PART 1: BEFORE DEPARTURE
Passport and Visa
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has launched e-visa, which enables you to apply for a Cambodiatourist visa online. Instead of applying through Cambodian Embassy, all you need to do is to complete the online application form and pay with your credit card. After receiving your Visa through email, print out and bring it along when you travel to Cambodia.
Visa can be obtained at the following points of entry:
– Phnom Penh International Airport
– Siem Reap International Airport
– Bavet International Check Point
– Kha Orm Sam Nor International Check Point
– Cham Yeam International Check Point
– Poi Pet International Check Point
– O?Smach International Check Point
Application for an entry visa requires:
– A completed visa application form
– Passport valid at least further 4 months
– One recent photograph (4×6)
– Appropriate visa fee
– Supporting documents for business and official visas
– USD20 for Tourist visa
– USD25 for Business visa
Diplomatic, Official, Courtesy and Special (Cambodian national) visas are issued gratis.
Important: In order to be admitted into the country, tourists need sufficient funds for their stay and a return ticket.
Visa K can be issued to a Cambodian national entering the Kingdom on a foreign passport. (The applicant has to provide well-documented evidence, such as proof that one?s parents were Cambodian).
The nationals of the Philippines and Malaysia do not need a tourist visa and may stay in Cambodia for 21 and 30 days respectively.
The tourist (T) and business (E) visas can be extended at the Immigration Department, National Police. The Diplomatic (A), Official (B) and Courtesy (C) visas can be extended at the Consular Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A tourist visa can be extended only once for up to one month (single entry). A business visa can be extended for:
– One month (Single entry)
– Three months (Single entry)
– Six months (Multiple entry)
– One year (Multiple entry)
Customs and Formalities
Every passengers has to complete an immigration form and a separate customs declaration form for submission upon arrival. Any amount of foreign currency can be brought into Cambodia but the amount of local currency (Cambodia Riel) must not exceed 100,000 riel per person.
Although no vaccinations are officially required for entry to Cambodia, they are highly encouraged. Visitors are advised to check with their doctor or a travel immunization clinic regarding protection against malaria, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and B. Any essential medications should be brought with you as there is no guarantee they will be available in Cambodia.
Currency, Exchange and ATM
The local currency is Riel, although the US dollar is widely accepted throughout the country and in all major markets. In recent years the rate of exchange has been floating around USD1= 4,000 Riels. Some popular Riel denominations include: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 notes.
Climate & Weather
Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops and this year round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for the tourism industry. Visitors do need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However those planning to travel extensively by road should avoid the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable.
The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with an overage temperature around 27.C (80.F) but in the dry season it is cool and very much like a European summer.
There are two distinct seasons: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season. However, the Dry Season is divided into two sub-seasons, cool and hot and these seasons are:
The Rainy season: From June till October 27-35.C (80-95.f)
The Dry season (cool): From November till February 17-27.C (80-95.F)
The Dry season (Hot) : From March till May 29-38.C (84-100.F)
The country has a tropical climate-warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travelers need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
What to bring
Light clothing made from natural fibres is the best clothing for the region. Warm clothing – for the months of December and January, a light jacket is often necessary in the lowlands – more warm clothing may be needed if travelling in the highlands. Most towns have markets where you can buy a warm jacket for a fraction of the price you would pay at home.
PART 2: WHEN YOU ARE IN CAMBODIA
Local time is GMT plus 7 hours.
Most business offices are open from 08:00 till 12:00 and from 13:00 till 17:00, Monday through Friday. Banks generally operate from 08:00 till 15:00hrs. Most private companies work on Saturday, while government offices are closed.
Khmer is the official language. English and French are popular second languages.
It is easy and cheap to access the Internet and email in Cambodia. There are a plenty of Internet cafes and many are open until late at night. Currently the charge is between 50cents to $1U.S dollars per hour, and falling.
For International departures: US$25 from Phnom Penh; US$25 from Siem Reap. For domestic flights: US$6 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and US$6 from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Post and Telecommunications
There are two gateways for international telephone access from Cambodia by dialing 001 or 007 followed by the country code and the phone number.
There are also four cellular phone service provides offering convenient communication via the GSM system, therefore many citizens now carry mobile phones. Phone IDD and facsimile are also available.
Heath care in Cambodia
There are still many state-owned hospitals, where qualified doctors work. There are also a number of private clinics available in the major cities and most of these maintain international standards.
Food & Drinks
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanouk Ville are three special places for connoisseurs of Khmer food. Rice and fish, together with array of herbs, sauces and spices, are the Khmer typical cuisine. Curries and soup with beef, pork, poultry and seafood can be bought from vendors along the streets. Cuisine from all over the world is also found in Cambodia with over 100 restaurants such as European, American, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and many others so visitors will be able to have many choices here.
Shopping & Bargaining
The Krama (a traditional cotton scarf) is one of the most popular, typical Cambodian souvenirs. These multi-purpose garments, similar to a sarong, are used for bathing, cleaning, protection from the sun and many other purposes in the Khmer life. It is also one of the national symbols that distinguish Khmer people from their neighbors. Both cotton and silk Krama are available throughout local markets and souvenir shops. Ask the seller to demonstrate the proper wearing of the Krama so you may carry and wear it yourself while sightseeing for a more elegant and traditional look.