The secret’s slowly seeping out; this is Asia’s next big hot spot. Friendly locals, beautiful tropical environs and the big kicker, arguably the greatest collection of ancient temples mankind has built. Now is the best time to take a Cambodia and Laos holiday before the hoards catch on.

Gaining in strength from ninth century, the Khmer Empire became the most important realm in Southeast Asia during the twelfth century encompassing what is now modern day Cambodia and Laos. The legacy of this great civilization remains today with a vast collection of temples at the empire’s capital, Angkor, north of Cambodia’s current capital, Phnom Penh. Centuries later, Cambodia became a protectorate of France from 1863 until 1953 and Laos was also protected by France between 1893 and 1954. Today both countries exert a feeling of calm with locals openly welcoming visitors to their special countries.

Cambodia has a tropical climate with generally warm weather year round. The mercury peaks in April with an average of 95 degrees. The coolest months are between October and December where the air temperature hovers around 86 degrees. October is the wettest month with January being the driest month. Luang Prabang in Laos is cooler than Cambodia with June being the hottest month at 68 degrees.

The Cambodians celebrate their history during the Angkor Festival held from November to December with poetry, music and dance. The water festival features boat racing on the Mekong River and Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh. In January the Laotians celebrate Khoun Khao to honor the harvest.