Cambodia is famed for its rich culture and history. The Angkor temple being the largest religious monument in the world, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple’s composition makes it one of the finest monuments in the world. You can spend all your time exploring the other spectacular structures and large sculptures -The Bayon Temple in Siem Reap, The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the killing fields outside of Phnom Penh and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Adding to its beauty, apart from the ancient temples, Cambodia also holds treasures for you to discover on its coastline. The Sihanoukville Province has beautifully sandy beaches, that are hardly crowded, and are a must visit.

useful travel information cambodia-1

Visa & passport

For most visitors to the Kingdom, visa are obtainable upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. At land crossing from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, visa can be obtained at International Check Point border.

Tourists also can get their visas prior to their arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate overseas. Tourists also can get eVisa through online E-Visa before travelling.

Some nationalities are required to get visa in advance at Royal Embassy of Kingdom of Cambodia in their country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Nigeria.

A passport and visa are required. Tourists and business travelers may purchase a Cambodian visa valid for one month at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and borders. Both require a passport valid for at least six (6) months from the expiry date, 01 recent passport-sized photo. A departure tax is charged on all domestic and international flights.

Visa Fees: Single entry visa fee for tourist (T) (30 days):  US$ 30;  Single entry visa fee for business (E) (30 days):  US$ 35.

Customs and excise

Whenever you leave or enter a country transporting goods – money, goods, electronic equipment, among others – you must take into account whether such goods must be declared at Customs. All passengers are obliged to fill out the Passenger’s Declaration Form and submit it to Customs before leaving the arrival terminal.

For more information please check the official goverment’s website : https://www.customs.gov.kh/en_gb/

“Nothing to declare” vs “Goods to declare”

When walking to the airport exit, direct yourself to the right channel according to your case.

Green Channel is for passengers possessing no goods or only goods which can be admitted free of customs, duties and taxes by stating that you have “Nothing to declare”.

Red Channel is for passengers who bring along dutiable goods, any prohibited or restricted goods by proclaiming that you have “Goods to declare”.

Note: Customs officers may conduct a random check on passengers at both channels.

Penalties and/or fines are imposed on passengers, who intentionally use the Green Channel by not declaring the carry on dutiable, restricted and/or prohibited goods.

Products for entering Cambodia

An incoming passenger is eligible for the following products:

  • Two liters of wine***
  • 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, or 400 grams of tobacco***
  • 350 milliliters of perfume and ornaments
  • Medicine for own personal cure
  • Other materials and tools with limited quantity needed for traveling and not categorized as prohibited goods

Climate & time to visit

The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with an overage temperature around 27.C (80.F). There are two distinct seasons: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season. However, the Dry Season is divided into two sub-seasons, cool and hot. These seasons are:

The Rainy season: From June till October 27-35.C (80-95.f)

The Dry season (cool): From November till February 17-27.C (80-95.F)

The Dry season (hot): From March till May 29-38.C (84-100.F)

The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and April, when it sees very little rain. During this time you’ll see clear blue skies making it a great time to enjoy a relaxing getaway on the southern coast.

Language

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language is derived from the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. Khmer is renowned for possessing one of the largest sets of alphabets; it consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels.

English is widely spoken and understood. French and Mandarin are also spoken frequently in the country; most elderly Cambodians speak French and many people in the Khmer-Chinese population speak Mandarin.

It’s not really necessary to speak the local language to get by in Cambodia. Most people find that the staff in most hotels speak relatively good English. You will also find that an increasing number of people in the most popular areas also learn to speak French, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Italian and some even a little Norwegian…

Currency

The official currency in Cambodia, the Cambodian riel, trades at around 4,000 riel to the US dollar. But there’s 90 percent level of dollarization in the country. What this means is that you don’t need to be concerned about getting riel when you arrive in Cambodia.

Small stores may quote prices in riel, but they will all accept dollars as payment. Unlike in many countries, if you pay in US dollars the exchange rate you will get is quite fair. In the Cambodian countryside the economy is almost entirely in riel, but even so you will always be able to use dollars in small denominations.

ATM machines in Cambodia dispense US dollars and Cambodian riel. However, if you are using a foreign ATM card, you will only be able to withdraw dollars.

Public holidays

  • January 01 (Tue): International New Year Day
  • January 07 (Mon): Victory Day Over Genocidal
  • February 19 (Tue): Meak Bochea Day
  • March 08 (Fri): International Women’s Day
  • April 14 15, 16 (Sun, Mon, Tue): Khmer New Year Day (Choul Chhnam Khmer)
  • May 01 (Wed): International Labor Day
  • May 13, 14, 15 (Mon, Tue, Wed): Royal Birthday of the King Sihamoni
  • May 18 (Sat): Visak Bochea Day
  • May 20 (Mon): Day of Remembrance
  • May 22 (Wed): Royal Ploughing Day
  • June 01 (Sat): International Children Day
  • June 18 (Tue): Royal Birthday of the King Mother Monineath Sihanouk
  • September 24 (Tue): Constitutional Day
  • Sep 27, 28, 29 (Fri, Sat, Sun): Pchum Ben Day
  • October 15 (Tue): Commemoration Day of King Norodom Sihanouk
  • October 23 (Wed): Paris Peace Agreement Day
  • October 29 (Tue): Royal Coronation of the King
  • November 09 (Sat): Independence Day
  • Nov 10, 11 , 12 (Sun, Mon, Tue): Water Festival and Moon Festival and Boat Racing
  • December 10 (Tue): International Human Rights Day

Useful numbers

Cambodia Phone Code: +855

1- Tourist Police – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 012 942 484
  • Address: St. 598, 12107, Phnom Penh

2- Tourist Police – Siem Reap

  • Phone: 012 402 424
  • Address: Mondul 3 Village, Sangkat Slor Kram, Siem Reap City, Siem Reap

3- Police – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 117

4- Fire Police Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 118 or 011 997 296
  • Address: No. 58, St. 360, 12304, Phnom Penh

5- Calmette Ambulance – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 119 or 023 724 891 or 023 426 948
  • Calmette Ambulance (S.A.M.U.): 012 912 947 / 016 585 108 / 092 858 434
  • Address: No. 3, Preah Monivong (St. 93), 12201, Phnom Penh

6- Khmer – Soviet Friendship Ambulance – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 023 217 764
  • Address: Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin (St. 271), 12306, Phnom Penh

7- Preah Kossamak Ambulance – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 016 909 774
  • Address: No. 28CEo, Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin (St. 271), 12157, Phnom Penh

8- National Blood Transfusion Center – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 011 209 888
  • Address: Preah Norodom, corner of Kramuon Sar (St. 114), 12202, Phnom Penh

9- Traffic Police – Phnom Penh

  • Phone: 012 999 999 / 023 650 6767
  • Address: St. 598, Kilometre Lek 6 Village, 12108, Phnom Penh

10- Traffic Police – Siem Reap

  • Phone: 012 896 628 / 012 402 424
  • Address: Mondul 3 Village, Sangkat Slor Kram, Siem Reap City, Siem Reap
  • Address: Kok Dong Village, Sangkat Teuk Vil, Siem Reap City, Siem Reap

Transport

Tuk Tuk

The remork-moto (tuk tuk) is a large trailer hitched to a motorcycle and pretty much operates as a low-tech local bus with oh-so-natural air-conditioning. They’re a great way to explore temples, as you getthe breeze of the bike but some protection from the elements.

Cyclo

The cyclo (bicycle rickshaw or pedicab) is a cheap way to get around urban areas.

Bus

Phnom Penh has several public city bus routes that are proving popular with local students, but are not yet widely used by visitors. Elsewhere there are no public bus networks. There are however many bus companies providing transportation between Phnom Penh and the provinces that have better roads and connect with the capital city. All these buses are air-conditioned and equipped with Video TV, Wi-Fi.

Taxis

Finding metered Taxi hires in towns and cities around Cambodia is getting easier.

Choice Taxi (Yellow) – Phone: 023 888 023, 010 888 010

Global Taxi (White) – Phone: 023 222 688, 010 311 888.

These cab companies usually offer an on-call 24/7 service, although sometimes they wait in tourist areas especially late at night.  The price starts at 4000 Riel (1 USD) and will take you 2km then you have to pay 400 Riel per km.

Train

The Royal Railway now is providing train from Phnom Penh to Takeo, Kampot and Sihanoukville and v.v every weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday and major holidays. It is available only 74 – 76 seats for passengers.

Foods

Cambodians love to eat! Once you learn more about local cuisine, you’ll soon love Cambodian food, too. American, British, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese expats have all set up restaurants serving their country’s specialties, and that’s not all.

What to order:

  • Beef Lok Lak: The most famous Cambodian dish
  • Fish Amok: Amok can be prepared with fish, beef or chicken, even tofu. It’s the most tasty and unique Khmer food dish.
  • Samlor Kor Ko: Samlor Kor ko can be made with chicken, beef, fish or pork. The secret is the roasted rice.
  • Fried chicken with lemongrass: Chicken is marinated in spices and then fried together with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Fried fish with soybeans and ginger: Chicken with ginger and soy beans is popular and considered a healthy dish.

Internet access

Internet access is widespread, but there are not as many internet shops as there used to be now that wi-fi is more prevalent. Charges range from 1500r to US$2 per hour. Many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and cafes now offer free wi-fi, even in the most out-of-the-way provincial capitals.

Security

Given that close to six million tourists a year now go to Cambodia, and many of those single or solo female travelers, it is a very safe destination indeed. Many have visited Cambodia from all across the globe at all times of the year and have only gone back with pleasant memories of the Kingdom. In fact, most travelers would go so far as to say that it is one of the safest countries in Asia to visit. Many visitors agree that Cambodia is a safe place to live and to travel. In fact, many would say that it’s safer than the big cities back home. Yet while that might be true, it’s still essential to be cautious and watch out for your belongings.

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