Cambodia, an agricultural but beautiful country in South East Asia, may seduce you at the first sight when you explore its pristine beauty of Angkor Architectural Site, historical landscapes, huge terraced rice fields, and more. However, as tripping to this country, you should recognize that it is not modern like Singapore, hustle and bustle like Thailand but an undeveloped one, even more backward than others in the region. Thus, preparation for your trip to Cambodia to get many interesting experience seems to be a must.
Prepare for you a visa. It is more convenient to tourists from other countries in the region to travel in Cambodia since they are not required visas since 4 December 2008 for the residence of no more than 30 days. For tourists in rest countries or in other regions, it requests the visa as you go to any other countries, so it is an important step, not too complicated one.
There are two distinct seasons in Cambodia, including dry season and wet one. The former starts from November and ends at next April with an average temperature of 26 – 27 Celsius Degrees and the moisture of 50-60%; therefore, it is all-day cool in general, which is full of warm sunshine in daylight and breeze since it is in evening and at night. Meanwhile, the latter lasts in the rest six months, from May to November, annually. At that time, the average temperature commonly reaches to 22-32 Celsius Degrees and the moisture is 70-90%. Although it may rain all day long, it usually stop raining quickly and it is quite cool at nights, so you can take a pleasant sleep after a hard day trekking.
#3. Cash and credit cards
Currency used in Cambodia is Riel and 1USD equals to 4,000Riel. However, since it is flexible with payment methods, you do not need to change USD into Riel but pay all of things by USD. You had better prepare for small-denomination ones for an easy expense. It is also available to withdraw money from ATM machines by credit cards (VISA, MASTER) which are provided by ANZ Royal Bank in Cambodia. Withdrawing fee is about 3%-4% only.
#4. Medical services
For some reasons, medical services in Cambodia have not been developed actually but the charge for them are higher than those in other countries in the region. Thus, you should buy yourself a travel insurance and vaccinate against some tropical diseases. You will need to prepare yourself a first aid kit, consisting of aspirin, anti-biotic, healing tape and more, at least some kinds of regular medicines so that you can take care of yourself first before contacting with doctor there for treatment.
#5. Telecommunication services & Internet
In Cambodia, there are several GSM telecommunication services which are popular in the region, so you need to make sure that your service can be roaming in this country or not firstly. Anyway, you should register your roaming with the suppliers if you want to use the service here. At present, the post and communication services are not so developed in this country, therefore, in case that you need a contact, you shall use the telephones of the hotels where you are staying or private telephones along the streets.
Fee for international mobile messaging: US$ 0.1/message
Type of SIM: GMS
If you want to buy a sim card, just contact a tour guide at local and she/he shall do it for you.
Internet Cafe or Internet stores though have not really developed, there are some in the city center and the Internet network coverage is getting more and more investments.
Price level: 1.500 – 4.000 Riel/ hour (~0.4 – 1USD)
The Wifi here is not popular, too; however it is supported in the three-star or higher hotels, the airports and Wifi cafes. Thus, if you do want to use these services, you will need to take your stay into consideration.
Discos, Bars, Pubs, Cafes, Massage and Spa are also available to serve you in anytime, so you do not need to worry about the new trekking day with an exhausted body since you can be saved out of the tiredness and distress of the long day exploring to be relief, comfortable and relaxed when using the treatment of a certain spa for example. Tourists coming here can enjoy lots of dishes, from Cambodian’s to global cuisines in some locations such as Pub Street
#8.Specialities and souvenirs
There are lots of selections for you buying Cambodian specilities such as dried fish, Tonle Sap’ dried shrimps and jaggery. For souvenirs, it is highly recommended to buy handicraft works like silver jewels, clothing printed with Angkor’s image. One note for you is that electronic devices in Cambodia are usually high-quality and durable, though it is a developing country, so you can buy yourself some electronic equipments like cell phones, TV. It is also better when shopping in Phnom Penh because it is a center of shops, stores and more.
#9. Other tips
– You are strongly recommended that you do need to follow all the guidance of the tourist guide when visiting pagodas and temples or such the areas, because these things are extremely sacred with respect to the Cambodian.
– Although in such countries in tropical climate as Cambodia, it hardly has a breezing winter or something similar; therefore, you can take your holiday in this country all-year round. However, if you visit Cambodia in summer, you will need to prepare some airy clothes, suitable shoes or sandals for trekking or climbing, water, hats or caps because it can be up to 40oC outdoor in daylight. Do not climb up the rock surfaces that overheat to avoid being burnt.
– In Angkor area, you can hardly catch a mobile wave, which means you hardly use your cell phone for contacting. In case that it is necessary for an emergency call, remove out of this area.
– Since there are lots of tourists in Angkor area, in case that you lost your team or group.
– For a more comfortable trip, you are suggested leaving your flight tickets, passport, valuable things and money in your safe in the hotel room or giving the hotel receptionists for conserving.
– A tip for the service you use is a recommendation but it is not a must.
– Though you are visiting Cambodia or other destinations, you should save some hotline phone numbers or emergency ones if necessary.
#10. Before departure
– Passport with over-6-month validity
– Cash (USD) (you should prepare for low denomination such as 1,5,10,20)
– 4 x 6 photos (if any)
– Raincoat, umbrella or hat
– Anti insect cream or spray, sunscreen
– Lightweight clothing
– Sandals or sneakers so that you can move easily
– Medicines for basic health issues like sickness
– Travel insurance (if any)