Phnom Penh. Has a population of around 2 million. Religion: The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, as is also practiced in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Sri Lanka. About 90% of Khmers are of this religion. The country also has minority religions of about half a million Muslims, and 60,000 Christians. Local Time: is 7 Hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The capital has changed a lot with many new buildings, good roads etc and the airport is modern and easy with fast foods etc. It is transforming very fast with a wealthy section that one can only ask where does all the money come from when you see the number of people doing nothing. Everything is cash so how taxation exists must be a headache. However there are many poor people as well as the rich. Most if not everything comes in from China or Thailand.
While there are certainly an increased of cars in Phnom Penh, the favored mode of transportation is still by motorbike or cyclo. The cyclo provides visitors with a way to see the city at a leisurely pace. A trip to the city is approx 10-15 minutes and charges in a tuktuk are US$7 but you can negotiate, They are safe but hold on to your possessions and bags as it has been known for foreigners to lose bags from passer byers on tuktuks. It is however a friendly country and you will find the Cambodians and even the vendors are much friendlier than Thais and don't press you by their hard sales pitches. You can rent motorcycles and dirt bikes at many places but the Cambodian roads are crazy but they do not speed like in Thailand so one can manouvre around cars, bikes and everyone is conscious of this as to have an accident will cost.
Outside the International airport
Rail transport is not available to most parts of the country. Travel by rail is only possible to Battambang province. Apart from the international airport in Phnom Penh, there are eight provincial airports. River travel is becoming popular along the Tonle Sap river, Tonle Basak river, and of course the Mekong river. Catch the ferry from Siam Reap to Phnom Penh for $20 and takes up to 6-7 hours. Travel to some parts of Cambodia is restricted but the road to Sihanoukville is excellent and takes 4 hours. Prior to venturing out on their own tourists are advised to contact the information counter at the Ministry of Tourism or at the Pochentong International Airport. Bangkok to Had Lek / Koh Kong border crossing Bus from Bangkok to Trat (~170 baht). Van from Trat to Had Lek (100 baht). Departs every 30 minutes. Buy visa and walk into Cambodia. Watch out for touts and drivers over the border. By ferry, take a motodup into Koh Kong City or to the ferry dock (50 baht or shared taxi. 200 baht for private taxi). Buses go everywhere as do the planes so its easy to get transport tom every part of Cambodia now.
Phnom Penh is adorned with French architecture still
BEEF NOODLES AND BAGUETTES IN THE RUSSIAN MARKET
Rice and Fish, together with a tempting array of herbs, sauces and spices are typical Khmer cuisine but basically the food is terrible. Curries and soups with beef, pork, poultry - and always seafood - can be bought from any street vendor for a very small outlay but watch the hygiene? There is no problem about finding western style places to eat in Phno be m Penh and food used totwice as dear as Thailand and not as nice but now its cheaper and much better with more selections than 10 years ago. In fact chinese meals and cheap and you can get a good breakfast for $1.50 -$2.50. Theres even a buffet oppoist the Royal Star Hotel for breakfast. Many Khmer restaurants have the 2 tier system-- price for you and one for them?? Hygiene has a lot to be desired here and with bad roads and rubbish everywhere Cambodia has a long way to go but believe me its gotton better than 10 years ago as in 2011. The best things to eat are $1 baguettes and French breads which are far better than in Thailand and gtheres many fast foods now and 24 hour Mini Marts opened. You can buy liquour at the mini marts and use any currency eg. Thai, US$ & Riel..
Frying morning fried-bread in Phnom Penh
All electric appliances use
220 volts. Tips for travelers: Visitors to Cambodia should realize that it is not safe to
travel freely all over the country. The tourist information desk at Pochentong
Airport and the information desk at the Ministry of Tourism, or reputable tour
companies will give tourists advice on where it is safe to travel in Cambodia. Provided that advice
is given, visitors will find no problems. The Cambodian people offer a warm
welcome, and the natural and architectural wonders to be found make a visit to
Cambodia an experience never to be forgotten but be careful as some will
try to fleece you.
The music of Cambodia performed on
traditional instruments plays an important part in the lives of the people, and
accompanies with dance, rituals and ceremonies. Arts and Crafts can be found in intricate stone and woodcarvings, Cambodia hand
woven silk, and their silversmiths expertise dates from the 11th century. Shopping and Bargaining: Visitors should remember to be relaxed during the
bargaining ritual, and to enjoy themselves. If they are not frustrated when they
are not understood very well they will come away with a cheap and interesting
Highly professional government licensed tourist guides are available to help visitors to get the maximum benefit from sightseeing. These experienced multilingual guides accompany by organized bus tours or hired cars are offered by tour companies or private rental car companies. Visitors are welcome by 163 travel agencies and offered guides speaking English, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese. However most Hotels have cars available with drivers to show you around.
Motorcycle Hire: $3 a day for a Honda Dream but make sure you lock it up. $6 for a 250cc dirt bike & gas is 500 riel a litre. Keep away from Noradom Blvd as its a no go for bikes & lots of blue uniform Police who will fine you up to $20 for beer money?? Yes they even say it but settle for 5000 riel or $5.
POLICE & CRIME: Police earn $16 a month?? You also see soldiers & guards who still carry AK47s around and crime does exist but its a lot better than 10 years ago and getting better all the time as the infrastructures get better. If you lose your wallet don't think they will investigate as you will have to pay for them to do that. Always carry your passport and make sure you have copies in your bag. If you lose your passport forget telling the Police as they will want a bribe and still do nothing so make sure you have the Embassy numbers in your pocketbook. However we believe there is a Tourist Police so perhaps life has changed a little but ask any of the riverfront hotels and guesthouse restaurants that are foreign owned and they will help you. Theres ATMs and Banks everywhere now so just have as much money as you need when travelling around but the Cambodians are very freindly & don't hassle you as much as Thais do.
INTERNET: Cheap and its everywhere. In many Hotels its free and internet cafes charge $1 an hour. Theres wifi everywhere and no worries if you have your laptop.In Cambodia to have Internet in your home costs a mere $19 a month. Compared to NZ where satellite internet stings you for $120 a month & you have to pay for downloads, Cambodia internet is quick and fast. Even Thailand do not as yet allow free internet in many places and oversharge but the west is worse??? There is also free wifi computers at the departure lounge for free everything
PLACES TO STAY: This has not been updated and some hotels may not be there anymore
Walkabout Hotel is a popular foreigners Hotel but is run down a lot now and the bar is open 24 hours but they have the Blue Tongue Hotel next door which is Ok if you want to stay in inner city although they have no travel etc here but its a stepping stone for one to stay for a night then go to the Riverfront to one of the many Hotels like the. River Star Hotel right on the river front is a nice Hotel very friendly and make sure you get a balcony room overlooking the Mekong around $27-30 a night. This Hotel have young friendly staff and the room are nice for the budget traveller with great views overlooking the Mekong River..
WHAT TO BUY & SEE:
Phnom Penh is a good start point but stay on the river front. Theres many Hotels to choose from and many goof food places with Smiloe 7/11 type all night shops. Make sure you eat the baguettes which are sold all day and are great at 1200 rel. As at April 2011 $1 = 4000 reil. So for a whole baguette with filling is about 5500 reil but they are nice. Keep off the main streets and try to eat away from the river front if you can as foreign foods are a little more expensive. Explore and you will find some good roadside restaurants and noodle places now.2 days in Phnom Phenh is OK. A tul tuk you can hire for $US6 an hour they normally want $US7-8 so use this as a guide. For all day pay $US30 and they will wait for you wherever you wish to go. Try a massage as they are cheaper than Thailand and also $US3-4 for a foot massage 1/2 hour to full 1 hour massge $US8.
is better than the Central Market and prices are also cheaper. Check the silks, copy Columbia backpacks and bags which are much cheaper than Thailand. Buy in Cambodia all your travel bags. Central Market is not as good as the Russian Market so make this a stop on your list.
The killing fields where the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge occurred and the museum, Royal Palace and Museum all want ebtry fees of $US3. A sight for sores eyes and a bad tales that occurred you will now see Cambodia in a differnet light. .
Festivals & Holidays
EXPORTS to and from Bangkok to Cambodia:
We now provide daily transport for you and your garments and goods from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet or even to Phnom Penh. Also daily transport leaving Pratunam in Bangkok. If you want goods delivered ask us at Asia Trading Post.
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