival transfer can be pre purchased prior to your departure through your booking agent.
Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. Your driver will be waiting for you as you leave the customs hall, holding an Intrepid sign bearing your name.
Should you have any difficulties please contact the following local number: +855 925 55 969 or +66 898 103 722.
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point
Claremont Angkor Hotel Siem Reap
17 Phum Wat Bo Sala
Siem Reap
CAMBODIA
Phone: (855) 63 900 023
Fax: (855) 63966998
Finish point instructions
A departure transfer is available - please enquire at time of booking.
A taxi from the hotel to the airport will cost about US$10 and take about 20 minutes.
Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
Alternate Finish point
For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
24 Mar 2016 (TKZP160324), 24 Nov 2016 (TKZP161124)
Freedom Hotel
National Road No. 6, Near Central Phsa Leu Market, Banteay Chas village, Slor Kram commune
Angkor
Siem Reap
CAMBODIA
Phone: (855) 63963473
Alternate Finish point description
Freedom Hotel is family run hotel only a quick tuk ride from central Siem Reap. Hotel facilities include a restaurant (with complimentary breakfast ), outdoor pool, fitness center, free wifi and laundry facilities. All 99 rooms include private facilities, air-con, free wifi, microwave, and TV.
Alternate Finish point instructions
A departure transfer is available - please enquire at time of booking.
A taxi from the hotel to Siem Reap airport will take about 20 minutes and cost approximately US$6.
Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Cambodia's Office can be reached on Tel: +855 92 555 969 .
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
CAMBODIA:
Australia:Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival
Visas can be organised either in advance or on arrival. Check with your embassy or consulate and allow approx 3 weeks for processing. It is also possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the airport or border crossing for approx. US$30 (cost subject to change) - you will need a passport photo.
If a point of contact is requested, please write: Freedom Hotel, Road #6, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
E visas are now available for most nationalities through the official website www.evisa.gov.kh
E visa cost will be USD30 (visa fee) plus USD7 (processing fee)
IMPORTANT - please note the Cambodia Government has reported many fraudulent E visa websites that pretend to be official e visa websites. Intrepid recommends only using the official E visa website above or by contacting your Travel agent.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
DENGUE FEVER:
Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
BIRD FLU
There have recently been a number of isolated cases of Bird Flu in Asia. While the risk to travellers is very low, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of local authorities and the World Health Organisation. WHO recommends basic hygiene practices to limit the risk of infection:
• Avoid visiting live animal markets and poultry farms
• Avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with animal faeces
• Do not eat or handle undercooked or raw poultry, egg or duck dishes
• Do not attempt to bring any poultry products back
• Do not pick up or touch dead or dying birds
• Exercise good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing
For further information please visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/index.html
Safety
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
BALCONIES:
Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
SWIMMING POOLS:
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
LIFE JACKETS:
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities, such as Ho Chi Minh City.
WATER SAFETY:
Take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It is expected that anyone taking part in water activities are able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
RENTING MOTORBIKES, QUAD BIKES AND JET SKIS
There have been incidents of scams involving rental of motorbikes and jet skis in areas frequented by tourists and expatriate residents in some regions of Cambodia including the town of Sihanoukville. Due to safety concerns we do not recommend renting motorbikes, quad bikes or jet skis in Cambodia.
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
ORPHANAGE TOURISM:
In recent times orphanage tourism has become popular in Cambodia. Intrepid Travel doesn't support unscheduled or random visits to orphanages and children's institutions, as these are a child's home - a place that should be safe and respect their right to privacy and dignity. Undoubtedly the majority of travellers have their best interests at heart, but the reality is orphanage visits can negatively impact the children. This trip may include some pre-arranged visits to organisations that have been vetted by Intrepid Travel, and these will be facilitated by your group leader. For more information on how you can help protect children during your travels see:
www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/rt/ChildSafe_Traveller_Tips.pdf and www.childsafe-international.org
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Cambodia include:
* The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) is focused on delivering education and training to increase awareness of the need for conservation and environmental protection. It also provides rescue, rehabilitation and release services for wildlife, and conservation breeding of selected endangered species.
www.accb-cambodia.org/en/index.php
* Green Gecko provides security, education, love and opportunities to Siem Reap street kids through their formative years and into their adult lives. It also supports the children's families and the broader community through long term health, education and training initiatives.
www.greengeckoproject.org
* The Starfish Project helps those unable to access government and other large NGO assistance. Activities include medical care, housing projects, water and sanitation, woman and children in prison, as well as small business assistance. They also run a popular cafe/bakery, massage centre and handicraft shop.
site.starfish-project.com
*All Ears Cambodia (AEC) provides a much needed medical service in a country torn by years of war, building capacity in the prevention and treatment of ear disease and deafness. Intrepid is collecting old hearing aids which are cleaned, reconditioned and fitted by professional audiology clinicians. If you are travelling to Cambodia please bring these along and pass them to your group leader who will arrange for them to be delivered to AEC.
www.allearscambodia.org
For more information, or to make a donation please visit: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=cambodia
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 177.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Further Information
A book is a great way to get inspired about a destination… and makes long waits at airports more bearable! These books should give you some food for thought before your trip to Cambodia: