With a rich historical past and magnificent landscapes, Cambodia has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. While traveling in Cambodia, you will have the opportunity to visit splendid religious sites, hike in spectacular jungles, sail along the rustic Tonlé Sap lake and discover the lively cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The temples of Angkor are the remarkable attractions that make Cambodia the ‘kingdom of wonders’. If you are planning to visit this country, here are some things to know before traveling to Cambodia.

1. Arrival in Cambodia

By plane

Cambodia has three international airports (Cambodian visa can be issued to you upon arrival at one of these airports). An important note for you: Book as soon as possible and get the best price.

By road

Cambodia has common borders with Thailand to the west-northwest, Laos to the northeast and Vietnam to the east and southeast. You can easily get to Cambodia by road. We offer car rental services with driver in Cambodia.

By boat

The only way to reach Cambodia by boat is from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It is not possible to reach Cambodia by boat from Thailand or Laos.

Vietnam Tours 2020
Things to Know Before Traveling to Cambodia

Traveling to Cambodia by boat from Vietnam will be an unforgettable experience

By bus

You can easily reach Cambodia from Vietnam by bus. Several buses leave from Ho Chi Minh City to reach Phnom Penh or Siem Reap.

2. Visa and passport

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your date of arrival in Cambodia and you must have at least one blank page in your passport

Visa exemption for Cambodia: most countries in Southeast Asia are eligible for visa-free entry from two weeks to 30 days in this country. Some useful information for you:

  • Brunei, Thailand: 14 days
  • Philippines: 21 days
  • Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore: 30 days

Cambodia tourist visas can be purchased at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports and at certain borders. It costs $30 for adults and free for children under 12 for a 30-day stay. You will need to have a passport size photo. This tourist visa is valid for a single entry and you can renew it for another 30 days for a fee of $45. It is recommended to pay the cash fee in U.S. dollars.

You can also apply for an electronic visa. It costs you USD 30 and USD 6 processing fee, a minimum of 3 days of waiting.

3. Vaccinations

Before leaving for Cambodia, it is advisable to talk to your doctor. This is one of most important things to know before traveling to Cambodia. The consultation will help to balance the risk of contracting one of these diseases against the possible disadvantages of vaccination.

Here are the (strongly) recommended vaccines in Cambodia:

  • Universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough, and hepatitis B;
  • Hepatitis A;
  • Typhoid;
  • Rabies: essential for long stays and in rural areas;
  • Japanese encephalitis: recommended for long stays, especially in rice fields, during the monsoon period and after;
  • Antimalarial treatment: highly recommended, even if malaria mainly affects rural areas.

4. Transport in Cambodia

Many means of transport are available to move between or within the different cities of Cambodia throughout your stay.


It is a very common mode of transport, to be tested at least once during your tour in Cambodia. You can ride up to 4 people in these carts harnessed to motorcycles. Unless you are a regular resident of the country, you decide the amount of the race before going up. It is often more economical to take a day tuk-tuk, especially in Phnom Penh.


It is a good way to move from one city to another in good condition. Different public and private companies with varying levels of comfort and prices connect all the cities of the country. There are also very comfortable night buses for you to enjoy the night ride.


The rickshaw is one of the ideal means of transport to move within a city like Phnom Penh. Perfect for sneaking through the streets and alleys of the capital and traveling long distances without getting tired, the pedicab makes you enjoy the spirit of the city.

Motorbike taxi

Also called motodop, it is a very common means of transport in cities and very practical for short distances especially when it is hot. Remember to negotiate the price before going up.


A bicycle trip in Cambodia is one of the best ways to discover a country, a people and the experience of a memorable adventure. From the temples of Angkor to the beaches of Sihanoukville, So explore Cambodia… with the pedal!

On a boat

It is the ideal way to discover the beauty of the Cambodian countryside. Traveling by boat gives you the opportunity to learn more about the floating villages and dependent communities of the Mekong or the Tonle Sap lake. The boat is also an excellent opportunity for excursions to the small islands.

On foot

The walks will make you discover the fields of green rice fields and the charm of the natural reserves of this country.


There is only one railway line in Cambodia. This one follows the following route: Phnom Penh-Takeo-Kampot-Sihanoukville and vice versa. Allow more or less 8 hours of transportation for a Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville trip for the sum of $7.

5. Climate in Cambodia

Located in the tropical climatic zone influenced by the monsoon, the climate of Cambodia is, in general, hot and humid. There are two main seasons in Cambodia: the rainy season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April). The temperature can reach 40 degrees during the hottest period. The high tourist season is the dry season, it is also the best time for your circuit in Cambodia. Due to the increased arrival, the price will be more expensive during these months. If you want to reduce the price, you can choose other months of the year, but you have to be careful because the rain can influence your visit.

The best time to spend your stay in Cambodia is from November to March, one of the best things to know before traveling to Cambodia. However, it is nice to travel to this country from June to October, as it usually rains in the afternoon and it does not affect your visit.

6. Currency

Things to Know Before Traveling to Cambodia

A note of Cambodia currency

The official currency in Cambodia is the Riel (KHR). However, the US dollar is widely accepted and you don’t really need to trade in local currency. You only need a small amount of riel to buy cheap products from local markets.

Credit/debit cards are accepted in hotels and restaurants. ATMs are available in many tourist destinations such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. However, if you are going to certain rural areas, have cash on hand.

7. Telephone

Cambodia’s telephone network is developing relatively well. To be able to call Cambodia, you just need to get a Cambodian SIM. You can buy a SIM card from one of these providers. It only costs $1 to $2 for a local SIM card.

We recommend one of the following two operators that are among things to know before traveling to Cambodia:

  • Cellcard: better for using the internet
  • Smart: better for calls

8. The Internet

Many cybercafés are present in big cities. Their costs vary between 2,000 and 9,000 Riels an hour. Also note that most hotels, guesthouses, bars or restaurants have free WiFi networks with more or less good quality connections.

The Internet is available in hotels, restaurants, and cafes. However, if you are traveling to rural areas, buy a package. There are seven cellular service providers in Cambodia: Metfone, Beeline, Cellcard/ Mobitel, Smart, Excel, and CooTel. Metfone is the largest supplier, winning and occupying 50% of the domestic market

9. Electricity

In Cambodia, people use 220V, 50 Hz and 2 or 3 pin electrical outlets. You can bring your own adapter or your hotel will provide you with multiple sockets

The voltage and frequency in Cambodia are 230 V, 50 Hz. So you can use all your devices. In Cambodia, A / C / G type plugs can be used. Type C plug can also be used with the E and F plug. For the A plug you will need an adapter. For the G socket, you will need an adapter.

The sockets are usually of the round type with two branches. Three-branch adapters are available at the Phnom Penh markets.

10. Language

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia, but most hospitality professionals can speak English. Nevertheless, it will be appreciated everywhere if you can express yourself, if only a few words, in Khmer language, because Cambodians are very open people who like to chat! This is among needed things to know before traveling to Cambodia.

Basic expressions/ Common words:

Hello!Sou sdey
How are you?Sok sabay
Very well, thank you. And you?Sok sabay. Tcho néa végétal?
Do you speak French/ English?Teuï neak niyeay baraing té?
I understand/ I don’t understandAt pretty
SorrySom toh
GoodbyeLee hai
Thank you so muchOrkurn (chran)
Excuse me/ PleaseSom toh
No, thanksSummer, orkurn
Yes/ NoCha (if you are female) – Baat (if you are male)/ At té
You’re welcome!Men ey tei

For Shopping

How much is it?Tlai pon man?
It’s very cheap!Thauk
It’s too expensive!Tlai nah!
Can you lower the price?Neak arch Chos tlay ban té?
I would like to buy … this one!Khom chong tink vea
I love/ I hateKnyom sraelang/ Knyom saab

11. Important addresses

Development Cooperation Office in Phnom Penh

  • Address: Consulate of Belgium
  • KOSAN Engineering Hotel Cambodiana, Ground Floor – Office 4 Phnom Penh

Honorary Consulate Phnom Penh

  • Address: Building Phnom Penh Center Sihanouk
  • At the corner of Sothearos Street, entrance F, floor 7, Phnom Penh

Embassy of Canada

  • Address: Villa 9, RV Senei Vinnavut Oum, (Old Street 254) Sangkat Chaktomuk, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh

French Embassy

  • Address: No. 1, Monivong, Phnom Penh
  • Postal address: PO Box 18, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Consulate General in Phnom Penh

  • Address: No. 242, Maison 53 D, Phnom Penh
  • Mailing address: Consulate General of Switzerland, PO Box 12, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

12. Best Destinations to Visit in Cambodia

Discover Cambodia today with its temples, jungle, and traditions that have remained intact to the delight of visitors. Here are the essential places for you during your stay in Cambodia and surely most expected things to know before traveling to Cambodia:

Phnom Penh

Sunset at Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Sunset at Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

This is the capital of Cambodia, located in the southern half of the country with Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh train station, and the large bus system.

Highlights of Phnom Penh: Pre-Angkorian temples, museums on the genocide of the Khmer Rouge, colonial buildings, etc. This city offers a multitude of activities that will delight you. Travelers visit this region by bicycle, by car or especially by tuk-tuk, the country’s traditional transport.

Siem Reap

Sunrise in Siem Reap

Sunrise in Siem Reap

Located in the northwest of Cambodia, Siem Reap is one of the major cities with the international airport of Siem Reap. This city is famous for its famous temples of Angkor.

Siem Reap Highlights: Angkor Archaeological Complex, Tonle Sap Lake, Kulen National Park, Mining Museum, Angkor National Museum, War Museum, 1000 Lingas River, Cambodian Cultural Village … the essentials during a trip to Siem Reap.


Things to Know Before Traveling to Cambodia

Gorgeous Sihanoukville, Cambodia

It is the only deepwater seaport in Cambodia. Located on the coast of Cambodia, halfway between Thailand and Vietnam. This city is famous for its geographic location bordered by beaches and tropical islands on three sides of the city. Tourists can easily get to Sihanoukville by bus, car and also by boat from nearby islands.

Sihanoukville Highlights: Beautiful, wide, uncrowded beaches, tropical islands, scuba diving, snorkeling and wildlife in national parks, as well as restaurants and accommodations make this city a paradise. The beaches of Ochheuteal (also known as Serendipity Beach), Independence, Sokha, and Victory are the most popular beaches, surrounded by restaurants and accommodation options.

Koh Kong

Located near the Thai border, in the Cardamom Mountain district, Koh Kong offers great opportunities for trekking in the jungle, as well as the opportunity to relax on the white sandy beaches. The island of Koh Kong is known as one of the best seaside resorts in Southeast Asia. There are many operators who offer day trips on the island.

Kampot & Kep

Fishing on Kampot river

Fishing on Kampot river

The sleepy town by the Kampot river, a few hours from Phnom Penh, has become increasingly popular with tourists and expatriates in recent years. Full of western restaurants, pretty shops, and river cruises, Kampot has lots of amenities. It’s a great place to slow down and relax on your travels. Kep, on the other hand, is another small seaside town that is worth a visit, only for eating a plate of freshly cooked pepper crabs.

13. Cambodia Gastronomy

Cambodian cuisine differs from that of other Asian countries by its originality and diversity. Whether you are a gourmet or simply passionate about gastronomy, Khmer cuisine will surely meet all your expectations.

In Cambodia, the art of cooking results from two influences, that of India and China. Cambodian gastronomy skillfully combines the delights of these two important countries of Asia to make a real explosion of flavors.

Best dishes to get you started in Cambodia

  • Bai Sach chrouk: Rice pork or bai sach chrouk is one of Cambodia’s most popular breakfasts (with noodles or noodle soups).
  • Amok fish: This tasty dish consists of tender pieces of fish that are wrapped in a banana leaf with kaffir leaves, lemongrass, galangal, Thai basil, coriander, chili pepper, and milk coconut.
  • Khmer Rouge Curry: Khmer Rouge Curry is usually served with bread – a remnant of French influence on Cambodia.
  • Lap Khmer: Served with lemongrass, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, Asian basil, mint, green beans, and green pepper, the sweet and savory dish from the Heul department (spicy) full of fresh red chilies.
  • Banh chok name: The dish consists of noodles laboriously pounded with rice, topped with a green curry sauce based on fish with lemongrass, turmeric root, and combava.
  • Kdam chaa: Fried crab is a specialty of the Cambodian seaside town of Kep

When it comes to desserts, Cambodia favors natural fruits. So, during your stay in Cambodia, expect to taste quite exotic fruits. Simply peeled, cut and presented nicely, the dragon, jackfruit, papaya and mango fruits can be enjoyed at dessert. This is among top interesting things to know before traveling to Cambodia. If you want other more elaborate recipes, opt for the banana rice cake instead. You can also enjoy the delicious coconut flan or the Nom Krob Totim, tapioca with coconut milk.

14. Holidays and Festivals in Cambodia

  • International New Year: January 1
  • Victory over Genocide Day: January 7
  • Meak Bochea Day: February
  • Khmer New Year’s Day: mid-April, last 3 days
  • International Labor Day: May 1
  • Royal plowing ceremony: May
  • King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday: May 13-15
  • Queen Monineath’s Birthday: June 18
  • King’s Father’s Day of Commemoration: October 15
  • Day of the Paris Peace Agreement: October 23
  • Coronation Day of King Sihamoni: October 29
  • Water Festival: October or November, last 3 days
  • National Independence Day: November 9

15. Important Tips for Your Trip to Cambodia

  • Choose light clothing (because it is hot), but careful (when visiting religious places: t-shirt with sleeves, cover your shoulders and knees).
  • Bring at least one pair of sneakers, you have to walk around a lot.
  • Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen.
  • The tuk-tuk is a traditional, practical and inexpensive means of transport (but there is no air conditioner)
  • Many taxis in Cambodia do not have a meter, you have to fix the price before using.
  • Ask politely if you want to take pictures with the monks.
  • Avoid touching the heads of Cambodians. This is one of essential things to know before traveling to Cambodia.
  • The working hour in most offices is approximately 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Buy a phone card at post offices, hotels or shops.
  • Do not drink tap water. Do not eat raw meat.
  • Negotiate the price of products at the markets.

16. Suggested Routes & Tour Itineraries

The UNESCO heritage sites in Cambodia are extremely vast and it will take you at least 2 or 3 days to explore. However, if you only want to visit a few highlights during a visit to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, 4 or 5 days is enough. For further exploration, it will take at least 7 days.

Discover more: Exotic Cambodia tour packages

17. Checklist Before You Go

Here is a list of important things to know before traveling to Cambodia so that you can have the best preparation:

  • Identity card, visa, passport and copies of these documents
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Credit/debit card and a few US dollars
  • Airline tickets/boarding pass
  • A pair of high-quality shoes
  • Insect repellent
  • Light clothes
  • Medication and first aid kit
  • Adapter – 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs

Hope our article will help you enjoy your Cambodia tour. Personalize your trip with Paradise Travel!

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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