Cambodia Now:

Cambodia Facts

Cambodia covers a land area of 181,035 km2in the southwestern of the Indochina peninsula. The country’s maximum extent is about 580km (east – west) and 450 (north- south). It is bounded on the west by Thailand, on the north by Thailand and Loas, on the east by Vietnam and on the east by south by the Gulf of Thailand. Administratively, the country composed of 21 provinces, three of which have relatively short maritime boundaries, 3 municipalities, 183 districts, 1,621 communes, 13, 406 villages. The country has a coastline of 435km add extensive mangrove stands, some of which are relatively undisturbed. Cambodia’s two dominant topographical features are the Makong River, which is almost 5km wide in places, and the Tonle Sap Lake.

Practically speaking, Cambodia has four seasons:

1) November-February, cool/dry.
2) March-May, hot/dry.
3) June-August, hot/wet.
4) September-October, cool/wet.

The hottest days of the hot season rarely climb above 35C and the cool season may push the mercury as low as 20C. The monsoons between June and October follow the same pattern as Phnom Penh, clear mornings with 1-3 hour rains in the afternoon. The cool dry season is more comfortable but the regularity of the wet season rains make them easy to plan around. The rain tends to dampen spirits in the beach town of Sihanoukville but can actually enhance your visit to the temple. Afternoon rains can make touring a bit more difficult but the rains also bring out unique beauty and color in the temples as their surrounding pools fill and the jungle and rice paddies become green.

The majority (90%) of the population is Khmer. The remaining 10% are comprised of Cham (Khmer Muslims), minority hill tribes, Chinese and Vietnamese. The population is approximately twelve million (estimation of 2001).

Khmer is the official language. English and French are popular second languages.

Theravada Buddhism is the official religion in Cambodia. The majority of people are Buddhist and 5% are Muslim or Christian.


January 01 - International New Year Day
January 07 - Victory Day Over Genocidal
February 07 - Meak Bochea Day
March 08 - International Women’s Day
April 13, 14,15 - Khmer New Year Day
May 01 - International Labor Day
May 05 - Visakh Bochea Day
May 09 - Royal Plowing Day
May 13, 14, 15 - Royal Birthday of the King Sihamoni
June 18 - Royal Birthday of the King Mother Monineath Sihanouk
September 24 - Constitutional and King’s Coronation Day
October 14, 15, 16 - Pchum Ben Day
October 29 - Royal Coronation of the King
October 31 - Royal Birthday of King Father Norodom Sihanouk
November 09 - Independence Day
November 27, 28, 29 - Water Festival and Moon Festival and Boat Racing
December 10 -  International Human Rights Day


Any public holidays which overlap with either Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be substituted.

The local currency is Riel, although the US dollar is widely accepted throughout the country and in all major markets. In recent years the rate of exchange has been floating around USD1= 3,900 Riels. Some popular Riel denominations include: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 notes.

For most visitors to the kingdom, visa are obtainable upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. At land crossing from Thailand, visas are available at Poipet Banteay Meanchey and Cham Yeam (Koh Kong providence). Visitors who enter from Vietnam through Bavet (VN: Moc Bai) or Ka-Om Samnor (VN: Chao Doc) will need to have already obtained their visas prior to their arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate overseas.

The border crossing form Laos is also possible through Voeun Kham border checkpoint, but travelers are advised to obtain their Visas prior to arrival at the border. Please note that other border crossing not mentioned above are not classified as international checkpoints therefore we suggest that you secure confirmation before commencing your trip. Various Visa extension options are also available.

Visa Fee: US$20 of tourist Visas & US$25 for business Visas. The fee is payable only in cash.

Airport Tax
From Phnom Penh International  - Airport in Phnom Penh
International Departure Tax US $ 25 per person and domestic $6 per person

From Siem Reap International - Airport in Siem Reap
International Departure Tax US $ 25 and Domestic $6 per person

It may surprise some, but Khmer dishes are, typically, not too spicy for western palate (as can sometimes be the case in Southeast Asia). In Cambodia the basic meal is almost always built around rice and usually includes fish, chicken, pork, beef and fresh vegetables. Freshwater fish is frequently served due to the country's abundant supply of this natural resource

While selecting from Khmer menus, we suggest you do order some fish for your meals, especially the popular Amok or Elephant fish dishes. Chinese, European, Thai and Vietnamese foods are also available in numerous restaurants in Cambodia's major cities.

Many of the same beverages which are generally offered in the outside world are readily available including the usual suspects: canned soft-drinks, beer, and wine (most of them imported). Coca Cola, Angkor Beer and several others are also bottled here.

Businesses Hours (local time is GMT plus 7 hours)
Most business offices are open from 08:00 till 12:00 and from 13:00 till 17:00, Monday through Friday. Banks generally operate from 08:00 till 15:00hrs. Most private companies work on Saturday, while government offices are closed.

Souvenirs from Cambodia
The Krama (a traditional cotton scarf) is one of the most popular, typical Cambodian souvenirs. These multi-purpose garments, similar to a sarong, are used for bathing, cleaning, protection from the sun and many other purposes in the Khmer life. It is also one of the national symbols that distinguish Khmer people from their neighbors. Both cotton and silk Krama are available throughout local markets and souvenir shops. Ask the seller to demonstrate the proper wearing of the Krama so you may carry and wear it yourself while sightseeing for a more elegant and traditional look.

220 volts.

There are still many state-owned hospitals, where qualified doctors work. There are also a number of private clinics available in the major cities and most of these maintain international standards.

Public Transportation
Van and Car rental is recommended for touring in the city and the outskirts. A few city buses are available on limited roads but these are irregular and may only be suitable for local people. Cyclos (pollution-free, human-powered Tricycle-taxis) and motor-taxis are plentiful, inexpensive, and readily available. We recommend Cyclos for an "in-touch with the people" experience. These are ubiquitous within the cities.

Automobile taxis are also available but not nearly as plentiful (or pollution-free).

Health Requirements
Vaccination is not required for entry into Cambodia, but Mittapheap Tours suggests you check with doctor as some countries recommend their citizens be inoculated before embarking on an oversea adventure.

There are two gateways for international telephone access from Cambodia by dialing 001 or 007 followed by the country code and the phone number.

There are also four cellular phone service provides offering convenient communication via the GSM system, therefore many citizens now carry mobile phones. Phone IDD and facsimile are also available.

It is easy and cheap to access the Internet and email in Cambodia. There are a plenty of Internet cafes and many are open until late at night. Currently the charge is between 50cents to $1U.S dollars per hour, and falling.

How to get to Cambodia
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are still considered the major point of entry and exit for Cambodia. Both are international gateways.

Border crossing by land is available from neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, including two major checkpoints from Thailand Poipet and Chamyeam, the province of Banteay Meanchey and Koh Kong provinces respectively. One popular gateway from Vietnam is through Bavet. From Laos, the checkpoint is called Voeun Kham. Beside these major border check points, there are still others that are also open as official international entry / exit points from neighboring countries, but were still not very popular with tourists at the time of this writing .We suggest those who intend to cross border at these new checkpoints to contact us in advance to make sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.

Flight Information
The airlines that are currently operating to/form Cambodia are: Dragronair, Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Lao Aviation, Vietnam Airlines, Southern China Airlines, Eva Airlines, President air and Shanghai Airlines.

Domestic carriers are:
Royal Phnom Penh Airways, President Airlines and Siem Reap Airways.

Bus & Speedboat Information
The bus and speedboat are daily operate