Sweet Cambodia… That’s one the many comments on this country in Southeast Asia. Many have went there, for the most part, because of the historical complex of Angkor Wat. Did you know that Cambodia also offers beautiful beaches?
Cambodia is a combination of history, relaxation by the sea, but also entertainment in the capital or beautiful beaches and islands. In addition, Cambodia is considered an ideal gateway to Asia. If you are looking for exotics, trails and good cuisine, Cambodia is a great choice. Do not get exotic fruit or have fun with your cooking, i.e., “hot potting”. Even an experienced traveler will be thrilled with the possibilities offered by Cambodia.
Cambodia is a much safer landscape than we have usually imagine. Cambodia is poorer than Thailand or Vietnam, but may be more open to tourists. We recommend:
- Beware of personal things at marketplaces and crowded places.
- Drink only store-bought water.
- Keep a steady drinking regime during periods of high heat.
- Do not tread where you see “Danger Mines” signs outside of the tourist routes. Such areas are scarce and are mostly in rural areas. At places such as Angkor and so on, you won’t see such signs.
How to behave in Buddhist temples:
- Do not take a picture with a Buddhist.
- Do not go into the temple with shoes on.
- If you are entering the temple, do not wear short trousers and tank tops.
- Do not touch Buddha statues.
- Keep quiet in the temples.
When to go
The weather in Cambodia can be divided into 3 periods:
High season: november – february, when the temperatures are the lowest and the weather is pleasant for sightseeing. Prices are highest at this time, especially during Christmas.
Heat period: march – may, when temperatures rise up to 40°C in some parts of the country, and humidity is the highest.
Rain period: june – october, the country will have regular rain very, very often. Roads that are not asphalted change into mud.
Khmer cuisine is similar to other parts of Southeast Asia and you can have different tastes and different meals each day. The towns are full of restaurants, and local pubs can also be found in the market places. Almost everywhere you get exotic fruits like mango, dragonfruits, rambutan, mangosteen, pineapple, coconut, and much more.
- kuytheav – morning noodle soup with vegetables and pork, chicken or seafood.
- bai sarch chrouk – another breakfast meal. Rice with pork.
- bai chaa – roasted noodles or rice
- lok lak – beef with sauce, onion and vegetables
- trey ch’ien chou ‘ayme – Fish with a sweetly pungent sauce
- saik ch’rouk cha kn’yei – pork meat with ginger
The Cambodian currency is the Cambodian riel (KHR), whose current exchange rate can be seen here: http://www.xe.com/currency/khr-cambodian-riel. The second accepted currency is the US dollar. Cambodia is considered a cheap destination, at least in comparison with Slovakia it is cheaper. The services are great, so don’t book in hotels for a longer period of time. A place where you can stay can be found on the spot and prices are negotiable. Meals and transport are relatively inexpensive. The most expensive things during your visit to Cambodia are the historical landmarks.
Citizens of Slovakia need visas to enter Cambodia. Visas to Cambodia can be easily booked at the border of Thailand, costing $30, or THB 1200 THB (Thai Bhat). It is unnecessary to carry visas forward, which are even more expensive. To obtain a visa, you only need one passport photo and fill in the form you get directly at the border.
It is our duty, however, to draw attention to one unfair thing that takes place at the border and does not matter whether it is from the Thai or Vietnamese parties.
If you are traveling from Bangkok in Thailand, local travel agencies can try to deceive you by saying that when you pay around 3 to 15 USD more than normal.
- you do not have to wait in hot weather in a queue at the borders;
- they’ll get you a visa faster in comparison if you try to get it yourself.
We even saw someone claim that Cambodian visas cost $40, so you will “only” pay $3 USD more.
Refuse to pay these extra charges and do not support the local mafia who are still regularly lying to tourists. From our own experience, we know that in fact:
- visas and all the information needed is done in 10 minutes
- there is no long queues, as there is a separate buildings for the visitors;
- on both the Thai and Vietnamese sides there is an air-conditioned room.
We do not know the easier border for getting a visa. But a lot of people will believe to the aforementioned lie that they will stand in the hot sun. Such borders no longer exist in the mainstream.
If you nicely refuse to pay extra fees, local travel agencies will try out more tricks. Make sure you keep yourself:
- original documents of traveling expenses that you received at the point of purchase of the transport. Do not let go of it. We met with other travelers who went on their own wanting to cross the border line did not have an original document, and then the bus that was waiting for them to cross the border refused to take them.
Bangkok – Siem Reap (Angkor Wat):
You have two options
350 THB (which is about 9 EUR), but in this case you will have to change the bus to the border. The journey takes approx. 10 hours.
850 THB (which is about 21 EUR). This mode of transport goes directly from Bangkok to Siem Reap without having to change the bus. The journey takes about 8 hours.