FOOD AND DRINKS
The most popular dish in Cambodia is fish amok, a fish mousse with fresh coconut milk and kroeung, a type of Khmer curry paste made from lemongrass, turmeric root, garlic, shallots, galangal and ginger. Other recommendations include red curry, salads and noodles. What might excite you while visiting Cambodia is their exotic foods: insects and spiders.
This is not a tourist thing. Spiders, crickets, snakes, you name it, are very much available where you go.
For water, it is not advisable that you drink tap water. Instead, use bottled water from supermarkets or mini-marts. We suggest buying big bottles because it’s a better for the environment in the sense that you will dispose less trash while in the country.
Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is warm to hot all-year-round and the climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle with its alternating wet and dry seasons.
Cambodia heats up steadily from February to April, with temperatures peaking as high as 40°C in April. Temperatures remain high in May and June, and the southwest monsoon brings in more humidity and some very sticky days! From July through October there will certainly be some rainfall but it usually comes in short showers. Unless you're in remote areas with bad roads traveling is perfectly comfortable during these months, and it's nice to see the rice paddies and tropical foliage at their most green and lush. The best months to visit Cambodia are from November to March with dry weather and lower humidity levels -- of course, this is also the busiest time of year so expect some crowds and higher prices.
People drive on the right in Cambodia. Generally, traffic is not very well organized so safety is an issue for those who travel around the country. Not all Cambodian drivers have a driving license nor is age a problem. Road sense is still an issue here. You might see people under the age of 18 years old driving, some people not respecting the lights or honking way too much… While there are many motorcycles in Cambodia, driving one can be an adventure for foreigners as the government does not encourage you to do so.
So, the easiest and most enjoyable way to get yourself around town is in the back of a tuk tuk! As long as you can negotiate, a tuk tuk is safe, fun and easy to get around.
Riel is the official currency of Cambodia. However, the currency you want to take with you is US Dollars. For anything that costs more than $1, you’ll be paying in US Dollars. Change less than $1 will be Riel. When you withdraw money from a local ATM in Cambodia, you will sometimes have the option to choose US or Riel. Choosing USD is preferable because it’s widely accepted and easier to convert when it comes to evaluate things you buy. Also, you’ll have fewer notes in your wallet, much easier all around.
Speaking of which, beware that ‘old’ bills can be risky: if you give local people a note with a rip or tear in it, they will likely reject it.
PHONE AND INTERNET
Country code of Cambodia is +855. To place a long-distance domestic call from a landline, or to dial a mobile (cell) number, dial zero, the area code (or mobile prefix) and the number. Leave out the zero and the area code if you are making a local call. Drop the zero from the mobile prefix or regional (city) code when dialing into Cambodia from another country.
When you arrive at the airport, you’ll find a few vendors outside selling SIM cards. It should cost around $3US for 2GB of data, to be used over 7 days. It’s easy to get one, so you may as well. It means you can look up good places to go to or consult Google Maps when you get lost.
Internet connection in Cambodia is not so good as you might think it is. Internet access is widespread, but there are not as many internet shops as there used to be now that wi-fi is more prevalent. Charges range from 1500r to US$2 per hour. Many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and cafes now offer free wi-fi, even in the most out-of-the-way provincial capitals.
PASSPORT AND VISA
For most visitors to the Kingdom, visa are obtainable upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. At land crossing from Thailand, visas are available at Poipet Banteay Meanchey and Cham Yeam (Koh Kong province). Visitors who enter from Vietnam through Bavet (VN: Moc Bai) or Ka-Om Samnor (VN: Chao Doc) will need to have already obtained their visas prior to their arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate overseas. Tourists also can obtain visa through the online E-Visa.