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Cambodia Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Capital City: Phnom Penh
Language Spoken: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English

Cambodia Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

13 00 N, 105 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m

Land boundaries

total: 2,572 km border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km

Natural hazards

monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts

Natural resources

oil and gas, timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential

Land use

arable land: 20.44% permanent crops: 0.59% other: 78.97% (2005)

Environmental current issues

illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and overfishing

Climate

Tropical monsoon climate. Monsoon season is from May to November. The most pleasant season is the dry season, from November/December to April. In the north, winters can be colder, while throughout most of the country temperatures remain fairly constant. There is often seasonal flooding in Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia in late-July and early-August; travel may be disrupted. Required clothing Lightweight clothing and cottons are worn all year. Rainwear is essential during the rainy season.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+7

Population

13,881,427 note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 35.6% (male 2,497,595/female 2,447,754) 15-64 years: 61% (male 4,094,946/female 4,370,159) 65 years and over: 3.4% (male 180,432/female 290,541) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 20.6 years male: 19.9 years female: 21.4 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

1.78% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

26.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

9.06 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 59.29 years male: 57.35 years female: 61.32 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.37 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Although not required, small gifts with a company logo are appreciated, as are luncheon or dinner invitations. Sensitivity to politically related subjects in conversation is advisable. Avoid pointing your foot at a person or touching someone on the head. Women should wear long clothing that covers the body

Crime

Be aware of the risk of armed robbery and other crime (including sexual offenses) in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap after dark. Be on your guard against pickpockets and bag snatchers especially when travelling on local transport. Foreigners walking or traveling as passengers on motorcycle taxis in downtown Phnom Penh and other cities have had bags snatched or have been robbed at gunpoint after dark and increasingly during daylight hours. Traveling by car (with locked doors and windows) and in groups will significantly reduce the risk as will limiting night time travel around Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap to well-lit public areas. Avoid isolated areas after dark, including beaches in the Sihanoukville area, where there have been an increasing number of violent incidents. Firearms are widely available, and guns are sometimes used to resolve disputes. Banditry and extortion, including cases involving poorly disciplined military and police personnel, continue in some rural areas, particularly at night in areas between Snoul, Kratie and Stung Treng in the northeastern provinces. Chinese investors are especially favorite targets of kidnappers in part because of their families' willingness to pay ransoms quickly without contacting local authorities. Kidnappers and street criminals are usually young and well armed. If approached, visitors are advised to adhere to all demands of an assailant as refusal may result in a violent response from the assailants. Keep a photocopy of your passport separate from the original and carry this with you at all times. Your passport, when not in your possession, should be stored in a secure location. Local police rarely investigate reports of crime against tourists and travelers should not expect to recover stolen items.

Hotels

Many hotels of various standards are available in Phnom Penh. Hotels of international standard include the Hotel Sofitel Cambodiana, the Royal Phom Peng, the Cambodiana Inn and the Pailin Hotel. Three-star hotels include the Alison and the Juliana Hotels and can be found in most provincial capitals. Hotel accommodations range in price from $5 per night at guest houses to $170 at the Hotel Sofitel Cambodiana. Reservations, while advisable, are not absolutely necessary because of the surplus of hotel rooms currently available.

Communications

Inward telephone IDD communications operate. The country code is 855. Phnom Penh 's area code is 23. International calls from Cambodia have to go through the operator. Fax is available. Airmail to Europe takes four to five days, and to the USA one week to ten days. The Post & Telephone Office (PTT) in Phnom Penh is located across from the Hotel Monorom at the corner of Achar Mean Boulevard and 126 Street and is open 0700-1200 and 1300-2300. The main post office in Phnom Penh is located on the western side of 13 Street between 98 Street and 102 Street, open 0630-2100. General post office hours: 0730-1200 and 1430-1700 Monday to Friday in Phnom Penh.

Electricity

is a 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Power cuts are frequent. Outside Phnom Penh, electrical power is available only in the evenings from around 1830-2130. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz and two-pin plugs are in use. Power cuts are frequent. Outside Phnom Penh, electrical power is available only in the evenings from around 1830-2130.

Plug Types

A,C,G

Food And Dining

Restaurants and other businesses abound in Phnom Penh, although the city remains poor. Food stalls are also common in Phnom Penh and can usually be found in and around the Central Market, O Ressei Market and Tuol Tom Pong Market. Khmer cuisine is very similar to Thai, but with fewer spices involved.

National specialties:
? Popular dishes include soup and salad, almost always incorporating Cambodia's favorite flavors of coriander, lemongrass and mint.
? There are a plethora of sweet dishes, such as sticky rice cakes and pudding.
? Succulent fruits include banana, coconut, the durian fruit (known for its distinctive odour), jackfruit, longan fruit, lychee, pineapple and Rambutan (which has translucent white flesh) fruit, to name just a few.
? Grilled fish, or fish cut up, rolled in lettuce or spinach and dipped into fish sauce.
? Khmer cuisine is unique in its use of prahok, a fermented fish paste.
? Showing its French influence, also expect plenty of roasted turtle and frog legs.
? Rice noodles.
? The most common skewer or brochette is golden sapek: small pieces of pork tenderloin alternated with strips of pork fat and rounds of Chinese sausage, cooked on a grill over hot coals. National drinks:
? Palm wine.
? Tea.
? Choum (a rice-based spirit).
? The local beer is called Angkor.
? The most popular Khmer drink is soda water with a squeeze of lemon. Legal drinking age: There are no age-restrictions. Tipping : Tips are appreciated in hotels and restaurants where no service charge has been added, and by tour guides.

Nightlife
The major hotels offer entertainment, and weekly Apsara dance performances are often held from November to March in some hotel gardens. The Holiday International Hotel is a popular nightclub which also offers a karaoke bar and casino. For further information, contact Diethelm Travel (see Top Things To Do).

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months at time of entry required by all.

Visas

Required by all except nationals of Malaysia, The Philippines and Singapore for between 21-30 days.
Note: Visitors arriving by air can obtain a visa for stays of up to 30 days on arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh or Siem Reap International Airport, Angkor. Visas are also available from Immigration at the border posts of Bavet, Poi Pet and Koh Kong. Visitors are advised to check current situation before traveling.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist (single-entry): US$26 (US$52 for express); Business (single-entry): US$43 (US$69 for express). Express visas are issued within 24 hours.

Validity

All visas are valid for a one month period, and visas issued by the Embassy must be used within three months of date of issue. Extensions of up to one extra month for Tourist visas or six or 12 months for Business visas (which can be multiple) may be granted by the Ministry of the Interior at the Immigration Office in Phnom Penh.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section of Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information. Tourists on package tours will normally have their visas arranged by the tour operator.

Note

Applications by post will only be accepted through a recognized visa courier. For further details, contact the nearest Consulate (or Consular section of Embassy).

Application requirements

(a) One completed application form. (b) Two passport-size photos. (c) Valid passport. Children need a passport and visa also. (d) Fee in cash only. (e) Self-addressed prepaid envelope if applying by post.
Note: (a) Children traveling on their parent's passport must submit an extra photo. (b) Nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan also need a return ticket. They will also require a routine check-up. For Tourist visas, a letter of guarantee from the travel agent, and for Business visas, a business letter.

Working days required

Five from day of receipt of application form. Express visas are issued within 24 hours.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

US$25 levied on international departures at Phnom Penh and Siam Reap International Airports; US$20 elsewhere; US$15 for holders of Cambodian passports. Children less than 4 years of age are exempt.

Embassies

Royal Embassy of Cambodia in the UK

Wellington Building, 28-32 Wellington Road, St John's Wood, London NW8 9SP, UK
Tel: (020) 7483 9063 or 9064 (consular section).
Website: www.cambodianembassy.org.uk

Royal Embassy of Cambodia in the USA

4530 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011, USA
Tel: (202) 726 7742.

Travel Advice

You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Public order is fragile; however, most visits to Cambodia are trouble-free.
The greatest risks to travelers are from road traffic accidents, armed robbery after dark, landmines and unexploded ordnance in rural areas.
There has been a renewed outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) amongst poultry in Cambodia. Visitors to Cambodia are unlikely to be affected, but should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with wild or caged birds; and ensure poultry dishes are thoroughly cooked.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Riel (KHR). Notes are in denominations of KHR100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100.

Currency restrictions

Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Foreign currency may be exported up to the limit declared at customs on arrival. Amounts over US$10,000 have to be declared.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1500. Some banks are open on Saturdays.

Currency exchange

US Dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted and exchanged, but other currencies are generally not recognized.

Credit cards

Credit cards are not generally accepted, but can be used in upmarket hotels and restaurants catering to visitors. There are no ATMs in Cambodia. It is always best to carry cash (US dollars if necessary) in small denominations.

Travellers cheques

Limited acceptance. Traveller's cheques are generally not recommended. Traveller's cheques in US dollars can be changed at the official rate at the Foreign Trade Bank in Phnom Penh, and other larger banks and hotels.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Banteay Meanchey(0)54+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Battambong(0)53+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kampong Cham(0)42+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kampong Chhnang(0)26+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kampong Speu(0)25+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kampong Thom(0)62+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kampot(0)33+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kandal(0)24+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kep(0)36+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Koh Kong(0)35+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Kratie(0)72+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Modolkiri(0)73+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Neak Loeng(0)43+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Pailin(0)55+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Phnom Penh(0)23+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Preah Vihear(0)64+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Pursat(0)52+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Ratanakiri(0)75+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Siem Reap(0)63+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Sihanouk Ville(0)34+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Stung Treng(0)74+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Svay Rieng(0)44+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Takeo(0)32+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Udar Meanchey(0)65+ 6 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental care in Cambodia

Medication Availability

Reliable supplies of medication are not easily available in Cambodia

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Cambodia

Medical facilities

The Cambodian medical system was virtually wiped out during the Khmer Rouge period, 1975-1979, and is being rebuilt slowly. Medical facilities and services in Cambodia are not up to international standards.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Japanese Encephalitis: Consider vaccination if staying a month or more from May to October when transmission is presumed to occur, especially if travel includes rural areas. Also consider if staying less than 30 days during that period and at high risk (in case of epidemic outbreak or extensive outdoor exposure in rural areas). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: considered an important cause of disease in this area. Chikungunya fever - occurs Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Encephalitis (Japanese type) - common (presumed to be endemic/hyperendemic countrywide; past cases reported in refugee camps on Thai border) Filariasis - prevalent in rural areas Malaria - prevalent Typhus (mite-borne) - occurs in deforested areas Food-borne and water-borne illness: these diseases are common. Cholera - occurs Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary) - occurs Fasciolopsiasis (giant intestinal fluke) - occurs Hepatitis - occurs Melioidosis - occurs Schistosomiasis - occurs in Mekong Delta Typhoid Fever - occurs Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas. Reportable Disease Status Cholera: Officially considered infected. Infection reported in these provinces: Banteay Mean Cheay, Kampot, Kompong Cham, Rotanah Kiri.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
American Medical CenterHouse 7a Street 282 Phnom Penh
International SOS ClinicSomary Medical Services (formerly Raffles Medical Center) Phom Penh Hotel Lobby Unit A No 53 Monivong Boulevard Phnom Penh
International SOS Clinic - Phnom PenhHouse 161, Street 51, Sang-Kat Boeung Peng, Khon Doun Penh Phnom Penh
MediCare InternationalMiCasa Hotel 313 Sisowath Quay Phnom Penh
Naga International Clinic -Siem Reap593 Road No 6 Airport Road Siem Reap Angkor
Naga Medical Centre - Phnom Penh11 Street 254 (St. Senei Vinna Vaut Oum) PO Box 1155 Phnom Penh
Tropical & Travellers Medical ServicesNo. 88 Street 108 (Opposite Military Police Headquarters) (Wat Phnom Quarter) Phnom Penh

Media

Much of Cambodia's media depends on support from political parties. Press freedom is not guaranteed but President Hun Sen has declared his public support for press freedom. There are no restrictions on satellite dish ownership and neighboring foreign radio broadcasts are easily received.
Press: The Phnom Penh Post (fortnightly), Cambodia Times (weekly) and Cambodia Daily are printed in English. There are also a few pro-Government dailies.
TV: Television National Television of Cambodia (TVK) is a state broadcaster; Aspara TV and TV3 are commercial stations; CTN, CTV9 and TV5 are private broadcasters.
Radio: The National Radio of Cambodia is a state broadcaster; FM 95 (operated by Bayon Radio and TV News Agency, Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP)), Radio FM 97 (operated by Aspara Radio and TV Radio) and Radio FM 103 are commercial broadcasters.

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