Cambodia Fact File
Country name: Kingdom of Cambodia.
Head of state: King Norodom Sihamoni.
Prime Minister: Mr. Hun Sen
Motto: Nation, Religion, King.
Capital City: Phnom Penh.
Government: Constitutional Monarchy.
Major Cities: Siem Reap province, Sihanouk Ville, Battambang, Kampong Chham.
Major Rivers/Lakes: Tonle Sap, Mekong, Bassac Rivers.
Airport: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap (International Airports).
Climate: Tropical Monsoon season: Wet season (May-October), Dry season (November-April).
Language: Khmer (90-95%), ethnic-Chinese, Cham, Vietnamese and hill tribes in north-east.
Guides: Government-licensed tourist guides (English, French, Japanese, German, Spanish, Italy, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Russian…).
Religion: Theravada Buddhism (95%), Islam, Christianity, Animism, Roman Catholic.
Population: 15 million.
People: 90% ethnic Khmers, 5% Vietnamese, 1% Chinese, 4% other.
Food: Fish and Rice.
Land Area: 181 035 Square kilometers (11,224 sq miles).
Currency: Riel (US$ 1= 4000 Riels). US dollars are as commonly used as Riel.
Voltage: 220V/ 50 Hz.
Time: 7 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and 12 hours ahead United States.
Country code: 855.
Internet TLD: KH.
Business hours: Government office: 7:30 - 11:30 am, 2:00 - 5:00 pm (Monday–Friday).
Private offices: 7:00 am – 20:00 pm (Monday–Saturday Morning).
Banks: 8.00 am - 15.00 pm (Monday-Saturday Morning)
Cambodia has only a handful of tourist offices, and those encountered by the independent travel in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are generally unhelpful unless you look like you are going to spend money. However, in the provinces it is a different story, as the staffs are often shocked and excited to see visitors. But it is made dear that you are a genuine tourist, they will usually tell you everything there is to know about places of interest. More and more towns are ambitiously opening tourist offices, but they generally have little in the way of brochures or handouts. You will some tourist offices listed in the relevant destination sections in guide book. Cambodia has no official tourist offices abroad and it is likely that Cambodian embassies will be much assistance in planning a trip, besides issuing a visa.
Visa on Arrival
A one-month tourist visa can be easily obtained on arrival from:
• Phnom Penh International Airport
• Siem Reap International Airport
• Cambodia-Vietnam border
1. Bavet International Checkpoint
2. Kha Orm Sam Nor International Checkpoint
• Cambodia-Thailand border
1. Cham Yeam International Checkpoint
2. Poipet International Checkpoint
3. O’Smach International Checkpoint
You will need:
1. Passport valid for at least four (4) months from the expiry date
2. One recent photograph (4 x 6)*
3. Visa Fee payment: USD 20
*At the International Airport it is now possible to have your passport photo scanned for use on your visa. There is a $2 charge for this service at the visa application counter upon your arrival. (Source: Cambodia Airports).
Visa & entry requirement
Most nationalities receive a one-month visa on arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Issuing Cambodian visa requires one photo. Visas are now available at most of land borders. Arrival by flight can issue “on arrival visa” at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports. Overland crossings can issue visa at the following check-point borders. But arriving overland from Vietnam and Laos, you will need to have obtained your visa in advance. A single entry tourist visa ($20 plus one photo required) is valid for one month, including the day of issue. But $25 for a business visa (plus one photo).Tourist visa can be extended only once for one month, but business visas can be extended indefinitely. Renew visas through a travel agent for the immigration department located opposite the Phnom Penh International Air port.
Basic information is as follows;
Entry Type Single entry only
Fees USD20 + USD5 (processing charge)
Validity 3 months (starting from the date of issue)
Length of Stay 30 days (Can be extended)
Processing Time 3 business days
Requirement A passport validity of more than six months balance at time of entry, a recent passport-size photo in digital format (JPEG or PNG format), a valid credit card (Visa/MasterCard).
(Source: Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation).
How to get a Business Visa while the standard tourist Visa can be applied for online, that is not the case for the business visa. You can only get a business visa through an embassy prior to the trip or on-arrival.
For an on-arrival business visa you will need:
1. Your Passport at least one page empty for the visa and 6 months validity from date of entry.
2. The Application form, provided at the airport.
3. The application fee in $US (currently $25).
4. One (1) passport sized photo.
5. A pen for filling out the form.
Getting the on-arrival business visa
The process is exactly the same as applying for an on-arrival tourist visa, the single difference being that you tick the business visa box on the application form and indicate that you’re planning to stay for more than 30 days. The form itself is simple and clear and, if you haven’t brought a passport photo with you, the necessary image can be scanned from your passport for a small charge. With the form completed and photo provided, it usually takes about 20 minutes before you’ve got your passport back, with the business visa secured inside it and you can move on through immigration and into Cambodia proper.
Officially, a one-month tourist visa extension costs $30, three months $ 60, six months $100 and one year $150. They can’t call it corruption in Cambodia but “under the table,” and you can have your passport back the next day for inflated prices of $39 for one month, $60 for three months, $145 for six months and $275 for one year. Over staying your visa currently costs a whopping $ 5 a day. Visa_info@online.com.kh.or http: evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/
Passport must valid more than six months beyond the end of your trip. Cambodian Immigration will not issue a visa if you have less than six months’ validity left on your passport. It is important to make sure that there is plenty of space left in your passport. Do not set off on a six-month trek across Asia with only two blank pages left. Cambodian visa alone takes up one page. It is sometimes possible to have extra page added to your passport, but most people will be required to get a new passport. This is a possible for most foreigners in Cambodia, but it can be a time consuming and costly, as many embassies process new passports in Bangkok. Losing a passport is not the end of the world, but it is a serious inconvenience. To expedite the issuing of a new passport, keep a copy of your passport details.
Phnom Penh & Siem Reap Airport
International Departure Tax:
Foreigner: Adult US$25….under 12 years old US$ 13 and under 2 years old free. Cambodian: Adult US$ 18…..under 12 years old US$ 10 and under 2 years old free.
Domestic Departure tax:
Foreigner: US$ 6, Cambodia: US$ 5.
Airlines Flying To/ From Cambodia
SR: Siem Reap International Airport Tel: 063-6666-333
PP: #179 Sisowath Quay Tel: 023-983-777
Cambodia Angkor Air Tel: 063-964-488
SR: Sivutha Blvd
#254, Monivong, IOC Blvd, F3-R03
PP: # 61 A, Street 214 Tel: 023- 426-624
SR: Sivutha Blvd Tel: 063- 965-422
PP: # 219-B, Hamawari Hotel Tel: 023- 426-808
PP: # 41, Street 214 Tel: 023- 363-396
SR: Angkor Shopping Arcade, Rte #6 Tel: 063- 964-488
PP: 111, Sihanouk Tel: 023-222-956
SR: # 114, Rte # 6 Tel: 063- 963-283
Royal Khmer Airlines
PP: # 36B, 245 Mao Tse Toung Blvd.Tel: Tel: 023- 994 502
Siem Reap Airways
PP: # 65, Street 214 Tel: 023- 720 022
SR: # 571, Rte # 6 Tel: 063- 380 191
PP: # 1B/79, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023- 222-693
PP: # 1B 179, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023- 222 693
Malaysia Airlines (MAS)
PP: # 35-37, St.214, Monivong Tel: 023- 218-923
SR: At the airport Tel: 063- 964-135
Jet Star Asia Airways
PP: # 333B, Monivong Tel: 023- 220-909
SR: old market area Tel: 063- 964-388
Royal Phnom Penh Airways Tel: 023- 990 564
Currency: The Cambodian currency is called Riel. However, US dollars are used as commonly as Riel. Depending on exchange rates, USD1 generally equals 4000 Riels. For up-to-date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com. A few pointers on using US dollars in Cambodia:
• Bring smaller denominations when possible! Small shops (i.e. local transportation or restaurants) might not have sufficient change to large notes.
• Check that your bills are in good condition, as bills with any rips or tears are not accepted.
• You will usually get change in Riel, so it might not be necessary to get any Riel in advance.
Credit cards & Traveler’s Checks (in USD) can be used at some places in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, especially in high-end institutions. But you should always carry some cash.
Q: What is the proper currency to use?
A: US dollars are as commonly used as the Cambodian Riel and even Thai Baht is acceptable in many places. Most restaurants and shops set their prices in dollars. Small transactions are usually done in Riel. Always carry some small Riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks, beggars and other small purchases. Riel can come in notes of the following denominations: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000.
Credit cards & traveler checks are not common but are catching on. US dollar, traveler checks are much more easily than other kind. Money changers cluster around the markets. When accepting money, inspect the bills. Hundred Riel is acceptable tender, but a large US note renders it worthless. There are banks in all of the larger provincial capitals, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang. But money effect telegraphic transfers and some banks can cash traveler checks and accept Visa cards. There are lots and lots of ATM in Cambodia. The Riel fluctuates in the range of 3900-3950 to a dollar, though for convenience some shops use 4000 as the exchange rate. Make sure you always have small bills (ones and fives) as you can never be sure of getting change on larger denominations.
Q: Doesn't using the local currency result in cheaper prices?
A: Not in Cambodia. For all intents and purposes, the US dollar is the currency of Cambodia. If anything, using riel for larger purchases may cost you more, not less, than if you used US dollars.
Q: So change is given in riels, do the merchants cheat you?
A: Not really. The most common way to scrape a few extra riels is that some merchants will put the riel at 3900 to a dollar change, but put it at 4000 to a dollar when you are paying in. Until September 2002, 100 riels was the smallest denomination would get for fifty cents change then, was 1900 riels. To you, these few extra riels they make are only a couple of cents, but spread that out over thousands and thousands of transactions during the course of a year and it adds up to a tidy sum of cash. For purposes of giving change, many foreign-owned businesses value the riel at 4000 to a dollar regardless of the direction, but it's more common for Khmer-owned businesses to use a 4000 in/3900 out system, which, if you really get analytical about it, is cheating.
Q: Where can I change money?
A: The best place to go is to any of the hundreds of private money changers. Do not bother with banks as most (all?) are not in the money changing business. You always see a concentration of money changers around the markets, but they are everywhere. They can be recognized by the glass case full of money (also a testament to the general honesty of most Khmers), most of it riels, and two numbers on the glass, both numbers being 39xx. These numbers are the present exchange rates for US dollars and Riels. Exchanging dollar and riel is a straightforward process and rip-offs are extremely rare. With any other currency some bargaining may be necessary. Japanese Yen, Euros, and Baht seem to pose no difficulties, though rates may vary slightly from changer to changer. However, the more obscure the currency is, the less likely the money changer will know the actual rate nor be willing to offer a fair rate as it may be more difficult for them to reconvert the notes. It's also been my experience that in most cases the money changers will offer a better rate than the hotels regardless of what currency you're changing.
Q: Are there a lot of counterfeit bills floating around?
A: Some, but if I ever had once I didn't know it, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. If for any reason you find yourself with a possible counterfeit, just keep trying, eventually somebody will take it. The best place to get rid of it would probably be in paying your airport departure tax as they don't seem to check the money they handed.
Q: Does the condition of the bills make a difference?
A: For Cambodian riels, you will see some bills so worn and torn you might have trouble figuring out what denomination it is. But with the US dollars one little rip in a bill and nobody will accept it (don't bring rip money to Cambodia). On my very first visit to Cambodia I got stuck with a torn ten-dollar bill that nobody would take until finally as I arrive at Pochentong International Airport they took it when I paid the departure tax. Do not accept torn money and if you're receiving money from a bank, check every bill and don't be shy to turn one back if you don't like the appearance of it. I've often handed back bills at several different banks and they've exchanged them without question. Old dirty bills that aren't torn can still be spent, but new ones are better, so if you can, turn back the dirty ones, too.
BANKS & ATMS
Banks generally open between 8.30 am - 3.30 pm on weekdays and some from 8.30 am - 11.30 am on weekends. There are an increasing number ATMs around Siem Reap. Some locations for ATMs include:
CAMBODIA-ASIA-BANK Currency exchange, T/C exchange, Union Pay, Western Union services. Visa/MC
1) Corner of Sivatha Road and Route #6, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Tel: + (855) (0)63-964 741/742 2) On Sivutha near the Old Market area, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Tel: + (855) (0)63-965 315 3) At Siem Reap International Airport, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Tel: + (855) (0)63-963 152
Siem Reap Phsar Kandal: Lots 566, 568 and 570, Street Tep Vong, Phum Mondul I, Khum Svay Dangkum.
Siem Reap Phsar Leu: 556, National Road No 6, Phum Chong Kavsou Srok Siem Reap.
#1, 2 & 3, Sivatha Street, Mondul 2 Village, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, and Siem Reap Province.
Tel: + (855)-63 963 660/ (855)-15 900 396.
Credit cards accepted, currency exchange, t/c exchange. Visa/MC/JCB/AMEX
The Museum Mall, # 968, Vithei Chales de Gaulle., Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tel: + (855) (0)63-964 417
Fax: + (855) (0)63-964 420
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, Western Union services. Visa/MC/Maestro/Cirrus/Diners Club International/Riels.
1) # 18A Sivatha, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tel: + (855) (0)63-963 838
2) Lucky Mall Supermarket, Sivutha Blvd., Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tel: + (855) (0)63-963 737
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, Western Union services, Visa
#888, Sivutha Blvd, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tel: + (855) (0)63-767 333
Fax: + (855) (0)63-767 222
Q: Are there any ATMs?
A: There are many ATM machine in most places in Cambodia, specially Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. You can cash either in US dollars or local currency (riel) from those ATM machine. They are normally 24/7 service. When you need money we suggest you be very careful if you are visiting an ATM late at night.
Q: Can I use a credit card?
A: More so than before. Better hotels, some restaurants, and a handful of shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap take Visa, but cash is still the best way to go and some establishments that do accept credit cards slap a surcharge of several percentage (sometimes as high as 7% or even 8%!) for the convenience. You can however; get a cash advance from numerous banks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with commissions usually around 2%. Some private businesses also offer cash advances but their charges tend to be a few percentage points higher than the banks.
Q: How about traveler's checks?
A: You can change it only a limited number of banks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. If you are traveling up a country, you should change enough money before you go. You spend it is a bit more problematic. Cash is remaining king in Cambodia to-day.
Travel to Angkor Wat & Temples
Q: Do I need a guide to see Angkor?
A: There is no requirement that says you have to use a guide to visit the Angkor Archaeological Park. It's entirely a personal decision. Some people find carrying a guide book with them to be sufficient, others prefer having someone escort them through the temples explaining things as they go along. One option to consider is hiring a guide for 2 or 3 days to make your trip very special and memorable. Guides are available speaking a number of foreign languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, German, Vietnamese, and Russian. Please contact us.
Q: How many days do I need to see Angkor?
A: This is a common question that really doesn't have a definite answer. Some people are happy with a day, it is not enough. But to give you some kind of answer, try to give yourself at least three days in Siem Reap, though a week may be better as you can take a break from the temples for one or two days to see some other historical sites and avoid temple burn-out.
Q: Admission How long to stay?
A: You must possess an admission pass to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archeological Parks. All passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. Passes are sold in one-day $ 20, three-day $ 40, and seven-day $ 60 blocks that must be used on consecutive days. A one-day visit allows you to see the highlights of the famous temples, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Taprohm …etc. Three-day visit is sufficient to visit all of the major temples. Seven-day visit is quite enough time to really explore some of your favorite ruins and visit many of the minor structure as well. You must be photographed at time of purchase of three and seven days passes. Check point office opens at 5:00 AM until 5: 00PM. Pass will be checked upon each park entry and major temples. A regular admission ticket is not required to visit P-Koulen, Kohker, or Beang Melea, but there's a separate entrance fee of $20, $10, $5.
News For Visitors
Visitors to the temples of Angkor must buy an entrance ticket. An information desk has been set up at the ticket sales booths with staff on hand seven days a week to provide full service.
Ticket sales booths: The entrance ticket to Angkor Park is called "Angkor Pass". Visitors can buy it only at the official ticket sales booths, located on the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat. The checkpoint on the road from the airport to Angkor Wat and the checkpoint at Banteay Srei also have one-day Angkor Passes, but not three-day and one-week Angkor Passes. No other organization (guest houses, etc.) are authorized to sell Angkor Passes. The ticket sales booths are open from 5 am in the morning to 5:30 pm at night.
At the ticket sales booths, visitors may also get information about:
Entrance to the Angkor Park: Every day, visitors must stop and show their Angkor Pass at one of the checkpoints first. Currently, there are the following checkpoints to the Angkor Park:
In addition, visitors must show their Angkor Pass every time they pass one of the checkpoints and at the entrance to most temples and other monuments in the Angkor Park.
Opening hours: The Angkor Park including its temples and other monuments are open for sunrise and close after sunset. All visitors must leave the Angkor Park after sunset.
Other rules: Visitors must observe the rules for photography and filming, as well as the rules of conduct in the temples, which are still sacred places to Cambodians today.
Procedure for free entrance: Visitors of official delegations, media representatives working on behalf of APSARA Authority and researchers authorized by APSARA Authority may qualify for a free, 2-day entrance. To obtain a free, 2-day entrance, the exact procedure has to be observed. Six-months and annual entrance passes are exclusively reserved for the researchers working in the Angkor Park. Entry is free for all Cambodian nationals. They do not have to follow the above mentioned procedure for free entrance.
Angkor Pass: The Angkor Pass is the entrance ticket to all the Angkor temples and monuments in the Siem Reap area. There are several options regarding how many days the pass is valid. All passes are issued with a picture. They’re not transferable to another person. Visitors can buy the Angkor Pass at the main ticket sales booths on the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat, at the checkpoint on the road from the airport to Angkor Vat and at the checkpoint at Banteay Srei. No other organizations (guest houses etc.) are authorized to sell Angkor Passes.
Fees and number of days
Photographs have to be taken on location and tickets are not valid after the expiry date.The fee must be paid in US dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro. Credit cards are not accepted for payment, but there is a bank counter at the ticket sales booths, where visitors can get a cash advance on their credit card.
Notes about fee: For the comfort of foreign visitors, these prices include use of the sanitary facilities in the park without charge. These prices do NOT include special permits for picture taking or film shooting. Entry is free for children under 12 years old. Children 12 and above must pay full price. Entry is free for all Cambodian nationals. There are no discounts for groups. The Angkor Pass is not refundable for any reasons.
Validity: Angkor Passes issued between 5 am in the morning and 5 pm in the afternoon are valid the same day. Angkor Passes issued after 5 pm in the afternoon are valid the same day until sunset and also the next day. Other than this exception, visitors may NOT buy a ticket in advance. Angkor Passes for 3 days are for 3 consecutive days. Angkor Passes for 1 week are for 7 consecutive days.
Other: Angkor Passes for 1 day do not require a picture. Angkor Passes for 3 days and 1 week require a picture. It may be taken at the ticket sales booths free of charge. Visitors of official delegations, research or media teams may qualify for free entrance.
Rules for photography and filming: Visitors, who wish to take pictures or shoot film in the Angkor Park for commercial purposes, must respect the following procedures established by the Department of Tourism of the APSARA Authority:
What You Should Know:
Q: What kind of clothing is suitable?
A: People should wear whatever they are most comfortable in, but a fair amount of modesty should be exercised. It can be extremely hot and humid and while some are comfortable in loose-fitting cotton, others feel better in quick-drying synthetics. Garments made from "wicking" materials are available at outdoor/ adventure wear stores. This special fabric absorbs perspiration and dries while it is on your body. These items also launder easily, dry very quickly and do not wrinkle. A hat is also recommended to keep the hot sun off your face, as is a good sunscreen (mosquito repellent goes over the sunscreen). While hiking boots would be too hot in the tropical climes, walking shoes/sneakers are good but sturdy hiking sandals (those made by Teva, Keens, Chaco, Merril, etc) are ideal. For a thin cargo pant or Capri-length pant instead of jeans, which are too hot for the tropics? A definite no-no in Asia is showing too much skin. Women, keep it modest with the cleavage, showing a bare midriff or wearing short shorts. Swimwear is acceptable on the beach (you’ll notice the locals swimming in short and T-shirts!) but cover up when heading into town. Cambodia can get quite chilly late at night or in the early morning in the cool months (December, January) and it is a good idea to bring a fleece jacket. It's also good to have this for bus travel as sometimes the A/C can get downright cold. When visiting active temples, you should cover their shoulders. It is required for both men and women to wear pants and skirt to cover knees. Those who are not dressed respectably will be turned away.
Cambodia has a great variety of national dishes, some similar to the cuisine of neighboring Thailand and Laos, other closer to the Chinese and Vietnamese cooking, but all come with that unique Cambodian twist, be it the odd herb here or the odd spice. The overall impression is that Khmer cooking is similar to Thai cooking, but with fewer spices.
Q: How is the local food? A: Personally, I don't particularly care for Khmer food. It's a cross between Thai and Vietnamese but with a fraction of the flavor. I find Khmer food quite bland, really. It's been suggested that Khmer food is less exciting than its neighbors' because of years of war and occasional famine, whereupon they just let their cuisine fall away. It's a plausible explanation as apparently Cambodia did have quite a cuisine but in the past thirty years or so, like so many things, it seems to have been lost. That said, there are those who do like the food and of course if you're coming on a holiday, please ignore what I say, try the food and make your own decision whether you like it or not.
Q: What's the availability of western food?
A: In Phnom Penh just about any cuisine you can think of is represented somewhere by a restaurant and represented fairly well. Siem Reap also has a generous supply of western and other Asian cuisine restaurants. If Khmer food doesn't do it for you, you will find plenty of satisfactory alternatives in either of these locations. Elsewhere the choices become slimmer. Sihanoukville has a couple of eateries with western food in Battambang there are a couple of places as well. Anywhere else and you're going local.
Q: Is the food safe to eat?
A: Everybody eventually comes down with some kind of food poisoning here but everybody has to eat it. I wouldn't stress too much on the food. Look at it, smell it whatever, just eat. I've gotten sick at nice restaurants and I've eaten from street stalls where the food was pre-cooked hours before and I had no problems whatever. The best rule to follow is if you see a place with a lot of locals; than the restaurant is okay. Also realize that individual body chemistry plays some role in how you will react to unfamiliar food. Five years, I've been here and there is still some kind of bacteria I can't seem to get my body to adjust to.
Q: What beer is available and what's best?
A: In restaurants and bars the most common brands are Angkor, Anchor, Beer Lao, and Tiger. Angkor is domestic, Tiger and Anchor are from Singapore but brewed locally (Anchor is young Tiger), and Beer Lao is imported from Laos. Tiger and Angkor are the most common beers on tap. Two other local beers are Crown and Bayon but these are cheap rat's piss and rarely seen in restaurants and bars catering to westerners. There are several other local brands as well but the contents hardly qualify as beer. You can also find Heineken, Budweiser, and some of the Thai brands. Most expatriates seem to drink either Beer Lao or Anchor.
Drinks Cambodian has a lively local drinking culture, and the heat and humidity will ensure that you hunt out anything on offer to quench your thirst. Coffee, tea, beer, wine, soft drinks, fresh fruit juice or some of the more exotic “fire waters” are all widely available tea is the national drink, but these days it is just as likely to be beer in the glass.
Wine & Spirits
Local wine in Cambodia generally means rice-wine; it is popular as with the minority people of the north-east. Some is super strong and it has been fermented for months, other wine is fresher and tastes more likely a demented cocktail. Other local wines include the light sugar-palm wine and ginger wine. In Phnom Penh and Siem Reap foreign wines include the light sugar-palm wine and ginger wine. In Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, foreign wines and spirits are sold in super market at bargained prices, given how far they have to travel.
Tea & coffee
Chinese tea is a bit of national institution, and in most Khmer and Chinese restaurants a pot will automatically appear for no extra charge as soon as you sit down. Coffee is sold in most restaurants. It is either black or café Aulait, several with dollops of condensed milk which makes it very sweet.
It is popular throughout Cambodia. It is a little like fruit smoothies and is a great way to wash down a meal. Stalls are set up around local night market. It is sometimes, before dark and the drinks cost between 3000 or 3500 riels.
Water & soft Drinks
Drinking tap water must be avoided, especially in the provinces, as it is rarely purified and may lead to stomach complications. Locally produced mineral water is about 1000 riels per bottle at shops and stalls, through some locals and expatriates alike doubt the purity of the cheapest stuff. Those with a weak constitution might want to opt for one of the better local brands, such as Pure-Drop, Mineral, or imported water like Evian.
Soft drinks are available in Cambodia. Bottled drinks are about 2000 riels, while canned drinks cost about 3000 riels and more again in restaurants or bars.
It is produced with treated water at local ice factories, and it is a legacy of the French.Transporting it often involves dragging huge blocks along the ground, but most people don’t worry about it, as it usually gets cleaned off all the time.
Q: Are land mines a problem for tourists?
A: No. Half a million tourists alone walked around Cambodia in 2001 and nobody stepped on a land mine. To this day, there have been no reported incidents of any foreigner visitor stepping on a land mine in Cambodia. Not one. The major tourist areas are absolutely mine-free. While the guidebooks still suggest being careful, even around Angkor Wat, the question you need to ask yourself is - do you plan to go bushwhacking through the trees, treading upon land no human as walked upon in years? I think the answer is 'no'. Even if you step into the bushes to answer nature's call, you're certainly going to walk along a well-worn path. So relax. According to the head of the HALO Trust in Cambodia, you'd have to drive at least one hour from Siem Reap to find a mine.
Climate/ What to wear
Generally speaking, November to April is the Dry Season and May to October is Rainy. The temperature ranges between 27C (80F) and 23C (73F). You’d wear light, airy, covering clothing. The sun can intense so bring a hat, sun-glasses and perhaps sun block. Consider buying a traditional Khmer scarf to keep the sun off your neck. Carry raincoat during the wet season, though you will probably use in the afternoon. You should have a mosquito repellent for sunrise and sunset hour. For serious temple explore a flashlight and compass can come in handy. Sport shoes are the best for exploring the ruins. The peak season is from November - March, best time of the year, no rain, not too hot, all activities in town operate more flights, more bus & boat.
Opening-hours Government offices are open from 07: 30 am - 11:30 am & resume from 16: 00 pm - 17: 00 pm, Monday to Friday private offices are usually opened for business from 7: 00 am - 20:00 pm every day. Banks are opened from 8:00 am-15:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 am -12: 00 noon. It is closed on Sunday and public holidays. Markets are daily opened from the early morning to evening.
If you want to get online, do it in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap - here you're never far from an Internet shop or cafe? And rates are $1-2 per hour. In the provinces, it's a different matter: even in Battambang and Sihanoukville access is limited, and expensive at around $3 per hour. One of the best ways to keep in touch while traveling is to sign up for a free email address that can be accessed from anywhere, for example Yahoo Mail or Hotmail. Once you've set up and send mail from any Internet Cafe? Or from a hotel with Internet Access.
Cambodia telephone numbers are usually listed beginning with a “0” for example: 012 329 981.The first three numbers (011, 012, 015, 016, 017, 023, 063, 092, 098, 099…etc which represented the provincial area code or the mobile phone system. When dialing domestically, it is necessary to dial the entire number including the “0” at the beginning. For example: 012 299 458. When dialing an internationally to Cambodia, use the country code but exclude the “0” for example: +855-089-855-666. When dialing an international call from Cambodia, precede the phone number with 001 or 007.
Sending faxes is setting cheaper as telephone charges drop. The cheapest fax services are those via the internet, these can be arranged at Internet Café for around $ 1-2 a page. Some of the most popular midrange hotels hark reliable business centre, but be aware that Cambodia’s top hotels here expensive business centers where sending a fax will cost three times the price charged elsewhere.
Sending Postcards Home
Mail to Europe, Australasian and North America takes between five and ten days to arrive, leaving Phnom Penh for major international destinations around twice a week the specific days can be checked at the main post office. Stamps for postcards sent from the capital cost 1800 Riels to Europe and Australia, 2100 Riels to America (add 300 Riel if posting from the provinces).
Pre-travel Vaccinations & Preparations
We recommend you to check with your doctor prior to arrival about pre-travel vaccinations required for Cambodia (such as those necessary for protection from malaria, typhoid, tetanus, and hepatitis A & B). Malaria is not commonly present in Siem Reap, but if you plan to spend extended time in the rural remote areas, you should take appropriate medical advice. In addition, it is probably a good idea for you to bring all essential medications with you. There are pharmacies in Siem Reap selling ordinary medicines, such as headache tablets, skin creams and diarrhea medications. U-Care is one of the more popular pharmacy chains in Siem Reap, with imported medicines, and English-speaking pharmacists.
You may find the following items useful when packing:
Taking out a medical travel insurance policy BEFORE coming to Cambodia is recommended. For reference only, some providers are;
1. Patriot America Insurance - www.patriotamericainsurance.net
2. STA Travel - www.statravel.com/travel-insurance.htm
3. International SOS - www.internationalsos.com/en/
Staying healthy when you get here
Because of Cambodia’s hot climate, it is extremely easy to become dehydrated. Bottled water is inexpensive and available everywhere. Drink as much as you need. Restaurants in the city will typically serve safe drinking water, and using sealed bottles is recommended. It is advisable NOT to drink directly from the tap water.
Do I need any vaccinations?
Travelers have very little to worry about in a country where health standards are ranked amongst the highest in Asia. The medical vaccinations are required to enter the Kingdom of Cambodia; you are unless coming from a "yellow" infected area.
Emergency Medical Services
1. International Dental Clinic
2. Khmer-China Hospital
3. Ly Srey Vyna Clinic
4. Neak Tep Clinic
5. Royal Angkor International Hospital
Emergency Contact Addresses
Main Source: www.cambodia-tourism.org/trip-planner/emergency-number/