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Offecial Name: KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

National Flag:

Area 181,035km2. It is bordered to the North by Thailand and Laos, to the East and the South by Vietnam, and to the South and the West by the Gulf of Thailand.

Capital City Phnom Penh (Population approx 2 Million, 290 square kilometers). It is considered the center of Industry, Administration, Commerce, and Tourism.

Population 13,124,764 Million (2003 est.) (90-95% Khmers) the balance being ethnic Chinese, Cham, ethnic Vietnamese and hill-tribe people.

Language Khmer, secondary languages: English and French

Religion 95% Theravada Buddhist with the balance being Muslim, Christian and animist

Food and Drink Rice and fish are the basic foods enjoyed by Cambodians. Delicious noodle soups are available at cafes. Fresh seafood is plentiful at Sihanouk Ville. In major cities a wide range of culinary fare is on offer including; Chinese, Thai, French, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern.

Climate Cambodia has four seasons:
1. Nov-Feb, cool/dry
2. Mar-May, hot/dry
3. Jun-Aug, hot/wet
4. Sep-Oct, cool/wet

Time GMT+7 hours

Voltage 220v/50Hz

Currency RIEL (USD1 approximately 4000 Riels). US dollars are widely accepted.

Tipping Tipping isnít obligatory but is widely practiced in hotels and restaurants in addition to the service charges shown on bills.

Visas
Can be obtained at Royal Embassies and Consulates of Cambodia
A visa on arrival, valid for 30 days, is issued at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport. Poi Pet, O'Smach and Cham Yeam at the Cambodia-Thailand international border checkpoint and Bavet, Kaam Samnor at the Cambodia-Vietnam international border checkpoint.

Airport Taxi For visitors entering Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport, a taxi into the city will cost USD7 and will take approximately 15 minutes. Most hotels and better guesthouses provide airport pickups for booked guests. A (non-metered) taxi from Siem Reap International Airport into town, 8km away, costs about USD5 and takes 10-15 minutes.

Local Transport Cars and mini-buses are readily available for touring the temples at Angkor or for day trips in and around Phnom Penh. The cost of a car and driver is US$20+per day.

Hotels and Guesthouses There are many of each in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Accommodation ranges from guesthouses charging from USD5/night to luxurious 5-star hotels. In Siem Reap there are several small hotels along the road between the airport and the town. (These are peaceful as they?re set among rice fields and palms but require a taxi ride for each venture outside).

Nightlife Plenty available, but take your own driver or "motodop" (motorbike taxi driver) for the evening.

Telephone Country code: 855, Phnom Penh code: 23. Phone cards are available, and can be purchased at many outlets. There are also several mobile phone systems. Mobile phones can be rented from booths on the street on a pay-per-call basis.

Opening Hours Government offices: business hours are from 7:30am-11: 30am and 2:30pm-5pm, Monday to Friday. Banks are open from 8am-3pm Monday to Friday. Markets are open from early morning to late evening, including Sundays and pubic holidays.

Postal service Airmail to Europe takes 4-5 days, and to the USA 7-10 days

Newspapers English dailies: The Phnom Penh Post and The Cambodia Daily.

Internet services The Internet and E-mail are available in city and all the provinces.

Tourist information Ministry of Tourism. Tel.: (855)23 211 593, Fax: (855)23 212 837

Emergency There are emergency services in Phnom Penh. Call 119 ambumlance, Call 118 fire truck, Call 117 polices.Pochentong Airport PhnomPenh

International Gate Ways
- Phnom Penh International Airport
- Siem Reap International Airport
- Sihanoukville Port (Visa on Arrival)
- Airport Tax:
International Airport:
- Foreigner: USD25
- Cambodian: USD18
Domestic:
- Foreigner: 6USD
- Cambodian: 5USD (Effective from 5th January 2004)

International Border Checkpoints
- Bavet (Svay Rieng Province)
- Kaam Samnor-Koh Rokar (Kandal-Prey Veng)
- Cham Yeam (Koh Kong Province)
- Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchhey Province)
- O'Smach (Oddar Meanchhey Province)
- Phnom Den (Takeo Province): No Visa on Arrival
- Dong Krolor (Stung Treng Province): No Visa on Arrival

Getting to Cambodia
Most international visitors arrive by air at the airports in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. These airports are serviced by an increasing number of airlines. A growing number of tourists are also entering overland from Thailand and Vietnam.

Domestic Flights

City Airport Code
Phnom Penh PNH
Siem Riep REP
Battambang BBM
Mondulkiri MWV
Rattanakhiri RBE
Stung Treng TNX
Sihanouk Ville KOS
Koh Kong KKZ
Poipet HPP

Cambodia has six airports at Battambang, Mondulkiri, Phnom Penh, Rattanakhiri, Siem Riep and Stung Treng. All flights pass through Phnom Penh International Airport.

CULTURE AND TRADITION

Traditional arts and crafts are abundant in Cambodia. Scuptures., paintings and curving done with great care and attention. One can view such antiquities in market place, shop or museum.The variety of arts and crafts are large in range and include such item as: silver and gold jewellery, wicker were furniture, fine hard wood furniture, silks, marble sculptures, high quality China, leather ware and much more. There is a sharp eye for detail here and much of the products will be intricately carved especially the furniture, sculptures etc.Unfortunately, much of these works completely ceased to exist during the Khmer Rouge dictatorship. Artisans ware instead forced to work in labour camps, where most of them died painful deaths. Many arts and crafts also purposely perished during that time.Today there has been a revival, due to a great deal of restoration work, which has been initiated by foreign governments. Now many centers have been established to keep the ancient methods of the craftwork alive. You can see examples of this throughout the country.

Safety & Security

Safety and security is a very difficult subject to write about. Advice that is too conservative or too cavalier both do a disservice to the potential visitor, Cambodian tourism and the reputation of the country. This said, bear in mind that the following words about safety in Cambodia come from personal experience and observation. It is not to be taken as official, gospel or the final word. As a matter of fact, if there is one truism about security advice it is that it all comes from limited information, a particular perspective and contains bias of some sort. When seeking information about safety and security, seek out multiple sources, look for common threads and try to take into account the bias that each source may be conveying. For example, advice from embassies and international organizations tends to be conservative and politically driven. Advice from tourist books and guides is almost always seriously out-dated. On the other hand, advice from fellow travelers is up to date and first-hand but comes from narrow, individual experience and is often cavalier, springing from the specious "I didn't get hurt or killed so it must be safe" rationale. In short, understanding safety and security requires your active participation. You must think about and evaluate the advice received. And regardless of the advice, you must apply it with reason and common sense.By comparison to other major tourist destinations around the world, Cambodia is currently a relatively safe travel destination. Provincial destinations in Cambodia such as Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor are exceptionally safe by comparison. Significant security concerns include: 1) traffic/transportation safety; 2) petty and sometime violent street crime in Phnom Penh.

Khmer Rouge:The Khmer Rouge, as a viable political, military or even criminal force in Cambodia, is dead and buried, and their resurrection is very unlikely. The Khmer Rouge is no longer a security concern.

Landmines:When the topic is landmines, Cambodia is usually one of the first countries to be mentioned, but fortunately, mines are not a concern for the average tourist in Cambodia. Mines are concentrated in border areas (particularly the Thai border), some mountain areas, and old war zones. There are no mines in major cities and towns where most tourists frequent. The areas around heavily touristed temple ruins in Siem Reap were demined long ago, though for safety's sake it is best to stay on established routes.

If you plan to visit less-frequented, distant temple ruins such as Phnom Kulen, Kbal Spean and Beng Melea, stick strictly to paths. Do not walk though untouristed jungle, mountain or paddy areas without a guide. Do not cross international borders except at established border crossing points. Adventure travelers to remote sections of Cambodia need to take extra mine safety precautions.

Disease/Accidents:For disease concerns see the Visas and Vaccinations page. Remember that AIDS/HIV and Hepatitis B are very prevalent amongst Cambodia's sex workers.

Traffic accidents: are not uncommon in the chaotic traffic of Cambodia, particularly Phnom Penh. The most common form of public transportation is the motorcycle taxi. Unless you buy your own, there are no helmets and the moto drivers are usually not licensed. Car taxi is the safest way to move around the city. For taxi contact details see:Transportation: Phnom Penh.Transportation: Siem Reap.Transportation: Sihanoukville

In Phnom Penh, cyclos (bicycle rickshaws) also offer a slower, somewhat safer (though not as safe as a car) alternative to mototaxis. If you insist on using motorcycle taxis, try to select your driver carefully. If he appears drunk, reckless or drives too fast do not hesitate to get off (pay him a bit) and get another moto. There are plenty to choose from.

For those who choose to rent a motorcycle and drive themselves, be forewarned that traffic in Phnom Penh is chaotic in the extreme. Between cities, road conditions are poor and taxi and truck drivers are reckless, taking little heed of motorcycles. Only very experienced riders should attempt driving in Cambodia.

Ferry to Siem Reap The safety of the popular ferries that ply the Tonle Sap between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap may be of some concern. Though by third world standards the public ferries are relatively fast and modern, they in no way meet international safety standards. Little or no safety equipment is available. If you are looking for international standards of safety, do not take the local ferry. If you are accustomed to traveling on ferries in southern Asia, you will probably find the Siem Reap ferry to be a rather tame adventure.There are now a couple of companies (Compagnie Fluviale du Mekong and Mekong Express Tours) offering deluxe/luxury ferries that meet international safety standards. See the Siem Reap Transportation page.

Criminal Activity:Like most countries around the world, criminal activity is probably the greatest threat to the tourist after traffic accidents.Outside of Phnom Penh, violent criminal activity directed against foreign tourists is almost unheard of. There have been a few night-time robberies and assaults in Sihanoukville and now Siem Reap but, at least at this point in time, these are exceptions rather than the rule. Generally speaking, provincial capitals such as Siem Reap, Battambang and others are exceptionally safe.

Phnom Penh Armed robberies of tourists in Phnom Penh are not uncommon. Although there have been some daytime robberies, most occur at night, often near popular tourist destinations and almost always to tourists on the back of a motorcycle taxi or on foot. The robbers are usually young men armed with a handgun that confront the tourist directly and demand money. Though the robbers generally avoid applying violence, they will become violent if challenged.

The best way to avoid robbery is to take a car taxi when traveling after dark. Robbery of people in cars, though not unheard of, is very rare. If you choose to take a motorcycle taxi, it is best to stay on main roads rather than dark side streets. It is best not to travel by foot after dark. If you are confronted by robbers, do not resist, do not challenge them, do not try to bargain. Be cooperative. Give up your money quickly and they will probably leave as quickly as they showed up.

Also note that when riding a motorcycle taxi, keep your bag or backpack directly between you and the driver, or let the driver place it in front of him. There have been reports of people pulled off of motorcycle taxis when thieves grabbed their backpacks.

Nightclubs: Night clubs that cater primarily to Cambodians (not including foreigner-oriented bars and clubs such as Martini's and Riverhouse Lounge in Phnom Penh, the casinos in Sihanoukville and other tourist-oriented places) often draw a large police/military clientele and young gang members. The mixture of alcohol and guns can lead to violent confrontations, sometimes involving gun-play, inside and immediately outside the clubs.

Other non-violent, non-confrontational crime does occur, but should almost go without mentioning. Do not leave money or valuables in your hotel room unattended. Do not leave money or valuables unattended on the beaches in Sihanoukville. Do not leave your bags in a taxi or on a motorcycle or cyclo while you go into a hotel to check in. Be very careful of your belongings if you take a prostitute to your hotel room. Be careful of pickpockets in crowded discos and clubs, particularly clubs filled with prostitutes, and at the traditional Asian markets (often over-friendly children).

Foreign Embassies in Phnom Penh

  • Australia
    Villa 11, Street 254
    023-213470
  • Belgium
    #8, Street 352
    023-987629
  • Bulgaria
    #227, Norodom
    023-723182
  • Canada
    Villa 11, Street 254
    023-213470
  • China
    #156, Mao Tse Toung
    023-720920
  • Cuba
    #98, Street 214
    023-368610
  • Denmark
    #8, Street 352
    023-987629
  • France
    #1, Monivong
    023-430020
  • Germany
    #76-78, Street 214
    023-216381
  • India
    #777, Monivong
    023-210912
  • Indonesia
    #90, Norodom
    023-216148
  • Japan
    #75, Norodom
    023-217161
  • Laos
    #15-17, Mao Tse Toung
    023-983632
  • Malaysia
    #5, Street 242
    023-216176
  • Malta
    #10, Street 370
    023-368184
  • Myanmar
    #181, Norodom
    023-213664
  • N. Korea
    #39, Suramarit
    023-217013
  • Philippines
    #33, Street 294
    023-215145
  • Poland
    #767, Monivong
    023-217782
  • Russia
    #213, Sothearos
    023-210931
  • Singapore
    #92, Norodom
    023-360855
  • S. Korea
    #64, Street 214
    023-211901
  • Sweden
    #8, Street 352
    023-212259
  • Switzerland
    #53D, Street 242
    023-219045
  • Thailand
    #196, Norodom
    023-363870
  • UK
    #27-29, Street 75
    023-427124
  • USA
    #27, Street 240
    023-216436
  • Vietnam
    #426, Monivong
    023-362531
   

Tourist Don't:

Donít purchase historical artifacts in Cambodia. Buy only the replica ones.

Donít take home pieces of stone from the temples and tourist sites no matter how small and undecorated they are.

Donít touch someone on the head. Head is considered holy.

Donít point or gesture with your feet or put your on the furniture. Feet are considered the lowest form of the body.

Donít give children vendors in the temples candies if you do not intend to buy their products.

Donít be foul-mouthed in middle of lake or jungle. It is considered bad omen.

Donít involve in narcotic drug consumption and sexual exploitation of children.

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