50 | Cambodia & Laos
CAMBODIA & LAOS
Destination Highlights • Luang Prabang in Laos has bustling night markets, with vendors selling clothing, jewellery to street food. • Relax with a cold Beerlao (an authentic rice beer) along the banks of Mekong River for stunning sunset views. • The Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia is not to be missed. • Visit Phnom Penh to see the Silver Pagoda with a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds.
Street Food, Luang Prabang, Laos
Angkor Wat Temple Complex
Events & Festivals May/September: Countrywide, Laos Boun Bang Fai Also know The Rocket Festival, this dates back before Buddhist times when people would gather and fire homemade rockets into the night sky to ask for rain. 09 November: Phnom Penh, Cambodia Cambodian Independence Day Festivities start with marching bands and colourful floats taking you from Phnom Penh to the Royal Palace, where fireworks end the day on the riverbank. • Time difference: GMT +7 hours • Flying time: Approx. 11 - 14 hours • British passport holders can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival at major ports of entry for approximately $35. Take one passport-size photo and ensure you get an entry stamp in your passport and keep the departure form. Visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice General Information • Population: Laos 6.9m / Cambodia 15.8m
Random Facts • Khone Phapeng Falls in Laos features the largest waterfall in southeast Asia. • Since December 1975, the official name of Laos has actually been ‘Lao People’s Democratic Republic’. • The Cambodian flag is the only national flag that has an image of a building - Angkor Wat. • Half of Cambodia’s current population is younger than 15 years old.
Best time to travel The best time to take Cambodia and Laos holidays is between November and February. It’s hot all year round in both countries, but these are the driest months and temperatures can reach the mid-30°s. The wet season lasts from May until September, with particularly heavy rainfall between July & September.
Wat Thap Luang, Vientiane, Laos
The Essentials • Bargaining is a part of life. Remain realistic, as vendors will lose interest if your price is out of line. • Cambodia and Laos are two of the cheapest countries in Asia, with main courses in restaurants starting from $2 • All large towns should have ATM machines, dispensing US dollars • Locals generally love to pose for photographs with tourists, but please remember to ask their permission first.
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