What do I need before travelling?
We suggest that all our customers review foreign office advice for Cambodia before travelling. Click here for the latest information from the foreign office.
What are the visa requirements?
UK visitors to Cambodia require a visa to enter the country and all travellers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Cambodia. Visas are obtained on arrival at the international airports (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh) and are valid for 30 days. The cost is USD30 (which needs to be paid in cash) and you are required to present one passport sized photo with your application.
What is the currency in Cambodia?
The Riel is Cambodia's official currency, but US dollars are accepted everywhere (although ripped, torn, or old bills will not be accepted)
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and Saturday morning until 12:00. In the major cities there are exchange bureaus and most hotels will change US dollars, although for other currencies it is usually necessary to visit a bank. Most hotels accept international credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard and travellers cheques can be easily cashed.
There are now international debit card and credit card-compatible ATMs in most major towns and cities. Small charges are sometimes levied on withdrawals. Larger sums can be withdrawn over the counter with some identification such as a passport.
What is the language in Cambodia?
Cambodia's national language is Khmer, which is also referred to as Cambodian. English is the first language among young students, while French is still spoken by some of the older generation. Chinese and Vietnamese are also widely spoken in urban areas and Thai is quite well understood in Western Cambodia.
Are there any customs or public holidays I should be aware of?
While in Cambodia, you should never take photographs near airports and military bases, and always ask permission before taking pictures of people (particularly monks and religious figures). It is courteous to wear appropriate clothing when visiting religious sites, and although tipping for good service is not expected, it is appreciated in a country where income is very low compared to Western standards. Refrain from photographing monks when they are around temples or in alms giving ceremonies
Khmer New Year celebrations last for three days beginning on New Year's Day, which usually falls on April 13th or 14th. This is the end of the harvesting season, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins.
Is Cambodia safe?
Despite its turbulent history, Cambodia is a safe country to visit. All tourist areas have been cleared of landmines with a comparatively small portion remaining in the more remote areas. As a global rule, never leave your belongings unattended and always maintain eye contact and a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags
What is the cuisine like?
Rice and fish are the staple diet for most Cambodians. Local specialities include curries, a variety of soups, and traditional beef, pork and poultry dishes. The national dish is amok, which is fresh fish steamed with coconut, curry paste and lemongrass in a banana leaf. Fresh seafood is also available and is especially popular with visitors travelling to the coast. Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines are also common in Cambodia, as is a variety of western cuisine which can be found in abundance in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
It is not advisable to drink tap water but bottled mineral water is safe and available everywhere. All hotels provide a complimentary bottle of local mineral water per person in the room. Ice cubes in drinks is generally OK in good standard hotels and restaurants but it is best to avoid it on street stalls or in country areas.
What can I expect to pay for eating out locally?
Like most things in Cambodia, dining out can be fantastically cheap. Choose to snack from street vendors where you can enjoy local specialities for as little as 50p! A meal in a local Khmer restaurant will be more in the region of £3 - £4 per person. A meal in a smarter local restaurant or more international option will be slightly more expensive again: £5-£8 per person. If you choose to eat in a luxury hotel expect to pay in the region of £20 per person for lunch or £40 per person for dinner.
(Prices are simply a guideline and subject to change).
What evening entertainment can I expect?
Western style entertainment is easy to find in Cambodia. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a wealth of good restaurants and a large number of bars and some nightclubs. In the rest of the country, entertainment is still emerging, but some tourist-oriented restaurants and bars can be found in most tourist destinations in Cambodia.
Will I need to bring an adaptor?
Cambodia uses 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3 pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor. Power outages happen occasionally but most hotels have their own generator.