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Cambodia Travel Tips

Country & population
The Cambodia , a big and powerful Empire in the past, is now a small Kingdom in Indochina with a surface of 181,035 km2 and a population of 11,426,223 people. It is bordered by the Lao P.D.R. and Thailand to the North, Vietnam to the East and South, Thailand and the Gulf of Siam to the West. 

Cambodia, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is arguably the jewel of the region. Undiscovered for centuries, its wealth of natural beauty and rich heritage continue to amaze and astound, with Angkor, the world renowned cultural heritage site dating back to the earliest days of cultured civilization, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Towering over the surrounding tropical forests, Angkor Wat exists as one of this planet's last great unexplored tourist destinations. Situated amongst one of the world's greatest irrigation systems close to the Tonle Sap Lake. Angkor is simply incomparable. Not only did the skilled and hardworking Khmers build Angkor Wat and the architecture different but equally stunning Bayon, Banteay Srei, and Ta Prohm temples, but also more than 100 other impressive monuments and temples in and around the ancient capital. 

Cambodia assaults the senses leaving memories of a once mighty country that stay in the mind undiminished by the passage of time. The sights and sounds of a unique land with a tragic past captivate more and more people every year and offer a genuine experience for all whom are fortunate enough to discover Cambodia. 

Without doubt, with its inherited wealth, Cambodia, has enormous potential for tourism, either as a single destination or part of an lndochinese tour, especially for those wishing to escape the tourist traps of the world or discover one of the great cultures of the world that should rank alongside that of Egypt and the other world renowned destinations. Though still in its infancy, the tourism sector is attracting investors from both domestic and international who are venturing into this market, evident by the international standard facilities becoming available. 

Passport & visa
Cambodia has very liberal visa regulations. For US$ 20, all travelers can obtain a tourist visa valid for 30 days upon arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports. A passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of your visit and one passport photo is needed. Visitors arriving overland from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam at the Bovet border crossing, or from Thailand at Trat (Hat Lay border crossing) or Aranyaprathet ( Poipet border crossing) must obtain a visa which clearly indicates their entry point prior to reaching the Cambodian border. 


Customs & formalities
Airport tax is US$ 1,0 per passenger on domestic flights and US$ 10 per passenger on international flights. 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 arrival flight and must submit them on arrival. Any mount of foreign currency can be brought into Cambodia, but the mount of Cambodia currency must not exceed 100.000 riels per person. Tourists and non- resident carrying over US$ 10.000 in cash or its equivalent must declare it to ensure they will be allowed to take out with them the amount declared. The immigration formalities are quicker when travelers already possess their visa. Upon leaving the country, luggage will be X-rayed in Phnom Penh airport and inspected in Siem Reap. 


Currency
The local currency is the Riel, however, in Phnom Penh and most major tourist destinations, 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.- Riels to one U.S Dollar. Credit cards are excepted only at a few place such as major hotels, restaurants owned by foreigners and souvenir shop. Travelers cheques and currencies other than US Dollars are accepted only by major banks it is best to carry U.S Dollars in small domination. 


Climate
Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. The climate is tropical and distinguishes three major seasons. The most pleasant season is the dry season from November to March during which temperatures are cooler (average 20-28oC ). The host season last from March to June (average temperatures 28-35oC) and the rainy season from May to early October. Note also that Siam Reap is in general cooler than Phnom Penh. 


Health requirement
Although no vaccinations are officially required for entry to Cambodia, they are highly encouraged. Visitors are advised to check with their doctor or travel immunization clinic regarding protection against malaria typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A & B. Any essential medications should be brought with you as there is no guarantee they will be available in Cambodia. 


International flights
The direct flights to Phnom Penh are available from Bangkok, Guangxhou, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Kulalumpur, Singapore, and Vientiane. Dragonair, Laos Aviation, Bangkok Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Royal air Cambodge, Silk Air, Thai Airways International, Vietnam Airlines and President Airlines are currently serving Phnom Penh. At this time visitors can get into Siem Reap by direct flights from Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. 

Royal Air Cambodge or President Airlines accept domestic flight booking up to one year in advance but they do not confirm flight number or flight times at the time of getting reservation. Full details of flight will only be confirmed when tickets are purchased. At this time most of flights to and from Siem Reap are operated by ATR 72s and Boeing 737s. Only Royal Air Cambodge is granting passengers an allowance of 20 kg per person on domestic flights. Finally acting as intermediary Dragon Travel is unable to guarantee exact flight times and flight number that clients demand. 



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. 


Public holidays
Nov 9 : Independence Day 

Jan 1 : International New Year 

Jan 7 : Victory over Khmer Rouges 

Mar 8 : International Women Day 

May 1 : International Labor Day 

Jun 18 : Queens birthday 

Oct 30 - Nov 1 : Kings birthday 



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. (Porters, 1,000 Riels per bag.) 


Airport tax
US$ 20 per international passenger for flights from Phnom Penh, US$ 8 per international passenger for flights from Siem Riep and US$ 10 per domestic passenger for flights from Phnom Penh and US$ 4 per passenger for domestic passenger from all other airports.


Business hours
GMT + 7 hours.

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