Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia and once known as the Khmer Empire, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeas Asia. The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni, a monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council, as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen, who is currently the longest serving non-royal leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.
Official name: The Kingdom of Cambodia
Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: ~ 15.2 million people
Total Area: 181,035 square kilometers
Major religion: Buddhism
Monetary unit: Riel
International dialing code: +855
Time Zone - Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +7 hours
Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F) around April. October to February is the best time to travel to Cambodia. As the country dries out, badly rutted roads get graded and trip times improve dramatically, though they get incredibly dusty. Cambodia's beach strips at Kep, Sihanoukville and Ko Kong bask in brilliant sunshine with clear calm waters . if you're a beach bum, dry season is the season for you.
The rainy season runs from May to October. Temperature drops to 22 °C (71.6 °F) and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The main disadvantage of travelling in rainy season in Cambodia relates to flooding and degraded road conditions. You will still be able to go anywhere, it will just take longer. On the upside, the dust is all gone, and the lush greenery of the country returns. Angkor Wat in particular can be stunning during this period -- the birdlife is far more obvious and the ruins have a special appearance and feel. Observing Angkor Wat with a lightning storm as a backdrop is an electrifying experience (couldn't resist!).
Cambodia’s national language is Khmer. Unlike neighbouring Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Khmer is not tonal and it's really hard. Strive for the basic phrases and don't be surprised when you get a warm response. French is still spoken by many older Cambodians while the younger generation prefers English.
The riel (KHR) is the currency of Cambodia. The exchange rate is around 4,000 riel to 1 USD. The UN peacekeeping operation of 1993 injected a large quantity of U.S. dollars into the local economy. As a result, the dollar has become the country's common currency. Riel is a non-convertible currency, meaning once you have left Cambodia, it's useful only as wallpaper. ATMs distributing US Dollars are found in the main cities including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Kompong Cham and moneychangers throughout the country. ANZ Royal Bank has the most extensive network, including ATMs at petrol stations and popular hotels, restaurants and shops, closely followed by Canadia Bank.
Cambodia celebrates a mix of Buddhist,Chinese and international holidays as well as national events.The main festival periods are Khmer New Year (mid-April),Pchum Ben and the Ploughing Ceremony (mid-September) and Boun Om Touk boat racing (Water festival) (early November).Many restaurants and businesses close during these periods,however tourist attractions are still open and there is very little disruption to travel plans.
- Khmer New Year: 14 - 16 April 2014
- Pchum Ben Ceremony: September or October (Movable)
- Ploughing Ceremony: Mid May (Movable)
- Boun Om Touk boat racing: November (Movable)
All visitors, except citizens of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam need a visa to enter Cambodia. Tourist and business travelers can get 30-day visas upon arrival at the airports and at some of the international border crossings. Both require a passport valid for at least six (6) months from the expiry date, 01 recent passport-sized photo, US$20 for tourist visa or 25$ for business visa. At international airports you'll generally get the visa for that price, but at overland crossings, overcharging may happen. . While most people get the visa on arrival at airport, it is worth considering getting your visa beforehand to avoid any "misunderstandings" at the crossing.
Some nationalities are required to get visa in advance at Royal Embassy of Kingdom of Cambodia in their country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Nigeria.
(VIP airport pick up service is available. Please contact us for requirement.)