Best Time to Travel
The dry season from around November to February are the most popular months to visit Cambodia. It’s much cooler in the days and evenings during this time and it’s the busiest time of year as most people prefer to come.
The rainy season shouldn’t put you off visiting Cambodia. There are many advantages of travelling in the low season. It’s less crowded at the temples, the countryside is much greener, and the prices can be cheaper. It can be very hot and humid during the rainy season and too hot for some visitors.
Exchange Rate and Currency
The Currency in Cambodia is Riel, although the US Dollar is accepted everywhere.
4,000 KHR = $1 USD
The rate can change slightly from time to time.
Budget Travelers: $30/day
Mid-range Travelers: $60/day
Top-end Travelers: $90/day
Most nationalities are given a tourist visa on arrival. You can also buy an e-visa before travelling to Cambodia. There are some nationalities which are required to get a visa in advance, so you should check the official website for your nationality.
You can get visas on various border crossing and at airports. The cost for a single-entry tourist visa is $30.
Some nationalities are exempted from needing a visa. Mostly visitors from other Southeast Asian countries don’t require a visa to visit Cambodia.
Getting Around Cambodia
Cambodia is a relatively small country and in recent years the road system has improved. It’s possible to take a bus or taxi to nearly any destination in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Most provincial capitals are linked by a hard road. Although it’s still a work in progress, roads are get much better.
It’s also possible to fly between Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville. Flying can be quite expensive in Cambodia, but there are often special deals which can make it much cheaper. It’s always worth checking the prices.
Private Taxis are also available to take you around the country. You can bargain the price before you leave. Some taxis are shared taxis and the drivers will try to load as many people in as possible. It’s not uncommon to be sharing a taxi with 4 or 5 people crammed into the back seat.
Trains have recently been reopened in Cambodia and you can take the train between Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Kampot.
Dangers and Annoyances
Cambodia has a reputation of being a dangerous country, but it couldn’t be further from the trust. In fact, most people find Cambodia to be a very friendly and welcoming place, but that isn’t to say that crime doesn’t happen, because it does. However, there are other annoyances which you might want to look out for during your stay in Cambodia.
- The Cambodian traffic is chaotic and can be very dangerous. Many drivers don’t have a license and don’t understand traffic rules. There is a huge number of accidents and fatalities in the country for such a small population.
- Theft and bag snatching can be a problem in Cambodia, so you should be careful of having your belongings on display. You should never put your bag in the front basket of a bicycle, you’re asking for somebody to steal it.
- Beggars and street sellers can be a problem in Cambodia. Many child beggars are working for adult gangs and your money will not be used to support them. It’s much better to work with organizations who support street kids.
- Most scams are fairly harmless – you might be overcharged for a tuk tuk ride or driven around in circles to inflate the price.
- Stay away from illegal drugs. Often sellers targeting tourists are involved in scams with the local authorities.
- Don’t go back to anybody’s home to play cards. Gambling is illegal, and it can be a setup to steal your money.
- If you are exploring the rural areas, then you should take a guide with you. Many areas in Cambodia are still covered in landmines and a guide. Most towns and cities are fine, but it’s a different story in more remote areas.
- During and just before the popular festivals, crime can increase. Be more vigilant around these times of year, especially during the Khmer New Year, the Pchum Ben Festival and the Water Festival.
Some vaccinations are recommended for Cambodia by the World Health Organization. These include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis
It’s not required to take anti-malarial medication unless you plan on staying deep in the countryside. In most towns and cities, Malaria isn’t a problem. However, dengue fever which is also caused by mosquitos is fairly common.
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