Another travel guide to write up and add to my series of things you should know about before you travel to Cambodia from my experience there as I was there for a couple of days.
In Cambodia they use Cambodian Reel but many tourist are being told to bring US Dollars instead as it’s much easier to convert back to your original currency as Reel is barely worth anything. Pretty much all of the items in Cambodia are presented in US Dollars so it would be much easier to use Dollars instead.
In Cambodia they speak Khmer which is widely spoken in Cambodia, and also some parts of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and China. But most Cambodians speak a little English which makes it easier for tourists to navigate and ask for things whilst visiting and staying there.
Basic Phrases To Know:
Hello – Jum-reap soo-a
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night – Arun/tiveah/sayoanh/reah-trey sour sdei
How are you? – Tau neak sok sapbaiy jea teh?
Goodbye! – Joom-reap leah
Yes – Baat (men)/ Chaas (Women)
No – Dteh
Please – Suom mehta
Thank you – Or-koon
Sorry/excuse me – Sohm dtoh
Where is the restroom? – Bang-kon noun aina?
Cambodia is 7 hours ahead of the UK. They are on the same timezone as many Asian countries including Vietnam and Thailand.
It’s best not to drive in Cambodia as the roads are manic just like any other Asian city. You will also need a Cambodian driving licence to drive cars and even motorcycles. It’s best to hire a driver, get a taxi or tuk tuk if you want to get around Cambodia. Tuk tuks are very cheap and the ones we caught in Cambodia never went over 20USD per person even for a trip around Angkor Wat and other nearer temples/pagodas which our Tuk tuk driver quoted about 17USD per person for the whole day of the trip we had and that was starting at 5am until about 11am.
There is a mixture of cuisines around Cambodia but you definitely have to try Cambodian (khmer) food whilst you are there. The most popular Khmer dishes are hot pots, khmer BBQ and fried fish dishes. I have a 5 Places To Eat & Drink At In Siem Reap, Cambodia post available for you to read as well.
Cambodia’s capital and city is Phnom Penh. Most people tend to visit Siem Reap though as I’ve heard a lot of people say Phnom Penh is very notorious for pickpockets and some people don’t feel safe there – you still need to be wary in other places throughout Cambodia as well though.
There are no direct flights into Cambodia from international airports and will have to either be flown in from Bangkok in Thailand, Kuala Lumphur in Malaysia or any other asian airport categorised as a domestic flight. Flights to an asian airport can either be with British Airways, Eva Air, Etihad, Thai Airways, Jet Airways and many other airlines.
WHAT TO WEAR
Make sure you wear lightweight and cool clothing in order to keep cool during the hot weather. When visiting temples and religious places make sure you have a thin scarf or sarong to cover your shoulders and legs and don’t show too much cleavage for a woman. I’ve experienced a lot of trouble with mosquitoes in Cambodia even when wearing a high deet repellent spray so I would also recommend wearing long trousers that cover your legs if you are anywhere near were mosquitoes will be, especially near water.
The best time to visit Cambodia is during our winter in the UK, from the months December to April the weather is typically drier and warmer than the rest of the year which is usually Asia’s monsoon weather. Temperatures could usually reach around 27-29 ‘C throughout their warmer months.
ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO DO
There are plenty of things to do throughout Cambodia including visiting Angkor Wat and other smaller temples, walking around their markets and night markets, have a drink or dinner on Pub Street and check out their nightlife as well as many other activities which I have written about things you can do in Cambodia here, read 5 Things To Do In Siem Reap Cambodia.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR CAMBODIA
– Every 5 steps you walk, there is always a tuk tuk driver asking if you want a lift and it does get very annoying after a while. Sometimes you just want to walk along and see places as you go along and constantly having to refuse a tuk tuk when you don’t want one all the time does get quite annoying.
– There are a few scams and things you need to look out for whilst travelling in Cambodia in order to stay as safe as possible: Be aware of Visa scams, coin collectors, scam orphanages, Angkor Wat touts (who try to sell you goods or food and drink) when you are in the grounds of Angkor Wat, beggars asking for money to pay for medical treatments and mothers carrying babies asking for milk. Please refuse these scammers as hard as it may be because there are lots and you do want to help them but giving in to their begs stops them from going to school and getting education for jobs etc.
– You will need a VISA to enter Cambodia and also to complete a landing card so make sure you have your place of stay and all passport and flight details to hand because you will need this before leaving the airport. You can apply for an E-VISA online which we used the website Cambodia e-Visa which costs about £20 roughly and you can upload a copy of your passport photo and staple the print out into your passport which works really well in immigration.
What are you really looking forward to doing if you visit Cambodia? Do you have any travel tips for fellow travellers?