Welcome to Cambodia

GENERAL INFORMATION

For decades off limits to all but the most intrepid tourists, today Southeast Asia’s Cambodia is a popular destination for all kinds of travellers: from independent backpackers who roam far off the beaten track to explore the stunning sugar-palm dotted hinterland to luxury tourists who stay in style and see Cambodia’s main draw card of Angkor Wat between massages and exquisite French meals.

The ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s national treasure. The nearby city of Siem Reap has developed dramatically since the days Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raider here and fell in love with the nation. While some lament the discovery of Angkor by the masses, the site is still breathtaking and Siem Reap offers all the comforts one could wish for on any budget.

Kingdom of Cambodia is situated in Southeast Asia, bordered to the North by Thailand and Laos, the East and the South by Vietnam and the West by the Gulf of Thailand. The country is completely based on agriculture in which they collect the harvest during the whole year:

- Long Term Rice in rainy season
- Short Term Rice in dry season where the fields are nearby is the irrigation

canal system. Cambodia has also the farm-land along the both sides of Mekong and Tonle Sap river where they plant corn, potatoes, cabbages, cucumber and many other different kind of vegetables. We plant as well the tree-fruit like banana, mango, jackfruit, sugar-cane, milk-apple, durian, etc…

Besides all above, Tonle Sap Lake is the largest fishy-region in Asia. Kingdom of Cambodia has rubber, teakwood, timber and all kind of best quality wood for furniture.
We have only two distinguished season: the rainy season from May to October, the dry season from November to April with 25 to 35 degrees C. Sometimes reaches 39 degrees under the shade. The best time for a visit to Cambodia is from November to January with only 20 to 30 degrees C.
In the Northeast, the mountainous region with beautiful evergreen landscape where many different ethnic minority living in

CAMBODIA FACT FILE

Country Name : Kingdom of Cambodia

Motto : Nation-Religion-King

Capital : Phnom Penh

Population : 13.1 million

Land Area : 181,035 km2

Time : GMT+7hours

Religion : 95% Theravada Buddhism

Currency : Riel (US$1=4000R)

Voltage : 220v/50Hz

International Airports : Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

Languages : Khmer, English and French

Ethnic Groups : Khmer, Chinese, Islam, Hill-tribes (Northeast), Vietnamese.

WORKING HOURS

Hours of operation in Cambodia are somewhat different than in other countries. Cambodians typically take long lunches, and the opening hours for government offices and some business offices are usually from 7.30am to 11.30am, and then from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. If you show up at an office at 1pm for example, you may find no one there.

SIEM REAP: CLIMATE

Practically speaking, Cambodia has four seasons:

  1. November-February, cool/dry;
  2. March-May, hot/dry,
  3. June-August, hot/wet;
  4. September-October, cool/wet.

The hottest days of the hot season rarely climb above 35°C though the sun can be quite intense. The cool season may push the mercury as low as 20°C. The monsoons between June and October follow a regular pattern, clear mornings with 1-3 hour rains in the afternoon. The cool dry season is more comfortable but the regularity of the wet season rains make them easy to plan around.

SIEM REAP: ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

Visas

A Cambodian visa is required for most nationalities. Visas are available on arrival at the Siem Reap International Airport, the Phnom Penh International Airport and most border crossings.

Airport Departure Tax

Domestic: US$6. International: US$25

Siem Reap Airport

The airport sits 8km from town. Outside the terminal is a ticket booth for registered taxis into town. Independent taxis and motorcycles wait just outside the airport. Most hotels offer free transportation from the airport but you must notify them in advance of your arrival.

Siem Reap Ferry Dock

The ferry to Siem Reap arrives at Chong Khneas near Phnom Krom, 12km south of Siem Reap. There is always transportation waiting at the dock.

Visas & Entry Requirements

Visa is available upon arrival at all international border checkpoints and visa fee $25 for business and $20 for tourist.
A visa is required for most nationalities. Vaccinations are not required. One Month Tourist Visa is available on arrival at the airport in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap. Tourist visa: USD20/pax with 01 (4×6) photo needed. Visa application form will be provided on inbound flights. Visa available at Thai-Cambodian or Vietnamese-Cambodian overland border-crossings. A passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of your visit.

MONEY AND BANKING

Currency

As with the rest of Cambodia, the Cambodian Riel is the national currency and the US Dollar is the de facto currency. Pay for large expenses using dollars and retain riel for small, one-off purchases like drinks or cigarettes. Currency rates fluctuate but as a guide there are 4000 riel to $1.

Currency Exchanges

Most of the local banks will change currency for you. However, it can pay to use local exchanges as the banks tend to adhere to the rates set by world currency markets. There are currency exchanges all over Siem Reap and many located in the Old Market area. Compare the rates of exchange at individual exchanges to get the best rate.

Sending and Receiving Money

Many of Siem Reap’s Banks have ATMs. It is also possible to withdraw money using a credit card and passport. Different banks have different charges for this service. A common charge is a flat-rate of $5 for withdraws up to $100, and 2% for withdraws over $100.
Western Union has counters in many of the banks. Look for the yellow and black signs outside. Some banks also offer a Money gram service. Again, this is generally advertised outside.

Local Banks

ANZ Royal Bank (Cambodia) Ltd.
Cambodia Asia Bank
Cambodian Commercial Bank (CCB)
Cambodian Public Bank
Canadia Bank
Krung Thai Bank Public Co. Ltd.
Mekong Bank
UCB - Union Commercial Bank Plc.

Exchange Rates (approx.)

US Dollar (USD) = 4000 riel
1 Thai Baht (THB) = 100 riel
1 Pound (GBP) = 6644 riel
1 Euro (EUR) = 4897 riel
100 Japanese Yen (JPY) = 3703 riel
1 Hong Kong $ (HKD) = 510 riel
1 Australia $ (AUD) = 2863 riel
1 Canada $ (CAN) = 2902 riel

COMMUNICATION

Public Telephone

The Cambodia Country Code is 855, and the Siem Reap Provincial Code is 063. Calls cost 300-500 riel per minute for local calls, and $1 per minute for international calls. It is more expensive to call within Asia than to call Europe, Australia or USA. Mobile phone numbers in Cambodia start with 011, 012, 015, 016 and 092. Phone cards are available at the post office, shops and at street stands.
Internet Services

There are many internet cafés in town and access is also available in some hotels. The usual cost is from 75¢ to $1 per hour.

Post Office

The Siem Reap Post Office is located on Pokambor Ave. by the river. (See map) Take your mail directly to the post office, and be sure they stamp it. To send parcels, use the Express EMS service located at the counter. It opens daily from 7:00am to 5:30pm. It offers a reliable service plus domestic and international telephone and FAX calls. P.O. boxes are also available.

PROVINCIAL AREA CODES

Banteay Meancheay - 054
Battambang - 053
Kandal - 024
Kampong Cham - 042
Kampong Chhnang - 026
Kampong Speu - 025
Kampong Thom - 062
Kampot - 033
Kep - 036
Koh Kong - 035
Kratie - 072
Mondulkiri - 073
Oddar Meancheay - 065
Phnom Penh - 023
Preah Vihear - 064
Prey Veng - 043
Pursat - 052
Ratanakiri - 075
Siem Reap - 063
Sihanouk Ville - 034
Stung Treng - 074
Svay Rieng - 044
Takeo - 032

POSTAL SERVICES

The post used to be legendarily unreliable, but the National Post Office has really improved its service and the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. Letters and postcards invariably reach their destinations, which was by no means the case in the past. However, valuable items still have a habit of going missing and it is advisable to send and receive them by private courier. DHL has an office in Siem Reap.

MEDICAL CARE - HOSPITALS

Siem Reap Provincial Hospital
Open 24 hours. Located near Phsar Chas.

Javayarman VII Children’s Hospital

The Kantha Bopha Foundation has 4 hospitals matching international standards of health care. Together they perform 400,000 vaccinations, 12,000 births, 16,000 surgical operations per year, as well as 3,000 consultations a day. Currently there are over 1,400 children hospitalised. The average duration of stay is 5 days. All services are free of charge: consultations, hospitalizations, surgical operations, deliveries, medicine, etc. This is because 95% of Cambodian families cannot afford medical care. The $18 million in operating costs are funded mainly through private donations. Only 5% is used for administrative management. Proceeds from concerts every Saturday at 7:15pm go to support the hospital. Blood donations are also welcome. A new movie by Janine Hosking titled “Doctor Beat & the Passive Genocide of Children” is shown every Mon. Tues. Wed. Thur. at 7:15pm. Admission is free. Located on the road to Angkor Wat.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

Tourist Police

A police station are located opposite the main entrance/admission station to the Angkor Archaeological Park. Tel: 012-402424, 012-969991, 012-838768

Fire

Tel: 012-784464