Travellers booking cheap flights to Cambodia will undoubtedly be drawn by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. But these magnificent 800-year-old ruins are not the country’s only drawcard. The two main cities of Phnom Penh (the capital) and Siem Reap have much to offer tourists and are the best bases for cycling and biking, cultural expeditions, nature and wildlife, adventure activities and more. Flying to Phnom Penh is not difficult with flights to Cambodia readily available from New Zealand. But travelling during peak season (November to January), which is also the dry season, will be a lot busier and flight tickets may increase in price. Siem Reap throngs with visitors during the tourist season and then quiets down, whereas Phnom Penh is a bustling city, lively all year long.
Poor roading and monsoon flooding in the wet season (May to November) can make getting around more challenging but when you’ll secure the cheapest flights to Cambodia.
When is the best time to book a flight to Cambodia?
November to January - the dry season - is the high season, and when most travellers book cheap flights to Cambodia. Another option are the shoulder months of February and October when there aren't so many tourists, but the weather is pretty decent. June to August is hot and wet but the vegetation is green and lush and there are less visitors to the temples. The rain usually falls in the afternoon or at night.
New Zealand to Asia is a busy flight corridor so it has excellent international air links and a good choice of 1-stop flights to Cambodia. Search for cheap flights to Cambodia landing at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap with low-cost airlines such as Air Asia, Jetstar Asia and Malaysia Airlines. Other popular airlines flying this route via Australia include: Qantas, Bangkok Airways and China Southern. Cambodia Angkor Air flies between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, as does Bangkok Airways.
How to get from the airport to the city centre?
Siem Reap International Airport (REP) is 6.5 km from Siem Reap. The quickest and most convenient way to access the city centre is by a 10 minute taxi ride, the cheapest is by moto taxi but it may not be practical if you have a lot of luggage.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is approximately 7 km from Phnom Penh. Airport taxis are available outside the Arrivals hall. You can also take a 3-wheel vehicle into the city centre.
Cambodia insider information
Cambodia has some stunning dive sites. Among them are: Koh Kon (see seahorses, octopus, pipefish, stonefish, scorpionfish and nudibranch), Koh Rong Samloem (kingfish, nudibranch, cuttlefish, pufferfish and parrotfish) and Koh Rong, which is heading towards luxury resort status. See ray, damselfish and nudibranch in the waters.
Golf tourism is increasing in popularity in Cambodia. There's a Nick Faldo-designed course in Siem Reap and there is another one - designed by Arnold Palmer - under construction in Bokor.
Bokor is a deserted town in Preah Monivong National Park. It was built by the French in the 1920s as a retreat from hot, humid Phnom Penh.
At Angkor, three-day passes are valid for any three days in a week and seven-day passes are valid for any seven days within one month. Buy only from the official Apsara Authority counters and try to get there early, to beat the crowds.
Be respectful when haggling in the market or with your motodop; Khmers are not fierce hagglers.
The National Museum of Cambodia is in Phnom Penh, close to the Tonle Sap River. It houses many treasures from Angkor.
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