Share

TRAVEL GUIDE TO CAMBODIA

 

We’ve gathered the following information for  you in preparation for your trips which we thought were appropriate.  If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-785-1233.


Airport Taxes

As of April 2011, airport departure taxes are included in your air tickets. However, such policy is subject to change by government authorities without notice.

Baggage

On Domestic flights, passengers are allowed 44 pounds of luggage per person. On International flights, passengers are allowed two pieces of checked luggage. Excess luggage fees will be charged if you check more than the stated allowances, and these charges are your responsibility.  At most major airports, baggage carts are available for your luggage, usually for a small additional fee.

Climate & Clothing

Climate in Cambodia is fairly consistent year round. The average temperature is 90°F during the day and 75°F at night. Two monsoons set the rhythm of rural life in Cambodia. The cool, dry, northeastern monsoon blows from about November to March and brings little rain. From May to early October, the south-western monsoon picks up moist air from over the Indian Ocean, bringing strong winds, high humidity, and heavy rains throughout the country. The weather is transitional between the seasons, but even during the wet season it rarely rains in the morning. Most of the rain comes in afternoon downpours. Visitors should be warned that roads in the northeastern regions in particular, can become flooded during the rains. Travel in these areas should be avoided during the peak of the wet seasons.

Communications

International Direct Dialing is available to and from Cambodia. The usage of mobile phone is widespread, prepaid telephone cards are  also available in post offices, hotels and supermarkets for public phones around Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The country code for Cambodia is +855; the city code for Phnom Penh is (0) 23, and the city code for Siem Reap is (0) 63.

Wifi internet is available in most of the restaurants, cafes and hotels, $1US per hour is normally charged.

Airmail to Europe takes four to five days and to the USA one week to ten days. Internet cafes are available in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Currency

The currency of Cambodia is the Riel. At the time of writing US$1 = 3900 Riel (July 2013) though with an average inflation rate of four percent, it is advisable to check again before traveling. However, for tourists, the real currency of Cambodia is the US dollar. Riel are useful mainly for tipping and small purchases. Since travelers are often given riel as change for purchases made in dollars, most find that they quickly collect enough riel for their needs.

It is also advisable to carry only US dollars. Visitors are not allowed to take Riel into or out of country. All foreign currency should be declared on arrival. Keep all exchange slips in case you need to submit these on departure.

Banks are available in most of the provincial capitals, cash is advanced, credit card is mostly accepted. Travelers’ checks are difficult to exchange outside Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Kompong Cham. Although cash advances on credit cards are available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang, associated fees are high.

Customs Regulations

According to related laws and regulations, the luggage of inbound and outbound passengers must come under customs supervision and control. Passengers should make accurate declarations to customs officials regarding the luggage they carry into or out of the territory.

Electricity

Electrical appliances will require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs, as well as an electrical voltage converter that will allow a normal 110-volt American appliance to take 220 Volts AC. Power cuts do occur. Large hotels and businesses have generators. Outside Phnom Penh, electricity is often available only in the evenings from 1830-2130. Most hotels have a hair-dryer in each room.

Food & Water

Avoid all water that has not been thoroughly boiled or sterilized. Drink only bottled water. Supposedly, a plant in Phnom Penh makes all of the city’s ice using sterilized water, but to play it safe, avoid any ice. You should not eat any uncooked vegetables and do not eat any fruit that you have not peeled yourself.

Health Matters

We strongly recommend having a good health insurance and carrying a good first aid kit. There is a chronic shortage of trained medical help and hospitals. Therefore, you should avoid treatment in Cambodia. Evacuation to Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia is recommended.

Due to hot and humid weather, light clothing and sufficient water is highly recommended.

The Royal Government of Cambodia does not require you to have any vaccinations, except for cholera if you are coming from an infected area. Please consult your doctor for recommended vaccinations.

Although the main tourist areas of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are not malarial, malarial drugs are essential for tourists traveling deeper into provincial Cambodia. The best protection against malaria is to avoid being bitten in the first place: make sure to bring mosquito repellent. Check with your physician about taking a course of anti-malarials. If it is considered necessary given your itinerary, you might need to begin before your trip and continue for a time after you return.

Dengue fever, which is also transmitted by mosquitoes, is often mistaken for malaria. Its symptoms are severe pain in the joints, high fever, and extreme headache. Aside from avoiding being bitten altogether (this mosquito is active in daytime and is often a striped variety), there is no prevention available. Hospital treatment is urgently required.

Holidays

New Year’s Day – Jan 1st
International Women’s Day – Mar 8th
Cambodian New Year – mid April
Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony – April/ May
Labour Day – May 1st
Visaka Buja Day (Birth of Buddha) – mid May
International Children’s Day – Jun 1st
Constitution and Coronation Day – Sep 24th
Phchum Ben Day (Feast of the Ancestors) – late September/ early October (3 days)
Paris Peace Agreement – Oct 23rd
King’s Birthday – Oct 30 – Nov 1st
Independence Day – Nov 9th
Water Festival – November (three days)
UN Human Rights Day – Dec 10th

Passports & Visas

Visas are required to enter Cambodia. You may get a visa in advance at your nearest Cambodian embassy or obtain visa upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, Pochentong Airport in Phnom Penh, Aranya Prathet-Poipet border, Trat-Koh Kong border, and Moc Bai-Bavet border. One passport-sized photo, a photocopy of passport valid for at least 6 months, and US $20 are required. Cambodia visa is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance. You can also extend your visa at the Department of Immigration, located opposite of Phnom Penh airport.

Time Difference

Standard time in Cambodia is 6 hours ahead of Central European Time (CET), 7 hours ahead of GMT, 12 hours ahead of time in New York, 3 hours behind time in Sydney, two hours behind of Tokyo and in the same time zone as Bangkok.

Tipping

Not obligatory but widely practiced in hotels and restaurants in addition to the service charges shown on bills. On tours tipping of $10-$12 per person per day is customary.

Transportation

In each city, a local English-speaking guide will meet you upon arrival and handle all arrangements, including sightseeing commentary, while you are in that city. All transportation is included in our tours and provided via private car and guides.

Taxis can be hired in main cities. However, cyclos (tricycles) or motodops (motorcycles) are an inexpensive alternative and provide a slower but charming method of exploring the cities. Other forms of public transportation (trains, buses, boats) are available but not recommended.

What to Pack

Bring light clothing that is easy to wash and iron. Sandals and light shoes are adequate. A sweater is handy for cool season nights and drastically air-conditioned buildings.

Valid Passport. Travelers Checks. Copy of Your Airline Ticket. Your Medicines. Departure documents. Travel alarm clock.
Camera(s), batteries & films. Sunscreen/Tan lotion.  Pocket size Kleenex. Extra luggage locks/keys. First Aid kit. Soft, foldable slippers. Extra set of eyeglasses. Folding Umbrella.  Comfortable walking shoes.