Apart from being hot, Cambodia’s climate is often humid, so make sure you pack breathable clothes that can cope well with heavy sweating. It also bodes well to remember that Cambodia is a Buddhist country and when visiting temples, religious structures or palaces, shoulders and knees must be covered. So, don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing.
Make sure you stock up on super-strength DEET insect repellent, and remember to apply it regularly, because there are hungry mosquitoes to be found morning, afternoon and night. If you’re heading into the jungle, insect repellent is a must, along with wearing loose clothing that covers your wrists and ankles.
Hoodie or fleece
Cambodia may be hot, but the locals love to turn on the AC full blast, making many indoor venues akin to the Arctic. So, if you plan on travelling by bus or taxi, or visiting the mall or cinema, then make sure you pack your hoodie or fleece in your bag to prevent hours of shivering.
First aid kit
While pharmacies can easily be found in Cambodia, with Western-style chemists available in urban centres, if you’re in the provinces then health care can be less than desirable, so make sure you bring a well-stocked travel first aid kit. Essentials include plasters, pain-killers, antibiotic cream, gauzes and bandages, and any prescription medicine.
The ‘bum gun’ shower spray is the traditional way to get clean after using the toilet, although many establishments do provide toilet paper. However, if you’re heading out of town or getting the bus to somewhere more remote, don’t forget to take toilet roll, tissues or wet wipes with you – chances are there won’t be any in the bathroom.
Light rain jacket
If you’re headed to Cambodia during monsoon season, then a light rain jacket is a must. While they tend to only last for an hour, the heavy spells of rain and deafening claps of thunder will have you soaked within seconds otherwise.
There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling that follows ‘memory full’ flashing on your screen. With Instagram-worthy photos waiting to be snapped around every corner, it is worth bringing an extra memory card, or two, to save having to delete any holiday photos.
Headphones and playlist
Cambodia is a loud country, from the construction that rings heavy around Phnom Penh to the constant chattering on the phone during bus trips. If you plan on using the country’s network of buses, then, unless you want to spend hours listening to blasting karaoke songs or foreign films, drowning out the sound with your own music is a must.
Universal charger with surge protection
It’s well worth bringing a universal charger or adaptor because, depending on where you stay, the plug sockets will differ. And if you don’t want your laptop to fry or your phone to overheat, it’s well worth investing in a charger that comes complete with surge protection, too.
The merciless sun beats down relentlessly in Cambodia, making sunscreen an absolute suitcase essential. A minimum of SPF50 is recommended, and for those sun gods and goddesses out there, yes, you will still tan.
Power cuts, especially during hot season, still plague parts of Cambodia, especially more rural areas, so it bodes well if you plan on exploring to take a mini torch with you. City centres are also often poorly lit, so you may want to put your torch in your bag during an evening out.