Cambodia Travel Tips

Service standards in Cambodia are rapidly improving, and in top restaurants and hotels you can expect service levels to be of a similar standard as your country. However in many cases, hotel and restaurant staff are still learning about the hospitality and tourism trade and misunderstandings can occur. As is always the case when traveling in Asia, patience and flexibility will serve you well in Cambodia.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are rapidly developing, and here you will have access to a range of international cuisines, wireless internet, and other modern conveniences. However when traveling in more remote areas, you can expect clean yet basic accommodation, bumpy roads, and less choice when it comes to eating. Cambodia is hot all year round; if you feel the heat it is advisable to avoid touring and covered markets in the middle of the day.

Health & Fitness
As with traveling to other parts of Asia, you need to take precautions when visiting Cambodia. Some of the diseases known to exist in Cambodia include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rabies and HIV/AIDS. You should talk to your doctor at least one month before you travel, to obtain up-to-date health advice and arrange any necessary vaccinations.
There are international clinics and hospitals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Outside these centres, medical care facilities are basic. For more serious medical requirements, transfer to a hospital in Bangkok will likely be needed.

Visa Information
Australian travelers to Cambodia require a visa to enter the country. Visas on arrival can be obtained at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport for around 30 AUD cash. Visas are valid for 30 days and you will need a passport photo for your application, which can be filled out on the plane or on arrival at the airport. Australian passport holders can also obtain a visa on arrival at the following border crossings:
• Phnom Penh International Airport
• Siem Reap – Angkor International Airport
• Poipet (Meanchey Province, bordering Thailand)
• O’Smach (Oddar Meanchey Province, bordering Thailand)
• Cham Yeam (Koh Kong Province, bordering Thailand)
• Bavet (Svay Reing Province, bordering Vietnam)
• Kaam Samnor on the Mekong River (Kandal Province, bordering Vietnam).
If you prefer to arrange your visa before you travel, you can apply for a 30-day tourist visa at This visa costs 30 USD, payable by credit card. Please allow at least three full business days for delivery. Note: this visa is only valid for arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports, Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) and Bavet (Svay Rieng).
Note: Cambodian visa regulations and arrangements are subject to change. We strongly advise that you check with the Cambodian embassy in Australia or consulate closest to you outside Australia prior to travel. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa.

Safety & Security
Despite being one of the poorest nations on Earth, Cambodia is a relatively safe destination. The usual precautions apply to maintaining personal safety.
In Phnom Penh in particular, it is advisable to steer clear of badly lit streets at night, and to take taxis rather than cyclos. We recommend that throughout your travels in Cambodia you keep a hotel address card with you so you can show drivers where to go. Petty crime can also be a problem in Phnom Penh. It is a good idea to wear as little jewellery as possible when on the street, and to keep your money close to your body in a secure place.
Throughout your stay, always keep a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers. These documents should be kept in a safe place separate from the originals. You should leave valuables in hotel safety deposit boxes wherever possible.

Getting Around
Arrival and Departure Transfers: Your transfer driver will be carrying a Viet Holiday Travel signboard with your name on it.

+ Road: For six travelers or more, air-conditioned Hyundai with 25-40 seats are used. If you are traveling in a smaller group, travel will be by air-conditioned minibus or modern sedan car. Metered taxis are cheap and plentiful in Phnom Penh, and tuk tuks provide a novel way to get around Siem Reap.

+ Air: Most flights within Cambodia are on ATR 72 planes. Flight schedules frequently change, which may impact travel plans.

+ Other: Tuk tuks, boats of varying sizes, bicycles and your feet.

Internet: Internet is generally inexpensive in Cambodia and readily available, either in your hotel or at an internet cafe. Many cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap provide free WiFi.

+ Phone: Mobile phone coverage in Cambodia is good in urban areas, but could be intermittent outside the major centers. You will need to contact your service provider to enable roaming before you leave. Purchasing a local SIM card on arrival is another option, especially smart SIM card is really cheap for international phone call. The cheapest way of calling overseas (or locally) is via a VOIP service such as Skype or Viber. International phone and fax fees in hotels are expensive, ranging from 2-4 USD per minute. It is not possible to make reverse charge calls in Cambodia.

+ Mail: International mail from Cambodia generally takes seven to ten days to reach its destination. Prices are equivalent to Western postal rates.

Food & Drink
Cambodian cuisine is usually fragrant rather than spicy, with greater emphasis on fresh herbs and spices such as lemongrass, galangal and ginger rather than spicy hot chilies. Kroeung spice paste, which is similar in texture to the Thai curry pastes, forms the basis of many dishes and prahok, a fermented fish paste, is also commonly used. Rice is a staple, and noodles are also common. Soups are served with most meals.
Freshwater fish from Lake Tonle Sap is used to make Fish Amok, a mild curry in a coconut base, which is very popular with travelers and worth trying at least once. Along the southern coastline, delicious fresh seafood is readily available. As with the other countries of the former French Indochina, baguettes and pastries are widespread, cheap, and delicious. A wide range of international food is available in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The range of food is limited outside the major centers. Vegetarian dishes are not a common feature of Khmer cuisine, however there are a number of vegetarian restaurants in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Elsewhere, even vegetable dishes may use fish or meat stock as a base.
In Cambodia, like other parts of the developing world, eating cold, uncooked dishes such as salad is more likely to lead to stomach upsets than cooked dishes. It is unadvisable to drink water from the tap, even in hotels; however bottled water can be purchased cheaply and is also provided complimentary in most hotel rooms.

Tipping is a personal matter, and you should never feel obligated to provide a tip. However we believe that showing your appreciation with a tip is an appropriate way to reward great service.
Your local guide or Western tour leader will ask for a small sum in the local currency at the beginning of your stay in Cambodia. This will be used to tip hotel porters and boat crews during your trip. This means that you do not have to worry about having small change on hand, and helps to prevent over-tipping.
It is not compulsory to tip our guides, drivers and tour leaders. We are sure that you will be extremely happy with the service you receive from our representatives, and may choose to show your appreciation with a tip; however whether or not you choose to is entirely up to you.