CAMBODIA: The Royal Kingdom of Cambodia or Kampuchea has a population of 11.6 million and area of 181,035 sq. km. The capital is Phnom Penh with a population. approx. 1 million.
Travel Tips: While visiting Cambodia, the following Travel Tips may help you appreciate the country and allow you to enjoy your visit to this shrouded Country.
CLOTHES: While one should wear casual and decent clothes to most temples and pagodas - including those at Angkor - visitors to the Royal Palace's Silver Pagoda are expected to dress a little more formally, with men wearing long trousers and women in long skirts (not long trousers, however). Shoes are generally removed before entering pagodas.
GREETINGS: Cambodians greet each with a bow and a prayer-like gesture called a Sompeah, the younger or lower ranked person normally initiating the gesture. Handshakes are also becoming more acceptable for greeting Cambodians.
BEHAVIOUR: Acting calmly and quietly - especially when under duress - is recommended, while displays of bad temper, especially in public, will make a bad situation worse. The head is considered the highest part of the body, while the feet are considered the lowest, both literally and figuratively. Touching someone's head or pointing at people or things with the feet - especially the soles - are, therefore, considered extremely rude. Permission should be sought before taking photographs of people, especially monks and hill tribe villagers.
US$20.- per outgoing international passenger for flights from Phnom Penh
US$ 8.- per outgoing international passenger for flights from Siem Reap
US$10.- per outgoing domestic passenger for flights from Phnom Penh
US$ 4.- per outgoing domestic passenger for flights from all other domestic airports
ANGKOR COMPLEX: A passport-sized photo must be attached to multiple day entrance Passes to the Angkor complex (2-3 days pass and one-week pass). Visitors can have their picture taken at the entrance checkpoint (1USD per photos). However, we recommend that all visitors arriving in Siem Reap have a passport photo ready prior to arrival.
CURRENCY & EXCHANGE: The local currency is the Riel, however, in Phnom Penh and in Angkor almost all goods and services are calculated and paid for in the US currency. The rate of exchange (at time of printing) is approximately 3,900.- Riel to one U.S. Dollar. Credit cards are accepted only at few places like major hotels, restaurants owned by foreigners, souvenirs shops (Diethelm Travel is the local representative of American Express). Traveller cheques and currencies other than U.S. Dollars are accepted only by major banks. It is best to carry U.S. Dollar bills in small denominations
CUSTOMS AND FORMALITIES: Regulations are relaxed and simple formalities should be observed when entering the territory. Every traveler has to complete immigration and customs declaration forms during the flight and must submit it on arrival. Any amount of foreign currency can be brought into Cambodia, but the amount of Cambodian currency must not exceed 100,000 Riels per person. Tourist and non-resident carrying over USD 100.000 in cash or its equivalent must declare it to ensure they will be allowed to take out with them the amount declared. .Immigration formalities are quicker when travelers already possess their visa. A Diethelm representative will meet travelers at the airport, after immigration control has been passed. For easy recognition, our representative will display a Diethelm Travel sign with the names of the guests or their group. Leaving the country, luggage will be X-rayed in Phnom Penh airport and inspected in Siem Reap.
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220 Volts, AC 50 Hz.
GENERAL ADVICE: Drink lots of water. Never drink tap water-purified, bottled water is available everywhere. Use an insect repellent against mosquitoes. It is the only way to be sure of protection against mosquito-borne diseases. Since Cambodian has a hot and humid tropical climate, casual and Light-weight clothing is recommended. Clothing made from natural fibers is the best option. A jacket might be needed on cool winter evenings or in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning. A hat and high-factor sun block is advisable as protection against the Hot sun when sightseeing. When visiting temples or pagodas, including those of Angkor Wat, Shorts and T-shirts are acceptable. Shoes are generally removed at the Entrance to pagodas. For visit to Silver Pagodas, which is within the Royal Palace grounds, visitors are asked to dress more formally. Gentlemen are required to wear long trousers and ladies should wear long trousers or long skirts.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Normal memory cards are widelay available. Any specialized photo or video equipment should be brought with you. Photography and video in airports, railway Stations and near any military installations in forbidden and discretion should be used when photographing people, particularly monks.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Although no vaccinations are officially required for entry to Cambodia, they are highly encouraged. Visitors are advised to check with their doctor or a travel immunization clinic regarding protection against malaria, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and B. Any essential medications should be brought with you as there is no guarantee they will be available in Cambodia.
LANGUAGE: Khmer is the official language, inherited from the Mon-Khmer family, Enriched by the Indian Pali and the Sanskrit languages. There are various dialects spoken in areas outside Phnom Penh. English is the second language, followed by French, even though they are not widely spoken except in the capital.
LOCAL TIME: Cambodia runs at GMT + 7 hours, the same time zone as its neighbors Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
PASSPORT & VISAS: Cambodia has very liberal visa regulations. All travellers can obtain a tourist visa valid for 30 days stay upon arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport for US$ 20.- A passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of your visit and one passport photo is needed. For travellers joining a Diethelm Travel Cambodia tour departing from Bangkok within two working days.
SHOPPING: There are a number of interesting things to purchase in Cambodia, especially intricately designed silverware, bas relief paper rubbings and imitation sandstone carvings. Handicrafts produced by landmine victims also make good souvenirs and the proceeds assist with rehabilitation. Bargaining is essential for all souvenirs shopping, if travelers are to obtain reasonable prices.
TIPPING: Tipping is not obligatory in Cambodia, but is nonetheless widely practiced in hotels and restaurants in addition to the service charges shown on bills. (Porter: 1,000 Riel per bag.)