As I born and grow up in Siem Reap Cambodia so I can provide you with all of the information you will need for your trip to Cambodia. I have therefore put together the following information below; if however you need more information, please do not hesitate to ask me when you arrived.
International flights: Foreigners are required to pay US$25 each while a Khmer person has to pay US$18, this applies to both the Phnom Penh International Airport and the Siem Reap International Airport. A child below the age of 12 has to pay only US$13 and an infant below the age of 2 is exempt from tax. Domestic flights: Foreigners are required to pay US$6 each while a Khmer person has to pay US$5; this applies to both the Phnom Penh International Airport and the Siem Reap International Airport.
All nationalities need to apply for a travel visa, except for nationals from the following countries: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. A visa on arrival, valid for a thirty-day stay, is specifically granted at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and International Border Checkpoints. Visas are also granted at Royal Cambodian Embassy or Consulate abroad. The visa fee for a tourist is US$20, and the visa fee for a businessman is US$25. Visas can be extended at the Immigration Department in Phnom Penh City. A free visa (K) is expressly granted to the Cambodian living overseas.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has recently approved e-visas. All you have to do is complete the online application form available at the official website (www.evisa.mfaic.gov.kh), pay by credit card online, and include uploading a recent passport-size photo in JPEG/ PNG format. The visa will be approved within three business days, allowing you to breeze by that lengthy line and get a jump-start on your holiday.The e-visa, valid for a thirty-day stay, is available only for a typical tourist visa for a single entry. It is currently not available for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Arab Saudi, Algeria, Sudan, and Sri Lanka. For a business visa, please apply at your nearest embassy or on arrival at all major check points. Tourists getting such a visa online can enter and exit Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Bavet International Border Checkpoint in Svay Rieng, Cham Yeam International Border Checkpoint in Koh Kong, and Poipet International Border Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey.
We recommend that you bring US dollars to Cambodia, as Riel is only used for buying small items and for tipping. There is approximately around 4,000 Riel to 1 US dollar. You can use ATMs in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville to withdraw US dollars. The following cards are accepted at the ATMs; Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger
hotels and in restaurants. Candia Bank ATMs do NOT charge fees for withdrawing cash unlike most other banks. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, money exchangers and most of the bigger hotels at a charge of 2%. Cash advances are also available on Visa and MasterCard from most banks and money exchangers. Banks are open from 8:00am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday and some banks are also open on Saturday mornings.
Money exchangers open early and close around 10:00pm. All major currencies are easily exchanged especially US dollar, Thai Baht and the Euro. Western Union and MoneyGram transfers are available in most major towns and cities. If you want to transfer money, then bank transfers are the cheapest way to do it and please be aware that there is a lot of counterfeit US dollars in Cambodia, so you should check your US dollars before you arrive and also when in Cambodia, even from banks. Also make sure that your US dollars are in good condition, because most places will not accept torn notes even if they are very small.
Theft is the main concern in Siem Reap as the Police authorities take crime very seriously when it involves the tourists. However, Siem Reap is probably one of safest towns in Asia and definitely safer than most towns in the West.Commonsense can prevent theft, such as not carrying shoulder bags where someone on a motorbike could snatch it from you. Always put your valuables in a hotel safe or deposit box. Most hotels and guesthouses will tell you not to leave any valuables in the room, because they will not be held responsible. This includes cameras, money, passports and anything else that is of great value to you. You should always keep valuables in the hotel safe but when you do not, and then it is at your own risk not the hotel management's. Most staff in hotels and guesthouses will NOT steal from your room but the temptation can still be too great for them if you left, say, US$1000 in your room which is over 1 year's salary to them!
Health and Hygiene
The most common illness amongst tourists to Cambodia is diarrhea or sunstroke. We recommend that you always use bottled water and eat well cook food as this will reduce the chances of diarrhea. Avoiding ice, salads and peeled fruit will help too. The heat and also drinking alcohol can have a big effect on your stomach as well. It's always a good idea to drink lots of water, wear a sun hat and keep out of direct sunlight.
Malaria is quite common in Cambodia, but not in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Anti-malarial tablets are not really needed but we recommend you seek expert medical advice. If you are visiting other parts of Cambodia then it is advisable to take some form of anti-malarial tablets. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes which normally bite you in the evenings. To help protect yourself against Malaria then the best protection is to ensure that you cover up bare skin, especially in the evenings, use a based repellent, mosquito nets, mosquito coils and also spray your room with mosquito spray before going to bed.
Postal & Communication
The main post office in Siem Reap is on the West side of Siem Reap River and it may be easier to find FCC Hotel then it is very near from there following the river. You can send postcards, letters and parcels abroad and the service is pretty good. You can also make domestic or international phone calls and their also have a fax machine if you need to fax something back home. The post office is open Monday to Saturday from 7:30am to 11:00pm and also 7:30am to 5:30pm on Sundays.There a number of parcel service companies that have opened up in Siem Reap, but the one that most people will know is DHL Express, which is located on Sivatha Boulevard which is the street in Siem Reap town centre.
Internet cafes and telephone calls
There are probably over 200 internet cafes in Siem Reap where you can use internet facilities and also make domestic and international phone calls. Internet rates are normally US$0.50 or less than per hour. International phone calls via the internet are nearly all under US$1.00 per minute to all countries.
To phone Cambodia the international code is855 and area code for Siem Reap is 63. If you are inside Cambodia then you will need a “0” in front of the 63 to phone Siem Reap.
Mobile SIM cards
Tourist SIM cards are now available from around US$2 each and they last for 2 weeks. Officially you need to be a Cambodian national with an ID card or you need to live and work in Cambodia to be able to buy a SIM card for your mobile phone for longer than 2 weeks.
There are many photo shops in Siem Reap where you can develop photos or put your pictures onto a CD. Memory cards for digital cameras are widely available and are much cheaper than in the west. Camera batteries are also readily available in Siem Reap.
What to Bring to Cambodia
• Photocopies of your passport
• At least two passport-size photographs of yourself
• Cash in US$1s, $10s, $20s, $50s
• A folding umbrella or lightweight rain poncho if you plan to visit during the rainy season
• Zip locks bags. They are cheap, disposable, and keep all kinds of things fresh and dry
• An adventurous spirit.
DOs & DON’T in Cambodia
People in Cambodia are well-known for their hospitality and warmth. Out of respect, visitors to the Kingdom should take care to observe local customs and practices. You may find it useful to familiarize yourself with the following common dos and don'ts before embarking on your trip to Cambodia.
• Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks.
• It is customary to remove your shoes when entering a place of worship such as a pagoda or temple. Additionally, visitors should dress appropriately when inside a religious site (upper arms and legs should be covered, hats removed).
• It is respectful to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.
• Though not always expected, a respectful way of greeting another individual is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest (known as “Sampeah”).
• If invited to dine in a Cambodian family’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert, or flowers.
• If invited to attend a Cambodian wedding, it is customary to bring cash as a wedding gift.
• When using a toothpick at the table, use one hand to cover your mouth.
• Keep business cards ready, and present them with both hands. Accept business cards with both hands.
• Don't use your feet to point at someone.
• Don't touch a Cambodian person on the head.
• Don't begin eating if you are a guest at a dinner and the host has yet to take a bite.
• Women should never touch male monks or hand something directly to them.
• Keep public displays of affection to a respectful minimum.
• Do not litter; keep our community clean and safe
• Plastic bags can be hazardous; dispose them properly
What to Wear
The weather in Cambodia generally falls under two categories: the wet season May to October and the dry season November to April. Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended for the dry season, when the weather is hot and humid. Visitors may wish to pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts for hiking, trekking, or outdoor activities. A hat and sunglasses may be useful for when walking around under the sun. During the rainy season, visitors may want to bring a light rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased cheaply in Cambodia) or a sturdy umbrella. A light jacket or cardigan will come in handy during the months of December and January, when temperatures are at their coolest. When visiting outdoor temples, including those of Angkor Wat, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable. Shoes and hats are generally removed at the entrance to pagodas. For visits to the Silver Pagoda, this is within the Royal Palace grounds. Visitors are asked to dress more formally. Gentlemen are required to wear long trousers and ladies should wear long trousers or long skirts and keep their shoulders covered.