For many of us, this has not been our year. Many people certainly had plans for traveling that have fallen through due to Covid-19. But not every country is equally affected by the pandemic, and traveling to Cambodia is still a viable and safe option. Some may think that Cambodia is not a usual tourist destination. But the truth is that natural beauties, cultural sites, and people themselves have made Cambodia a very popular destination for anyone with an adventurous spirit. So if you have a desire to experience something new and different from an ordinary touristic trip, Cambodia is a good choice for everybody. However, while being something new and distinctive is their main selling point, it is also a reason why some preparation is necessary before traveling. Their culture and the country itself may have rules that are not the same as from where you are coming. But worry not, here are ten tips for you if you decide to go on this journey.
1. Concerning the Visa
So first thing first, the initial issue that concerns tourists is the visa. There will be a need for a passport size picture and around 40 dollars. The picture doesn’t even need to be a recent one, although it is a good idea. A bit more expensive would be to apply and pay online right away. But that would be less than 10 dollars more expensive, so don’t worry. When landing at their airport, just go to the right queue, and the process will be uncomplicated and productive. If your choice was to apply over the internet, the best idea is to go over their principal website and to do it a week before going. It is always a good idea to check every single information possible when this topic is concerned, so maybe check out cambodiaonlinevisa.com to be sure about every single detail.
2. Dollars will be more useful than Riels
When it comes to currencies they use, there are two of them. The official one would be Cambodian riel (KHR), but because the country is becoming such a tourist hotspot, the US dollar ($USD) is maybe even more dominant. So it would be best to plan accordingly to that and exchange most of your money for dollars and some for riels. To be honest, the locals will prefer the dollars, but it would not hurt to have a few riels as well, maybe to keep them as a souvenir if nothing else.
3. Angkor Wat
The Angkor Wat temple complex is an absolute must if you are visiting Cambodia. There is more to a vacation than drinking beer and relaxing on a warm beach. And while that is something you can and should do while visiting, visiting their most famous cultural site should be a priority as well. Nevertheless, it is impossible to underestimate the size of the Angkor Wat temple complex. There are over 20 temples in an area of around 250 square miles.
4. The time
Traveling around this beautiful country will require a lot of public transport, and too many of us, there could be something different about it. The main difference we are talking about is time. When visiting Cambodia, there are things you can expect from buses, boats, trains, etc. They will not arrive on time. They will not leave on time. The time listed as their travel time is an estimate. So make sure not to make plans that are too precise. There will be a need for “space” between your connection times. In short, the Cambodian transportation system is not a well-oiled machine. It is an adventure.
5. Tuk-tuk drivers
As in any big tourist destination, caution is crucial. Be aware of potential scams, and whatever you do, don’t pay tuk-tuk drivers in advance. They might ask that you do, they might insist, but don’t. It will be quite likely they will only take you a part of the way, or they even might simply leave. They could also ask for more money once reaching the final destination. That is why it is best to pay once you arrived.
6. The children on the streets
When it comes to scams, children are often involved in them. Naturally, we don’t blame them, but it is an unfortunate fact that adults are using them for their gains. It is only reasonable to want to help the poor children, but when buying their postcards, or even food, you will not help anyone. There is a cycle of crime and poverty that is repeating itself here, so if you can’t be a part of the solution, don’t be part of the problem.
7. Respect their religion
The vast majority of the country is Buddhist, and they have certain customs regarding clothes, especially for women. So while visiting their home, there is no need to insult them by wearing revealing outfits. It could cause a few problems and glances, but we are mostly doing that from respect. If they are good hosts, we should be equally fine guests.
8. Avoid tap water
Some people already have this custom from their country, but in Cambodia, it is much better to buy bottled water. A filtering water bottle is also an option, but whatever is the choice, don’t drink tap water. Amount of problems that are an option if you do is not small and is not pleasant to discuss. It will not be too serious, but it could ruin the vacation.
9. The weather
In Cambodia, the weather can be quite hot, sunny, and humid. Therefore, be conscious of that when packing luggage. Sunscreen is vital – pack a lot of it. When you finish with sunscreen, pack more of it, it will be essential. Other than that, a bandana or a light scarf to cover the shoulders is also a good idea. Remember, we have to cover ourselves, even in that weather.
10. Raining seasons
When it comes to the weather, everyone is afraid of rainy seasons. To be honest, there is no need for that, since the rains only last a short period, and then there is a clear day. For some, that might be even a better option, since the crowds will be much smaller. In the end, it really comes down to individual preferences, so make a decision yourself.
There are many more tips that could help a tourist in the amazing adventure that is visiting Cambodia. But part of the experience is discovering them by yourself. What we can vouch for is that the country has so much to offer to the world, and it is never too late to go and find out what makes Cambodia unique.