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Introducing Cambodia Thank you for choosing Exotissimo Travel Cambodia to organize your travel arrangements in the kingdom of Cambodia. This document will give you some more information about the country, the different destinations within Cambodia, useful facts for travelers, and a listing of the Exotissimo preferred hotels. In Cambodia, Exotissimo has been very successful at offering tours which show a little bit more of the country then just the mass tourism places. We opened our first office in Phnom Penh in 2000 and have since added an office in Siem Reap. We believe it is very important to show you the unknown treasure of the real Cambodia. Of course we will take you to see the highlights, as no visitor should miss Angkor Wat, but we are also pleased to show you lesser known sites - something which is often promised but not always delivered. Where to go in Cambodia? Most visitors fly in to Siem Reap, visit the Temples
of Angkor, and then leave the country. This is a real shame as the rest of the country is filled with fantastic natural beauty and historic temples. So, depending on how long you have and where your interests like, the guide below can help you plan your trip. To truly experience Cambodia, you need to spend a few weeks traveling around. Natural attractions range from the northeastern jungles, to the lovely beaches of Sihanoukville, and the mighty rivers that cut across the country. Our staff and guides are enthusiastic about their country of residence and are more than happy to help you plan a journey perfectly suited to your needs. Whether you seek luxury travel, an adventurous journey, or a classic tour of Cambodiaâ€™s main sites Exotissimo knows the best program for your holiday. When to go in Cambodia? The winter months (October to February) are the best time to travel to Cambodia as the air is cool and the
skies are clear. However, the dust at this time of year can be irritating and the crowds at the Angkor temples are at their highest numbers. March to May sees hotter temperatures and dry skies, and the heat continues in to June through August when the monsoon season starts. The rains, however, do not usually cause a major problem for travelers as they tend to be short- but hard- afternoon showers. The Cambodian water festival in October is a lively affair with 3 days of dragon boat racing taking place in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and Buddhist New Year in April as well as Pchum Ben Festival in September see families gathering at temples to celebrate. Although all of these are spectacular events, several restaurants and shops are closed meaning slight disruptions may occur in your travel plans.
luxury property: Tucked away from the tourist hubbub of Siem Reap, the unique boutique hotel is part of the Relais et Chateaux network and offers 26 individually decorated rooms and suites in a unique architectural style, and the combination with natural products and elements provide for an artsy yet very comfortable atmosphere.
Most visitors to Siem Reap are there to visit the famed Temples of Angkor and who can blame them? These spectacular ruins from the 9-14th centuries are an adventurer’s dream. Located just 7km from the entrance gate, Siem Reap has become a popular stop on the tourist trail of Asia. Once a sleepy town full of farms and small shops, the increase in tourists over the past 15 years has brought an international feel to the town. Modern hotels, internet cafes, and international restaurants are a welcome treat after a day spent exploring the temples in the Cambodian heat. Yet, Siem Reap retains its small town charm and visitors who take the time to explore the town and its surroundings are rewarded with a deeper insight in to Cambodian culture and lifestyle. Although a three night stay is the perfect amount of time for exploring the temples, however we strongly recommend a longer stay to truly experience Siem Reap and its many wonders. Activities around Angkor & Siem Reap There is more to Angkor than Temples! Jump on a bicycle and pedal among Angkor’s fabled temples, ramble through Siem Reap’s untouched suburban pockets on an ox-cart, watch rural landscapes whiz by on a horse riding adventure around Siem Reap.
Mid Range An Exotissimo favorite, the Tara Angkor is a chic modern hotel with quality rooms, welcoming staff, and a great location near the Temples of Angkor. Equally recommendable, Borei Angkor Resort & Spa comes in a classic Cambodian style of true elegance and comfort.
Where to stay in Siem Reap?
Whatever your budget and whatever your accommodation needs, Siem Reap has something to suit your tastes. With over hundreds of hotels and guesthouses to choose from, selecting accommodation can seem like a daunting task. However, our team in Siem Reap is constantly researching and visiting hotels, both old and new, to stay up to date on the best options in town and to find the perfect hotel for you. Below is a selection of our recommended hotels for each category which we hope will make your decision easier.
A hidden gem in Siem Reap is Viroth’s, a small hotel with just seven rooms tucked on a quiet side street near the heart of the city. Trendy, relaxing, and intimate, Viroth’s made the Conde Nast Hot List in 2008. The new and intimate Villa Kiara is tucked away in a typical Cambodian village setting and boasts with its tranquil, beautiful garden with pool. The 16 rooms come in a minimalist, trendy style where local materials add comfort and a twist - a haven of relaxation! The classy Heritage Suites Hotel is a somewhat different
Splurge For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, there is no doubt that Amansara is the place to stay. Housed in the grounds of a former royal palace and featuring top of the line service and facilities, the Amansara is redefining the face of luxury in Cambodia. La Residence D’Angkor is an ideal base for exploring the temples, with leafy green gardens, warm hospitality and luxurious rooms. Likewise, the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa is graceful colonial building offering a refined atmosphere in the heart of Siem Reap. A bit trendier, the Hotel de la Paix features stunning Art Deco rooms accented by local
art work and traditional textiles. The hotel also has a strong commitment to community development and its responsible travel outings are a great way to give back to the community.
What to see in Siem Reap? Of course, no visit to Siem Reap would be complete without a visit to the Temples of Angkor. Over 100 temples lie within the Siem Reap province dating from the 9th-14th century. Passes are sold for 1 day, 3 days or 1 week and whilst you could spend a lifetime exploring, we recommend at least 2 full days for temple exploration. This will allow you to see all of the main temples, plus a few outlying ruins without racing around. There are several options for getting around the temples. Car, bus, and van remain the vehicles of choice, but we recommend taking a day to cycle through the temples. Traveling by two wheels gives you a unique perspective and an eco-friendly way to see the temples. Elephant Rides are available and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the days of the Angkorian kings as you meander through the woods and temples. A tethered hellium balloon is available near Angkor Wat which gives distant, but sweeping views of the temples and their surroundings. But the most exciting experience available is a helicopter flight around the area. Ranging in length from 8 minutes to chartered half day
excursion, buzzing around the temples in a helicopter is an unparalleled experience. Any itinerary should include Angkor Wat, the magnificent legendary temple. Bayon is another favorite with its mysterious faces smiling down on visitors, while the jungle covered Ta Phrom is an evocative blend of nature and architecture. Other temples in the vicinity worth seeing are Phnom Bakeng, Pre Rup, Baphoun, and Preah Khan. If you have more time, trips further afield lead to less crowded temples and spectacular photo opportunities. Just 12 km from Siem Reap are the Rolous Group of temples, some of the earliest ruins in the region. The petite Banteay Srey features intricate carvings in pink sandstone and nearby Banteay Samre is a hidden gem tucked away in the jungle. Beng Melea sprawls across one square kilometer and remains covered in trees, roots, and vines. Constructed in a similar style to Angkor Wat yet overrun by nature, Beng Melea is a truly adventurous place to visit. Koh Ker, situated to the northeast of Siem Reap, is the remnants of the Khmer capital in the late 9th century and features a circular loop of about a dozen ruins. Need a break from temple touring? Siem Reap has several other activities and opportunities for travelers.
A boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake should also not be overlooked. Each year during the rainy season, the lake swells to five times larger and the plethora of fish provide the livelihood for the lake’s residents. An Exotissimo favorite is the Paneman Boat, a large wooden cruising boat run by an eco-tourism company which provides an elegant ride along the water. A boat trip departing from Kampong Phluck takes you through the floating villages and ancient mangrove forests of the lake, a great way to see the unique lifestyle of the lake’s residents. Horse-back riding to the rarely visited temple of Wat Athvea or quad riding through the local villages and the rice fields are unique activities that ensure you can feel the real Cambodia. Enjoying a full or half day cooking class and learning how to prepare the delicious Khmer cuisine by yourself is an opportunity not be missed. A trip to the market is the usual way to start the course, where the cook will explain everything about the typical ingredients, before you go on to prepare an array of dishes. Of course you can taste your own creations as the perfect climax of your day.
Shopping and Dining Artisan’s D’Angkor is a unique organization working to preserve traditional Khmer arts and crafts. They have established two centers in Siem Reap. The location in town features a wood and stone carving workshop where magnificent sculptures are produced, while the silk centre is a bit further afield. At the Angkor Silk Farm, you can see the entire process of silk creation: from the breeding of the silk worms, to the dyeing and weaving of the material. Siem Reap’s small downtown turns in to a hive of activity as the sun begins to set. The small ‘Old Market’ closes down and tourists flood in to town to enjoy cocktails on ‘Pub Street’ and dinner in one of the many restaurants. Vendors have capitalized on this area’s popularity by establishing a night market at the south end of Pub Street. Cambodian crafts such as artwork, silks, carvings, and t-shirts are for sale in an open air market off a tranquil side street making it the perfect place to pick up souvenirs. A traditional Apsara Dance performance is a great evening activity as the elegant dancers, elaborate costumes, and live music create an enchanting atmosphere. Another treat is a traditional massage at our favorite shop, bodia spa. Here you will be treated to a relaxing spa or massage treatment, using top quality
natural products and traditional techniques. Siem Reap is a diner’s paradise with a vast array of cuisines on offer. Seemingly every week a new restaurant emerges from fine French menus to local crocodile barbeques! Madame Butterfly is a ‘can’t miss’ in Siem Reap. The food is authentic, delicious Thai and Khmer cuisine served in an understated, elegant restaurant the perfect combination for a relaxing evening out in Siem Reap. Viroth’s also features fine Khmer dining in a nice setting while Meric at Hotel de la Paix is reinventing modern Khmer cuisine. For a romantic table for two, there is no better place in
Cambodia - if not the world - than a candle lit dinner at Sra Srang. Catered by the Amansara chefs, your meal is enhanced by the tranquil surroundings of this ancient baray. A romantic candle lit meal, delicious food, exquisite wine, and a tranquil setting - what more could you ask for? Dinner at Prasat Kravan within the grounds of one of the Angkorian temples is an experienced unmatched elsewhere in the world. Guests experience a private Apsara dance performance and shadow puppet show whilst dining by candlelight in the grounds of a temple.
Phnom Penh Although overshadowed by the popularity of Siem Reap, Cambodia’s capital is slowly seeing an increase in tourist numbers. Often dusty and chaotic, the city might not showcase the charm of Siem Reap but those who scratch the surface are often surprised at what they find in Phnom Penh. With a host of new dining options, boutique shops, and trendy cafes, the city is undergoing a modern renaissance.
modern amenities, and reasonable prices. The Kabiki is the perfect accommodation for families that comes with a swimming pool in a spacious garden and plenty of entertainment for the children. In the sometimes bustling capital, these hotels are peaceful retreats and havens of calm.
Spending a few days in the capital city, visitors will not only uncover the historic side of the country but also experience the true vibe of an emerging capital.
Classy Amanjaya and the minimalist and carbon-neutral The Quay are trendy hotels located right on the riverfront, in the heart of the city. This new wave of chic boutique hotels promises to continue as tourists continue to flock to Cambodia.
Phnom Penh offers an array of small boutique hotels. Favorites include Villa Langka, The Pavillion and River 108 each of which offers tastefully decorated rooms,
The Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been the luxury hotel of choice in Phnom Penh for decades, and has housed statesmen and legends in its colonial halls. The Sofitel
hotel group will be opening another 5 star property in 2010 that is sure to be added to our luxe list.
What to see in Phnom Penh? Cambodia’s Royal Palace stands majestically in the city centre just off the riverfront area. Several buildings are open to visitors including the ‘Silver Pagoda’ whose floor is lined with solid silver tiles. Nearby, the National Museum is a fabulous old building filled with art and artifacts dating back to the pre-Angkorian era.
For a look in to the country’s tragic recent history, a tour of Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21) and the Killing Fields is a sobering reminder of the evils of the Khmer Rouge regime. Although not a joyful tour, visiting these monuments unlocks keys to understanding the development of this still developing country. An hour or two spent touring the city in a cyclo is one of Exotissimo’s favourite tours. These three wheeled rickshaws allow you to sit in comfort with the wind blowing in your face as your driver pedals you through the streets. Along the way, stop at Wat Phnom, travel past
the art-deco Central Market, and cruise the riverfront for a glimpse of the colonial buildings and local lifestyle of the people. For those interested in architecture, walking tours give you a different view of Phnom Penh. Follow a detailed map or go with a guide and explore the contemporary and ancient buildings of the city.
The Provinces Cambodia is a diverse country with mountains and beaches, rivers and jungles. Traveling through the rural areas is a great way to not only experience the variety of natural landscapes, but also unveils the lifestyle and genuine warmth of the Cambodian people. Kampong Thom is located between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and is an excellent stopover for those traveling overland. Near this sleepy riverside town lie the temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, a collection of 7th century temples. Tucked in the forest, these ancient ruins can be explored on foot or by bike traversing small dirt paths which wind among the temples. A visit here is practising eco-tourism as it supports community development.
Shopping and Dining Phnom Penh is a shoppers’ paradise with everything from fake Louis Vitton handbags to fine silk household items. The crowded Russian Market is the place to test out your bargaining skills, while the art-deco Central Market features more local products mixed in with the souvenirs. For fine home wares and clothes, the shops on Street 240 are filled with luxurious goods and Street 178 is filled with art galleries selling traditional and modern pieces created by Khmer artists. Several shops are affiliated with charities and by
spending your money there, you will help alleviate poverty in the country. Shops such as Smateria, Rehab Craft, and ART Café sell high quality arts and crafts and the proceeds benefit local residents. You can also dine for a cause in Phnom Penh as many restaurants feature charity connections. Friends is perhaps the area’s longest standing establishment of its type serving delectable tapas whilst supporting the country’s street children. The same organization has opened Romdeng which serves fresh, traditional cui-
sine in a beautiful colonial house. For fine dining in the capital, look no further than Topaz. This long standing French Bistro is a favorite of expats and tourists, while the newer 102 is a formidable opponent. The casual atmosphere and great food at the FCC always draws a crowd, and a few doors down is the Spanish-inspired Pacharan which is always packed full of folks gathering for tapas and paella. For local cuisine, Khmer Surin and Malis top our list!
North of the Cambodian capital is the town of Kratie. This typical Khmer small town is located on the banks of the Mekong River and the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins are frequently spotted. Kratie makes a great stop on the way to Stung Treng, another rural town located on the Laos border. This beautiful riverside town provides a relaxing atmosphere and chance to experience the local culture and participate in community-based tourism projects, for example on a tour by bicycle or horsecart around Koh Trong, an island in the Mekong. Heading south of Phnom Penh, you reach the towns of
Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong. Each of these towns has a different allure - Sihanoukville is a coastal town with nice beaches and great day trips to remote and uninhabited tropical islands available. Nearby is Ream National Park where mangrove forests, a diverse selection of wildlife, and tranquil nature await. Kampot is a riverside town with colonial buildings and nearby caves and waterfalls. Still less discovered, Kep is a favorite Exotissimo destination. A quiet beach, lush hills, and delicious seafood make Kep a great place to ‘get away from it all’ especially if you take a trip out to nearby Rabbit Island. Koh Kong is the place in Cambodia with the greatest potential for Eco-Tourism. With the wild Cardamom Mountains with its waterfalls and trekking opportunities as a backdrop, mangrove forests that are among Southeast Asia’s largest, and untouched tropical islands on it’s shores, this is a place for nature lovers. To the northeast, two provinces are worth exploring. Although the roads are not in the best conditions, the scenery is fantastic and the trip is rewarding. Rattanakiri province is located near the Vietnam and Laos borders and is home to a variety of Cambodia’s ethnic minorities. An endless amount of trekking opportunities, dozens of waterfalls, and great wildlife spotting can be done in Rattanakari. Also, the area is home to the beautiful Yeak Loam Lake, a volcanic crater whose clear waters are perfect for swimming. Mondulkiri province
is further east and also showcases Cambodia’s natural beauty. Although the largest province in the country, it is one of the least populated and hill tribe trekking is the most popular activity for visitors.
Or what about an exotic overnight stay in a safari tent for that unique camping experience that no hotel room can provide? A beach camp on a deserted tropical island or by the river and an Indiana Jones style jungle camp at your favorite temple or on a mountain top are only the tip of our ideas for this special accommodation. Enjoy delicious meals prepared by your private chef in comfortable sitting areas before you set out to explore the surroundings. Experience Cambodia in a totally unique way!
Eating and drinking in Cambodia Although Thai and Vietnamese cuisine is well known throughout the world, few know about Cambodian Cuisine. It derives its flavor from spices and herbs which are grown locally and sweet, sour, salty, and bitter are blended seamlessly. With the abundance of freshwater fish in the country, it comes as no surprise that fish is the most common meat used in Cambodian cooking with a wide array of vegetables accompanying the dishes.
Adventurous Cambodia Cambodia is an adventurer’s paradise. Cycling and trekking opportunities abound, both in the Siem Reap area and in all of the provinces. For a unique perspective on the temples of Angkor, we highly recommend spending a few days exploring the area. Our Temple Trek is a fantastic tour - trekking past temples and through the countryside, camping out under the stars, and meeting locals along the way. Short cycling day trips or multi-day trips around Siem Reap are great for temple exploration - the roads are flat and tree lined and seeing the ruins hidden amongst the forest is a beautiful experience. For a longer journey, Saigon to
Angkor Cycling is a great tour, traveling by two wheels from Southern Vietnam across to Siem Reap. After months of dedicated research, the Mekong Discovery Trail is a network of safe, ecotourism journeys through some of the least populated areas of the Mekong River. The 180km trail runs from Kratie north to the Laos border. Cycling this route is an eco-friendly way in which travelers can experience the beauty of the region. Along the way, you can participate in a variety of community-based tourism activities and make a positive impact on the villages and people of the
area. Upon reaching the Laos border there many soft adventure activities are available to continue your travels along the Mekong.
A typical Cambodian meal consists of a light soup, a salad, a fish dish, and of course rice. ‘Must try’ dishes include amok, a steamed fish dish accompanied by an array of herbs and spices bringing out the flavor of the fish without masking its taste. Another must try is samlor korko, a mixed vegetable and fish soup and char kdao, meat stir fried with basil, lemongrass and galangal. During the hot Cambodian summer there is no more refreshing treat than a fresh fruit shake. Combining local fruits with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk, these blended beverages are a traveler’s delight! Another sweet treat is sugar cane juice which is extracted by mashing the stalks of sugar cane. The resulting juice is then combined with a splash of lime, and is the perfect pick me up on a hot day!
Cambodia - FAQs AIRLINES
AIRPORT TAX An international airport tax of 25 USD per person is payable in cash in when departing Cambodia on an international flight. Departure tax is included on domestic flights.
AIRLINES (DOMESTIC) Cambodia Angkor Air is the only airline currently operating domestic flights in Cambodia. This airline uses French-Italian ATR turboprop planes (Avions de Transports Régionaux), a type of plane well suited for the local conditions, airports and distances. The configuration is 70-seats (ATR 72) in rows of 4 seats with a middle aisle. Entry-exit is at the back of the plane. Standard one-class configuration. Cambodia Angkor Air is owned by Vietnam Airlines and Cambodia and also operates some international flights with plans for expansion within the region. AIRLINES (INTERNATIONAL) The following airlines currently fly into Cambodia: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, China Airways, EVA Air, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, Korean Air, China Southern, Dragon Air, Vietnam Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Lao Air, Jetstar Asia, Shanghai Air and Angkor Airways.
Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for traveling in Cambodia. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat and umbrella are a good idea in the rainy season and the umbrella can also offer useful shade from the sun. Shoes (and socks!) must be removed before entering any religious building or private home. It is therefore useful to wear shoes without too many laces and which can easily be taken off. We provide small towels to clean your feet before putting back on your shoes.
ELECTRICITY Cambodia uses 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3 pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor. Power outages happen occasionally but most hotels have their own generator.
ENTERTAINMENT Western style entertainment is easy to find in Cambodia and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a wealth of good restaurants and a large number of bars and some nightclubs. In the rest of the country, entertainment is still emerging, but some tourist-oriented restaurants and bars can be found in any place in Cambodia.
FOOD As in many Asian countries, the staple food of the Cambodian diet is rice. This is usually served with dried, salted fish, chicken, beef or pork. Fish is often fresh from Tonle Sap Lake and is eaten with a spicy peanut sauce called tuk trey. Popular dishes include sam chruk, a roll of sticky rice stuffed with soya bean and chopped pork and amok, a soup of boneless fish with coconut and spices. In Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Western food is widely available.
HEALTH No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio. Malaria is present in Cambodia and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten
track. Please consult with your usual doctor or a doctor specialized in tropical countries before traveling.
HOURS OF BUSINESS Offices are usually open from Monday to Friday from 07:30 or 08:00 until 17:00 and often close for lunch between 12:00 and 14:00. Shops open early and close any time between 18:00 and 22:00. Most shops are open 7 days a week.
INSURANCE Medical facilities are rather limited in Cambodia and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling. Such an insurance should absolutely cover the cost of an evacuation flight out of Cambodia (most of the time to Bangkok or Singapore) which is sometimes necessary either on a regular flight or on a special flight. For adventure tours such as cycling proof of purchase of a travel insurance policy will be required. In Siem Reap the Royal Angkor International Hospital (affiliated with the Bangkok Hospital Medical Center) has been fully operational since November 2007.
INTERNET Internet access is widely available in every major city in Cambodia. In Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there are
many Internet cafes from which to stay in contact with your home. In outlying regions, many hotels provide Internet access.
LANGUAGE Cambodia’s national language is called Khmer and unlike the other languages of the region is not a tonal language. The written script originated in southern India. As in other former French colonies the educated older generation often speaks very good French while the younger generation prefers English. Outside the major centers of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap most people speak only Khmer.
MONEY The currency of Cambodia is called the riel. There is however no need to change your currency into riels as is common with most Asian countries, US dollars are accepted in many places and are used to pay for airline tickets, airport taxes, visa fees, hotel and restaurant bills. Please note that ripped, torn, or old bills will not be accepted. ATM machines, which distribute US dollars, are found throughout Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and Saturday morning until 12:00. In the major cities there are exchange bureaus and most hotels will change US dollars although for other currencies it is
usually necessary to visit a bank. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at banks and some hotels but can be difficult to change outside of the major cities. Visa Card and MasterCard are now accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. However, US dollars cash are still the most reliable form of money to carry.
PHOTOGRAPHY Normal print films are available in Cambodia but professional quality films (like slide films) are very difficult to find and it is better to bring your own. In cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, digital photos can easily be downloaded and loaded onto a CD-ROM in case you run out of memory.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2011 January 1 New Year’s Day January 7 Victory over Genocide Day February 3-5 Chinese New Year
February 18 Meak Bochea Day
September 26-28 Pchumben Festival
March 8 International Women’s Day
October 29 Paris Peace Accords
April 14-16 Khmer New Year
October 31 Former King Sihanouk’s Birthday
May 1 Labour Day
November 9 Independence Day
May 13-15 King Sihamoni’s Birthday
November 9-11 Water Festival
May 17 Visakha Bochea Day
December 10 Human Rights Day
May 21 Royal Ploughing Ceremony
June 1 Children’s day June 18 Queen’s Birthday September 24 Constitution Day
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Cambodia with 90-95% of the population being Buddhist. Islam is practiced by a small percentage of the population, mainly the Cham people residing near the Vietnam border, and Christianity and Hinduism are the religions of less than 1% of the Cambodian people.
Despite its turbulent history, Cambodia is a safe country to visit. All tourist areas have been cleared of landmines and UXOs with only a small portion remaining in the very remote areas. As a global rule, never leave your belongings unattended and always maintain eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags
Cambodia is GMT 7 and does not operate daylight-saving system.
SHOPPING Cambodian handicrafts include silks, woodcarvings, rattan weavings, handmade papers and the krama , the traditional Cambodian scarf. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap’s local markets are the best places for shopping and there are also dozens of charity-run shops throughout the country where you can shop for a cause. Ask your guide for more information.
TELEPHONE If you have worldwide coverage, you can bring your own mobile phone and use it to make domestic or international calls. Check with your mobile phone provider for the costs before using it abroad - it may be expensive. Internet cafes offer the best deals with programs such as Skype providing cheap, decent quality overseas calls.
TIPPING Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated in a country where the average annual income is quite low compared to Europe for example. It is customary to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped. Do not let guide talk you into tipping more than you plan to. It is totally up to you who you tip, when and how much
TRAVELERS CHECKS Banks such as ANZ Bank and ACLEDA will change your Travelers Checks for US Dollars but a commission applies (2% to 5%). Very few shops, hotels or restaurants accept Travelers Checks.
country and all travelers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Cambodia. Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival at the international airports (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh) without prior registration. These Visa On Arrivals are valid for 30 days, single entry and cost 20-25 USD and requires one photo. Electronic Visas are now available through the Ministry’s website with a processing time of 3 days. A scanned copy of the passport and 25USD paid by credit card will issue an emailed visa which the traveler must print and bring with them. Most border crossings accept e-visas, however it is recommended to double check with the government or Exotissimo first. Visas are available at the Thailand/Cambodian checkpoints however scams are rampant and it is recommended to arrange visas in advance in your home country or through the e-visa program.
WEATHER NOTE: Travelers Checks can be difficult to change outside of major cities.
VISAS Most visitors to Cambodia require a visa to enter the
Cambodia has two distinctive seasons: Rainy from June to October and dry from November to May. Traveling during the rainy season has its benefits as the temple moats in Siem Reap are full, making for great photos. The rains are usually in the afternoon and last 2-3
hours. The dry season can be very dusty, but easier for walking through the jungle terrain around the temples. The temperature is fairly steady 30-35 Celsius during the day time, although November to January often has cooler temperatures.
WATER It is not advisable to drink tap water but bottled mineral water is safe and available everywhere. All hotels provide a complimentary bottle of local mineral water per person in the room. Ice cubes in drinks is generally OK in good standard hotels and restaurants but it is best to avoid it on street stalls or in country areas. Some minor stomach problems are always possible when travelling in exotic countries. Bring a supply of your usual antidiarrhoea medicine.
EXOTISSIMO TRAVEL CAMBODIA Phnom Penh - Main Office 6th Floor, SSN Center No.66, Norodom Boulevard Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA Tel: +855 (0) 23 218 948 Fax: +855 (0) 23 426 585 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Siem Reap - Office No. B20-21, Street 60m(Spean Neak) Siem Reap - CAMBODIA Tel: +855 (0) 63 964 323 Fax: +855 (0) 63 963 621 Email: email@example.com
This Cambodia Travel Guide will give you some more in-formation about the country, the different destinations within Cambodia, useful facts...