Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.
Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.
This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.
We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.
Exploring the ancient splendour of Angkor appearing through an ethereal morning mist is a magnificent sight and a beautiful reminder of the ancient Khmer empire. See its architectural, artistic and engineering feats which rival the great accomplishments of Rome and Greece. Feel like Indian Jones when rambling through its temples!
International flights, international and domestic departure taxes, departure transfer, visas, insurance, other meals, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. At the time of writing, a visa is required by most travellers visiting Cambodia including Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British and Canadians. All other nationalities should check with the Cambodian Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
It is recommended that you obtain your Cambodian visa before you start your travels, but it is possible to obtain a visa on arrival if you are flying into Phnom Penh or Siem Reap or if you are travelling overland from Thailand and Vietnam (though not al all broder crossings - please check before you travel). Alternatively, some nationalities can obtain a visa for Cambodia (as long as they are arriving at either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap Airports) on-line at: http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/
Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:
Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.
Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.
Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.
Vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return.
For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at
www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.
Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions we prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.
We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller's cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.
Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so you should not bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. The lockable suitcases on wheels are the best types to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia are not over-endowed with lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc.
When packing, consider cultural differences which may mean that some attire that we wear at home is not appropriate in Asia and may be offensive to the local people. Beachwear in towns is not appropriate, nor is 'short' shorts, particularly for women. Light cotton pants are a better option. When visiting sites of religious significance, modest clothing should be worn. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics.
When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. The majority of time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip, these will be noted in the separate country section, or in the Trip Notes relating to that trip. Please note that in the last few years, the world’s weather pattern has gone somewhat awry. The effects of ‘El Nino’ and ‘La Nina’ are very real and this has resulted in unseasonable droughts followed by unseasonable deluges. Be prepared for the unexpected! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.
Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
The unit of currency is the riel. Notes come in denominations of 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 riel, although notes above 5,000 riel are not common. Coins are very rarely seen, for they are virtually worthless. The US dollar is also a major currency and commonly used in all day-to-day transactions.
Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.
You can use your credit card in ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines), which are now common throughout the country. These machines dispense cash in US dollars. Money is safest when carried in the form of traveller’s cheques which, along with cash of major world currencies, can also be changed in banks. However, this will entail allowing for a bit of time spent in banks. There is no need to bring lots of cash with you unless you prefer not to use ATMs. There is also no need to pre-purchase Cambodian riel prior to arriving in the country. Most travellers never need to have more than US$10 worth of Cambodian Riel on them at any one time, as Cambodia is a country that widely accepts US dollars for all cash transactions. If you are taking in cash, please check that all your notes are in good condition and not old (US banknotes printed before 2006 and any US$2 bills are generally not accepted), crumpled, marked or torn, otherwise they may not be accepted. Please also be warned that some banks outlets at Cambodian airports may tell you that you will need to change your US dollars cash with them for Cambodia Riel, but this is not true!
You will need to take money with you to cover any additional meals/drinks not included in your tour cost. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and be reimbursed later by your insurance company. As a guideline we suggest that you allow US$20 per day in Asia would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well.
Optional Tours & Activities: We include many sightseeing activities on most of our trips; however, there are additional optional tours and activities that you may wish to undertake during your free time. These may incur additional expenses. These activities are not a mandatory part of our tours because, from past experience, we have found that our travellers have appreciated some free time whilst on tour.
Like in most places around the world, the tourism and hospitality industry in Asia has developed a culture of tipping. Often this is the way where someone such as a waiter in a restaurant makes a living. However, we realise that people of some nationalities still find it quite uncomfortable when confronted by this custom. On our trips your tour leader can advise you on this matter, however, as a guideline we would recommend a tip of 10% in restaurants and US$1 to US$3 per person, per day for a local guide. Taxi, rickshaw, cyclo and tuk-tuk drivers can be tipped according to the length of the journey. If you are unhappy with a service, of course, you are under no obligation to leave a tip. However, if the service has been satisfactory, please consider our advice above.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
This kitty is not designed to provide a tip for your tour leader, so, if you would like to reward your leader for their services, you can do so individually or make a group presentation at the end of your tour. A minimum tip of US$3 per day, from each member of the group, is the usual amount expected.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
Please refer to your itinerary for the joining hotel name and address. An arrival transfer is provided from the airport, if you are joining straight onto a tour or have booked pre-tour accommodation at the joining hotel, and have advised us of your arrival details (please check your voucher). After you clear customs, you will be met by a representative from our local agent who will transfer you to your hotel. Please look out for someone holding a sign.
In the case of an emergency, our local operator, the PEAK Cambodian Office can be reached on: + 855 (0) 92 555 969
If you are finding your own way into town, you will find taxis available on arrival at Pochentong Airport. Make sure you agree to the price before you set off into town. You can expect to pay around US$7-US$10 for the 10-15 minute drive into the city centre.
There will be a pre-departure briefing with your tour leader at 6 pm this evening. Don’t forget to check the notice board in the foyer of the joining hotel for details of this meeting and for any messages from your leader. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the briefing.
Generally, your room will be available from around midday. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the early morning you may have to wait until a room becomes available. Alternatively you can book one night's 'pre-tour accommodation' which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12 noon unless you have made prior arrangements with the hotel reception. If you want to keep your room for longer you may have to pay an additional charge.
If you want to take someone's photograph, please ask first . This is just normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, army barracks, and police stations).
Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.
In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success. We use several different tour leaders to run the various sectors of this particular trip.
Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine Cambodia office can be reached on Tel: +855 92 555 969
Please remember that our tours are of an adventurous nature. Our style of travelling means that it is more desirable to carry a backpack and a daypack on our tours. It is also possible to bring soft suitcases, but large heavy ones can be cumbersome and not always convenient to carry around. A sleeping bag is not required on this trip. It is useful to carry inner sleeping sheets on all adventure tours.
We are continually upgrading our program and this means that occasionally we may change our hotels. You should always check your travel vouchers issued by us to note any changes that may have occurred. These vouchers contain the most current information as they are issued just prior to your departure date. If you do not have your voucher(s), this may jeopardise your place at the hotel and you may have to pay for your accommodation. Please contact our local representative in Phnom Penh if you have any queries.
Please note that Cambodia is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences such as restaurants and tourist sites being closed from time to time. Sometimes the transportation may be altered or the itinerary may be changed due to circumstances beyond our control.
This is an 'adventure' trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. On this trip you may link up with passengers on our 'Thai Indochina Discoverer', 'Classic Indochina Experience' and 'Laos & Cambodia Explorer' tours.
On this trip you may link up with passengers booked on other Peregrine tours. You may also be joined by like-minded travellers from our sister company Intrepid Travel.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine Cambodia office can be reached on Tel: +855 92 555 969
Phnom Penh , Cambodia
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Ohana Palace Hotel or similar, Phnom Penh
Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
28th Feb 2014
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