Cambodia has a land area of 181,035 square kilometers in the southwestern part of the Indochina peninsula, about 20 percent of which is used for agriculture. It lies completely within the tropics, with its southern most points slightly more than 10° above the Equator. The country capital city is Phnom Penh.
International borders are shared with Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the West and the North, and the Social Republic of Vietnam on the East and the Southeast. The country is bounded on the Southeast by the Gulf of Thailand. In comparison with neighbors, Cambodia is a geographical contact country administratively composed of 20 provinces, three of which have relatively short maritime boundaries, 2 municipalities, 172 districts, and 1,547 communes. The country has a coastline of 435 km and extensive mangrove stands, some of which are relatively undisturbed.
The dominant features of the Cambodian landscape are the large, almost generally located, Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Bassac River Systems and the Mekong River, which crosses the country from North to South. Surrounding the Central Plains, which covers three quarters of the country’s area, are the more densely forested and sparsely populated highlands. This includes the Elephant Mountains and Cardamom Mountain of the southwest and western regions; the Dangrek Mountains of the North adjoining of the Korat Plateau of Thailand; and Rattanakiri Plateau and Chhlong highlands on the east merging with the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.
Things you need to pack for Cambodia
• Khmer is the official language of Cambodia, although sometimes it’s just referred to as Cambodia. It’s spoken by over 90% of the country’s population.
• In recent years, Cambodia has seen a rise in tourism. This has led to an increase in the use of English.
• While the locals in a small village might not understand you, you will be able to get by easily in the larger towns and cities using English Climate and Weather
• Cambodia has a hot and humid tropical climate. It is warm year round with temperatures rarely dipping below 20°C (between 23 C and 26 C at night, and 30 C to 35 C during the day)
• There are two predominant seasons: dry and wet. The wet season, known locally as "the green season," lasts from May to October and is typically has an afternoon downpour. The dry season lasts from November to March and usually has hot and dry days.
Food and drinks
• Cambodia cuisine, especially street food, is one thing that you can not miss. However, it is advised to enjoy at caution, since your digestion system might not be able to handle all the unfamiliar herbs and spices.
• Cambodia food is famous for its rice and fishes. An average meal consists of more than one dish and usually contrasts flavors, textures and temperatures within the meal by the use of plenty of herbs, leaves, pickled vegetables, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments.
• Here are just a few examples of the fantastic dishes you can expect to find in Cambodia:
• Needless to say, Cambodia – as a tropical country – has a wealth of fresh fruits on daily offer. When you go to a local market you will be astounded by the beautiful colors and aromas, and the somewhat strange shape of the fruits. You can also mix the fruits into a smoothie, locally known as touk kolok.
The country’s tropical fruits have a court of their own: with the durian a revered king and the mangosteen an honored queen. To complete the royal fruit family, the lemut should be named prince and milk fruit bestowed the honor of princess
Shopping and Bargaining
• Cambodia is a country that is populated with unique artisans recreating traditional art forms or putting their own modern spin on ancient techniques. Their efforts result in a plethora of souvenirs you can buy to remind you of your trip. Here are a few things you can only get your hands on in the Kingdom of Wonder.
o Krama: traditional scarf of the Cambodian
o Cambodian Handicraft, Statues, Gemstone and artwork: The Cambodians are endowed with the genuine skill of making handicrafts and the ancient traditions that were handed down from generation to generation. Delicate carvings, Buddha statues bas-reliefs, sapphires and rubies are available for tourists.
o Kampot pepper: there is no reason to buy pepper when you are on the land that produces one of the best peppers in the world. Grew throughout Kampot province, Kampot pepper is strong, delicate and aromatic because it is derived from the cool, surrounding climate and the quartz-rich soil
o Silverware: Cambodian silver jewelry does not have a high value, since they are silver alloys with 70-80% silver. However, they are uniquely designed with beautiful Khmer patterns.
• Tipping is not usual in restaurants, bars etc. but may be appropriate if you feel that you have had excellent service from your guide (and/or driver). In this case the amount would be modest by US standards. The amount is entirely decided by you, but here what we advise:
For guide & Driver:
o Group 1-2 pax: 5 USD/day/group for driver – 10 USD/day/grp for guide
o Group 3-6 pax: 8 USD/day/grp for driver – 16 USD/day/grp for guide
o Group 7-10 pax: 10 USD/day/grp for driver – 20 USD/day/grp for guide
o Group 11 pax up: 1 USD /day per guest for driver – 2 USD/day per guest for guide
• For porter at hotel: 0,5 USD per guest
Local Sim Card with Internet Data
• In case your phone becomes locked with your simcard from your home country provider, it is can be very convenient to set up a Cambodia local simcard.
• You can do this at the airport on arrival or at any provider retail shops.
• There are many service providers in Cambodia, but the one with best plans are Metfone, Smart or Cellcard
• With only $10-$20, you will have a local number with 4G internet access for your holiday
Outfit for special destinations
• Cambodia is a Buddhist country, and it is seen as inappropriate to dress in a provocative way. This can include wearing items such as beach attire in the city.
• When visiting pagodas, women should choose conservative clothing. A good rule of thumb is the less bare skin the better. Most importantly, a person should not wear shorts, skirts, top with low neck lines in pagodas.
• Also, woman should not touch the monks or hand any item directly at them.
Time zone & working hour
• Local time is GMT + 7 hours.
• Most government offices are open from 8:00 / 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 / 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but are closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch.
• Banks are closed after 4:00 p.m. Some foreign companies or private enterprises are open Saturday mornings. Most shops and department stores are open every day until 8.00 or 9.00 p.m.
Currency and money exchange
• The local currency is the Riel (abbreviated "r’’ or KHR). Bank notes are 100r, 200r, 500r, 1000r, 2000r, 5000r, 10,000r, 20,000r, 50,000r and 100,000r
• Visa, Master & JCB cards are widely accepted. Some merchants also accept AMEX. A 3% bank charge on transactions (4% for AMEX) is pretty common, due to bank policies.
• ATM facilities are readily available now in major cities.
• To exchange your money into KHR, you can go to any local gold/ jewelry store for the best rate available. However, if security is a concern for you, going to the banks is an alternative option. Cambodia has many banks available, but, for a better exchange rate, we advise that you seek services from Acleda bank, Canadia bank, Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia, Union Commercial Bank. (USD 1 ~ 4000r)
However, it is best not to exchange USD into KHR because 90% of services are priced in KHR and USD. Therefore you can pay with USD, and expect to get changes in either KHR or USD.
Malaria and vaccinate
• Your itinerary will not require you to take any anti-malarial medications. You should, however, take all possible care to not be bitten by mosquitoes by making sure to apply a good repellant containing the chemical DEET before sunset and before your first meal everyday.
• Anti malarial are only recommended for people staying for prolonged periods (>1 month) in high risk areas that are identified by Cambodia ministry of health.
• Cambodia is a relatively safe country.
• Violent crimes are uncommon, however, assaults, robberies, and sexual harassments do occur rarely in the remote and poorly lit areas of big cities.
• The most frequent crimes against foreigners are purse snatching, pickpocketing, and other petty thefts.If you are renting and riding a bike, you should be aware of the situations when criminals push the bike or the rider is struck by the thieves while the bike is being ridden. This kind of crime continues to be on the critical level, and resistance usually turns violent.
• Armed robberies continue to be on a high level, so remember that no valuables are worth your life. Many of theses crimes are committed by young gangs operating particularly in Siem Reap. Evolving from a strictly cash society, credit card cloning and skimming is on the rise. Due to this, keep an eye on your credit card while paying and do not leave your card from the sight while paying at a restaurant or cafe.
• In Cambodia, the power sockets are of type A, C and D. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If you have any devices that need a special outlet, please bring its adapter kit. The best option for this kind of investment is to buy a universal AC adapter (at the airport), which will enable you to plug it into any outlet without damaging your appliances.
• You can access the internet at hotels, cyber cafés & Internet/Computer Service Centers. ADSL technology is widely used in major cities. Also, WiFi internet is available at some cyber cafés, restaurants, and most hotels in major tourist destinations.
Post and telecommunications
• A regular international postal service is available. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available to more than 50 countries worldwide with a delivery time of 2 to 10 days.
• Cambodia has high international telephone charges. It is important to check the exact amount with the hotel before making a call, as hotel surcharges are often imposed. VOIP calls can help to reduce call charges.
Domestic flights and Airport
• Flight times may vary from day to day. Schedules are subject to change without prior notice. You should allow an hour (domestic) to 2 hours (international) at the airport for the check-in process prior to your flight departure.
• Baggage allowance is 20kg per person in economy class. Hand luggage should not weigh more than 7kg.