CAMBODIA : A BASIC TRAVEL INFO Print

 

Area                                                           181,035 Square Kilometer

Comparing to the size of U.S. states               slightly bigger than Washington   

Borders with                                                 Laos, Vietnam, Thailand          

Population                                                   15 million                                         

Time Zone                                                  GMT + 7:00

Religions                                                     Theravada Buddhism

Government Type                                          Constitutional Monarchy, Parliamentary System

Capital                                                         Phnom Penh

Language                                                     Khmer

Passport & Visa Formalities

You must have a valid Passport and visa to travel to Cambodia.  Tourists and business travelers may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and at all major border crossings. A

Requirements on arrival visa 

1. Passport (valid for at least 6 months 
2. Two recent passport photos
3. USD 30 in cash (subject to change) 
4. Visa application form (available upon arrival)

*** Visa fee and procedures are subject to change. Pelase check this with  Cambodian Embassy.****

Cambodian Embassy located at

4530 16th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20011,
tel. 202-726-7742,
fax 202-726-8381.

Weather & Clothing

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. 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.

Cambodia enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons:
Hot Season : April - May
Rainy Season : June - October
Dry Season : November – March

The most pleasant season is the dry season with temperatures ranging from 70-85° F. During the rainy season, downpours hardly last more than a couple of hours.

Health & Immunization

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.


Vaccination
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.


Malaria
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.


Food and 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.

Customs & Declarations

An unlimited amount of foreign currency can be brought in to Cambodia, but the amount of Cambodian currency must not exceed 100,000 Riels per person.

Tourists and non-residents carrying amounts over US$10,000 in cash or the equivalent must declare so in order to ensure that they will be allowed to leave with the declared amount. 

Money, Credit Cards & ATM

The currency of Cambodia is the riel. However, for tourists, the real currency of Cambodia is the US dollar. Riel is 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, as visitors are not supposed 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.

ATMs are available in big cities only.

Culture & Etiquette

Cambodian culture is strongly influenced by early Indian and Chinese cultures. As early as the beginning of the Christian era, most Funan people were followers of Brahmanism (a forerunner of Hinduism), which merged with the existing animistic beliefs into a new religion - Hinduism and local deities existing side by side.

You should always take your shoes off when entering a temple or when visiting private houses, and you should wear appropriate clothing. For men and women it is advisable to cover your shoulders and wear knee-long skirts or trousers. Wearing bathing suits or trunks should be limited to the beach or hotel pool. The head is regarded as a particularly holy part of the body. You should never touch anybody's head intentionally, and offer an excuse if you do so by chance. Accordingly, the feet are literally the lowest part of the body - do not point your feet at anybody.

Sensitivity to politically related subjects in conversation is advisable. As always, it is polite to ask permission before taking photographs of Cambodians, particularly monks.

Miscellaneous

When you arrive at the airport or border

 When you arrive at the airport or border, someone from our local supplier will meet you at the airport who will be displaying your name. You will be then transferred to your to hotel.  In case,  because of earlier or delayed flight, if you do not  see anybody to pick you up, then give a call to the local tour operator listed on the “Local Operator’s Contact Detail” which is in the information package you have received from us before you left U.S.

ELECTRICITY

Electricity: 220V / 50V. However, electricity supply can be unreliable in smaller towns.

TELEHPONE, EMAIL, WIFI

International call options available in all tourist locations however landlines, especially in hotels can be expensive for international calls. Sim cards for mobile phones are widely available supporting up to 3G connections in many areas with some cards available for cheaper international calls.

Wifi is available thease days in most of the hotels.

TIPPING

Although there is not a strong tradition of tipping in Cambodia, tips will be accepted and are very appreciated by tour guides, porters and wait staff at hotels and restaurants.

Below is a general idea on tipping in the group size beween 2-5 people.  If there are more than 5 people in the group, a little more would be expectd. The mentioend tipping is to be divided by the number of people in the group.  The tips can be more or less depending on the services you get from them.

Tour Guide :  US$ 8 a day

Driver  :         US$  6 a day