Arrive In Cambodia – Important Things To Know
Remember that feeling when you just arrived in a new place? You have done your research about how to get to your accommodation from the airport or the bus station, however, this doesn’t help you relax your mind sometimes. Most of the time, you ask for something, “I really hope there will be a WiFi at the airport or on the bus.” Because the internet solves a lot of our travel problems.
Since I’m one step ahead of you, not in life or wealthiness, unfortunately, but in travelling Cambodia only. I’ve been and have explored Cambodia, and I’m here to let you know the important things you need to know the moment you arrive in Cambodia or before you arrive.
Things To Know When You Arrive In Cambodia
VISA POLICY OF CAMBODIA
There are only 7 countries that are visa-free in Cambodia. Finally, my Philippines passport is saving me this time! The rest of the world needs to apply for a visa in advance or get a visa on arrival (VOA) for a fee. Check here if you need a visa.
TIP: There are tonnes of visa scams in Cambodia, especially those who are crossing the land from either Thailand or Vietnam, don’t talk to anyone other than the official. On the other hand, I’ve heard stories that even the officials are part of the show. Flying in the country should save you from all these scams.
CURRENCY IN CAMBODIA
It totally blows my mind that Cambodia uses USD, Riel (the local currency) is still playing in the background, however, most of the time, it serves as the cents. For example, your bill is US$2.50, you can give US$2 then hand 2000 Riel for the 50 cents, but you can always pay in Riel anywhere. ATMs spit out USD as well with a fee of US$4-5 every transaction for international cards.
Since I knew I would be working with some companies whilst travelling in Cambodia, I knew I need to get a sim card with data. Most hostels, restaurants, and bars have WiFi, but since sim card and data is dirt cheap here, it’s hard to say no to it.
Sim cards and data are easy to buy in phone shops, but most of the time they are a lot more expensive, the best thing to do is to head to the network provider’s shops. I bought my sim card from Cellcard for US$0.50, whilst a data for US$1, this includes 10GB data for 7 days. If you are staying longer, just let the person-in-charge in the shop how many days you are going to need a data for. In the airport, you should be able to find US$6 for 8GB for a month from the company Cellcard.
In case you don’t get any sim card when you arrive in Cambodia, download Maps.Me for an offline map, that will definitely save you some trouble.
DRESS CODE IN CAMBODIA
Cambodia has a diversity in religious culture, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity can be found in the whole country. Taking this into account, Cambodia is fairly loose with the dress code, locals and tourist basically wear whatever is comfortable for them. However, when visiting sacred places like the Pagodas, Temples, Monasteries, and Churches, it is a must to cover your shoulders down to your knees. Therefore pack long trousers, dresses, or bring a scarf before you arrive in Cambodia.
TRANSPORTATION AROUND CAMBODIA
I’m not sure if there was a taxi in Siem Reap, but I heard there are some in Phnom Penh. However, taxis are not highly patronised and used by travellers. The absence of Uber and Grab makes Cambodia so different from other destinations in Southeast Asia. Tuk-tuk is the way to go! Tuk-tuks are carriage attached to a scooter, sounds fun right?! Tuk-tuks are not as pricey compared to Thailand, however, you need to know how to haggle, much better if you have people to share the tuk-tuk with! To give you a little guide, I took one for a 3kms drive for US$3. I didn’t want to walk with my 15kgs bags at five in the morning alone. If I was with someone, the fare wouldn’t not so bad.
Buses are your heroes in going to different destinations in Cambodia, I personally took a bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, then to Sihanoukville.
WHERE TO STAY IN CAMBODIA
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When you arrive in Cambodia, you will see that it’s filled with hostels and guest houses, not to mention that luxury hotels are in every corner of the whole country. Even you actually only need the bed during the night, staying in a comfortable and sociable place play a big part in having an amazing time in Cambodia.
I personally stayed at Mad Monkey Hostel, it’s a chain party hostel throughout Cambodia, two in the Philippines and one in Thailand. Mad Monkey has been recommended to me by all of my travel friends I met in Southeast Asia and it’s honestly one of my favourite party hostels so far. I’ve stayed both in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
I really hope this article helped you be prepared for your arrival in Cambodia. Let me know in the comment section if you have any question.
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DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary stay with Mad Monkey. However, I still recommend my readers to stay with them. Some of the links in this article are affiliated.