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Cambodia Travel Information

In which we do our best to answer some of the most FAQs concerning travel to Cambodia

We have answered several of the frequently asked questions elsewhere but details change and to avoid you having to scroll through a bunch of posts, what follows is an update of Cambodia travel information as per 2024 plus an attempt to group all the principal FAQs into a single post as well as addressing a few of the queries we haven’t so far answered. In no particular order:

Do I need a visa to travel to Cambodia?

A visa is required; it’s easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive. You have three options; applying in advance at a Cambodian embassy or consulate, obtaining a visa on arrival or going online for an e-visa. The first option isn’t necessary as single-entry, 30-day visas will be issued to the majority of nationalities at any port of entry on payment of $30 plus a passport-sized photo. (US currency.) This is valid for any arrival point on any of our Cambodia tours; Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports, Don Kalor (from Laos) and Kaoam Samnor (from Vietnam by boat).

Pros; easy and inexpensive. Cons; if you arrive on a busy flight you may have to queue for a while plus the stick-on visa does take up a whole page of your passport.

The Cambodia e-visa system is efficient and also very straightforward. Go to the official Khmer immigration site, complete compulsory fields only, pay $36 (or equivalent of) and within three working days, (that’s what they say but we’d give or take a day or two), you’ll receive your visa. Print our two copies, keep one for departure and give the other to immigration officers on arrival. Pros: avoids queuing and saves a page in your passport. Cons: not available at every entry point. With regards our tours, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Don Kalor – (despite what it may say on the immigration website) – are fine, but they’re not accepted at Kaoam Samnor.

Indochina Adventure
The obligatory giant roots and ruined temple shot; Ta Prom, Angkor
Passport requriements for travel to Cambodia

Your passport needs to be undamaged, have a minimum of 6 months validity with at least two blank pages. Otherwise, you will be likely to be refused entry.

What currency do I need and are ATMs widely available in Cambodia?

The dual currency system of Khmer riel and USD is somewhat complicated for visitors but we did recently write an entire blog post on ‘Cambodia money‘. To summarise; the two currencies are interchangeable, you don’t need to obtain either in advance, (unless you’re paying $30 for a visa on arrival), and local ATMs offering a choice of riel or dollars are ubiquitous.

Telephones, internet and Wi-Fi in Cambodia

There are numerous, local phone companies in Cambodia, service is generally very good and 4G SIM cards are easy and cheaply obtained. (Smart and Cellcard/Mobitel are probably the best bets.) Your own SIMs will work but unless you have a good roaming deal from your home provider this can be expensive. (If you don’t then don’t forget to turn your roaming off!) The vast majority of bars, cafes and restaurants in major towns have Wi-Fi as do all hotels on our tours but we admit this can sometimes be erratic.

Security – how safe is Cambodia?

As with most of Southeast Asia, travel in Cambodia is generally, very safe and the vast majority of the local population is extremely honest. We’d say there are three things to watch out for; crossing busy roads, (goes without saying really), being careful in busy markets, (same as anywhere), and be a bit wary after dark in Phnom Penh. Petty crimes such as bag snatching are not unheard of so take care with phones, cameras and bags. Your tour leader knows the city well and there are no problems in smaller towns such as Siem Reap and Battambang.

How are medical facilities in Cambodia

Medical facilities in Cambodia have improved considerably in recent times. State hospitals can still be a bit rough but Phnom Penh and Siem Reap now have excellent private health facilities with English-speaking staff. Note the word private – they can be very expensive – so do make sure your travel insurance is topped up. Pharmacists are also English-speaking, (and will sell pretty much anything over the counter), and most minor ailments – tummy bugs, heat stroke, sprains etc – can be dealt with without recourse to a clinic.

One Phnom Penh dentists we won't be recommending
One Phnom Penh dentists we won’t be recommending
Food – are vegans and vegetarians catered for?

Popular destinations such as Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Battambang all have vegan and vegetarian restaurants while most other establishments will have similar menu options. Fish and fish products comprise a large part of the local diet so you would need to look out for vegetable dishes cooked with fish sauce for example. (Fish sauce tends to replace salt in many dishes.) Your tour leader will be on hand to assist and can also provide a Khmer language note detailing any dietary requirements or allergies which you can show to restaurant staff for non-inclusive meals.

Is Cambodia good for LGBT travellers?

Very much so. The population is extremely easy-going and tolerant and indeed larger towns such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have vibrant LGBT scenes.

Is Cambodia good for families?

Again, definitely, and there’s a wealth of activities to keep kids of any age entertained. Apart from the obvious jungle-clad ruined temples, there are visits to an elephant sanctuary, ziplining for the more adventurous, village cycling tours, perhaps even checking out Apopo’s mine-clearing giant African rats and last but not least the excellent music, dance and acrobatics of the famous Battabamg Circus, Phare Ponleuk. All accommodation on tours comes with swimming pools and food requirements for even the fussiest kids can be catered for in the wealth of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap eateries.

Cambodia Travel information
Check out the amazing giant African rats at the Apopo demining centre.
when is the best time to visit Cambodia?

Last but certainly not least among FAQs is, ‘when should we visit Cambodia?’ This one’s more complicated and we’ve recently covered the question in some depth in this blog post.

While the majority of Cambodia travel information will suggest November to February as the best time to visit Cambodia, our advice is more nuanced. That is the cool, dry season but it’s also the high season while the rainy season – also called the Green Season – is a quiet period and in our opinion has a lot going for it. Bear in mind, in our opinion, travel in Cambodia is largely about spectacular ruined cities in the jungle, bucolic landscapes and meeting the local people in villages, markets and cafes – it’s not lying on the beach – so go when the temples are quietest and the landscapes are at their best and most lush.

The above are just some of the FAQs concerning Cambodia travel information – but the post is getting long – so we’ll look at additional queries (yes, there are many more), in a second Cambodia travel information post to come.