Did you know visiting Cambodia is on the rise and over five million people visited in 2016? From rare beautiful animals to museums and beaches, there’s something for everyone.
Before heading on your adventure, they’re some things you’ll want to know before visiting Cambodia. Read on to discover these things you should know about Cambodia.
1. Getting There
The good news to visit Cambodia is you don’t need to get a visa before you get there if you’re a U.S. citizen. You can actually get one once you arrive if you have $20 plus a passport-sized photo. The currency is the riel, but locals prefer getting paid in American dollars, so you can avoid those expensive currency transfer fees.
You’ll want to have dollar bills, as they don’t do change.
2. Rainy Season
If you decide to go during the rainy season, it’s not too bad at all. The rainy season is not too wet, but you’ll want to avoid the monsoon season. The rainy season it’ll rain for about 20 minutes per day and that’s normally it.
3. Buddhism Rules
Remember it’s a different culture than your own, so rules and customs will be different. Men or women, remain clothed while walking through the towns and cities, don’t go shirtless or in a bathing suit only.
If you’re a female and entering a religious structure, temples, or palaces, or pagodas, you’ll want to cover your shoulders, wear a shirt that covers you, and a skirt or pants that go below your knees.
In Cambodia, you don’t shake hands, they do what’s called sampeah. To do the sampeah, you place both palms together in front of your chest like a lotus flower. For greeting elders or those who are higher-ranking, place your hands at mouth level.
For parents, teachers, and grandparents it’s at nose level, kings and monks it’s at eyebrow level. When you’re praying it should touch your forehead.
5. Keep Your Cool
When you’re going to Cambodia, keep in mind they’re always smiling, even if they disagree with something or don’t understand. If you order at a restaurant and the server smiles but has a nervous laugh or looks confused, make sure you verify everything with them.
Anger and frustrations will get you nowhere, so make sure to keep your cool while there.
6. Things to Know
Some things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Learn some words in the language Khmer before your trip to Cambodia. This will mean a lot to the locals that you learned some of Khmer.
- Bartering is normal and expected while in Cambodia so you can barter the price of almost anything as long as there’s no price tag.
- You’ll want to have an idea of where you’re going by using Google Maps or a regular map. Sometimes drivers won’t always know where they’re going.
- Don’t give money to children. A lot of them are sent out by their parents instead of going to school, so donating will just encourage it.
7. Temple Visits
A popular tourist destination is Siem Reap and there you can see one of the famous temples, Angkor Wat. You’ll want to hire a guide and driver for the day. If you’re not sure how to find one, your hotel can find one for you.
You’ll need a pass to see the temples. They’re normally about $20 for one day, and you’ll be able to see most of the temples in the area. If you want to explore the temples for longer, it’ll cost more.
It’ll probably be hot and humid so make sure to carry a bag with water, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.
Explore more here if you’re looking to see a Cambodian secret guide to where the locals go and recommend. From art experiences to an outdoor seafood restaurant, there’s something for everyone in this secret guide.
8. Go with the Flow
When you’re traveling to Cambodia, you can go with the flow and not have to worry about planning all of your activities in advance. They’re so many guides to choose from, so it’s easy to find one who will bring you where you want to go.
9. Rise Early
Since it’s very hot and humid in Cambodia, many of the locals get up and start their day earlier before it gets too hot. You’ll want to take trips early in the morning whether it’s to markets or the temples.
Since many of the locals get up early, many of the restaurants in the area close early at 9:00 pm. If you want to take full advantage of the cooler weather, plus all Cambodia has to offer, try to rise as early as possible.
10. Local Sim Card
To save on phone expenses while in Cambodia, you’ll want to buy a local sim card for your phone. You can find sim cards being sold outside airports for only $3 and that will last about a week. It’ll also help you with using Google Maps to find your way around the area.
In this article, you learned all about visiting Cambodia and what to expect. Before you know it you’ll be on your dream trip seeing everything from temples to local markets.
You can stick to where the tourists go or spice things up and also see where the locals go as well. Keep these tips in mind and make sure to read up about Cambodia before you go.
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