The Cambodian year is split in only two seasons – dry and rainy season. While it is raining every day during the months Mai till October, the country dries out throughout the rest of the year.
Based on the proximity to the equator, the climate is tropical and humid with relatively steady temperatures (30°C-35°C) throughout the whole year.
Also see my blog post weather and climate – when to travel to Cambodia
Generally it can be said that Cambodians are really nice and friendly. It is part of their culture to not offend their counterpart or raise their voice in public. At the markets, in shops, hotels/hostels or at sights, they always try their hardest to understand what you mean.
When I think of Cambodian people I think of them as little sellers. No matter if a tourist walks down the street, looks through a market, enters a shop, visits a tourist attraction… – they are everywhere and try to talk visitors into buying their goods or services.
Be aware that many Cambodian residents are really poor, and a lot of them try to get money in every possible way. Some just sell their stuff pricier, others are beggars (for example: poor kids walking through the streets with snakes around their necks, and when people take a picture they ask for money), while some others scam tourists. It is nothing that would make Cambodia unenjoyably, just something visitors should be aware of so no one traps into uncomfortable situations or loses money.
The language spoken by the population is Khmer. However, all students nowadays learn English in school, and even the older generations speak and understand English well enough to communicate.
And if someone doesn’t comprehend what you mean, they all have lots of friends nearby who gather around and try to figure it out together 🙂
If you feel like feeling really rich, my tip for you: withdraw Riel – the Cambodian currency. Only $250 is enough to be a millionaire.
In case you don’t want to carry around 50,000 Riel just to go to the market, you will also be able to pay with dollar bank notes.
Riel is usually used for smaller purchases or handed out as change, as 1000 Riel is equal to only 25 cents.
Nevertheless, feeling like a millionaire is a nice thrilling moment for the ego – don’t you think
Life in Cambodia is super cheap. Coming from Europe it felt like living in the land of Cockaigne. A dozen bananas can be purchased for $1, a mango for 25 cents, a skirt for $3… You can imagine I had a real struggle fitting it all in my backpack at the end of the trip.
Where to stay the night
It depends on what you want your travels to be like. Cambodia offers everything from expensive luxurious hotel complexes, over medium expensive yet nice and high quality hotels, to simple and cheap hostels.
For my first night I had booked a hotel in advance. It was a super nice hotel with a beautiful garden, fitness centre, pool, included breakfast and – compared to European prices – was really cheap. I thought I made a snatch.
However, during my time in Cambodia I realized there are just as nice hotels for one fifth of the price. Let alone simple hostels where you stay the night in a room with other travellers of your gender, for only a few bugs.
Cheap but great places for the night can be found in every city. Either just walk up and ask, or book a day or two in advance online with apps like booking.com
Cambodia is a country with a lot of history. It used to be a French colonial, and not too long ago Khmer Rouge was the ruling party in Cambodia.
It has to offer a lot of places with historic background.
The diversity Cambodia has to offer is astonishing. From beautiful tiny villages in the North, over gorgeous landscapes and sceneries, temples, the palace in Phnom Penh, cities, history related places, colourful markets, handcrafting factories and lotus farms in the centre of the country, to mangrove forests, jungles, paradise resembling islands and the beach in the South.
For specific ideas take a look at my post 16 things to do in Cambodia
It depends very much on the season you travel in. During rainy season everything is obviously a lot greener. Ponds, rivers and lakes are filling with water, meadows are flourishing, vegetation along the street is blossoming and people are working on the fields.
But even at the end of dry season I found the landscape stunning. Palm trees, cute villages, temples, mangrove rivers, mountains in the jungle and beaches cover the country all year.
Have a look at my recent post 21 pictures that make you want to visit Cambodia to convince yourself.
For travel tips, guides and ideas of what to do in Cambodia have a look at my past posts: