Cambodian dance group
There are direct flights to the capital of Phnom Penh from Bangkok (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Kualalumpur (Malaysia), Singapore, Hong Kong, Vientiane (Laos) and Guangzhou (China). All of these cities serve as gateways to Cambodia, indicating Cambodia is easily reached from further a field. Cambodia can also be reached by road from Thailand and Vietnam. The exotic option is by way of riverboat or sea cruise. All Foreign visitors are now able to obtain the Cambodia visa upon arrival at the airport. It is no longer necessary to obtain the visa stamp at a Cambodian Embassy before your visit. The Cambodia Visa is valid for 30 days from the date of issue, not from the date of entry. If you expect to stay longer than a month, it would be better to obtain a Business Visa at the outset for US $25 with three months validity. Be sure to prepare the following documents to accompany the application for visa:
The Cambodia Visa is issued officially at the following ports of entry: Pochentong Airport in Phnom Penh Siemreap Airport (Angkor Wat Region) Aranyapathet-Poipet Border and Trat-Koh Kong Border of Thailand. Moc Bai - Bavet Border of Vietnam
Visa-Free Travel Arrangement for Aseans-member countries (August 2000). The Cambodian Government has unveiled visa-free travel arrangements with the following Asean countries: Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia (Singaporean and Indonesian are not exempted and require visas).
As a tropical country, Cambodia is hot and steamy. There are two distinct seasons, the dry and the wet. The wet season monsoon lasts from May to October with southwesterly winds ushering in clouds that deliver 70 - 80% of the annual rainfall, often in spectacular downpours that last for an hour at a time. The dry season runs from November to April with an average temperature range of 27 to 40 degrees Celsius. The coolest and most comfortable travel period for those from cooler climates is from October to January.
The official currency in Cambodia is the Riel which come in denominations of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 50000 and 100000 notes. In the major towns and cities, US dollars (and to a lesser extent Thai baht) can be used though travelers are recommended to carry smaller denomination notes, as change may be difficult. Most places will refuse old, tatty or damaged US bills. Popular international currencies can be exchanged at most banks. Major credit cards are only accepted in a very few places so traveler cheques or cash are recommended. Although you can get a cash advance from a Visa card at the Thai Farmers Bank (Kasikorn Bank) in Phnom Penh, ATM machines are not available at this time, or they are very well hidden. Traveler Cheques can be exchanged at any bank in Cambodia, but you will have to pay about 2 - 4% extra for converting it into US dollars. It is recommended to carry USD cash (with $20 and $100 notes) in addition to traveler cheques and credit card. Do not exchange all of your cash into the local currency at one time, but gradually; it is very difficult to exchange back to foreign currency-practically impossible for ordinary tourists!
UTC / GMT (+7 hours) Noon in London is 7pm in Cambodia.
The hand phone (mobile / cellular phone) has become a necessity in Cambodia. Phone cards can be bought at hotels post offices and supermarkets for use in public phones.
220 volt AC (50 cycles)
The Cambodian language, Khmer, is part of the Mon-Khmer family and has its origins in Sanskrit and Pali. It is spoken all over the country except in some tribal areas where indigenous languages are in use. In larger towns and cities, English is spoken by an increasing number of educated people. French is spoken by some of the older members of society and Chinese by many of the business merchants. All facilities catering to tourists employ English-speaking staff who more often than not can speak some German, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese or even Russian.
Cover your skin when not on the beach and be aware that officials expect to be accorded a certain respect. Be polite in your manner and dress and you will encounter less grievance. Places of worship are especially sensitive to skimpy or revealing clothing such as tank tops and short shorts.
Fish are abundant at the Cambodian dive sites
Cambodia has a limited road network, most of which is deteriorating badly. There are roughly 1900 km of navigable waterways. Phnom Penh, which is 320 km from the mouth of the Mekong, is accessible by smaller ocean-going vessels. Buses serve Phnom Penh's suburbs. 'Cyclos' are a cheap form of transport and motorbikes and bicycles are available for hire. Beware of Cambodians' reckless driving habits, especially when motoring outside the capital. Cars are available for hire for about USD 30 per day at the government ministries. Travel by train is not currently allowed for foreigners. Much of the train network was destroyed by the civil war, leaving the system in poor condition. Safety is also a concern for rail travel, as trains have often been the target of sabotage by local rebels. Although water travel is an important means of transportation in Cambodia, foreigners are currently prohibited from travel by boat, with the exception of a couple of ferry tours that run out of Phnom Penh.
All visitors to Cambodia should have up to date inoculations as recommended by their doctors. Visitors should take preventive measures against mosquitoes as in any tropical country, especially at dusk. Health insurance, especially medical evacuation coverage is recommended, as international standard healthcare is minimal in Cambodia, especially in rural areas. Although Cambodia is not a malaria risk-free country, your health will not be at risk if proper precautions are undertaken. Consult your doctor or the World Health Organization for updates and health advisories.
The following is a list of major hospitals and medical centers in Cambodia in the event of an emergency:
Access Medical Services No.4 Street 432, Sang-kat Bong Trak, Phnom Penh Tel: (015) 913358, 913831-405
AEA-SOS International Medical Center No. 161 Street 51, Sangkat Boeung Peng Tel: 216911 Fax: (855-23) 215811
Calmette Hospital Monivong Street Tel: 914093 Fax: (855-18) 810785
European Medical Clinic Hong Kong Center Sisowath Boulevard Tel: 916413 Fax: (855-23) 364656
Phnompenh Medical Services No. 181, 1st Floor Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh in front of Red Cross Medical Center Tel: 300311
Raffles Medical Center Sofitel Cambodiana, No. 313 Sisowath Boulevard Office No.7, Ground Floor Tel: 426288 ext.650
Sihanouk Hospital Center No. 363 Street 271 Tel: 723273, 982571