From Cambodia: practice, seeing, organization, accommodation, transport ...


More and more visitors come to Cambodia to visit temples and relax on pristine beaches. Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor, now has a solid tourist infrastructure, though travel outside the main tourist destinations is still an adventure.

History in brief:

Cambodia has not had much luck in the last half millennium. Since the fall of the Kingdom of Angkor in 1431, the once mighty Khmer Empire has been plundered by all its neighbors, colonized by the French in the 19th century, and bombed by the US in the 70s
As if this was not enough, the Cambodian people then endured in the mid 70s one of the harshest dictatorships that have never existed, that the terrible Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot. The repression did more than a million dead.
It was not until the early 90 as Cambodia recovers more or less straight and re-opens the world and tourism.

The essentials of Cambodia.

The main cities of Cambodia:

  • Phnom Penh - the capital, the Paris of the East before 1970 has unfortunately lost its splendor, as well you will find nevertheless seeking some fine examples of French architecture. The main things to see in Phnom Penh are: the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia, the Wat Phnom, Sisowath Quay Boulevard, the Tuol Sleng prison (Genocide Museum) and The Killing Fields .
  • Banlung a city located in the far northeast, close to major national parks.
  • Battambang - the second largest city in Cambodia .
  • Kampot The National Park Gateway Bokor.
  • Kompong Thom
  • Kratie - relaxed river town on the Mekong, and an excellent place to get up close to freshwater dolphins, a species endangered .
  • Siem Reap - The access point for Angkor Wat .
  • Sihanoukville A seaside resort located in the south, also known as Kompong Som.

    The main tourist destinations:

    • The Angkor Archaeological Park Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th century, forming the best example of the greatness and wealth of the former Khmer civilization.
    • The Angkor Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. At the same time, it was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of widespread looting.
    • The nearest city park is Siem Reap, 6 km south, is where you will find to stay.
    • Bokor National Park which includes a former French base resort, now abandoned.
    • Kampong Cham pleasant and authentic village located on the banks of the Mekong.
    • Kep one of the main resorts of Cambodia.
    • Koh Ker - the oldest ruins, north of Angkor .
    • Preah Vihear - temple dating from before Angkor
    • The Tonle Sap lake - huge lake with floating villages .

      and Visa formalities for Cambodia

      French citizens need a tourist visa to enter Cambodia.
      This one can be obtained from an embassy or consulate of Cambodia abroad, or on arrival at the two international airports, or even to the border with Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
      A tourist visa costs around 20 euros, it is valid for 90 days, extendable 30 days. Attention to land borders it is very likely that the border guards try to charge you more.
      Also note that by leaving Cambodia by air you will pay a fee of $ 25.

      Cambodia: practical information

      The Cambodian riel is the official currency, but US dollars are universally accepted in Cambodia.
      The most ATMs give dollars instead of Riels. There are vending machines in the major tourist areas, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot and Phnom Penh, also take cash with you and small cuts
      cards are accepted. Visa, Maestro, Cirrus, Master card, American Express.
      At the level of the exchange; $ 1.50 is 2000 riels.

      Airlines in Cambodia

      Cambodia has two international airports, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

      Direct flights connect Phnom Penh International Airport with China (Hong Kong | Shanghai), Laos (Vientiane), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei ), Thailand (Bangkok) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City).
      Direct flights connect Siem Reap (Angkor temple) with Laos (Vientiane), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok) and the Vietnam (Hanoi | Ho Chi Minh City) .

      The main low-cost carriers. Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, while Jetstar Asia operates flights from Singapore to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh

      Other airlines operating flights to / from Cambodia include: Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, China Southern Airlines, Dragonair, Eva Airways, Corean Air Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Siem Reap Airways, SilkAir Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International and Vietnam Airlines.

      Cambodia Climate

      The climate of Cambodia is generally hot and humid all year round, high season lasts from November to February, when the weather is drier and cooler temperatures (25-30 & deg; C).
      March to May temperatures easily reach 40 & deg; C., and from June to October is the rainy season.

      Health and safety in Cambodia

      Cambodia is a safe and welcoming country, with the exception of large cities or late at night you should pay attention to your property, especially in Phnom Penh.
      Another danger of landmines, a danger that is not a fact, as long as you stay near cities and tourist areas.
      The mine threat is real by cons for very rural populations.
      Side health, avoid getting sick or injured because the hospital facilities are in poor condition and not really riding on cleanliness.
      In case of problems it is advisable to go for treatment in Bangkok or Saigon or to be repatriated using travel insurance.
      Before departure it is recommended to get vaccinated against the tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, make a reminder for polio, you get treated to prevent hepatitis a and malaria (not sleeping without mosquito net).
      But the most common ailment for travelers is the turista, avoid untreated water, and raw fruits or vegetables.

      Moving in Cambodia

      The only scheduled flights are operated between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
      The main operator is Siem Reap Airways, a subsidiary of Bangkok Airways.
      Phnom Penh- Siem Reap (55 min, about $ 60 each way).
      Another operator Cambodia Angkor Air operates between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).

      The roads in Cambodia are in fairly good condition, by cons to be aware that the traffic is very difficult, only an experienced pilot and used to this type of traffic should s try it.
      road safety is a major problem in Cambodia, the number of road deaths is simply alarming.
      in short, if you rent a car it is best to use the services of a driver. And avoid taxis for medium and long distances, as they will often tend to go too fast, and are involved in many fatalities.
      There are several bus companies offering different levels of comfort and speed.
      The most reputed company for its comfort and speed 'Mekong Express', then comes'' Sorya ', a little cheaper and a little less comfortable.
      Warning! be warned that bus accidents are very common in Cambodia.
      The Cambodian railway infrastructure is very limited. The entire network is being restored.

      Sleeping Cambodia

      hotels meet Western standards are present in most major cities. A 4 or 5-star hotel can easily cost more than a hundred euros.
      In contrast, the price of a basic pension in the country can be as low as 2 euro per night, and 5-10 euro in town. You will pay a little more if you want air conditioning.