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About Cambodia

Cambodia is a country of incredible history and culture, and is quickly rising a top destination for its beauty, historical monuments and testaments to a torrid history. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is also a destination for travellers in search of magnificent remnants of ancient cultures. Between stunning stretches of scenery in Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong Delta among other highlights of Cambodia, this Kingdom is a gem of Southeast Asia.

Capital City: Phnom Penh 

Language: Khmer
 
Currency: Riel and US dollars
 
Time Zone: GMT +7 Hours
 
International Dialing Code: +855
 
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 30 day visa on arrival is granted for many nationals at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and International Border Checkpoints. A passport sized photo is required to complete the visa.
 
The Royal Government of Cambodia has also recently approved e-visas. All you have to do is complete the online application form available at the official website, pay by credit card online, and include uploading a recent passport-size photo in JPEG/ PNG format. This e-visa is a single entry visa valid for 30 months from the date of issue for a 30 day stay.
 
Please note that visa extensions are available at the Immigration Department in Phnom Penh City for a 3 month stay. The Cambodian government is also set to offer an option for a 3-year tourist visa for certain nationalities in the future.
 
Currency
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 & 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.
 
Weather
Cambodia has a tropical climate that is relatively calm and consistent throughout the year. The average temperature is 27 degrees centigrade. There are two seasons, the humid monsoon season which spans from May to October, and the dry season which is from November to April.
 
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.
 
Health and Safety

Please be aware that your health can be at risk in Cambodia due to poor sanitation and lack of proper medical facilities. Rural areas have few, if any, pharmacies and hospitals so make sure you travel with a full supply of any prescribed medicine you take.  If you need medical assistance, we recommend Royal Angkor International Hospital in Siem Reap, (t: 063761888) and International SOS Medical & Dental Clinic in Phnom Penh (t: 023216911). Each traveller is responsible for his or her own health. First and foremost, make sure that you have travel insurance for your trip. You should also consult your doctor or local travel clinic for the latest information and advice on travelling to Cambodia before departure.

 

Vaccinations

There are many vaccinations needed when travelling to this part of the world. It is important you ensure you have adequate protection against disease.  Book an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic, no less than two months before your departure. 

 

Travel insurance

Indochina charm Tours does everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, travel inevitably involves some risk and this should be recognised by holiday-makers. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment should any problems occur such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind. Please also ensure your travel insurance covers all activities planned on your trip.

 

Food and drink
It is not advisable to drink tap water in Cambodia. Bottled water is cheap and widely available.
 
Khmer cuisine, considered one of the healthiest in the world, has much in common with the food of neighbouring Thailand, although it is generally not as spicy. It is also similar to Vietnamese food, due to its shared colonial French history. The most well-known Cambodian dish is amok. Amok is a coconut based curry traditionally cooked with fish, however it is not uncommon to have it with chicken.
 
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 Aprilevery 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.

 

Pre-departure checklist
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport with at least six months validity from date of entry
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Passport-sized photo and $USD for visa on arrival
  • Vaccinations
  • Foreign currency (US$) and/or ATM card
  • All relevant tickets
  • Reconfirmed flights
  • Light weight clothing
  • Long sleeved shirts and trousers (November-February evenings)
  • Depending on the season, your activities and the region you will be visiting (e.g. mountainous areas) it may be advisable for you to bring a jacket with you.
  • Electrical adaptor: 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs
  • A small bag/backpack for day and overnight trips
  • Appropriate shoes for trekking, cycling and walking
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Medication/first aid kit

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