Situated in the Southwest of Indochina Peninsula, Cambodia shares its borders with Thailand to the West and Northwest, Vietnam to the East, Laos to the Northeast, and the Gulf of Thailand to the Southwest. Passing a long history with constantly wars and conflicts, Cambodia seems to be slowly recovering and developing. However, needless to say, Cambodia is well preserving a world’s masterpiece – the Angkor temple complex which is considered the most extensive concentration of religious temples in the world. Those mysterious temples along with the charming beauty of countryside villages and the good-nature of Cambodians are drawing tourists to come and discover. The more tourists come, the more tourism is invested. And as a result, the tourism infrastructure in Cambodia is developed with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, tourist transportation, tour activities as well as entertainment sites. As below, we provide you with 10 must-know tips before traveling to Cambodia and let’s take a look:
1. Tipping: Tipping has never been a part of Cambodia culture of courses, like many other countries in Indochina. However, due to the low economic life, it seems to be that tipping is very expected by locals. Our advice is considering that issue before traveling to Cambodia. Basically, it costs not too much, with just one or two dollars for driver, doorman, housekeeper, servant, etc.
2. Weather: Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate with 2 separate seasons. Dry season is from November to April with average temperature of 28 degree C. And rainy season is from May to October with average temperature of 33 degree C. Remember to bring along with you an umbrella or raincoat if you will visit Cambodia during wet season. Some days from May to Sep can get extremely hot that you should keep your kids out of too many outdoor activities.
3. New climate and environment: It is not easy to get used to the new climate and environment immediately that are mostly different from yours. Then, don’t try to take cold and raw foods until you feel comfortable. And let your guide know about your things if they are too serious.
4. Food: Food is actually cheap in Cambodia. It costs only around 1-2 usd per meal at local street stalls, 3-5 usd per meal at basic restaurant, and 5-10 usd per meal at nice restaurant.
5. Currency & payment methods: Cambodia official currency is Riel and one dollar is equal to around 4000 Riel. American Dollar is widely accepted that you can bring along during your Cambodia trip. In case you need local currency, you can withdraw from ATMs or exchange at hotels or banks. For big amounts, it is advised to pay by credit cards and that payment method is available at many restaurants, hotels, shopping stores, etc. For small amounts, payment in cash in both American Dollars and local currency is fine.
6. Getting around: Taxi and tuk tuk are the 2 most popular means of transportation in Cambodia that cost only some dollars for going around.
7. Official religion: For centuries, Buddhism that is practiced by more than 85% of the population has been the official religion in Cambodia. That’s why you can see temples everywhere in Cambodia from urban areas to countryside and mountainous areas. Then monks are highly respected by locals beside play an important role in their spiritual life. To get into the temples, you are required to dress politely with clothes covering your knee and elbow as well as taking off your shoes and hat.
8. Highest position: Cambodia King is considered the most respected person not only in politic field but also in spiritual life. You shouldn't do any negative thing or say any negative word about Royal Household.
9. Gambling: Gambling is illegal in Cambodia in any case. You shouldn’t even play cards at your hotel room.
10. Smoking in public is also illegal and you will be fined. Then remember to smoke in specific areas.
11. Khmer is the official language in Cambodia, however, English, French are Japanese are also widely used.
All the above issues are our useful tips for you before you travel to Cambodia. For any further information, please feel free to contact with our travel consultant or take a look at Cambodia Travel Guide.
Read more: Top things to do in Cambodia