General Information: Cambodia

Cambodia is a country that measures slightly more than 181,000 sq.km (about 70,000 sq.mi), has an estimated population of about 14 millions in 2008. After several changes, in mid 1990s, the government decided to use the Kingdom of Cambodia as its official country name, back to its original name prior to 1970.

 

AIRLINES FLYING TO CAMBODIA. International Airlines: Air Asia, Asiana Airlines, Air Bagan, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Dragon Air, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Korean Airlines, Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, Vietnam Airlines.
National Airlines: Cambodia Angkor Air, PMT Air, Royal Khmer Airlines, Siem Riep Airways.

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AIRPORT TAX. An airport tax of US$ 25 is charged by airports in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap for foreign travellers on international routes and US$ 6 for foreign passengers on domestic routes. Taxes for Cambodian travelling on international flight are US$ 18 and US$ 5 for domestic flight.

BANKING AND MONETARY MATTERS. There are a few foreign banks and numbers of national banks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Generally big branches accept travellers' cheques, though usually there might be commissions charges of around 2%-3% or a minimum of US$ 2 to $ 5 commission. Some banks might also have a policy of a minimum of US$ 10 Traveller's Cheque encashment.

Money changers also apply similar policy to these banks. Some of these money changers offer a 2% commissions for any encashment above US$ 500.

Operating hours for both banks and money changers are usually between 8am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks open their doors from 8am to 11am on Saturday. A few banks and money changers stay on till quite late in the evening, for instance, Canadian Asia Bank starts its business from 7:30am to evening and a few money changers along the Riverfront in Phnom Penh operate till 9pm.

ATMs are also available in many parts of both cities. In Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, visitors will conveniently find ATMs in tourism areas and most of these machines do accept international cards. A local bank charge may apply, usually around US$ 2 for a withdrawal.

CURRENCY. The Cambodian currency is Riel, though US dollars are accepted in almost everywhere in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. If you pay in US dollars, local merchants may give small changes in Riel. Approximate exchange rate for US$1 is 4,000, £1 for 8,400 Riel, ?1 buys Rp.5,500, ¥1 for Rp.30. For more and last-minute-updated exchange rates, please check with the following banks: ANZ Royal Bank, Cambodia Asia Bank, Canadia Bank.

CLIMATE. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a combination of hot, cold, dry and wet weather. Dry season usually begins from late November till April. Wet season begins from May to early November, where average rainfall varies from 150mm (6 in) to about 300mm (11.8 in) a month. Cold months are around November to around March. During this cold period temperature varies from around 20°C (68°F) to high 20s°C (80s°F), though in Siem Reap it can drop to mid 10s°C (60s°F). During the hottest months, from late March to around July, temperature can reach as high as 38°C-40°C (100°F-104°F). Click here for current and forecast weather for Phnom Penh and here for Siem Reap.

COUNTRY DIALING CODE AND TIME. + 855. Timing for Cambodia is GMT (UTC) + 7 hours.

CUSTOMS. Upon your arrival to Cambodia, you need not to declare any ?own personal effects?. Though there are prohibited/restricted items, such as drugs, narcotics, chemical substances, any kinds of armaments etc. There are also dutiable goods to declare, such as electronic goods, computers, commercial goods, etc. Furthermore, Cambodian government prohibits import and export on items, such as live animals, subject of culture and arts, and so on. More on Cambodian customs: Customs and Excise Department.

 

ELECTRICITY. 220, 50 Hz, the adapter/electric plug types used are C/E/F (2 round pins). Sometimes it will be easier to bring your own adapter if your country has a different electric pluc type.

FOREIGN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES. Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Rep, Laos, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, USA, Vietnam.

Further information on embassies and consulates are available here: Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation.

INTERNET ACCESSIBILITY. Public internet access can be easily found in internet cafes in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Many restaurants or cafes also provide Wi-Fi, either for free or some charges. Usually internet cafes charge around US$ 0.75 per hour and connection speeds are generally acceptable. There were about 70,000 internet users in Cambodia in 2008 (an estimation by the Internet World Stats).

 

GOVERNMENT WEBSITES. Council of Ministers, Custom and Excise Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning And Construction, Ministry of Tourism.

LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IN ENGLISH. There are a few English newspapers in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, such as the Cambodia Weekly (price: 2,000 Riel or US$ 0.50) and the Phnom Penh Post (2,500 Riel).

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS (2009)

Jan
1
Thu
New Year 2009
7
Wed
Victory Day over Genocide Regime
Feb
9
Mon
Meaka Bochea Day
Mar
8
Sun
International Women's Day
Apr
14-16
Tue-Thu
Khmer (Cambodian) New Year,
"Chaul Chhnam Thmey"
May
1
Fri
International Labour Day
 
8
Fri
Visak Bochea Day
 
12
Tue
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
 
13-15
Wed-Fri
Birthday of King of Cambodia
Jun
18
Thu
Mother of The King's Birthday
Sep
18-20
Fri-Sun
Pchum Ben Day
24
Thu
Constitution Day
Oct
29
Thu
King's Coronation Day
31
Sat
Father of the King's Birthday
Nov
1-3
Sun-Tue
Water Festival
9
Mon
Independence Day
Dec
10
Thu
International Human Rights Day

RELIGIONS. Hinduism was once the majority religion in Cambodia but loosing its influences since approximately 12th century. Today Theravada Buddhism is the Cambodia's predominant religion, over 95% of total population. There are also a small number of Hinduism and Islam believers.

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VISA REQUIREMENT. A 30-day tourist visa can be obtained on arrival in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports and other certain entry points, or at your nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate (click here for details), at a cost of US$ 20. There is also an e-visa facility, which was launched in April 2006. This e-visa application is a great way to avoid a long queue at the visa counters at your entry point. Click here for its website (there is an additional US$ 5 for processing fee). The citizens of Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore are granted visa-free facility.

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