Cambodia is a country that measures slightly more than 181,000 sq.km (about 70,000 sq.mi), has an estimated population of about 14 millions in 2008. After several changes, in mid 1990s, the government decided to use the Kingdom of Cambodia as its official country name, back to its original name prior to 1970.
AIRLINES FLYING TO CAMBODIA
International Airlines: Air Asia, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Dragon Air, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Korean Airlines, Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, Vietnam Airlines.
National Airlines: PMT Air, Royal Khmer Airlines, Siem Riep Airways. (Currently only Cambodia Angkor is flying).
An airport tax of US$ 25 is charged by airports in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap for foreign adult travelers on international routes and US$ 6 for foreign passengers on domestic routes. Taxes for Cambodian travelling on international flights are US$ 18 and US$ 5 for domestic flights.
BANKING AND MONETARY MATTERS
There are a few foreign banks and numbers of national banks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Generally big branches accept travellers' cheques, though usually there might be commission charges of around 2%-3% or a minimum of US$ 2 to $ 5 commission. Some banks might also have a policy of a minimum of US$ 10 for Traveller's Cheque encashments.
Money changers also apply similar policy to these banks. Some of these money changers offer a 2% commission for any encashment above US$ 500.
Operating hours for both banks and money changers are usually between 8am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks open their doors from 8am to 11am on Saturday. A few banks and money changers stay on till quite late in the evening, for instance, Canadian Asia Bank starts its business from 7:30am to evening and a few money changers along the Riverfront in Phnom Penh operate till 9pm.
ATMs are also available in many parts of both cities. In Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, visitors will conveniently find ATMs in tourism areas and most of these machines do accept international cards. A local bank charge may apply, usually around US$ 2 for a withdrawal.
The Cambodian currency is Riel, though US dollars are accepted in almost everywhere in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. If you pay in US dollars, local merchants may give small changes in Riel. Approximate exchange rate for US$1 is 4,000 Riel, £1 for 6,200 Riel, €1 buys 5,200 Riel, ¥1 for 50 Riel. For more and last-minute-updated exchange rates, please check with the following banks: ANZ Royal Bank, Cambodia Asia Bank, Canadia Bank.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a combination of hot, cold, dry and wet weather. Dry season usually begins from late November till April. Wet season begins from May to early November, where average rainfall varies from 150 mm (6 in) to about 300 mm (11.8 in) a month. Cold months are around November to around March. During this cold period temperature varies from around 20°C (68°F) to high 20s°C (80s°F), though in Siem Reap it can drop to mid 10s°C (60s°F). During the hottest months, from late March to around July, temperature can reach as high as 38°C-40°C (100°F-104°F). Click here for current and forecast weather for Phnom Penh and here for Siem Reap.
COUNTRY DIALING CODE AND TIME
+855. Timing for Cambodia is GMT (UTC) + 7 hours.
Upon your arrival to Cambodia, you need not to declare any “own personal effects”. Though there are prohibited/restricted items, such as drugs, narcotics, chemical substances, any kinds of armaments etc. There are also dutiable goods to declare, such as electronic goods, computers, commercial goods, etc. Furthermore, Cambodian government prohibits import and export on items, such as live animals, subject of culture and arts, and so on. More on Cambodian customs: Customs and Excise Department.
220, 50 Hz, the adapter/electric plug types used are C/E/F (2 round pins). Sometimes it will be easier to bring your own adapter if your country has a different electric plug type.
FOREIGN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Rep, Laos, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, USA, Vietnam.
Further information on embassies and consulates are available here: Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation.
Public internet access can be easily found in internet cafes in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Many restaurants or cafes also provide Wi-Fi, either for free or some charges. Usually internet cafes charge around US$ 0.75 per hour and connection speeds are generally acceptable. There were about 70,000 internet users in Cambodia in 2008 (an estimation by the Internet World Stats).
Custom and Excise Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning And Construction, Ministry of Tourism.
LOCAL ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS/MAGAZINES
There are a few English newspapers in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, such as the Cambodia Weekly (price: 2,000 Riel or US$ 0.50) and the Phnom Penh Post (2,500 Riel).
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS (2013)
|New Year 2013
Victory Day over Genocide Regime
|February||25||Monday||Meaka Bochea Day|
|March||8||Friday||International Women's Day|
|April||14-16||Sunday-Tuesday||Khmer (Cambodian) New Year|
|International Labour Day
HM King Sihamoni’s Birthday
Visak Bochea Day
Royal Plowing Ceremony
|International and Cambodian Children’s Day
King's Mother Birthday
|September||24||Tuesday||Cambodia Constitution Day|
|Pchum Ben Day
Commemoration Day of King's Father, Norodom Sihanouk
Paris Peace Agreements Day
King’s Coronation Day
|Cambodia Independence Day
Water Festival Ceremony
|December||10||Tuesday||International Human Rights Day|
Hinduism was once the main religion in Cambodia but losing its influences since approximately 12th century. Today Theravada Buddhism is the Cambodia's predominant religion, over 95% of total population. There are also a small number of Hinduism and Islam believers.
A 30-day tourist visa can be obtained on arrival in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports at a cost of US$ 20. The visa on arrival can also be obtained at border crossing points, such as Stung Treng (from Laos), Poipet in Banteay Meanchey Province (an additional charge of US$1 to enter the international passenger terminal), Koh Kong (from Thailand), Svay Rieng (from Vietnam), and so forth. You need to bring with you two passport size photographs and you also need to have "a passport validity of more than six months balance at time of entry".
Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate (click here for details), as well as online through its e-visa facility, which was launched in April 2006. This e-visa application is a great way to avoid a long queue at the visa counters at your entry point. Click here for its website (there is an additional US$ 5 for processing fee). The citizens of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam are granted visa-free facility.