HOME TO THE LARGEST RELIGIOUS MONUMENT IN THE WORLD, CAMBODIA HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH THE TEMPLES OF ANGKOR WAT. THE BREATHTAKING HINDU AND BUDDHIST COMPLEX HAS CEMENTED SIEM REAP AS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA.
Head to Sihanoukville for pristine beaches and a stunning coast line dotted with untouched islands. Step back in time and view some fine examples of French colonial architecture in Kampot and Kep as well as taking in the two national parks in this area; Bokor Hill and Kep park.
Nature lovers can visit endangered Irrawaddy dolphins as part of sustainable eco tourism projects in Kratie or make the journey to Chi Phat, an eco tourism project supported by the Wildlife Alliance. Not forgetting the vibrant capital Phnom Penh where you can experience the bustling Central Market, Royal Palace and visit the haunting reminders of Cambodia’s violent past under the Khmer Rouge.
Read articles about Cambodia:
- June 18, 2017
- September 15, 2016
- July 10, 2016
- March 18, 2016
- February 15, 2016
- January 27, 2016
- January 15, 2016
- December 24, 2015
- December 18, 2015
- October 12, 2015
- October 5, 2015
- September 22, 2015
- July 13, 2015
- May 21, 2015
- March 29, 2015
- March 8, 2015
- February 22, 2015
- October 5, 2014
- October 5, 2014
Passport & Visas
You can purchase a visa on arrival at all airports and most land borders. You will need two standard size passport photos, no photos and you’ll be fined around $1usd at the airport and $2usd at land borders. It’s best to pay in $usd so be sure to exchange money beforehand, no multiple entry visas are available.
Business visas cost $35usd for 1 month and can be renewed indefinitely.
Tourist visas cost $30usd for 1 month and can be extended for 1 extra month.
E-visas cost $35usd + $7usd in fees for 1 month, it’s valid for 3 months and for main entry ports only: Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey), Bavet (Svay Rieng). Unless you really want peace of mind, E-visas are not really worth the extra money as the application process to get a visa at the airport or land border is simple and fast enough.
Make sure your passport gets stamped by immigration, they forget more than you’d think. Face a $5usd a day fine and possibly deportation if your passport isn’t stamped or you overstay your visa.
Immigration in Cambodia will not issue a visa if your passport expires in 6 months or less. Cambodian visas take up one whole page, so make sure there are plenty of pages left in your passport. Photocopy your passport and visa and keep safe, separately from your passport. In the event of loss or theft a copy will help when applying for an emergency passport.
When to go…
Shop around when buying airline tickets, flights to Cambodia are reasonably priced for the region. Bangkok, Thailand is usually the cheapest and most convenient hub to enter Cambodia when travelling from outside SE Asia, from Bangkok, HCMC and Kuala Lumpur flights regularly run to major Cambodian cities for around $50-$100usd.
During the wet season passenger boats operate regularly using the Mekong, from Chau Doc, Vietnam you can find boats to Phnom Penh via the Kaam Samnor Ving Xuong border crossing. There are also small boats to the Laos border from Stung Treng on the Cambodian side but they are rarely used as the road is much faster.
The trains in Cambodia still aren’t running leaving Cambodia best accessed by bus or shared taxi unless splashing out on a regional flight. Roads and driving standards are improving keeping buses very popular, this market is dominated by private companies. Bus tickets can be bought from guest houses and travel shops in adjacent countries, scheduled buses travel via the Bavet – Moc Bai crossing from Vietnam, coming from Thailand the most used crossings are at Poi Pet and Koh Kong. Making you way to Cambodia by bus from Thailand is easy but many end up on a dreaded ‘scam mini bus’ (Take a look at the scam here).
Key travel routes through Cambodia are visible on the map to the left. Cambodia doesn’t have a rail network making buses the most popular mode of transport. The ferry across the expansive Tonle Sap lake is also a popular way to cover most of the journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
You can book bus tickets from the majority of small travel agents you will find in most towns and cities throughout Cambodia. If you’re unsure which to use ask your hotel, who can often arrange bus tickets themselves.
The travel agent or hotel will call one of the bus operators in Cambodia to arrange your tickets, they will ask you for the name of your accommodation so that a mini bus can pick you up from that location around half an hour before your main journey to take you to the bus depot. Once they have booked your tickets they will write them out for you to keep for for your upcoming trip.
There are a number of main bus operators in Cambodia including Giant Ibis and the Mekong Express both running smaller ‘luxury’ buses and bigger operators such as Sorya 168 and VGS. Night buses are also available for longer journeys such as the 10 – 12 hour trip from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. For more about bus travel in Cambodia including timetables click here.
Starting & Stopping
If you’re travelling by bus anywhere in Cambodia expect at least one ‘comfort stop’ even on the more expensive Giant Ibis and Mekong Express buses. Although you may want to get from A to B in the quickest time possible, bear in mind that these pit stops provide a vital source of income for the locals who operate them so try not to get too irritated and make the most of a chance to stretch your legs.
Similarly, expect some stops on long boat journeys.
Find out more about transport in Cambodia, including costs here.