Top tips for your Cambodian holiday. Packing and Mosquitoes.
Read on to discover some top tips for your Cambodian holiday to keep you smiling.
Travelling in Cambodia during the rainy season can be a good thing. Cheaper flights and accommodation top the list. And, fewer people sharing the well-trodden routes comes a close second.
We all know that feeling. The suitcases are out, and you’re standing by the wardrobe wondering what to pack for your holiday? Will you need shorts? A jumper? Raincoat? Swimwear? These days baggage allowances are getting smaller and more costly. So, you need to pack expertly.
You are sheltered from the rain when onboard Sovanna. But for the rest of your trip, well, in Cambodia the rainy season means rain gear required. We’re not talking about the jacket you would wear at home. Simple PVC raincoats are light to pack and give plenty of protection. It’s not cold. No jumper required. But it will be humid, so you don’t want to be baking underneath. You can also buy on arrival, as Cambodia has many shops selling cheap, hooded, light rain ponchos and macs. You can pass them on to someone before you leave, or they’re light enough to bring back and save for your next trip. A travel umbrella that folds into a bag is also a good idea.
The first of our top tips is to make sure you bring clothes that dry quickly but feel cool against your skin to combat humidity.
Although cotton is okay, it absorbs a lot of moisture and therefore takes longer to dry. So best not to bring denim shorts or jeans. Instead, aim for clothes with polyester blends. They have the excellent properties of cotton but dry much faster. These materials help to cut down on rashes from damp or moist clothes rubbing. On the plus side, synthetics also take up less room when packing!
Now, what about your feet? It’s best to avoid leather, as walking through wet roads will do them no good at all and rub terribly on your feet. And, sweaty feet appeal to no one! Flat sandals are the best option. Just remember to dry your feet if they get wet when you get back to your accommodation. Cambodia’s roads and streets are also quite uneven, so heels are not a good idea. On Sovanna, the wooden floors dictate that heels are not worn. It is better to wear flip flops or flat plimsolls, trainers, sneakers or sandals.
Now, one thing that most travellers to Cambodia worry about, at any time of the year, is Mosquitoes.
Apart from being a nuisance, mosquitoes can pose the threat of disease or infection. The continuous warm and wet climate cycles in Cambodia mean there are generally mosquitoes around. These pesky ankle biters are always on the lookout for a free meal. Many studies have taken place to try to determine how to prevent their bites. Male and female mosquitoes do prefer to feed on the nectar from flowers, but when the females are ready to reproduce, they change to an all-protein diet.
And, good news for ladies, studies have also shown that mosquitoes prefer to munch on men over women.
They can home in from over 75 feet away on the carbon dioxide from your breath. So, whilst we don’t suggest you hold your breath, we’ll give you some helpful top tips instead.
- Pack a mosquito repellent such as DEET or any other anti-mosquito spray. If you don’t want to use DEET, there are alternatives. Try Icaradin, also known as picaridin, (used by the Australian army and said to be less of an irritant).
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil is a natural alternative but would need to be applied liberally and frequently to be effective.
- Another standby is a product from Avon called Skin-So-Soft. It contains IR3535, which is a known active agent for repelling mosquitoes for a short amount of time.
- You’re more at risk as the sun goes down so spray liberally at dusk. Otherwise, apply every three hours to exposed skin.
- Give another application when you’re sitting down at the table for dinner in the evening as mosquitoes love to nibble when you are.
- In studies, mosquitoes are attracted more to brightly coloured clothing. So, pack neutral, earthy tones of clothing. (Khaki, cream, beige, white etc.).
- Shower often. Mosquitoes love your sweat and body odour.
- Overly sweet-smelling fragrances in soaps, shower gels and shampoos attract the female mosquito which feeds on flower nectar when she’s not reproducing, so use sparingly.
- Although it seems a bit of a contradiction in hotter weather, Wear lightweight clothing that covers more area if you know you are prone to be bitten.
- Close bathroom doors after use, as even the smallest amount of standing water, may attract mosquitoes.
- Don’t chase away any geckos or lizards you see. They eat mosquitoes!