Practical information about Cambodia

Practical information about Cambodia
  1. The climate in Cambodia

Cambodia is located in a tropical climate zone where temperatures hardly fluctuate and there are roughly as many sunny hours all year round. The country’s climate is paced by monsoons, which divide the year into a dry season and a rainy season. Each season has its own charm.

The dry season begins in November and lasts until April. The dry season is a great time to visit Cambodian coastal cities or tropical islands. The weather is pleasantly warm and rainy. Although the sun usually shines, occasional showers may occur from time to time.

The rainy season lasts from May to October, and by this time Cambodia’s nature is at its greenest and most beautiful. Temperatures remain high, but humidity also rises due to rain. Especially in the last months of the rainy season, a lot of water comes from the sky, albeit usually in short but heavy deaf rain.

As one of 15 countries starting with C featured by Countryaah, Cambodia is a year-round resort. In terms of mobility, however, it is good to keep in mind that in more remote areas, such as the province of Mondulkir, roads may be impassable during the last months of the rainy season.

Average. highest temperature 31 33 34 35 34 33 32 32 31 31 31 30
Average. lowest temperature 22 24 25 26 26 26 26 26 26 25 24 22
Precipitation e.g. 1 9 28 64 146 166 186 224 250 215 61 7
Average. highest temperature 32 34 35 36 34 33 31 32 31 31 31 31
Average. lowest temperature 20 22 23 25 24 24 24 24 24 23 21 20
Precipitation e.g. 6 12 32 93 228 222 294 249 299 192 67 13
Average. highest temperature 27 29 31 31 29 28 27 27 27 27 26 26
Average. lowest temperature 15 16 18 19 19 19 19 19 19 18 17 16
Precipitation e.g. 3 11 50 121 306 262 368 370 355 248 85 24
Average. highest temperature 31 32 34 35 34 33 32 32 31 30 30 30
Average. lowest temperature 21 22 23 26 26 24 24 26 25 24 23 22
Precipitation e.g. 26 12 58 101 112 177 196 172 249 319 135 80
Average. highest temperature 30 31 31 32 31 31 30 30 30 30 30 30
Average. lowest temperature 22 22 24 25 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 22
Precipitation e.g. 18 28 85 141 221 236 349 346 299 268 145 52
Average seawater temperature 28 28 29 30 31 30 30 29 29 29 29 29
Average. highest temperature 31 31 32 34 32 31 30 31 31 31 31 32
Average. lowest temperature 24 25 25 25 27 26 26 25 25 25 24 24
Precipitation e.g. 28 25 50 125 207 253 341 377 321 290 138 54
Average seawater temperature 28 28 28 30 30 30 29 29 29 29 30 29
  1. When should you travel to Cambodia?

You can travel to Cambodia all year round. When we have winter, Cambodia has a dry season and the temperatures are pleasant. During the high season, the major attractions are full of tourists, as are the beach resorts of Sihanoukville and Kep. In the summer months, the temperatures are higher and there is a lot of rain, but then again there is no hassle of dust and correspondingly there are far fewer tourists. However, the sights are open all year round. For many, Angkor Wat is also at its most beautiful, when moats are full of water and nature is lush green.

Note: Angkor Wat’s central building is closed to tourists on Buddhist holidays.

  1. Languages

The official language of Cambodia is the Khmer language, but the tourist is doing well in English as well.

  1. Visa

Finnish citizens need a visa to Cambodia. As always when traveling abroad, you must have a valid Finnish passport. The passport must be valid for 6 months after leaving the country.

As a Finnish citizen, you can obtain a visa in two different ways, either electronically in advance or upon arrival in Cambodia.

The electronic visa costs $ 30 + processing fee $ 7 and is paid by credit card. An e-visa will be emailed to you. Print your visa and take it with you to Cambodia. Please note that the visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, so your trip to Cambodia must fall within this period. Your visa is valid for 30 days from the date of entry.

If you obtain a visa when entering Cambodia, you will need your passport, one passport photo and $ 30 in cash.

Note: If you are traveling by boat from Chau Doc, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, your electronic visa will not be valid. In this case, you will only be able to obtain your visa in Cambodia upon arrival at the port.

  1. Currency

According to Countryaah, the currency of Cambodia is called Riel (KHR). The Riel is a protected currency, which means that it is not possible to exchange it in advance.

We recommend that you bring some US dollars in cash (preferably large banknotes such as $ 20, $ 50, and $ 100 banknotes) that you can exchange at an official exchange point. Be prepared that you cannot exchange large dollar bills for smaller dollar bills. Therefore, we recommend that you also bring some US dollars in small banknotes (1, 5 and 10 USD).

In many places, US dollars are the preferred means of payment. However, if your purchase costs less than $ 1, the merchant will preferably take the payment in relays.

Ordinary credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are usually valid in cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) have also become more common. Outside the cities, ATMs are scarce and credit cards are not valid everywhere. However, in hotels, many restaurants and shops, credit cards are accepted as a method of payment.

Note that there are many jewelers in Cambodia. However, we recommend that you do not buy gemstones from Cambodia, as there is not always certainty about their authenticity. Our guides do not take our customers to gemstone stores, and buying gemstones is entirely at your own risk.

  1. Price level

The price level in Cambodia is generally low. The guide below applies to cities. In rural areas, prices are usually even lower and the range is smaller.

  • Food:
    Restaurant serving western food from USD 4
    Restaurant serving Khmer food from USD 3
  • Drinks:
    Soft drink 1 USD
    Beer 1 USD
    Juice 2 USD
    Water, small bottle 0.50 USD, large bottle 1 USD
  • Other products:
    Phone 10 – 20 USD
    SIM card 3 USD
    DVD 2.50 – 3 USD
    Book 10 – 15 USD
  1. Drink money

Gratuities are welcome, but you can, of course, decide for yourself how much gratuity you give. Below are the indicative amounts:

  • Piccolo: 1-2 USD per room
  • Cleaner: $ 1 per day
  • Guides: $ 5 – $ 10 per day / person depending on service
  • Drivers: $ 2 – $ 5 per day / person depending on service
  • Restaurants: In modern restaurants, the service fee is sometimes included in the price, and therefore there is no need to pay a separate gratuity. Drink money is not expected in traditional restaurants, but if you wish, you can leave some small money on the table when you leave.

In our gratuity guidelines, amounts are given in U.S. dollars, however, on-site gratuities are paid in local currency.

  1. Time difference

The time difference between Cambodia and Finland varies depending on whether Finland has summer time or winter time.
In summer +4 hours: when the clock is 12 in Finland, in Cambodia it is 16. In winter +5 hours: when it is 12 in Finland, in Cambodia it is 17.

  1. Electricity

There is no specific standard for voltage or plugs in Cambodia. The voltage can thus be anything between 110 and 230 volts. The plugs can have either two rounded pins or three flat pins. So make sure you take the adapter with you if you need to charge a laptop, mobile phone or camera, for example.

  1. Telephone and internet

According to AllCityCodes, Cambodia’s international area code is +855. In Cambodia, making and receiving a call can be expensive. Check your mobile phone coverage and prices with your mobile operator. If you need to make frequent or long calls or want to send a lot of text messages, it may be smart to get a local SIM card. Larger cities have internet cafes, and most hotels have WiFi.

  1. Security

Cambodia is generally a safe destination. Crime against tourists is usually limited to pickpocketing, but it is possible to avoid falling victim to theft by exercising caution and using common sense. Avoid using expensive jewelry and displaying large sums of money in public.

During the Indochina War, large quantities of landmines were buried in Cambodia, and there are still areas in the country where mines have not been cleared. However, these areas are located far from the areas we travel on and outside of tourist areas in general. Most of the undeveloped areas are located in rural areas (rice fields) in the northern and western parts of the country.

When you always follow the safety instructions in this guide, you don’t have to worry unnecessarily.

  1. Meals and beverages

Khmer cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world. The food is healthy, smells good and tastes delicious. Cambodian food resembles Thai food but is less fiery. Cambodian food culture has also been heavily influenced by Vietnamese cuisine, as both countries once belonged to French Indochina.

The best known traditional food of the Khmer (Cambodian) is “amok”. Amok is a traditional curry that is usually made from fish and coconut, occasionally including chicken.

Use only bottled water as drinking water. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere. Never drink tap water.

  1. Holidays

Experiencing the traditions and celebrations of other countries and cultures is always a particularly wonderful and fascinating experience. Below is an overview of holidays, important festivals and other anniversaries.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on such days.

  1. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you an itinerary as soon as we have booked your flight. From the itinerary, you can see exactly what is included in the trip. If you notice an error in the name on the booking, please contact us immediately. We use e-tickets that you have to print yourself. Once the tickets have been booked, we will send you an email with the booking number and instructions on how to print the ticket. At the same time, you will receive a newsletter containing important telephone numbers, such as a number that you can always catch up with a representative from Asia Travel – even outside opening hours.

If your itinerary includes a domestic flight in Cambodia, you will not receive this flight ticket until you arrive in Cambodia.

  1. Your luggage

We use many different airlines on our trips to Cambodia, so the amount of baggage allowed can vary for both checked-in luggage and hand luggage. Baggage information can be found on the flight ticket. You can also contact us if you have any questions about our luggage. If your trip includes an internal flight in Cambodia, the maximum amount of luggage is 20 kg.

You and your travel companion should also pack your bags together so that you can each handle the contents of one bag for a few days if the other bag is late. This is hardly possible, but it is always possible. However, if this happens uncomfortably, it may take a few days for the bag to be delivered to your hotel.

Make sure you have all the essentials in your hand luggage. Essential goods include passports, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money, prescriptions and vital medicines. In addition, you should pack a camera, binoculars, computer and tablet, as well as chargers and adapters in your hand luggage.

Due to the air conditioning, it can get cold on the plane, so pack a warm sweater or windbreaker in your hand luggage.

  1. Airport transfers

When you arrive at the airport in Cambodia, you will be greeted by our local representative, who will be identified in the Arrivals Hall by the sign. You will also be transported to the airport on the day of departure. The departure time of the transfer on the day of departure will be notified to you upon arrival in Cambodia.

  1. Etiquette and cultural differences

Experiencing cultural and etiquette differences is one of the pleasures of traveling, and it is important to respect these differences. The saying goes “in the country the way of the country,” and that’s why we’ve put together tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your trip to Cambodia.

  • If you’re angry, don’t let it show up. Showing irritation or frustration by shouting or rude behavior is extremely bad and degrading behavior, and it never results in any good. If you lose your temper, you will also lose your face, and that is a horror for Cambodians (Khmers).
  • Avoid public displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing, as they are considered offensive. It is extremely rare to see couples walking hand in hand. On the other hand, it is common to see male or female friends walking hand in hand.
  • Take your shoes off when you walk in. There are exceptions, so look around: if you find people have left your shoes outside, you also need to take your shoes off before stepping in.
  • Cambodians greet each other by putting their hands together (fingers are not interlaced) and with a slight bow. It is polite for the younger person to greet first. In the case of foreigners and in connection with transactions, a (European) handshake is also acceptable.
  • Touching a child’s head is believed to bring bad luck.
  • Always use either hand or just the right hand when handing something to the other or when you are being handed something. Never use only the left hand.
  • Avoid wearing shorts, short bottoms, and sleeveless shirts, especially in temples, shrines, and places with few tourists.
  • Take your shoes off your feet and your hat off your head before you go into the temple (Vihara).
  • Do not point your finger at anything, especially other people or the Buddha statue. Pointing with a finger is considered very rude.
  • Never go naked for a swim or sunbathe without a swimsuit, as it is considered completely unsuitable – even on the beaches.
  • If you are sitting in front of a “dain” (Buddha Shrine), see that your feet are pointing away from the Buddha.
  • Women are allowed to hand over to a monk or receive an object from a monk, but women must never touch the monks.

Note: Angkor Wat’s central building is closed to tourists on Buddhist holidays.

  1. Local means of transport

In Siem Reab and Phnom Penh, taxis with fixed fares are commonly used for airport transfers. Cities use rheumatism rickshaws (equivalent to subsidies), which usually cost $ 1-3 in Siem Reab and $ 2-5 in Phnom Penh, depending on the trip. In both cities, short trips of less than a mile cost about $ 1, but prices are usually slightly higher per night.
There are also motorcycle taxis in Cambodia. We do not recommend using them, as it is not uncommon for a motorcycle taxi to have an accident.

  1. Gifts and Grants

Cambodia is still a very poor country in some areas, which is why our local partners have given us the following guidelines on how to deal with donations and money:

  • NEVER give money to beggars, especially children. Giving money to beggars reinforces the impression that begging is an acceptable way of life. If children make money by begging, parents would rather send them to the streets to earn than to school.
  • The exception is the elderly and the disabled, who can be given a few coins.
  • NEVER give sweets to children you encounter in rural villages during the trip
  • Try to get rid of the idea that the gift should be material. Most often, just a smile, being together and making friends are the best gifts.

Practical information about Cambodia