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Spotlight Destination

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the South East Asia where not only famous with the ‘Angkor Complex’ in Siem Reap but also the ‘French Colonial buildings’ and ‘Buddhism temples’ in Phnom Penh that made the country became more and more charming to travelers from around the world. Cambodia is sharing the border with Thailand to the Northwest, Laos to the Northeast, Vietnam to the East and Gulf of Thailand to the Southeast. Though the country does not own a long coastline like Vietnam or Thailand but the lovely and peaceful beach town ‘Sihanouk’ is now becoming very attractive to the world.

When discussing about traveling to Cambodia, people will always say should not to miss the visiting to the ‘stunning’ and ‘fascinating’ Angkor Temples in Siem Reap and it would be regrettable if you miss the rest of this country which is included countless fantastic natural and historic sites that can be seen in both Phnom Penh and Sihanouk Village. It is understandable when every traveler plans their trip in Cambodia only for a few days after spending over 2 weeks at ‘Thailand’ or ‘Vietnam’ because of the thoughts there are not many things to see here except the Angkor Complex. From our point of view, the travelers will also need more than two weeks to discovery Cambodia. Because of the wilds can be seen deep in the ‘Northern Jungles’ will make most of ‘adventurers’ surprised so that change their mind to stay few more days in the forest. Or the beautiful coast which poured of white sand and golden sunshine in ‘Sihanouk’ beach town will impress most the ‘beach lovers’ and made them save a whole week to enjoy. Many ‘history researchers’ will find themselves very interested and satisfied with the countless historical sites from the golden age of ‘Khmer Empire’ under the control of ‘Kings Jayavarman’ through the Angkor Complex, to the darkest age through the remnants of ‘Khmer Rouge’ and of course, this will requires weeks to discovery all these sites.

It is a mistake when only talking about the highlights of Cambodia and forgot about the Cambodian, also known as ‘Khmer people’. Stepped out from the darkest age under the control of ‘Khmer Rouge’ and the domination of ‘French Colonial’, Khmer people have now made the world had to pay respects because of their strong will and mind. Though the war time made many losses, but it was never weaken them. And it was proved to everyone through the historic sites that have been keeping like the original together with the development of the economy, education and security. Moreover, Khmer people are now very open minded, warm-hearted and welcomed the world to come and discovery their country that made Cambodia becoming a must-visit country in South East Asia.

When to go?

There is one important thing that you should be noticed when traveling to Cambodia, it’s the weather. Even Cambodia’s location is in South East Asia, but this country has own different weather compare to Vietnam or Thailand. Generally, Cambodia is hot and warm all year around but for travelers, the following introduction will be giving best options if you are planning to come here.

  • Wet season: from May to October and the peak rainy season will be during July and September. However the rain does not happen usually in days so this still a good time for travelling but not in long period.
  • Dry season: from October to April and this should be the best time for traveling to Cambodia. However, from November to January, the weather becomes cold while other months are sunny and hot. Beware the visiting to Angkor Complex during this time is the most crowded of the year.
  • November: is the peak season for traveling to Cambodia when the ‘Water Festival’ happens that interested thousands people around the world to come. This festival will be held during 3 days from 9th – 11th November at both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The advice is: you should arrange services in advance in order to avoid the fully booking.
Useful Information

Visa on arrival: Most of travelers to Cambodia require a visa to enter the country and all travelers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Cambodia. Most of the nationalities can get a visa on arrival (validated in 30 days) at the international airport in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap without the prior registration. Don’t forget bringing passport photos and paying the amount of 20-25 USD to complete the visa at the airports.

Electronic visa: can be done through the Ministry’s website and will take 3 days to complete. The processing will require scanned copy passport and the amount of 25 USD via credit card. After that, you will receive a visa via supported email and it need to be printed out and bring with you along the trip.

Cross-border visa: can be done easily when you are planning to travel to Cambodia from Chau Doc or Moc Bai – Vietnam. It requires the passport, photos (passport size) and the amount of 25 USD at both borders.

Currency and exchange

Currency: The currency of Cambodia is Riel. However, US dollars are most accepted along the country.

Money exchange: Dollars can be exchanged for Riel in banks but not recommended since every shop; restaurant and hotel are preferred USD dollars.

Traveler Cheques: Banks such as ANZ Bank and ACLEDA will change your Travelers Cheques for US Dollars but a commission ap- plies (2% to 5%). Very few shops, hotels or restaurants accept Travelers Cheques.

ATMs: The ATM services are good in most cities and can be found easily, but if heading off into the countryside, bring cash. Note that the US dollar is used widely.


Cambodia’s national language is called Khmer and but not a tonal language. The written script originated in southern India. People in Cambodia can speak good French (for almost elders) and English (for almost younger). However, in the countryside, most of people are preferred speak Khmer. 

Business hour and public holidays

Business hours:


  • Government offices (including banks and museums): 07:30 or 08:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday.
  • Vendors, Restaurants and Shops: open early in the morning and close anytime between 18:00 – 22:00 on 7 days a week.


Public holidays:


  • New Year’s Day:                                                                                       01st                         January
  • Victory over Genocide Day:                                                                 07th                         January
  • Chinese New Year:                                                                                  03rd – 05th            February
  • Meak Bochea Day:                                                                                  18th                         February
  • International Women’s Day:                                                               08th                         March
  • Khmer New Year:                                                                                    14th - 16th              April
  • International Labor Day:                                                                       01st                         May
  • King Sihamoni’s Birthday:                                                                     13th – 15th             May
  • Visakha Bochea Day:                                                                              17th                         May
  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony:                                                                21st                         May
  • Queen’s Birthday:                                                                                   18th                         June
  • Constitution Day:                                                                                     24th                         September
  • Pchumben  Festival:                                                                               26th - 28th              September
  • Paris Peace Accords:                                                                               29th                         October
  • Former King Sihanouk’s Birthday:                                                     31st                         October
  • Independence Day:                                                                                09th                         November
  • Water festival:                                                                                          09th – 11th             November

Cambodia is a safe country for visiting and staying. All tourist areas have been cleared of landmines and UXOs with only a small portion remaining in the very remote areas.

‘Note: never leave your belongings unattended and always maintain eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags.’

Getting around on your own
  • By taxi: You don't have to worry about taxis wherever you are all those carrying a company livery will be metered. There is some difference in rates, but you're unlikely to be seriously ripped off. Taxi drivers will be pleased if you round up the bill (again, mainly in the big cities).
  • By Tuk Tuk: Unlike Tuk Tuk in Thailand, this type of vehicle in Cambodia is considered as the most preferred and recommended to travelers transfers inside the city (Siem Reap & Phnom Penh) because of the reasonable price and the excellent service which provided by driver. Tuk Tuk in Cambodia has only 2-4 seats and driven slower than in Thailand, therefore it is safer and more comfortable. Moreover, Tuk Tuk drivers in Cambodia are warm-hearted and very good at supporting information for their clients about special places in cities.

‘Note: Most of the hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are pleased to help travelers to arrange Tuk Tuk or even provide Tuk Tuk with same price and better quality, so please do not hesitate to ask your hotel if needed.’


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:

  • Sam Chruk: a roll of sticky rice stuffed with soya bean and chopped pork
  • Amok: a soup of boneless fish with coconut and spices.

In Cambodia, at most of the big cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the tipping is always appreciated especially for tour guides, drivers or porters at hotels … if you found they have provided good services. However, It is totally up to you who you tip, when and how much.


‘Dos’ and ‘Don'ts’ in Cambodia


  • Always drink bottled water that is easily available everywhere
  • Use waterproof sun cream if you plan to spend a good amount of time in the water
  • Always reconfirm the tickets for your return journey.
  • Change money from banks.
  • Keep important documents in your hotel locker and carry photocopies of the same.
  • Dress   discreetly   while   entering   temples   and   other religious places.
  • Indulge in some haggling while buying goods without price tags whenever you go shopping
  • Always be careful of the belongings you carry with you during your holiday.
  • Take care of all your valuables and never leave your bags unattended


  • Don't drink water from the tap.
  • Don't carry much money than you need or large amounts of jewels when walking around the streets
  • Don't worry too much about security; just be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don't wear indecent dresses when visiting to Buddhism pagodas or temples.
Things that should not to miss
  • Emperor Palace
  • Silver Pagoda
  • Wat Phrom Temple
  • Tuol Sleng Museum
  • National Museum
  • Angkor Complex
  • Bayon Temple
  • Banteay Srei
  • Apsara dance show
  • Night market in Siem Reap
  • Sihanouk beach town
  • Tonle Sap Lake