USEFUL INFORMATION

We’ve put together…

a whole range of information and links to help, inspire, entertain and educate about all things Cambodia, traveling, birding, wildlife, responsible travel and so much more… we’ll be constantly updating this so do check back, or feel free to drop us a line and suggest some.

USEFUL INFORMATION

We’ve put together…

a whole range of information and links to help, inspire, entertain and educate about all things Cambodia, traveling, birding, wildlife, responsible travel and so much more… we’ll be constantly updating this so do check back, or feel free to drop us a line and suggest some.

Things to bring and what to wear

Most SVC trips occur in the cool dry season from December to March. This is the best time to visit Cambodia when the daytime temperatures are in the low thirties and the heat is dry. Nighttime temperatures are typically in the low twenties though occasionally a cold snap will drop to 13 or 14. By the end of February to the beginning of March, the temperature starts to climb both day and nighttime, reaching a peak in April – May.
Loose natural cloth clothing (with a hat) is most comfortable giving protection from the sun and mosquitoes. Most things are available in Siem Reap usually cheaper than in Europe or America, but if your schedule allows little time, the usual items for hot country countryside will help make your trip enjoyable; sun cream, mosquito repellent, a torch and earplugs.

Hiking boots which give ankle protection against the small risk of snakebites are recommended for the forest walks.

Bird watching and habitats

Bird and wildlife watching in Cambodia is as unique and varied as its habitats and species, with some experiences you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world, such as birding around remote pre-Angkorian temples. During the course your trip you can encounter a wide range of habitats:

  • ATT – marsh, dry paddy, grassland and lake.
  • Prek Toal – Semi submerged forest, flooded scrub and open lake.
  • Florican Grasslands – Natural grassland and paddy on floodplain.
  • Tmatboey – Deciduous dry dipteropcarp forest (DDF).
  • Okoki and Vulture Restaurant – DDF with pockets of mixed evergreen and forest trapaeng (pools).
  • Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary – Southern Annamitic forest of mixed evergreen, DDF and bamboo.
  • Kratie – Riverine habitat. Bird watching is from the car, by boat and on foot.

We will consult with you through the course of your booking process and where possible meet with you before you leave on your trip to find out exactly where your interests lay – from target species, to level of physical capability and level of experience – and design your trip based on your needs. All tours will require some degree of walking – but again, we will be mindful of your wellbeing at all times.
SVC has a number of spotting scopes plus binoculars to hire, which it will try to allocate if the group has not brought their own; however in peak season binoculars may be in short supply.

Health & Insurance

Necessary immunizations should be discussed with your own Doctor, travel advisory or looked up on here which is regularly updated. Malaria is present in the forests where we visit and dengue fever occurs in the cities, though is much less prevalent during the dry season but long sleeves/pants and bug spray are a must. Stomach upset and diarrhea are the most common health problems for travelers so traveling with Imodium or similar is generally a good idea. In general, well-cooked and cleaned food will be provided, minimizing your risk. The provision of emergency medicine, while improving is still limited and in case of serious accidents, illness or snakebites it maybe necessary for you to be airlifted out of the country, you must have health insurance to cover this eventuality.

A little overview of traveling in Cambodia

Cambodia is a developing country with a limited though rapidly changing infrastructure, which together with the incredible seasonal changes, as exemplified most graphically by the Tonle Sap Lake, means that schedules have to have a degree of flexibility. The rapid pace of development means that Cambodia will change irrevocably over the coming period and the next few years maybe the last chance to catch a country that is an anomaly in the 21st century.

SVC’s itineraries take in the WCS Conservation sites across Cambodia because of its partnership with WCS. This gives SVC exclusive access to environmentally sensitive areas of special biodiversity. These sites by their very nature are often in remote areas where local communities have limited exposure to other Cambodians let alone foreigners. This cultural gap is bridged by the multi lingual SVC Guide but sometimes what seems like the simplest task can become very complicated, so please have patience.

A Few Quick Tips

  • Cambodia is a noisy country with amplified weddings and funerals even in the most remote villages, so earplugs can greatly assist sleep.
  • As with all sub & tropical climates the sun is fierce and can quickly burn those from more temperate climates so a high factor sunscreen is recommended.
  • Most of our trips occur during the dry season when mosquitos are reduced in number but it is always advisable to carry repellent and wear long light loose clothing which also gives protection from the sun.
  • Cambodia is a hot country even in the relatively cooler dry season and your water intake will need to increase accordingly together with rehydration tablets (an excellent local rehydration product Royal D is cheap and widely available)
  • Most things are cheaper in Cambodia, so unless your schedule prevents it you can save money and baggage allowance by buying most drugs, sun screens and clothing including hats in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Note that some pharmacies may sell counterfeit products so check with the hotel for outlets selling the genuine article (A reliable chain of pharmacies called U Care is open in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh)
  • US dollars are interchangeable with the local currency Riel (approx. 4000 Riel / 1 USD) and accepted at all outlets though it is helpful to have plenty of one dollar bills for tips in the towns and low cost items in the countryside. Change of less than a dollar will be given in Riel.
  • ATM’s are widely available in Siem Reap giving USD against most credit and even debit cards though a fee is incurred for using an international card
  • Cambodia and Siem Reap in particular are relatively safe for both person and belongings despite the disparity in wealth between tourists and Cambodians. The usual common sense rules apply, don’t flaunt expensive items or cash, especially late at night.
  • Cambodia is a youthful, friendly country in the midst of a wave of change surging across all of Asia. A smile and simple greeting will almost always be returned, if you haven’t received a smile first.

  • Amazing Cambodia – travel overview and get inspired
    Lonely Planet
    Visas
    Lonely Planet
    Responsible Travel in Cambodia
    Grantourismo – Making travel more meaningful & memorable
    Eating and drinking in Siem Reap
    Grantourismo – Making travel more meaningful & memorable
    Travelfish
    rustycompass – travel in the real world
    Find out more about wildlife and conservation in Cambodia and beyond
    WCS Cambodia
    A Cambodian Nature Film
    Keep abreast of sightings around the country from nature enthusiasts: Natural Vambodia
    Banteay Sreyi – More than a temple
    Mongabay
    IUCN Red List
    ASAP!
    Darwin Initiative (PDF)
    Cambodia’s Protected Areas
    Darwin Initiative

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