What to bring?
Luggage and bags: Leave your suitcase at home. Most likely you will use Tuk Tuk, Public Buses, Boats and other mean of transportation. Trust me, a backpack comes in very handy.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don't bring too many clothes to Cambodia. You can either bring them to the Laundry for a small price or buy new stuff. Flip Flops are usually fine, but during Raining Season and when visiting temples and palaces, I strongly suggest to bring a good pair of shoes. When visiting temples and palaces you should cover your feet, shoulders and knees.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toilet Paper, Hand Wipes and some meds against diarrhoea and of course mosquito repellent.
Photo Equipment: Bring lots of MB on your memory cards. You will take a lot of pictures.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring some energy bars for long bus rides, locks for your luggage, Plastic Bags to keep your stuff dry during raining season, Umbrella, Flashlight (for sunrises/sunsets at Angkor Wat) and of course a rain coat.
Miscellaneous: Travel insurance, passport, small USD bills, money pouch, hat, sunglasses, small towel, cell phone & charger, iPod & charger (for long bus rides), books, Pens & Toothbrushes/-paste & other small items (for the kids) and some passport photos.
Do NOT bring:
Candys for the kids. They usually do not brush their teeth and candys are not good for them.
Travel Story (Dutch)
(Van de Gouden Driehoek naar Vietnam)
In de ban van de Mekong verkent Sjon Hauser vanuit zijn woonplaats Chiang Mai gedurende ruim een jaar deze grootste en meest imposante rivier van Zuidoost-Azie.
Nu eens gaat de reis op een scooter langs de oevers, dan weer zakt hij de rivier af in een vrachtschuit of hydrofiel.
In de bergdorpjes in het Thaise deel van de Gouden Driehoek woont hij een schommelfestival en de opiumoogst bij, tijdens het nieuwjaar in Luang Prabang (Laos) constateert hij dat het boedhisme er dertig jaar Pathet Lao met glans heeft overleefd.
In Noordoost Thailand verdiept hij zich in het hardnekkige geloof dat naga´s - reusachtige serpenten met bovennatuurlijke eigenschappen - de rivieren bevolken.
En in Cambodja voert de Mekong hem naar de wieg van Pol Pot en de beruchte Killing Fields.
De Mekong/delta doet hem bezinnen op zijn vroegere deelname aan de demonstraties tegen de Vietnamoorlog: niemand anders weet de lezer op zo´n persoonlijke en indringende wijze mee te nemen naar de streek die hem lief is, maar soms ook onaangenaam kan verrassen.
- Budget Travel
Simple packing suggestions
Luggage and bags: Bring extra space in your bag to pack all the cool things you will buy in Cambodia. Pack lightly, a day pack is a must.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable walking shoes, sandals are okay when about in the city, and easier to take off when visiting temples. When going during the hot season, bring cargo shorts and light t-shirts with a sweater just in case it gets cool in the evening. A hat is very important, as are sunglasses. Don't be dressing fancy, no where in Cambodia did I get any sense that fashion was an important issue.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen, Mossie repellent, baby wipes, first aid kit, immodium ad, hand sanitizer, all your soaps and etc.
Photo Equipment: Lots. I enjoyed my video camera and iPod immensely.
Miscellaneous: First They Killed My Father - By Luong Ung. A very insightful and easy read into Cambodia's recent history.
Storytelling in Cambodia
This moving and image-rich cycle of linked poems journeys from Cambodia's mythic times through the killing fields to the U.N. presence during the first free elections.
It bears witness to the plight of the Cambodian people and to all who have endured holocausts.
Willa Schneberg's poems about Cambodia, where she worked in the early 1990's for the UN, beautifully convey the senuousness, excitement and uncertainty of a peculiar, tumultuous time.
The great legacy of the ancient Khmer civilization, the temples of Angkor, cover an area of 77 square miles in central Cambodia. These monuments, built between the ninth and 15th centuries--the classic period of Khmer art--are unrivaled in architectural greatness. They are, undoubtedly, one of the wonders of the world, astounding in their splendor and evoking a real sense of awe.
The book is divided into three sections.
The first contains background information on Khmer history, religious beliefs and legends depicted on the bas-reliefs, as well as descriptions of the decorations and architectural features.
The second part is a detailed, monument-by-monument guide to the sites, including detailed maps and plans, while the third has all the practical information needed by the visitor for staying and getting around in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
- Historical Travel
Tonle Sap (The Heart of Cambodia's Natural Heritage)
Colin Poole examines all aspects of Tonle Sap, Cambodia's Great Lake: its environment, fauna, history, culture and its beauty, all shown through evocative and memorable photographs, encouraging visits!
- National/State Park
Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
Angkor (A Tour of the Monuments)
All the major temples in the Angkor complex are described in this pictorial guide, starting with Angkor Wat and the monuments within Angkor Thom, and moving out to the temples in the surrounding landscape. Commissioned photographs show temples in their entirety as well as important details, including sculpture, architectural decoration and the reliefs, which are among the chief glories of the place.
The Siam Society
The Customs of Cambodia
The only description of Angkor at the height of its splendor is to be found in Chou Ta-Kuan's Notes on the Customs of Cambodia.
This chronicler was native of Yungchia, in the province of Chekiang (China). In 1296-1297 he was assigned to duty with a Chinese embassy which passed nearly a year in Cambodia.
Returning to China, he wrote his account - presumably at once, but certainly before 1312.
This is the Siam Society edition of Chou Ta-Kuan's lively account of the customs of late thirteenth century Cambodia.
- Historical Travel
Bernard P. Groslier
Angkor and Cambodia in the Sixteenth Century
This book is based on Groslier's seminal study of the accounts of early Spanish and Portuguese missionaries and adventures in Cambodia.
The reports of the Europeans record the earliest surviving firsthand accounts of Angkor, following the "rediscovery" of the site by the Kmers, over a hundred years after its abandonment in 1432 CE, and four hundred years prior o the colonization of Cambodia by the French.
While the accounts are fascinating in their own right, Groslier employs some of their key observations on the structure of Angkor in the 16th century to embark on further exploration of his own into the nature of Kmer civilization.
Groslier reconstructs a broad picture of Angkorian civilization, its economy, the genius of its engineers and planners, its unique religious foundations and the pivotal humanitarian role of it's god-kings.
- Historical Travel
Luggage and bags: Cambodia is HOT & Sunny especially during the March / April period where temperature rises to the 40*C. The streets are dusty, the locals called it "Cambodian snow". Wear loose long sleeves shirt and long pants to keep the sun and dust out. A comfortable and studdy pair of shoes if you are climbing up Angkor Wat & the other temples.
Bring along tube full of sunblock, a good wrap around sunglasses that can keep the dust from your eyes, eyedrop to clean your eyes, a good cotton hat (cap is not good enough), mask or light cotton scarf to wrap around your nose and face to keep the dust out of your lungs and face....and carry plenty of water or better still an icebag of beers. Moszi repellant will be useful if you are tavelling into forested area.
Luggage and bags: My trip in 2002 was only 7 days, 6 nights, so a 65 litre backpack was sufficient. Packed it half full as I intended to do some shopping for souveniers, etc. For daily use, I had a day pack for my camera, film, light snacks and water. For my trip in late Aug-Sep 2007, I used a medium sized trolley bag since I was going to be in Siem Reap only for 5 days. Day pack was also used this time round.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable walking shoes, sneakers since there's a fair bit of walking to do. Light comfortable cotton clothing which absorbs sweat, since it's pretty humid as well. For the cooler months (November-February), thicker cotton clothes may be advisable. A hat may be helpful in keeping off the sun while a scarf will definitely be helpful in keeping the dust off your face when travelling beyond Banteay Srei, to Kobal Spaen and beyond.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunblock, insect repellant and lip balm are the essentials. Water purification tablets may be necessary in outlying areas. As usual, Imodium or Lomotil if you have a weak stomach. Mosquito coils may be helpful for getting a good night's sleep if there is no mosquito netting at your guest house. This can also be bought from the old market (Phas Chas) in Siem Reap. The Lucky Market in Phnom Penh also stocks a pretty good range of toiletries.
Photo Equipment: If you are planning to use 5 rolls of films, take 8 along! If you are taking digital photos and shutterfinger happy, bring a 2GB memory card or more!
Miscellaneous: If you use a digital camera and have run out of space on your memory card, you can burn them onto CDs at the numerous Internet cafes. If I recall, they were charging between US$0.75-US$1 per CD (Sep 2007 prices).Related to:
- Historical Travel
Cambodia eGuide along with Visa application
Miscellaneous: I've applied for the Cambodia e-Visa at their site, and got my Visa delivered to my email. In addition to that, there was an option of 2 travel eGuides - 1 to Siem Reap and 1 to Phnom Penh. I downloaded the Siem Reap one since i'll be visiting Angkor. Browse through it, fine it quite a good read. Could be useful!Related to:
Miscellaneous: bring repellent, and sunscreen. the sun here beats down mercilessly. it also gets ridiculously hot and dry, so bring moisturiser unless you want your skin to flake. if possible, wear covered shoes. i made the mistake of wearing birkenstocks and i had peeling skin on my feet. EW.
Miscellaneous: We were very concerned before going to Cambodia in Jan 06 as we had read that there were no ATMs and as such took American Dollars. By the time we arrived there had been some ATMS installed in Phnom Penh and Siem Riep. There is really no need to get Cambodian currency as everything is done in US dollars and you will really only get Cambodian currency as change (ie US 50c change will come back in local currency)Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Sun Block or get burned.
Luggage and bags: A very safe back pack, to stop any temptation of stealing.
Pickpockets are available in Central market in Pnom penh and in Sihanouville. They are only small kids following tourists around, you should be alert, they might be up to no good.
Going on the Angkor day tour involves a lot of climbing, which means energy consuming, so take enough bottled- water along in your bag. They have locally bottled water, it is kind of with a strange taste, (I tried once, well, my stomach was still good after wards ;-)).
Anyway, there is still a solution : many street stands have imported purified water, half a dollar a bottle of 1-1.5 litres
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Slipers are very good enough to go around; Prepare a raincoat, especially in rainy seasons; It's hot all year round, well ,almost.. Like in October, the sun is burning in sunny days.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: some medicine for mosquito bites, especially if you plan to go out at night.
If you live in guest houses, make sure you bring your own complete brush.
Photo Equipment: In siem reap county or Pnom Penh, you would n't have any difficulty in finding a place for CD burning for your pix. I did it by 2 dollars for one CD.
Angkor Wat is a photographer heaven, you never find your memory stick big enough.
Miscellaneous: When you go around the temples, have some snacks in your bag, since you would get tired from catching the stone wonders one after another, you would find some chocolates and nuts very good incentives. ;-)Related to:
National Road No 1
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