Are you likely to Cambodia shortly? A nation filled with lifestyle, off-the-beaten-path places, mind-blowing (and occasionally heartbreaking) background, and more, there’s so much to be observed here. Not to mention, it’s greatest explored with some useful details learned beforehand. Therefore before you join that plane, below are a few remarkable ideas to make planning a trip to Cambodia easier.
After spending a couple of weeks in this little, yet a wondrous country, there are some Cambodia travel tips I wish I’d have known before visiting, all which could have produced my discovering here easier.
For instance, I wish I’d have known beforehand that I shouldn’t remove a huge selection of dollars of the neighborhood currency because it’s virtually worthless (seriously).
Or having everything written down – like a hotel room and transportation purchases – to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Because I didn’t do that and got completely screwed over.
Thus, I would like to reminisce about my mistakes and what I learned so you can understand some points you should definitely know before traveling to Cambodia to make your trip effortless.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia and stopping in this cool country, here are some bits of information to keep in mind.
1. Everything is usually in US dollars
Referencing to my mistake talked about up above, when I found its way to Cambodia, We proceeded to withdraw a huge selection of Cambodian Riel. However, the thing is certainly… despite the fact that it’s the neighborhood currency, no-one – not even the locals – use it.
Everyone and everything uses U.S. dollars.
Not sure why but they do. Purchasing food at a restaurant? U.S. dollars. Need to get a tuk-tuk to Angkor Wat? Better pull out some U.S. dollars. Bartering for a sarong to put on at a temple? I definitely need some U.S. dollars.
Case in point, forget about the Cambodian Riel – unless you’d like it for souvenir reasons – and stick to using U.S. dollars for everything.
2. Be sure to cover your knees and shoulders
If you traveling to the temples in Cambodia, be sure to definitely cover your knees and shoulders. As Buddhism is the primary religion here, it’s offensive to the tradition if you walk into a temple complex with your knees and shoulders showing, especially if you’re a woman.
So, if you’re planning on visiting Angkor Wat or some other temple, bring along long trousers and a t-shirt.
Don’t be like me and arrive at the temple complex in shorts and a tank top. I ended up having to purchase a sarong and a Cambodia t-shirt to hide for a stupid amount of cash.
An extremely naive mistake for me, since I’d been vacationing around Southeast Asia for days gone by two . 5 months, but absolutely nothing I could do about any of it now! Funny matter is definitely, that sarong emerged in helpful for the others of my travels and the t-shirt converted into one of the best tops. THEREFORE I suppose everything worked out!
3. Arrange for at least two times at Angkor Wat
Despite everything, you might think – alright, what I previously thought – the Angkor Wat temple complex is completely enormous and much bigger than what site visitors may expect.
Even though it’s frequently referred to as Angkor Wat, that’s just the main temple complex but the UNESCO World Heritage site is actually 20-something temples sprinkled around an area of about 250 square miles. Did someone say holy crap?!
Case in point, this place is absolutely massive. And it takes a substantial amount of period to wander around everything.
Thus, I would recommend obtaining the 3-time pass – which is certainly $62 – more than the 1-time pass ($37) and the 7-time pass ($72). 1 day is certainly insufficient time if you don’t only really want to explore the temple of Angkor Wat and perhaps the Bayon Temple.
And a week is much too lengthy, as you’ll definitely encounter temple burn-out.
That’s why I would recommend purchasing the 3-day Angkor move. Despite the fact that I skilled temple burn-out and finished up spending just two times at Angkor Wat, I’m happy I bought the 3-time pass since it allowed me to invest several days there, that I don’t think could have been plenty of time to completely see everything.
4. Don’t ever pay out the tuk-tuk motorists before you depart.
Sometimes tuk-tuk motorists will desire you to spend them before you’ve even still left your present destination but usually do not pay attention to them! I cannot tension this enough, pay just the driver after you’ve attained your destination.
If you spend them before you’ve arrived, you’re much more likely to be scammed, as they could take you only halfway or something and kick you out. Or just drive off with your money. Or ask for more to take you the full way to your destination. It’s just not really worth it; look for a tuk-tuk driver that won’t trouble you into having to pay before you depart.
5. Ensure that you possess everything on paper
From your own bus ticket to your area purchase, ensure that you own it all on paper to verify it if anyone asks.
When I was vacationing from Phnom Penh to the tiny island of Koh Chang in Thailand, the group and I purchased to transport the entire way there. From our hostel in Phnom Penh to the border of Thailand, from the border to the ferry interface, and the ferry trip to the island.
Works out, since we didn’t obtain our transport specified and on paper to verify it, our plans at the border got completely messed up. We ended up having to pay quite a bit of money to get a personal taxi from the border to the ferry slot and a ferry to the island.
It was ridiculous and extremely stressful. Therefore, I suggest having everything written down if anyone tries to query your purchases.
6. Don’t buy from the children
A lot of the time, children will approach tourists asking them to buy their postcards, gum, or trinkets to help them pay for school. But this is not true; the money doesn’t go to school charges and it just encourages them that begging for money is preferable to going to school. Therefore, just continuing the cycle of poverty.
Also, children are usually involved in scams.
For example, a child will approach a tourist asking them to buy milk for the baby they’re holding (which is sometimes drugged to look worse). A lot of the time, the adorable child is definitely hard to ignore and the tourist sees no harm is certainly purchasing the milk directly from the store.
But, when the tourist is out of sight, the child will return the milk and get the money back. The shopkeeper takes a chunk of the money and the rest usually goes to the cartel.
It’s a hard cycle that keeps ongoing. Therefore, whilst in Cambodia, please don’t purchase anything for or from the kids on the roads.
7. Head right down to the beaches of Cambodia
If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia for an excellent period of time, or involve some free time, be sure to be kind to yourself and head right down to the coast.
Escape the hectic towns and simply relax upon the stunning beaches together with your toes in the sand. It’s certainly a good break from the craziness of the towns, like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap!
8. $35 money and a passport picture for a visa.
To be able to get yourself a visa for Cambodia, you’ll need $35 USD in cash and a passport size picture to get one. Although, I don’t believe they’re very stringent on what passport size picture you utilize. For instance, I utilized my passport picture from when I was 13 years older because that’s all I got… and it worked well.
I’m now 22… so uncertain if that’s a very important thing or a poor thing. Either I look like I’m a prepubescent teenager or they just don’t care that much.
Related: The 7 Best Day Tours in Siem Reap
9. Never drink the tap water
Unless you would like to poo your pants or get an unwanted parasite.
When traveling around Cambodia, just stick to buying bottled water from convenient stores. Or purchase a filtering water bottle, like this one (which I personally use and LOVE). Or if you’d like something small, this filtering straw is easy to pack and works awesome (which I’ve also used while on a road trip in Canada)!
10. You’re going to be approached by many ladies on the beach.
Whilst on the beach, expect to be approached by a multitude of ladies asking to wax your legs, paint your toenails, or pluck your eyebrows. And they’re usually relentless.
They stick around and hover nearby until you get extremely annoyed and tell them no about 50 times. Just make sure to hold your ground if you don’t want or need their services and politely say no.
11. Don’t insult the Buddhist culture
If you’re strolling through the roads, don’t insult the Buddhist tradition by wearing skimpy clothes or something (just like a bikini best or heading shirtless). And since around 95% of Cambodians practice Buddhism, it’s just better to respect their customs and traditions and cover yourself up a little bit. Just be sure to become respectful and maintain their religion in mind!
Another tip: If you’re wandering around and you’re a female, pack along a small scarf. This makes it easy to cover up your shoulders, which is necessary when visiting temples!
12. Prepare to see lots and lots of rubbish
This isn’t really a necessary tip to make traveling around Cambodia easier, but it’s something I wish I would have known beforehand.
Unlike Laos or Indonesia, I found Cambodia to be much more laden with trash. Like the streets and small alleyways of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are ridden with simply tremendous piles of garbage. It certainly threw me off, as I had not been expecting it.
13. Expect popular, humid, and sunny climate
Be sure to pack along a lot of drinking water and sunscreen (ideally a ZERO waste materials sunscreen that’s healthy and the earth), as it’s incredibly popular, humid, and sunny when journeying around Cambodia.
Water is just about the most significant issue to pack! Have to maintain hydrated, as actually if it’s a rainy day time, you’ll become sweating the sofa because of the stifling humidity. And as stated above, be sure to purchase water in bottles and don’t drink the tap!
Are you journeying Cambodia quickly and so are here for the best travel ideas? Or simply need some motivation on backpacking the countries of Southeast Asia? I want to understand in the remarks below on your own travel plans!