“You don’t have to cut a tree down to get at the fruit.” – Cambodian Proverb
- There are numerous land border crossings. The primary crossings are at Poipet (Thailand), Voeung Kam (Laos), and Bavet (Vietnam). Check here for a full listing.
- There are three International Airports: Siem Reap International Airport; Phnom Penh International Airport; and Sihanoukville International Airport.
- There are multiple bus lines that run convenient, comfortable, and safe daily routes between major cities and surrounding countries for around $10 per person.
- Visas are required, and you must pay a processing fee. Typical Visas cost $30 and are good for 30 days. Check here for more information.
- Cambodia is a cheap country to travel and live in. Most meals will cost only a few dollars, and are of high quality.
- Cambodians utilize two currencies: Cambodian Riel (KHR) and USD. Most prices will be listed in USD, you will always be given back change in Riel.
- ATMs are not frequent outside of city centers, but are reliable. They dispense USD.
- Riel are not worth much, and you accumulate a lot of bills, consider using Riel to pay tips for services.
- Tips are deeply appreciated. $1 – $2 is all that is necessary in the majority of cases.
$1 USD = 4000 Cambodian Riel KHR
$2.50 for a meal from a local restaurant.
$15.50 for a 3-course meal for two at a mid-level restaurant.
$336 for a 1 bed apartment in the city-center.
- Cambodia has two seasons: Wet season running from May to September; and Dry season running from October to April.
- The country is situated at about the 5th parallel, and thus maintains warm temperatures year-round. Expect 24C – 35C with extremes into the low 40sC.
- The country is primarily an alluvial plane surrounded by mountains. The Mekong runs through the eastern portion of the territory until it enters Vietnam.
Cambodia is a relatively new country, but the native Khmer people have a long history. Great monuments such as the Angkor complex were built from the 9th to 15th century by the Khmer. The region has been subject to colonizations throughout it’s history, most recently by the French.
After the IndoChine and Vietnam Wars, Cambodia earned it’s independence. It underwent significant turmoil, and the deadly Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. Since then, the country has been under a slow but steady recovery, with a heavy focus on tourism.
Need to Know
- Angkor Wat is located just outside of Siem Reap and is the top tourist destination in the country. It warrants multiple days to thoroughly explore.
- The local police can be corrupt. Most problems may be solved by way of a cheap bribe – though we don’t encourage this.
- Pay attention to local customs. Don’t point with your finger or show the bottoms of your feet to others; don’t eat with your left hand; and never touch a monk’s robes.
- Cambodia is a Buddhist country – dress modestly and don’t show PDA.
- The local Khmer food is excellent.
- Cambodia is a relatively safe country, but common sense should still be used.
- Motorbikes and road related accidents are one of the most significant dangers to travelers. Be wary of driving, and ensure that tuk-tuk drivers are not inebriated.
- Land mines, left over from previous wars, remain scattered throughout the country. Pay close attention to marked signs, and exercise caution when exploring.
- Be wary of stray dogs – especially at night – rabies is endemic to the region.
We recommend reviewing safety guidelines by various state departments: – we make no guarantees to your safety!
US State Department – Moderate to High bias, with moderate levels of broad information. We advise checking against other sources to confirm veracity of statements.
British State Department – Low bias, and very thorough information. We recommend checking with the FCO for tourist warnings.
Australian State Department – Moderate bias, but with thorough information. We advise using as an additional resource for tourist warnings.
We spent 2 weeks in Siem Reap, Cambodia in April 2016.