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Cambodia Travel Guide

Holiday of a lifetime!
CAMBODIA –THE KINGDOM OF WONDERS

Cambodia Overview

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a reborn country, a land that continues to surprise and delight its visitors. Angkor temples-World Wonder, the bright sight of the country, the magnificent legacy of the Khmer empire, used the powerful country that ruled over much of Southeast Asia 1,000 years ago, there is much to discover in this country or one of the bucket list of travel!

The capital city Phnom Penh –was once used as a Ghost city during Pol Pot Regime or Khmer Rouge learning about the tragic history of dark sight, by visiting the Killing Fields, the Tuol Sleng Museum, and other reminders of the Khmer Rouge regime. You will be amazed by the optimistic attitude of Cambodians, who have found the courage to continue smiling despite three dark decades of civil war.

Beaches in Sihanoukville, visiting the islands that dot the Cambodian coast and the quaint little provincial towns that make up the beautiful countryside.

TOP CAMBODIA DESTINATIONS

Siem Reap

The gateway to the Temples of Amazing Angkor Site World Culture Heritage Site

Phnom Penh

The capital city situated at the confluence of three rivers and offers an interesting mix of colonial buildings, temples, markets, and broad avenues

Tonle Sap Lake

One of the world’s largest freshwater lakes Sihanoukville – a jewel and natural of white sands, blue sea, and fresh seafood, situated in the south of Cambodia

Kampot, Kep, and Bokor National Park

Best French resort building still left and Pepper plantation

USEFUL TIPS

When travel to Cambodia

1. The ideal time to travel to Cambodia

1.1. In term of weather

The ideal time to travel to Cambodia in terms of weather is during the dry season, which generally runs from November to April. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons in Cambodia:

  • Dry Season (November to April): This is the most popular time to visit Cambodia due to the dry and sunny weather. The temperatures are generally pleasant, ranging from the mid-20s to low 30s Celsius (mid-70s to low 90s Fahrenheit). The dry season is an excellent time to explore Cambodia’s famous temples, such as Angkor Wat, as well as enjoy outdoor activities and beach destinations like Sihanoukville and Koh Rong.
  • Hot Season (April to June): As the dry season progresses, temperatures start to rise, and April and May can be extremely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). It can be quite humid during this period, making it less comfortable for outdoor activities. However, if you can handle the heat, you may find fewer crowds at popular tourist sites.
  • Wet Season (May to October): The wet season in Cambodia is characterized by regular rainfall, particularly from May to October. The rain showers are typically short and intense, often occurring in the afternoon or evening. The countryside becomes lush and green during this time, and the temples are less crowded. However, it’s important to note that some rural areas and remote temples may become inaccessible or difficult to navigate due to flooding.

 

1.2. In term of budget

The ideal time to travel to Cambodia in terms of budget would generally be during the low season, which coincides with the rainy season from May to October. Here’s why:

  • Lower Accommodation Prices: During the low season, accommodations in Cambodia tend to offer discounted rates and promotions to attract visitors. You can find better deals on hotels, guesthouses, and resorts, allowing you to save money on your accommodation expenses.
  • Cheaper Flights: Airline ticket prices to Cambodia may also be more affordable during the low season. Many airlines offer discounted fares and special promotions during this time to encourage travel. Be sure to compare prices and keep an eye out for flight deals to secure the best rates.
  • Less Expensive Tours and Activities: With fewer tourists visiting Cambodia during the low season, tour operators and activity providers may offer discounts and reduced prices. You may find better deals on guided tours, temple visits, boat trips, and other popular activities, allowing you to experience more for your money.
  • Negotiating Power: With fewer tourists around, you may have more bargaining power when it comes to shopping, transportation, and other services. Local vendors and service providers might be more willing to negotiate prices and offer discounts during the low season.

If you’re looking to travel on a budget, consider visiting Cambodia during the shoulder seasons of May and June or September and October. These months offer a balance between affordability and weather conditions, as they are closer to the start or end of the rainy season.

2. Tips for booking flight tickets to Cambodia

2.1. International airports in Cambodia

  • Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH): Located in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
  • Siem Reap International Airport (REP): Situated in the city of Siem Reap,
  • Sihanouk International Airport (KOS): Located in Sihanoukville

2.2. Domestic airlines in Cambodia

Cambodia has several domestic airlines that operate flights within the country. Here are some of the main domestic airlines in Cambodia:

  • Cambodia Angkor Air: Cambodia Angkor Air is the national flag carrier of Cambodia. In addition to international flights, the airline also operates domestic routes connecting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and other destinations within the country.
  • Lanmei Airlines: Lanmei Airlines is a Chinese-owned airline that operates both international and domestic flights in Cambodia. They offer domestic routes connecting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.
  • Bassaka Air: Bassaka Air is a Cambodian airline that primarily focuses on domestic flights. They provide services between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.
  • Cambodia Bayon Airlines: Cambodia Bayon Airlines is a domestic airline based in Siem Reap. They operate flights between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and a few other domestic destinations.
  • JC International Airlines: JC International Airlines is a Chinese-owned airline that operates both international and domestic flights. They offer domestic routes connecting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.

3. Visa, passport to Cambodia

When traveling to Cambodia, you will need a valid passport and, in most cases, a visa. Here’s the information regarding passports and visas for traveling to Cambodia:

Passport Requirements:

  • All travelers to Cambodia must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining beyond the date of entry.
  • Ensure that your passport is in good condition and has blank pages for immigration stamps.

Visa Requirements:

  • Visa on Arrival: Many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival at international airports and selected land border crossings in Cambodia. The visa on arrival allows for a single-entry stay of up to 30 days. You will need to provide a completed visa application form, a passport-sized photo, and the visa fee in cash (USD). It’s advisable to carry the exact amount in USD as change may not always be available.
  • E-Visa: The Cambodian e-Visa is an online visa application system that allows travelers to apply for a tourist visa in advance. You can apply for an e-Visa through the official Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or authorized online platforms. The e-Visa is valid for a single-entry stay of up to 30 days. The approved e-Visa will be issued as an electronic document that you need to print and carry with you when traveling.
  • Visa from Cambodian Embassies/Consulates: If you prefer to obtain a visa before traveling, you can apply at a Cambodian embassy or consulate in your home country or a neighboring country. The visa application requirements and processing times may vary depending on the embassy/consulate. It’s advisable to check with the specific embassy/consulate for detailed instructions and allow sufficient time for visa processing.

4. Buy international travel insurances

Having international travel insurance is highly recommended when traveling to Cambodia or any other destination. Travel insurance provides coverage and protection in case of unexpected events or emergencies during your trip. Here are some key points to consider regarding travel insurance for Cambodia:

  1. Medical Coverage: Ensure that your travel insurance includes adequate medical coverage. This is essential in case you require medical treatment or emergency evacuation while in Cambodia
  2. Trip Cancellation or Interruption: Travel insurance can reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if your trip to Cambodia is canceled or interrupted due to covered reasons, such as illness, injury, or unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Lost or Delayed Baggage: Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost, stolen, or delayed baggage.
  4. Travel Assistance Services: Look for insurance policies that offer 24/7 travel assistance services.
  5. Adventure Activities Coverage: If you plan to engage in adventure activities or sports in Cambodia, make sure your travel insurance covers such activities.

Always carefully review the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and requirements. Consider factors like the duration of your trip, the activities you plan to engage in, and your personal needs when selecting a travel insurance policy.

5. Cambodian currency

The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR). However, the United States Dollar (USD) is widely accepted and used alongside the Riel in Cambodia. Here are some key points about the currency in Cambodia:

  1. Cambodian Riel (KHR): The Cambodian Riel is the official currency of Cambodia. Banknotes are available in denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 Riels. However, smaller denomination notes (below 1000 Riels) are rarely used in everyday transactions.
  2. United States Dollar (USD): The USD is widely accepted and used in Cambodia, especially for larger transactions such as hotel payments, tourist attractions, and transportation. Many businesses, particularly those catering to tourists, quote prices in USD. In fact, it’s not uncommon for visitors to primarily use USD for their expenses while in Cambodia.
  3. Currency Exchange: Currency exchange services are readily available in major cities and tourist areas. Banks, exchange counters, and authorized money changers offer currency exchange services for both USD and other major currencies. It’s advisable to compare exchange rates and fees to ensure you get the best rates.
  4. ATMs and Credit Cards: ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, and they dispense both USD and Riel. Credit and debit cards are also accepted at many hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments. However, it’s always good to carry some cash, especially smaller denomination notes, for smaller businesses, local markets, and transportation where cash is often preferred.
  5. Riel and USD Usage: In day-to-day transactions, smaller purchases, and rural areas, the Riel is commonly used. The USD is more prevalent in larger cities, tourist areas, and for larger transactions. It’s useful to have a mix of both currencies to accommodate different situations.
  6. Currency Exchange Rates: The exchange rate between the Riel and USD fluctuates. It’s advisable to check the current exchange rate before your trip. Currency exchange rates can vary between different exchange providers, so it’s a good idea to compare rates to get the best value for your money.

6. Mobile data plan in Cambodia

When visiting Cambodia, you have several options for obtaining a mobile data plan to stay connected while traveling. Here are some key points about mobile data plans in Cambodia:

  1. Mobile Network Operators: Cambodia has several mobile network operators that offer prepaid SIM cards and mobile data plans. The main operators are Cellcard, Smart Axiata, and Metfone. These operators provide reliable coverage in most urban areas, towns, and tourist destinations across the country.
  2. SIM Card Purchase: You can easily purchase a prepaid SIM card from mobile network operator shops, convenience stores, or authorized resellers. They are widely available, including at airports and major cities. You may need to present your passport for identification when buying a SIM card.
  3. SIM Card Registration: Cambodian regulations require SIM card registration. When purchasing a SIM card, you will need to provide your passport details and complete a registration form. The process is usually quick and straightforward.
  4. Data Packages: Mobile network operators offer a variety of data packages to suit different needs and durations. These packages typically provide a certain amount of data for a specified period, such as daily, weekly, or monthly plans. The packages may include additional benefits like voice minutes or SMS.
  5. Internet Speed and Coverage: In major cities and popular tourist areas, mobile internet speeds are generally good, allowing for smooth browsing, social media usage, and basic streaming. However, in more remote or rural areas, the internet speed and coverage may be limited or slower.
  6. Recharge Options: You can easily recharge or top up your mobile data plan by purchasing recharge cards or using mobile apps provided by the respective mobile network operators. Recharge cards are available at various retail outlets, convenience stores, and mobile network operator shops.
  7. Wi-Fi Availability: Wi-Fi is commonly available in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and some public areas in Cambodia. However, having a mobile data plan is recommended for reliable internet access while on the go or when staying in areas without Wi-Fi coverage.

7. Cambodian traditional culinary

Cambodian cuisine is rich in flavors, influenced by the country’s history, neighboring countries, and local ingredients. Here are some traditional Cambodian dishes that you might want to try:

  1. Amok: Considered Cambodia’s national dish, Amok is a popular Khmer curry made with fish (often steamed), coconut milk, spices, and herbs. It has a rich and creamy texture and is typically served with steamed rice.
  2. Bai Sach Chrouk: This is a classic breakfast dish in Cambodia. It consists of thinly sliced pork marinated in garlic, soy sauce, and coconut milk, which is then grilled and served over rice with pickled vegetables and a side of clear soup.
  3. Fish Amok: Similar to the traditional Amok, Fish Amok is a variation that uses fish as the main ingredient. The fish is typically mixed with a curry paste made from lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, and other spices before being steamed and served in a banana leaf cup.
  4. Kuy Teav: Kuy Teav is a popular noodle soup dish in Cambodia. It features rice noodles in a flavorful broth, often topped with slices of pork, beef, or shrimp, along with bean sprouts, green onions, and various herbs. It’s commonly enjoyed for breakfast or as a light meal.
  5. Nom Banh Chok: Nom Banh Chok is a traditional Cambodian dish consisting of rice noodles topped with a fish-based green curry sauce and fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, mint, and bean sprouts. It’s a refreshing and flavorful dish commonly eaten for breakfast or lunch.
  6. Prahok Ktiss: Prahok Ktiss is a popular Cambodian dip made with fermented fish paste (prahok), ground pork, coconut milk, and spices. It’s typically eaten with fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers and eggplants, and served with rice.
  7. Lap Khmer: Lap Khmer is a tangy and spicy Cambodian salad made with thinly sliced or minced meat (often beef or chicken), mixed with lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and herbs. It’s usually served with fresh vegetables and accompanied by rice.
  8. Num Banh Chok: Num Banh Chok refers to the traditional Cambodian rice noodles that are typically served with a variety of toppings and a fish-based curry sauce. It’s a popular street food dish and offers a unique blend of flavors.

8. Potential scam when travel to Cambodia

When traveling to Cambodia or any other destination, it’s important to be aware of potential scams to protect yourself and ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some common scams that travelers should be cautious of in Cambodia:

  1. Tuk-tuk or Taxi Scams: Some drivers may overcharge or take longer routes to increase the fare. To avoid this, negotiate the fare or use reputable and metered taxis. Ensure that the driver agrees on a price or uses the meter before starting the ride.
  2. Temple Scams: At popular tourist sites, there may be individuals posing as official guides who offer their services for a fee. It’s advisable to use authorized guides or seek information from reliable sources to avoid being scammed.
  3. Money Exchange Scams: Be cautious when exchanging currency. Use authorized exchange services or banks to ensure fair rates and avoid counterfeit bills. Count your money carefully and be aware of distractions that could lead to theft.
  4. Fake Tickets and Tours: Purchase tickets and tour packages from reputable sources. Be cautious of extremely low-priced tours or tickets, as they may turn out to be scams or involve hidden costs.
  5. Fake Monks and Begging Scams: Some individuals dressed as monks or posing as monks may approach tourists and request donations. Authentic monks do not solicit money, so exercise caution and avoid giving money to suspicious individuals.
  6. Gem Scams: Be wary of deals involving gemstones or jewelry at exceptionally low prices. Scammers may sell fake or low-quality products, misrepresent their value, or use other tactics to deceive buyers.
  7. Drink Spiking: It’s important to remain vigilant and be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers, especially in nightlife areas. Drink spiking incidents can occur, leading to theft or other criminal activities.
  8. Landmine Scams: In remote areas or near landmine-affected regions, individuals may claim to offer tours or sell deactivated landmines as souvenirs. Engaging in such activities is illegal and highly dangerous. Stick to designated and safe areas.

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