Comprising an area of 181,035 square kilometers, the Kingdom of
Cambodia was part of the ancient Kingdom of Funan. Being the
oldest Indianised state in Southeast Asia, its religion was
Hinduism. Today, Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion.
The Mekong river which flows through the country, and the Tonle
Sap lake are the lifeline of the people who live along the
waterways. The Tonle Sap lake is one of the richest sources of
fresh water fish in the world.
Phnom Penh. The population is around 1.3 million.
7 Hours ahead of GMT.
Of the 12 million people, about 90% are ethnic Khmers. There
are several minorities such as Chams, Vietnamese and Chinese.
The official language is Khmer, which belongs to the Mon-Khmer
family, enriched by Indian Pali and Sanskrit languages and
peppered with Thai and French influence. The second language is
French which was widely spoken by the intelligentsia before 1975
and is still spoken by a few elderly Cambodians. However, in
recent years, English has gained a great popularity and there
are plenty of English schools in Phnom Penh's streets.
The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, as is also
practiced in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Sri Lanka. Ninety
percent of Khmers are of this religion. The country also has
minority religions of about half a million Muslims, and 60,000
The local currency is the Riel. However, US$ are widely accepted
and easily exchanged across the country. In Phnom Penh
and other towns most goods and services are priced in dollars
and there is a little need to buy riel. In remote rural areas
prices are quoted in riel (except accommodation). In western
districts, particularly Poipet, Pailin and Koh Kong the Thai
Baht is widely used. Traveler's cheque's in
US$ can be changed at most banks in Phnom Penh and major
tourist destinations. Credit card facilities are limited to
some major hotels. It is best to carry US$ in cash in small
rate: 1 $US = 3870 Riel (April 2000)
There are no coin operated phones in Cambodia (Cambodian
currency has no coins). In Phnom Penh, though, there are
cardphones situated throughout the city, and the cards to use
in them are available at many outlets. There are also several
mobile phone systems. - Country Code: +855.
220 volts/50 Hz, It is available in most cities for 24 hours,
but in remote power cuts are possible during the night and it
is recommended to carry a flash light.
All foreign nationals entering Cambodia are required to have a
visa which are issued on arrival at Pochentong airport in Phnom
Penh and at Siem Reap airport. Two passport photos are needed.
The price for a tourist visa is US$ 20 & for business US$
25. For arrival overland, the visa must be issued by one of the
Cambodian embassies outside Cambodia. The tourist visa is valid
for one month and can be extended for one month.
application-form (Word 97 file/ 32k)
Airlines currently serving Phnom Penh are Royal Air Cambodge,
Thai International, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, Dragon Air,
Vietnam Airlines, Lao Aviation, Bangkok Airways and President
Siem Reap is Royal Air Cambodge, Bangkok Airways and Vietnam
flight from Phnom Penh - US$ 20
flight from Siem Reap - US$ 8
flight from Phnom Penh - US$ 10
flight from all other airports - US$ 4
Cambodia's tropical climate is affected by the monsoon. The
cool, dry Northeast Monsoon which brings little rain, is from
November to March. From May to October, the south-west Monsoon
brings heavy rain and humidity. However, during the rain
season, the rain is limited to one or two downpours a day.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and
long-sleeved items should be included for protection from
mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season an umbrella is
more convenient than a rain coast. A jacket may be needed in
hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.
The Khmer cuisine is closely related to other Asian countries,
but not very spicy. The typical Khmer dishes are rice, fish,
curries and soups with beef, pork, poultry and tasty sauces.
Western style food is provided widely in the major cities
although other Asian dishes are available (Chinese, Korean,
Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese). Never drink tap water. Purified
bottle water is available everywhere. Soft drinks are also
widely sold as well as locally brewed and imported beers.
Monday to Friday: 07:30 - 11:30 & 14:00 - 17:00,
Monday to Friday 08:00 - 15:30.
Closed on public holidays.
offices: Private companies are usually open from 07:30 - 20:00
Museum, Silver Pagoda, Kings Palace, Tuol Sleng Museum &
08:00 - 11:00 & 14:00 - 17:00.
The National Museum is closed on Monday and public holidays.
Good hospitals are only available in Phnom Penh. Private
doctors and pharmacies are available in most cities. Major
tourist destinations, such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, are
free of Malaria. However, for the evenings it is recommended to
wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and to apply insect
repellants to prevent mosquito bites.
For visiting temples or pagodas, shorts and T-shirts are
acceptable. However, for visiting the Silver Pagoda and the
Royal Palace, visitors are asked to dress more formally. Films,
such as Kodak or Fuji, are widely available. Any specialized
photo equipment should be brought along.