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



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

Opening hours:
Government offices - Hours of business are 07:30 to 11:30 and again from 14:00 to 17:00, Mondays to Fridays.  General offices - privately run companies are usually open for business from 07:30 to 20:00 every days. Banks - open from 08:00 to 15:30, Mondays to Fridays. Closed on public holidays. 
Market - open from early morning to late evening; they do not close on Sundays or public holidays. Theres  ATM machines ANZ Royal Bank ATM's accept Visa credit cards. Canadia Bank ATM's accept bank debit cards holding a Cirrus/Maestro logo. Make sure all your US$ have no creases or rips as you won't be able to get rid of them. You can use Baht near Thailand and in Siam Reap so save your dollars for Phnom Penh.

Electricity -

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 souvenir.
Accommodations: Lots of Guesthouses &  hotels handle the yearly influx of a half million visitors of all faiths from all continents. Prices for accommodation are moderate, but those seeking luxury will find five star and some five star deluxe hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Tourist guides:

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..

Tai Seng Hotel
 56-58 Preah Monivong Blvd Tai Seng Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown Phnom Penh, in the Monivong Boulevard, only 15 minutes away from Poechentong International Airport. Within walking distance of the Central Market, Orphanage, as well as major commercial banks and international embassies, our unique location enables our guests the convenient access to both entertainment and business activities.  Friendly, comfortable, luxurious and memorable one.
Tai Seng Hotel is fully air-conditioned, with spacious rooms, a modern restaurant serving Asian and Western meals and a conference room. All rooms are furnished with a colour television with satellite channels, an IDD telephone, a refrigerator and suite facilities. We have well-trained, multilingual staffs to provide high quality services, including free airport pick-ups, sales of tickets, flight re-confirmation, laundry room, safe deposit boxes and taxi & minibus services, to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Room rates are included 20% Tax and service charges $US8 but check on the internet for good deals. For oiur monet stay on the riverfront as many Hotels and Guesthouses here and easy to get around

Sakura Hotel
 No30 ,St242,Khan DaunPenh Sakura Hotel is located in the safe quiet area. it's close to the Grand Royal Palace, National Museum, Independence Monument and surrounded by commercial shop. We have also Traditional massage club at first floor. Cable TV and Video in house, Private bathroom ( hot & cold water ) International Telephone, Fridge, Air conditioning, In house Laundry Service, Traditional Massage $US9


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 
January or February Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese minorities, but many shops close. The celebration is determined by the lunar calendar so the date may change. 
January Commemoration Day: last sermon of the Buddha; date is determined by the lunar calendar. 
January 7 National holiday: The Fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. 
March 8 National holiday: Women's Day  with parades. 
April Chaul Chhnam; traditional Cambodian New Year, same as Songkran in Thailand; last for three? maybe 7 days during which Cambodians throw water; date determined by the lunar calendar. 
April Visak Bauchea; commemoration of the birth and first Buddha sermon. Date determined by the lunar calendar. 
April 17 Independence Day; national holiday in commemoration of the fall of the Lon Nol dictatorship on April 17, 1975. 
May 1 Labour Day:National holiday 
June 19 Memorial Day founding of the revolutionary forces of Cambodia in 1951; parades in Phnom Penh. 
June 28 Memorial Day of the founding of the Revolutionary People's Party of Cambodia in 1951; parades and celebrations in Phnom Penh. 
July Beginning of the Buddhist Lent; the exact date depends on the lunar calendar. The day is preferred by Cambodian and Buddhist men of neighbouring countries to enter a monastery, most Buddhist men will enter the Monkhood for 3 months during their life. 
September The day of the final celebrations of the Buddhist Lent; exact date determined by the lunar calendar. 
September Prachum Ben; a kind of Cambodian All-Saints-Day in commemoration of the dead and ancestors; exact date determined by the lunar calendar. 
October and November Water Festival celebrates the turn of the Tonle Sap river current. This river connects lake Tonle Sap with the Mekong. For most of the time the river flows from lake Tonle Sap into the Mekong. However, during the rainy season from about June to October the Mekong carries a high water level, and in response the Tonle Sap river flows in reverse direction, from the Mekong back into lake Tonle Sap. This causes lake Tonle Sap to swell to over twice its regular size. At the end of the rainy season, when the water level of the Mekong drops again, the current reverts and the water added to lake Tonle Sap during the rainy season flows back into the Mekong. 

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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