Cambodia & Vietnam Holiday
Explore Southeast Asia's ancient temples and modern cities in our Cambodia & Vietnam holiday.
Cambodia is a destination synonymous with history, from the ancient temple city of Angkor to the horrific rule of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. Today, that history is the main draw for Cambodia holidays to the once-isolated country, with tourism playing a key role in the country's ongoing rebirth and renewal.
The magnificent ruins of Angkor are a must-see on any Cambodia tour, with sunrise at Angkor Wat being a "bucket list" experience for many. However, there are hundreds of ruins to discover at Angkor without the crowds, with many structures beautifully entangled in roots and branches, as the jungle takes back the land.
Siem Reap, one of Cambodia's biggest cities, is the gateway to Angkor and also has its own attractions in busy markets packed with local artworks, wooden carvings and Khmer textiles.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is a lively metropolis of traditional markets, modern developments and French colonial architecture. Trips to the Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda, as well as the National Museum, offer striking Khmer architecture and exploration of Cambodian culture; while visits to the harrowing Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Killing Fields are sombre, yet important, reminders of Cambodia's tragic past.
Outside of the cities, Cambodia has many beach, river and island oases. On the south coast, the beach destinations of Sihanoukville and Kep provide seaside escapes and fresh seafood, with the sleepy riverside town of Kampot (home of Kampot pepper) and the idyllic island paradise of Koh Rong nearby. Or, take a trip to the laidback Mekong riverside retreat of Kratie, which is the best place to visit in Cambodia to see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins.
If you prefer to get off the beaten path, Kampong Thom in northeast Cambodia boasts remote sites of ancient temple cities (including a complex that pre-dates Angkor by 400 years), bustling markets and delicious Khmer cuisine, such as must-try fish amok.
For more information, browse our itinerary suggestions for luxury Cambodia holidays, designed to give you more ideas for your customised Cambodia tour, all packed with unique encounters with nature, authentic culture and local communities.
Few tourists venture off the beaten track on their Cambodia holiday, but those who do are rewarded with a glimpse of the real Cambodia, and what life after the Khmer Rouge is really like. Our Complete Cambodia Holiday takes you to Ko Trong island for a tour of sustainable tourism projects that connect island residents with visitors, while the luxury Cambodia Explorer package takes you deep into the beautiful Kirirom National Park for a night in a local homestay.
The best time for a Cambodia holiday is between November and March, when the temperatures are warm and the humidity is low. However, this is also the busiest time for tourists and Angkor is especially busy over Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Monsoons cover the country from May until August, and April is the hottest month of the year.
Siem Reap and the nearby Angkor Archaeological Park are must-visit destinations on your luxury Cambodia tour. For archaeology lovers, it’s worth spending four to five days exploring the vast area of Angkor. Cambodia's countryside is quite rural and underdeveloped, but offers unique encounters with locals and chances to explore some lesser-known attractions and interesting sustainable tourism initiatives involving reforestation, education and community development.
After seeing the magnificent Angkor Wat, your Cambodia accommodation should follow suit in grandness. The Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor is located less than five miles away from Angkor, a French colonial structure set in lush landscaped gardens; while the Shinta Mani Shack is an interior design dream, outlined by Bill Bensley’s design studio and featuring retro luxury-styled rooms.
Phnom Penh’s The Frangipani Living Arts Hotel is a tranquil haven in the midst of the busy capital, whilst The Quay Boutique Hotel provides a sleek modern getaway overlooking the Tonle Sap river. For honeymooners, The Song Saa is Cambodia’s first private island resort that also safeguards local marine life through its established reserve.
Browse our collection of luxury hotels in Cambodia for more ideas of where to stay.
Read our Responsible Travel Guide and Wayfairer Guide for useful and essential information about planning your Cambodia holiday, or browse our other blogs on Cambodia luxury travel and unique experiences in Southeast Asia for more inspiration.