Cambodia Visa, Passport & Money Advice
When you are planning to travel to Cambodia it’s important to get your head around all the necessary currency, visas and passport information before you depart. We have compiled all the information you’ll need below:
Visa & Passports
If you are a UK passport holder, you can either apply for your visa online in advance or organise it on arrival into Cambodia. You will need to provide two passport photos and the cost is around US$35.
Your visa can be arranged on arrival at the land borders with Thailand or Vietnam, or on arrival at the main international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. If you’re entering Cambodia from Laos overland, you can get a visa on arrival, but if you’re arriving by boat, you MUST sort it out in advance. Applications can be made through the Royal Cambodian Embassy in London and you can check the Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for up-to-date details.
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.
Credit and Debit Cards
Debit cards are accepted at some restaurants, shops and bars (as long as they have Cirrus, Maestro or Visa logos) but cash is still king here. There are ATM’s in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot and Sihanoukville and at airports. Cards are accepted at most hotels and a few restaurants on the islands but not all and there are no cash machines. If using your card you can expect to pay a commission of around 3%. US Dollar Traveller’s Cheques can be changed at most banks and exchange offices.
Tips and Haggling
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.