Angkor Wat complex

Cambodia tips

General Information
Cambodia shares borders in the north  with Laos and Thailand ,  in the east  with Vietnam and in the Southwest with  the Gulf of Thailand.  The landscape  comprises  tropical   rainforest  and fertile  cultivated land   traversed by many rivers.  In the northeast  area rise highlands.  The capital is located at  the junction of  the Mekong and Tonle  Sap rivers.  The latter flows from a large inland lake,  also called Tonle Sap, situated in the  centre of the
country. There are numerous   offshore islands along  the southwest coast.  The Mekong  River which flows through  the country,  and the Tonle Sap Lake is  the lifeline of the people who live along the    waterways. The Tonle Sap lake is one  of the richest sources of fresh 
water fish in  the world.  

Area: 181,035 sq km (69,898 sq miles).

Of the 12 million people, about 90% are ethnic Khmers.  There are several minorities  such as Chams  Vietnamese and Chinese. Population density  70.6 per sq km.
Capital :Phnom Penh. The population is around 1.3 million (2001) 
Local Time :7 Hours ahead of GMT.

Angkorwat complex

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. Language
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 streets.  

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.  

Cambodia Currency 

Exchange rate: 1 $US = 3870 Riel (April 2005) Exchange Rate Converter 

TelephoneThere 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 light.
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 ten days.
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 month.
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 Vietnam Airlines. 

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
Airport taxes
– 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 & Siemriep
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 beers.
Business hours
-Government offices:

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 every day.
– 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.


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