The official language is Khmer, which belongs to the Mon-Khmer family,
enriched by Indian Pali and Sanskrit languages and peppered
with Thai and French influence.
The second language is French which was widely spoken by the
intelligentsia before 1975 and is still spoken by a few elderly
Cambodians. However, in recent years, English has gained a great
popularity and there are plenty of English schools in Phnom Penh's
The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, as is also practiced in
Thailand, Burma, Laos and Sri Lanka. Ninety percent of Khmers are of
this religion. The country also has minority religions of about half a
million Muslims, and 60,000 Christians.
The local currency is the Riel. However, US$ are widely accepted and
easily exchanged across the country. In Phnom Penh and other towns most
goods and services are priced in dollars and there is a little
need to buy riel. In remote rural areas prices are quoted in riel
(except accommodation). In western districts, particularly Poipet,
Pailin and Koh Kong the Thai Baht is widely used. Traveler's
cheque's in US$ can be changed at most banks in
Phnom Penh and major tourist destinations. Credit card facilities
are limited to some major hotels. It is best to carry US$ in cash
in small denominations.
Exchange rate: 1 $US = 3870 Riel (April 2005) Exchange Rate
There are no coin operated phones in Cambodia (Cambodian currency has no
coins). In Phnom Penh, though, there are card phones situated
throughout the city, and the cards to use in them are available at
many outlets. There are also several mobile phone systems.
Country Code: +855.
220 volts/50 Hz, It is available in most cities for 24 hours, but in
remote power cuts are
possible during the night and it is recommended to carry a flash
Telephone: IDD is available to Cambodia. At present outgoing
international calls can not be made. Country code: 855.
Phnom Penh code: 23. Prepaid telephone cards are available in post
offhotels and supermarkets for public phones around Phnom
Penh and Siem Reap.
Mobile telephone: GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover Phnom Penh and other
main cities. Main network operators include Samart, Cambodia
Shinawatra and CamGSM Internet: ISPs include OnlineCOM Internet
cafes are available in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Airmail to Europe takes four to five days, and to the USA one week to
The Post & Telephone Office (PTT) in Phnom Penh is located
across from the Hotel Monorom at the corner of Achar Mean Boulevard
and 126 Street and is open 0700-1200 and 1300-2300. The main
post office in Phnom Penh is located on the western side of 13
Street between 98 Street and 102 Street, open 0630-2100.
General post office hours:
Mon-Fri 0730-1200 and 1430-1700.
The Phnom Penh Post (fortnightly), Cambodia Time (weekly) and Cambodia
Daily are printed in English..
All foreign nationals entering Cambodia are required to have a visa
which is issued on arrival at Pochentong airport in Phnom Penh and
at Siem Reap airport. Two passport photos are needed. The price for a
tourist visa is US$ 20 & for business US$ 25. For arrival overland, the
visa must be issued by one of the Cambodian embassies outside Cambodia.
The tourist visa is valid for one month and can be extended for one
International flights Airlines currently serving Phnom Penh are Royal
Air Cambodge, Thai International, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air,
Dragon Air, Vietnam Airlines, Lao Aviation, Bangkok Airways
and President Airlines. For Siem Reap is Royal Air Cambodge,
Bangkok Airways and
Bangkok – Phnom Penh or Siemriep
Saigon - Phnom Penh or Siemriep
Hanoi – Siemriep
Vientiane - Phnom Penh or Siemriep
Singapore - Phnom Penh or Siemriep
Kul - Phnom Penh or Siemriep
- International flight from Phnom Penh - US$ 20 - International flight
from Siem Reap - US$ 8 - Domestic flight from Phnom Penh - US$ 10 -
Domestic flight from all other airports - US$ 4
Cambodia's tropical climate is affected by the monsoon. The cool, dry
Northeast Monsoon which brings little rain, is from November to
March. From May to October, the south-west Monsoon brings heavy rain and
humidity. However, during the rain season, the rain is limited to
one or two downpours a day. Today 's weather forecast of Phnompenh
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and
long-sleeved items should be included for protection from
mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season an umbrella is
more convenient than a rain coast. A jacket may be needed in
hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.
The Khmer cuisine is closely related to other Asian countries, but not
very spicy. The typical Khmer dishes are rice, fish, curries and soups
with beef, pork, poultry and tasty sauces. Western style food is
provided widely in the major cities although other Asian dishes are
available (Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese Never
drink tap water. Purified bottle water is available everywhere. Soft
drinks are also widely sold as well as locally brewed and imported
Monday to Friday: 07:30 - 11:30 & 14:00 - 17:00, Banks: Monday to
Friday 08:00 - 15:30. Closed on public holidays.
- General offices: Private companies are usually open from 07:30 - 20:00
- National Museum, Silver Pagoda, Kings Palace, Tuol Sleng Museum &
Killing Fields: 08:00 - 11:00 & 14:00 - 17:00.
The National Museum is closed on Monday and public holidays. -
Good hospitals are only available in Phnom Penh. Private doctors and
pharmacies are available in most cities. Major tourist
destinations, such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, are free of
Malaria. However, for the evenings it is recommended to wear long
sleeve shirts and long pants and to apply insect repellants to
prevent mosquito bites.
For visiting temples or pagodas, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable.
However, for visiting the Silver Pagoda and the Royal Palace,
visitors are asked to dress more formally. Films, such as Kodak or Fuji,
are widely available. Any specialized photo equipment should
be brought along.
Getting to Cambodia