This is our third day in Cambodia and we are head over heels with the people and their culture. Every Cambodian greets you with a warm smile, they are very humble and oh so kind. In this blog I will provide future travelers to Cambodia with some practical tips for visiting this lovely South-East Asian country.
Do I need a visa? Yes you do!
Getting a visa for Cambodia is very simple. Just fill out the forms you receive on the airplane and make sure you bring a recent passport photo and 30 US Dollars. (If you don’t have any Dollars on you, there’s an ATM to withdraw some bucks.) You hand them in at the Visa Service Desk at the airport, and 10 minutes later you’re good to go explore Cambodia for a whole month!
Money money money: George Washington or Ankor Wat?
1 US Dollar = 4.000 Cambodian Riel.
While the Cambodian Real is the official currency of this country, you see US Dollar signs everywhere. This may seem confusing when you’ve just arrived in Cambodia, but US Dollars are actually a more common currency than Cambodian Riel. It is also not unlikely to pay with Dollars and receive Cambodian Riel as change. Don’t worry: you can use these Riels everywhere in Cambodia.
Tip: if you’re from The Netherlands/Europe and only have a Maestro Card, try to find the ANZ bank. They are one of the few banks in Cambodia who accept Maestro cards. The fee for the transaction is 5 US Dollars.
Tuk-Tuks are great fun! But be careful…
A great way of transportation in Cambodia are the Tuk-Tuks. You will find them at every street corner or you can ask your hostel to arrange something for you. But please be very aware while riding the Tuk-Tuks and take care of your belongings. Especially Phnom Penh is notorious for the snatching of bags by motorbikes, and as these are stubborn thieves they won’t let go of your bags easily. Make sure the Tuk-Tuk you go on has special fences at the sides which prevent motorbikes from taking your bag, and don’t let anything dangle out of the Tuk-Tuk. While riding on the Tuk-Tuk in the more crowded areas we saw a few motorbike drivers scanning our bodies to detect their bags. Luckily we were well prepared, so make sure you are as well.
If you decide to go to the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Prison, you can rent a ‘private’ Tuk-Tuk for only 6 USD per person. The driver will wait for you while you visit the prison and the Killing Fields. Just try to remember what he looked liked in order to find him again between the mass of other Tuk-Tuks 😉
Should you have any other questions on Cambodia please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I hope this information helped and I wish you a great time in this captivating country!