You’re off to Cambodia – yay!
There is so much to think about when visiting any new place, from making sure you’ve got the right visa to the essentials to pack.
To help you focus on the excitement instead of the admin, our Cambodia Travel Specialists have answered some of the most frequently asked questions from our travellers, combined with their own knowledge and experience. Whilst we have done our best to cover as much as possible below, please feel free to get in touch if you find you’re still left looking for answers and we’ll gladly help.
- How long does my passport need to be valid for?keyboard_arrow_down
- Do I need a visa to visit Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
- Do I need travel insurance for my trip?keyboard_arrow_down
Yes, we would always recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance when travelling, especially overseas, that is suitable for your requirements and needs.
- What should I pack for a trip to Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
When visiting Cambodia, it is recommended to dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites such as the Angkor Wat temple complex – it is essential to wear tops that cover your shoulders and skirts or trousers that cover your knees. Otherwise tourists can wear clothing that is cool and comfortable, but be respectful of the local culture and avoid revealing too much skin if you aren’t on the beach.
A waterproof jacket is essential, especialling in the wet season and packing a sarong can be useful as it can act as a towel, curtain, picnic blanket, or even temple cover-up.
- What vaccinations do I need to visit Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
It is always best to get the advice of a GP or travel nurse before travelling overseas to check which vaccinations you might need or if any boosters are required. The Fit for Travel website provides a comprehensive guide on all the vaccinations you should consider.
- What do I need to think about on the day of departure?keyboard_arrow_down
We know heading off on holiday is always a little bit stressful, especially on the day you leave, so we would advise doing these things before you depart:
- Check you have all your necessary documentation, including your passport!
- Take a photo of your documents and email it to yourself and travelling partners. Having a copy on your phone always comes in handy too.
- Ensure you have all your chargers and converters for any phones, cameras, tablets you are taking. A portable battery pack is a handy item to have in your hand luggage.
- Take snacks and a big bottle of water for your flight.
- Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, we advise arriving 3 hours prior to your flight departure.
- Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage and take a photo of your checked bag in case it goes missing en route.
- Sit back and relax knowing we have your holiday sorted!
- What language do people speak in Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
The official language spoken in Cambodia is Khmer, which is spoken by almost 90% of the population.
Other languages that are widely spoken in Cambodia besides Khmer, are Cham, Chinese, Jarai, Kuy, Lao, Tumpoon, Chong, Vietnamese, Thai, French, and English.
It is always good to have a few phrases in the local language, here are some of the basics to get you started:
Hello (formal): Chom reap sour [chom-reap-sore]
Hello (informal): Susadei [soos-a-day]
Do you speak English? Kun chea mean ayu te? [koon chay mean uh-tay]
Thank you: Orkun [aw-koon]
Sorry / Excuse me: Som toh [sawm toe]
Yes: Lea heuy [lee hoo-ee]
No: Ot te [aht-tay]
- What is the food like in Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
Cambodian cuisine is a diverse mix of flavors and influences from various ethnic groups. Rice is the staple food, served with a choice of meat or fish along with local vegetables. Vegetables are served crisp and fresh, or stir-fried in curries, soups, and stews. There are many dishes you should try during your time in Cambodia, our favourites are Kampot pepper crab, Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles) and creamy Amok coconut curry. On the coast you won’t be short of fresh seafood to try straight off the boat that day!
- What aspects of Cambodian culture do I need to take into account?keyboard_arrow_down
Cambodia is a predominantly Buddhist country so here are few things to be aware of during your travels:
- Locals don’t generally shake hands but instead put their hands together and bow their head.
- If you are visiting temples please dress modestly – make sure to cover your shoulders, back and knees.
- Remove your shoes before entering a person’s home, sometimes you will see a collection of shoes outside a shop or restaurant so follow suit.
- If you are away with your partner be aware of public shows of affection so not to cause offence.
- Try not to point your finger as this could be seen as rude gesture and if beckoning someone do it with your palm facing down.
- It is very important not to touch anyone on their head as this is the most sacred part of the body.
- As feet are seen as dirty, don’t point the soles of your feet at another person or a statue of Buddha, avoid stepping over people or food and don’t stand on seats.
- Is it safe to travel to Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
Cambodia is considered a very safe country to travel to. It is always best to be mindful of your surroundings and belongings as in any country though, keep large sums of cash out of sight and split your cards and cash up into several places.
- What do I do if I have a problem?keyboard_arrow_down
We are contactable in the UK during office hours and our local partners in destination are available 24/7 for any support or help you might need. They are in the best position as they will be on the same timezone, they should be your first contact in a case of emergency.
Tips and practical information
- What is the local currency in Cambodia?keyboard_arrow_down
Riel is Cambodia’s local currency, though it’s not been widely used by tourists in past years as most things are quoted in US Dollars. ATMs dispense both Riel and Dollars and quite often you can pay in either. Most of the time change is given in a mix of currencies so having a conversion app on your phone is very helpful. Please note that businesses don’t accept marked or damaged Dollar bills so when receiving change be sure to check them and ask for a different one if needed, this is very common.
- How does tipping in Cambodia work?keyboard_arrow_down
It is not customary to give tips in Cambodia. However as most people’s salaries are very low, tips are obviously appreciated. Tipping is becoming more and more common for those working in the tourist industry in Cambodia. Salaries for local guides and drivers are often partially determined based on the fact that they also receive tips. A tip totalling 5% -10% of the total bill is standard. Obviously this is very much a rough guide and you are completely free to give whatever you feel is appropriate.