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About Cambodia

About Cambodia

Description

General Information

 

Cambodia is a reasonably safe destination and can be visited throughout the year. The capital, Phnom Penh, is rapidly developing, as are the other major cities and towns. Many of the comforts of home can be found here, from air-conditioning and wireless internet in many hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, to the availability of food and other products from around the world.

Other aspects of travel in the country may be less comfortable, such as uneven ground and heat in markets, and relentless heat if visiting tourist sites during the middle of the day. The usual precautions apply to maintaining personal safety, like locking valuables in your hotel safety deposit box before venturing out.

 

 

What to Expect

 

Cambodia is a country embracing the future while remembering its past, and its contrasts are widely evident. The pulsating capital, Phnom Penh, is home to reminders of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, yet is embracing a new, cosmopolitan side with upmarket restaurants, chic boutiques and hotels and a thriving art scene.

Similarly, Siem Reap is home to one of Asia's most compelling sights, the temples of Angkor, but also has a dynamic, youthful vibe. Travelling in the Cambodian countryside provides an insight into rural Asia, both its hardships and its beauty. Visitors with more time in Cambodia can experience abandoned hill stations, empty beaches, rugged mountains and vibrant rice paddies.

Tourist infrastructure in the country is rapidly improving, though it should be considered that not all services and facilities reflect Western standards. Travel in remote areas may involve undeveloped roads and clean yet basic accommodation.

  • Flight times
  • From Australia: Flight times range from 12 hours (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth) to 15 hours (Adelaide, Brisbane)
  • From New Zealand: 16 hours from Auckland
  • From UK: 16 hours from London
  • From USA: Flight times range from 17 hours (Los Angeles) to 20 hours (New York

 

 

Events

 

  • 1 January is International New Year’s Day, a public holiday. Banks, public offices and somebusinesses will be closed.
  • 7 January is Victory Day, a public holiday celebrating the end of the Khmer Rouge's reign in 1979. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • February - on the full moon day of the third lunar month is Meak Bochea Day, a public holiday commemorating the spontaneous gathering of monks to listen to Buddha's preaching. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • 14-16 April is Khmer New Year, a major public holiday when banks, publics some businesses will be closed, and the Phnom Penh's Royal Palace will be periodically closed.
  • April/May - on the full moon day of the fifth lunar month is Visakha Buchea Day, a public holiday commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • May - on the 4th to 6th days of the waning moon of the sixth lunar month is the Royal Ploughing ceremony, a public holiday signifying the start of the ploughing season. A special ceremony foretells whether it will be a successful season or not. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • 13-15 May is a public holiday to celebrate the King's birthday. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed, and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh will be periodically closed.
  • 1 June is a public holiday to recognise International and National Children's Day. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • 18 June is a public holiday to celebrate the Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk's birthday. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • 24 September is a public holiday to mark Constitution Day, celebrating the signing of the Cambodian constitution by King Sihanouk.
  • September/October - on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar is the three day Pchum Ben holiday, where Buddhists pay their respects to their ancestors. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed, and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh will be closed periodically.
  • 29 October is King Coronation Day, commemorating the coronation of the current king, Norodom Sihamoni.
  • 31 October is a public holiday to celebrate King Sihanouk's birthday, the previous King of Cambodia. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • 9 November is a public holiday to recognise Independence Day, or Cambodia's independence from France in 1953. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed.
  • November - on the full moon of the Buddhist month of Kadeuk is the Water Festival, a major public holiday spanning several days commemorating the change in direction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. Banks, public offices and some businesses will be closed and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is closed periodically. There are very large crowds on the riverfront in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, plus road closures.

 

 

 

Visa & Passport

 

Getting your Cambodian visa is a simple and efficient process. Tourist visas for most nationalities can be obtained on arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airports for 20 USD cash. A visa form will be issued to you on the airplane or on arrival. You will also need one passport photo to accompany your visa application.

By visiting www.mfaic.gov.kh and paying 25 USD by credit card, a 30-day tourist visa can be issued electronically within three business days. Note that this visa is only valid for arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports, Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) and Bavet (Svay Rieng). Cambodian visas can be obtained on arrival at the following border crossings:

Airports:
Phnom Penh International Airport
Siem Reap International Airport

Cambodia-Vietnam border:

  • Cham Yeam International Check Point (Koh Kong Province)
  • International Check Point (Kampot Province)
    • Phnom Den International Check Point (Takeo Province)
    • Oyadav International Check Point (Rattankiri Province)
    • Tropieng Phlong International Check Point (Kampong Cham Province)

Cambodia-Lao border:

  • Dong Krolar International Check Point (Steung Treng Province)
  • Tropieng Kreal International Check Point (Stung Treng Province)

Please note: Cambodian visa regulations and arrangements are subject to change and it is your responsibility to ensure your visa is in order before you travel. We strongly suggest that you check with the relevant embassies in your country of residence that these guidelines are applicable to you.

A passport and visa are required. Tourists and business travelers may purchase a Cambodian visa valid for one month at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Both require a passport-sized photograph. A departure tax is charged on all domestic and international flights.

Application for Visas and Fee
It is required for the visa applicants to submit passport, application forms, a recent passport-style color photograph, and such other documents as determined by the status of stay.

Single entry visa fee for tourist: US$ 20
Single entry visa fee for business: US$ 25

Visa Type
Tourist & Business Visas:
Visitors from countries not under Visa Exemption Agreements must apply for a Tourists or business visa valid for one month at the points of entry.

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).

Visa Exemption:
The nationals of the Philippines and Malaysia do not need a tourist visa and many stay in Cambodia for 21 and 30 days respectively.

Visa extension
Tourist & Business Visas:
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 (Multiple entry)
- Six months (Multiple entry)
- One year (Multiple entry)
- Overstayers will be fined US$ 5 per day.

 

 

Money and Local Exchange

 

The official currency is Riel. American dollars are however widely accepted in Cambodia and even preferred in larger stores and supermarkets. However, the riel is more practical and economical to use for smaller, day to day items.
ATM’s are widely available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville; the give out US dollars. However there are no ATM’s out of these areas so it is recommended that you carry cash with you (in small notes as people may have difficulty in getting change).

Allow $8 to $15 per meal for additional lunches or dinners not included in the trip price. You may also want to have some money put aside to try some local foods at the markets.

Tipping is a personal matter, and passengers are encouraged to tip an amount they find appropriate. For your convenience we have included a tipping guide below; please however note that these amounts are suggestions. We encourage our passengers to reward guides based on their performance:

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