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Cambodia travel tips

Kingdom of Cambodia

15.14 million (2013)
Capital City:
Phnom Penh (Pop: 2,2 million)
Khmers (90%)
Riel and US dollars
Time Zone:
GMT +7 Hours
International Dialing Code:

flag of cambodia, far east vacation

Cambodia, neighbouring Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, is a country fast becoming recognised for its beauty, historical sites and friendly people, leaving its tragic history far behind. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, it also boasts the stunning scenery of Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong Delta, beautiful deserted beaches in the south and remnants of its French colonial past in the capital, Phnom Penh.

General Information


Cambodia is beginning to be recognised for its beauty and friendly, welcoming people;\, however it has a tragic history.
From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime, led by the infamous Pol Pot, killed an estimated one and a half million educated Cambodians (about one fifth of the country’s population at the time) in an effort to create an agrarian society. Thousands more were either tortured, killed or fled the country. The Khmer Rouge was finally ousted by the Vietnamese in 1978. In 1979, Cambodia was gripped by civil war which lasted until the mid 1990s.
Angkor Wat, of which Cambodians are fiercely proud, is the highlight of any trip to Cambodia. It was the heart of the Khmer Empire which ruled most of the Indochinese peninsula during the 11th and 14th centuries.

Passport and Visa
A passport with at least six months validity from the date of entry into Cambodia is required.  We recommend you make a photocopy of your passport and keep it somewhere separate, or scan your passport and keep the scan in an accessible email account.
A visa is required for most nationalities and is available upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports, and at the border crossing from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. A tourist visa costs U$30 and is valid for 30 days. One passport-sized picture is also required.

The official currency is Riel. However US dollars are also widely accepted and sometimes preferred. Riel is used for items where the price is less than US$1 and can be used in conjunction with USD. ATMs are widely available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville, they distribute US dollars. There are not many ATMs outside these areas.  It is recommended that you always carry cash in small notes with you. These notes should be clean, and free from rips and tears where possible.
Please note while there are many gem shops in Cambodia, we advise against any purchase as the majority of gems are fake. Our guides are not permitted to take our guests to these shops and any purchase is at your own risk.

Phones and Internet Service
Post in Cambodia is routed by air through Bangkok, making the service much more reliable than in the past.
Telephone connections to the rest of the world are widely available but can be expensive.
Internet access is available in most major tourist places such as hotels and restaurants.

Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
Taxis are generally only used to and from the airport, and are at a set price.  
Tuk-tuk are used around town and cost approx $1 – $5 per journey in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Cambodia has a tropical climate that is relatively calm and consistent throughout the year. The average temperature is 28°C. There are two seasons, the humid monsoon season which spans from June to October and the dry season which is from November to May.
Mid November to February: cool and dry
March to May: hot and dry
June to September: hot and wet
October to early November: cool and wet
Please note: The weather can be unpredictable and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat with you. You can purchase raincoats cheaply from supermarkets and general stores.

Public holidays
There are many religious public holidays in Cambodia. The main one is the Khmer New Year which takes place from 14 to 16 April every year. The celebrations usually go on for about a week. The second biggest is Pchum Ben. This national holiday was established for Buddhists to pay their respects to deceased relatives. It is also known as Ancestor's Day, and usually celebrated in September or October.

Sample of Application Form Visa on Arrival
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