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Cambodia Quick Guide
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- International Airports
- International Airport Departure Tax
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- Domestic Airport Departure Tax
- Etiquette/Dress Code
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Passports should be valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry and a tourist visa is required by all nationalities whether entering Cambodia by land or air. It is possible for all nationalities to obtain a 30-day visa on arrival if entering the country at either of the international airports (3 passport-sized photographs are required). If arriving overland, a visa should be obtained prior to entry. It would be advisable to check the current situation with the Cambodian Consulate or Embassy before travelling.
Cash amounting to more than US$10,000 in foreign currency must be declared upon arrival and the import/export of local currency is prohibited. Foreign currency up to the equivalent value of the amount imported may be taken out of Cambodia.
- Alcohol - 1 opened bottle of spirits
- Tobacco - 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
Penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs are extremely severe.
Cambodian Time: GMT + 7
- Cambodian Riel (CRI) - Check current exchange rates
- 1 Riel = 100 sen.
- Notes issued: CRI100, 000, CRI50, 000, CRI20, 000, CRI10, 000, CRI5, 000, CRI2,000, CRI1000, CRI500, CRI200, CRI100
US dollars are widely used, however other foreign currencies are not generally accepted
Khmer is the official language of Cambodia whilst French, English, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese are also spoken to varying degrees. English is widely spoken around the main tourist areas of Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat and Cambodians are enthusiastic about learning and practising English.
Tipping is optional in most situations, although it is appreciated in hotels and restaurants. Tip porters, hotel staff and taxi drivers between CR2,000 and CR4,000.
Monday to Friday 8.00am to 3.00pm
The international dialling code for Cambodia is 855.
When making international telephone calls from Cambodia, first dial 00 + country code + area code + telephone number.
Local Telephone Codes
- 220 volts AC, 50Hz
- Flat and round two-pin plugs are most common and a universal adapter is an important travel item.
- Power cuts are quite frequent but many hotels and businesses have their own generators.
Tap water is not considered safe for drinking and ice cubes should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available throughout the country.
Be aware that the standard of health care is exceptionally low in Cambodia and there is also an acute shortage of medical staff. Make sure that your health insurance is comprehensive and covers evacuation. Think seriously about being inoculated against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Also consider a pre-exposure rabies vaccination and anti-malarials. It is essential that you check the current situation with regard to all potential health hazards and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.
- Phnom Penh - Pochentong
- Siem Reap
International Airport Departure Tax
- US$20 at Phnom Penh
- US$8 at Siem Reap
All international airports mentioned above plus the following:
- Koh Kong
- Stung Trung
- Sen Monorom
Domestic Airport Departure Tax
From US$4 to US$10 depending on airport
As with most of South East Asia, modest dress is recommended; avoid sleeveless tops, short skirts and shorts. Dress especially respectably when visiting temples and take your cues for appropriate behaviour from fellow Cambodian visitors.
A number of countries have representative offices in Cambodia.
Useful Sources of Information
Further information on Cambodian culture and tourist attractions:
|Season||Average temperature||Average rainfall|
|Hot Season (March - May)||24 - 37°C||70mm|
|Rainy Season (June - October)||24 - 32°C||193mm|
|Dry Season (November - February)||22 - 31°C||47mm|
Situated 14 degrees north of the equator, Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate with maximum temperatures averaging 32C all year round and humidity levels maintaining a sticky 80-90%.
Light clothes are recommended and it is worth carrying an umbrella throughout both the hot and rainy seasons. Warmer clothes are advisable during the cooler months, especially at night.
Hot Season - The northeast monsoon brings high temperatures and low rainfall to Cambodia. These months, especially April, can be extremely hot with high humidity.
Rainy Season - The southwest monsoon brings heavy rains - usually during the afternoon and flooded streets are commonplace.
Best time to visit: During the Cool and Dry Season - although daytime temperatures can remain high, nights become much more tolerable with an average temperature of 22°C. The air can be rather dusty during this period.
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Cambodia Travellers Tales
You always need taxis in Phnom Penh, so the location is not really a problem. Go to the Russian Market and see one of the most nicest tourist markets in Asia. Very cheap souvenirs. Silver Pagoda, King''s Palace an National Museum are average. Not to compare with temples in Bangkok. Two days are enough for sightseeing in Phnom Penh.
The museum has a beautiful collection, particularly the stuff from the Ankor area. The palace is okay. The markets are horribly hot, smelly and crowded. The people were always friendly and helpful. The chef at the FCC does great food and it''s a fantastic location to watch the world and the rivers go by.
The FCC is close to the fantastic museum and the Royal Palace so it''s a good place to go for a meal or a drink while you''re in the area. Don''t miss it though, it''s got lots of atmosphere and a great location if you just want to watch the world go by. The food is great - the daily menu a bargain.
Marvellous temples to be seen...good restaurants: "amok" typical but fancy restaurant, "carnets d''asie" proposes you good meals in a very nice restaurant combined with a bookstore, gifts shop (french speaking)...
The Home Cocktail restaurant on Wat Bo Road was awesome value for money...cocktails $1.80 and large beer $1.50 till 9pm....food was excellent in quality and price $1-4 a dish...seek this place out!!!
Phnom Penh is definitely worth a visit but after a couple of days I was ready to leave. There are a few places though definitely worth visiting. It''s worth getting a tuk tuk driver to take you round for the day and a fantastic way to take in the sights etc. I would recommend Tuol Sleng Museum where Pol Pot held their prisoners where they were tortured before being transported to the Killing Fields. It''s horrific to see all photos of the men, women and children who suffered there. Get a guide to walk you through but be prepared to be horrified at the events that took place. I left in floods of tears but was glad that I went to fully understand what happened. We then went on to the Killing Fields. It''s a very interesting ride to the killing fields especially in a tuk tuk but again very horrific when you get there to see the mass graves and to hear exactly what happened there.<br><br> After a morning of sadness visiting the museum and killing fields we went for lunch at a place called "Friends" which is fantastic as all the people who work there are former street children who have been given a chance in life and given a future. The restaurant is superb, the food excellent and the staff are so friendly, proffesional and amazing. I would highly recommend everyone to visit this restaurant. The Royal Palace is also an amazing sight and well worth a visit. I would recommend having a guide here to walk you through. Also have a look round the silver pagoda. There are a couple of good markets to get souveniers etc from. Central Market and also the Russian market which is really good. Also you can get some good local food at the vendors there. The best way to get around is definitely a tuk tuk I wouldn''t recommend a motorbike taxi as no one wears a helmet so for me it is just not a safe form of transport. Walking around in the day seems quite safe but be prepared to have children begging for money for food. It''s very hard to resist giving the children money but we were advised by a local girl we met against it as the money is given to the adults who then sit on the street corners gambling on cards!!! Better to buy some food from the street vendors for the children. We were advised also to be careful walking round dim lit streets in the evenings as there have been a number of muggings on tourists but I think if you are sensible eveything is fine.
Sihanoukville is very much in its infancy as a beach holiday destination and the Sokha Resort is really the only decent place to stay. There are numerous places to eat in Sihanoukville most of which are quite basic. Travel by moped taxi is quite an easy way to get around although it can be hard to find one outside the resort after dark. A visit to Ream National Park is recommended.
Siem Reap is much more westernized than I thought it would be. One could go and never eat Cambodian food because of the number of American/Western options. Pub Street is an area that has only western bars/restaurants, which is nice. But tourists should try and avoid spending all their time there as they would miss the real Cambodia.
Booked taxi driver who took me from airport, to go to Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison -- dirt road to Killing Fields VERY potholed, so would recommend car. Haunting experience, to be in such places -- but essential for any visit to Cambodia. Read a book called ''Stay Alive My Son'' to get the full picture of the horror of the Pol Pot years! After that, hired a tuk-tuk from outside Hotel Cambodiana to take me around for 2 days -- ask for a driver called Bhu, who is brilliant. In tuk-tuk you get the ''feel'' of Phnom Penh in a way you don''t in a car -- but be careful with possessions. I was warned all the time to hang on to my bag. Must-do''s are Russian Market, Wat Phnom, cocktails in Elephant Bar of Le Royal, lunch at Friends restaurant and Le Rits (both helping disadvantaged Phnom Penhois), shopping at Centre for Disabled Persons (Norodom Boulevard, near Wat Phnom), lunch / sundowners at Foreign Correspondents'' Club. Khmer Surin restaurant (street 57) offers great food for dinner in lovely old Khmer house with lots of atmosphere -- also surprisingly cheap! Take plenty of dollars, as money flies through your hands in Phnom Penh! I loved it there (you can still see lots of raw Indochina, rather than the sanitised version available in Asian cities such as Bangkok) and will certainly be going back.
To visit all the temples you need to buy a pass: US$20 one day, US$40 3 days, US$60 6 days. You need a passport picture! The must see: Angkor Wat, Bayon, TaProhn, the rest you can skip if you don''t have lots of time. Take 1/2 day for the Floating Village (US$13 pp)1 1/2h tour. Rent a Tuk-Tuk (US$6 1/2day) to visit the town. The open air war museum is a nice change from all the temples. AngkorWeb, opposite Provincial Hospital, for $l 1hr internet. Go to the Old market for local souvenirs. You can pay everywhere in US$, but have small notes ready. If you can, visit Siem Reap in the low season, when there are less tourists and looks less commeercial!