All foreign visitors to Cambodia must have a valid passport, which will remain valid for a minimum of six months after the date of arrival. U.S. citizens require a visa, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. A tourist visa is valid for 30 days, and a passport size photograph is required. Currently Cambodia offers an e-visa service, allowing visitors to apply online prior to travel. This is recommended and will speed the process at the airport. Visas can also be obtained through the Royal Cambodian Embassy.
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer; however, English is increasingly widely spoken.
The Cambodian currency is the Riel; however, U.S. dollars are just as commonly used and even Thai Baht is acceptable in many places. Therefore, there is no great need to change dollars for Riel. Most hotels and many restaurants and shops set their prices in dollars. Small transactions are usually done in Riel, so it is recommended to carry some small Riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks, and other small purchases. Riel notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations, but the distinctive red 500 Riel note is the most commonly used. Credit cards and travelers checks are not common but are catching on. US dollar travelers checks are much more easily cashed than any other kind. Money changers cluster around the markets. When accepting money, inspect the bills. Marred Riel is acceptable tender, but the tiniest tear in a large US note renders it worthless. There are banks in all of the larger provincial capitals, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and Battambang. Banks can change money and effect telegraphic transfers, and some banks can cash travelers checks and accept Visa cards. There are currently no ATM’s for visitors to use in Cambodia.
Mobile phones & Communications
The advent of mobile phones has dramatically improved communications between the main towns in Cambodia, as many of the landlines were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era and have yet to be replaced. Pre-paid phone cards are available in values from $5 to $100 in most towns, with outlets displaying the logos of the various providers. You can make domestic and international calls at your hotel, and at post offices or telecom offices in most towns. Internet access is most readily available in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Cambodia’s climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoons, it is hot and humid with an average temperature around 84F. There are two distinct seasons: the rainy season (Jun-Oct) and the dry season (Nov-May). Temperatures range from 80-95F during the rainy season; and 17-27F (Nov-Feb) or 84-100F (Mar-May) during the dry season.
The voltage in Cambodia is 220V / 50Hz. There are different plug types found around the country, so bring along a universal adaptor.
The time zone is G.M.T. +7, or 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. No Daylight Saving Time is practiced in Cambodia.
Tipping is not required in Cambodia but is widely appreciated to recognize good service. In hotels and restaurants a ten percent tip is sufficient, provided that no service charge has been added onto the bill. It is customary to tip your tour guide and driver.
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.
Drink lots of bottled water to keep hydrated, but never drink tap. Use an insect repellent against mosquitoes. A hat and high-factor sun block is advisable for protection against the hot sun when sightseeing.