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Cambodia & Travel

Cambodia is Asean's Khmer country
Travel to Cambodia by air from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur or from Changi Airport in Singapore and have fun at great vacation.

Travel to Cambodia gets continously improved since 2016 they also have an air link between Phnom Penh and Yangon / Myanmar (Burma). Several land border crossings, 2 airports, and a deep sea port in Sihanoukville are the gateway to the country from Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. In general Cambodian holiday can be cheap and good no matter where you go.

But road travel is still awful because they dont have any technical knowledge how to build country roads although they have hubdreds of UN helpers in the country who consum 4 and 5 digit dollar salary  each month but are of no help for the country. They just pocket European taxpayers money and have no real use.

There is also an Air Link from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Airport. Siem Reap is also served by some other ASEAN airlines such as Silk Air and Bangkok Airways but better forget them they are relatively very expensive. Example, Air Asia charges for the Bangkok-Phnom Penh flight Baht 1500,-. Bangkok Airways pulls Baht 4500,- and Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) has also high prices. The Siem Reap flights mean travel to Angkor. Chinais the heavyweight in the air with 12 Chinese airlines operating 155 direct flights each week to Cambodia including 70 flights to Phnom Penh 82 to Siem Reap and three to Sihanoukville.

Most traveler to Cambodia start at Bangkok's Mor Chit Bus terminal and proceed to the Thai border. That means leaving the coach at the Thai side go through custom and immigration on both sides and on the Cambodian side the same vehicle is waiting to carry you into the city center of Siem Reap.

That one is a bit more expensive instead finish the short from Bangkok at the border and use another transportation in Cambodia but it's worth it to be on a safe and quick ride only the road is real lousy (2017). 

​From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh are three variants first the coaches as pictured and second is on a speed boat on the Tonle Sap River which cost about five times as much as the road travel and there is an air link between this two most important destinations in the country.

There are two more subjects on this first on the road an interesting view into the countryside is available on the water only a few boats and some houses on stilts can be seen. The other is since the roads are real lousy partly just simple dirt roads this should be considered when choosing how to travel. All hotels are selling the tickets and you will be picked up free of charge with a tuk-tuk.

Siem Reap & Angkor
Angkor Wat
Phnom Penh
Siem Reap
Cambodia Nightlife
Day Tours
The Airports are small and both of them which means Angkor / Siem Reap and Phnom Penh work quick and efficient that includes the visa procedure on arrival/departure. Although not having the glitter of Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok .

Basic Country Data

Tropical Climate

The temperature rarely drops below 20-degree centigrade and it follows the monsoon pattern. That means rain from May to October and dry the other time. It is really such simple only sometimes clouds come in over the South China Sea and offload their wet freight over the hill ranges such as the Cardamon Mountains,  more about the weather .

Cambodian history is "Khmer Culture"

The recent times has no much to do with culture, rather with horror and you better leave the people alone instead of warming that up. They already had enough and most people don't want to be reminded to the recent past. It needs to understand that all this could not have happened without the active involvement of the Chinese Government of that time (Mao) and as it looks now the people are not as stupidly driven by lunatic ideology as it was before. 

Actually, it does not look that anything like that will happen again since the country was pulled out of the Chinese grip although they still do a lot of damage in the nature environment issue,  more about Khmer History .

The currency is the Riel

The country has a rather strange currency which is fixed to the US Dollar at a rate of around 4 Riel to one $. It is absolutely common to pay in $, but it needs some small exchange (banknotes only) for little things in the countryside and you are expected to take small bills back as change when paying in dollars.

Finally, that means no need to change money just take small $ bills with you, Riel banknotes you will get automatically and everyone expects the "green buck" from foreigners anyway. To have the Riel fixed to the US currency makes sense since it keeps inflation under control. In general, Cambodia is still a rather cheap holiday destination and ideal when you want the pleasant tropical vacation on a lower budget, read more about the riel .

Cambodia Map
travel to Anhgkor Wat
Starting in Thailand, the trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap is probably the most suitable but the roads are even less than lousy on certain stretches behind the border and after the intersection to Phnom Penh are long parts of dirt roads interrupting, actually they renew all time it but after a few weeks it's the same mess again.

There is only one alternative, that is to take a coach from Mo Chit to Trat and when arriving before around 4 pm it should be possible to get the minibus to the border at the coach terminal, after it is quick. From Bangkok to Trat is about 6 hours bus drive and from there to the boundary 1.30 hours, the Minibus from "Trat terminal" leaves every 30 minutes, the border is closed at 7pm.

Behind the immigration take a motorbike taxi for Baht 100,- (if you have more than carry-on luggage it might be more). Driving over the long bridge into Koh Kong City take a right turn and there is the excellent "City Hotel" with a restaurant located over the water take a room here and after settling book the morning bus for next day to Phnom Penh.  The restaurant has different food means French / Italian and Khmer, excellent stuff indeed, it is definitely  the right start for your Cambodian Journey.

If you plan some days on the beaches around Sihanoukville (they are the only ones with some infrastructure) check the ads about beach wear and other suitable things to buy here. Because nothing is available in the country since Khmer people don't visit beaches better take the right stuff with you instead of getting burned immediately since the sun is very strong at the South China Sea.

Most beach and outdoor wear are also not available in Thailand since locals hate dark skin even women run around in bright sunlight with an umbrella und skin whitening lotion is one of the biggest cosmetic business.

The picture above shows the Cambodian side of the Poipet crossing. They currently talk to open a railway (2016) between Bangkok and Phnom Penh since the old tracks to the border still exist on both sides. They have been abandoned during the "Khmer Rough" period. 

The Khmer are the only people on mother earth who won’t allow Islam in and that is good so. They really had enough trouble in the past nobody want terror in again as it was with the Khmer Rouge since it is the same only a bit more subtle.
cambodia immigration at poipet
The cheating zone is at the first stop where they sell the visa. The immigration counter (here) takes a while to get through but no more cheating attempts by the uniformed Khmer here. 

Travel Cambodia with cheap bus tickets

Road Travel to Angkor

Long distance trips are usually by bus and ship either with a river or coastal vessel to Vietnam moving cheap on the road and water.

The country is squeezed between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos for more geographical data of Cambodia see the map below left. Since there are plenty of rivers it makes some sense to use ships and boats when available, but usually, it's the bus people use for travel. 

The territory is mostly flat with a couple of higher hill ranges such as the Cardamom mountains in the west which forms a weather barrier with the South China Sea and the Dangrek range along the northern border  with Thailand separate the country from their western neighbor. Some highlands are in the extreme northeast near to Vietnam. Actually the country has no real mountains, this are all some hill ranges in geological terms

Although there is a flight link between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. In Bangkok, the cheapest tickets to Cambodia are available close to the elevated BTS train station at the Mor Chit Bus Terminal.

  1. travel in Cambodia
  2. ready to go
  3. on the road in Koh Kong
  4. over the river
  5. with the coach in Cambodia
  6. open air travel at Koh Kong
  7. at the road side
  8. cambodian transportation
  9. rural scene
  10. entrance to a Buddhist Temple
  11. bus travel to the Thai border
  12. french style in battambang
The other connection is from Bangkok Airport directly to the border at Aranyaprathet and there it needs to find another transport. That is every day at about 7 am and Saturday is the second one at around 2 pm. Ticket prices are somehow similar to Mor Chit where the coach in the afternoon, around 2 pm makes a direct link.

That means you get out at the Thai side, go through and on the Cambodian side the same vehicle is waiting to carry you into the city center of Siem Reap. That one is a bit more expensive but it's worth it to be on a safe and quick ride, only the road is real lousy (2016).  

There are also car and scooter rentals plus plenty of hotels at the relevant places although it is advisable to make some booking on the internet before at least for the first few days.

Bangkok to Siem Reap is served by aircraft and coaches. There are two international airports, one is in the capital Phnom Penh, the other in Siem Reap which is the gateway to Angkor Wat, Thom and the ruins around. There are no hotels and any similar infrastructure in Angkor itself.

From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh are two variants, first the coaches as pictured above and second is a speed boat on the Tonle Sap River. The boat ticket cost about three times as much as the road travel.

There are two more subjects on this first on the road an interesting view into the countryside is available on the water only a few boats can be seen. The other is, since the roads are real lousy, partly just simple dirt roads this should be considered when choosing. All hotels are selling the tickets and you will be picked up free of charge with a tuk-tuk. 

Cambodian Beaches in the south

When on holiday in the Land of the Khmer keep in mind this is not only about Angkor Wat and Thom. They have pristine beaches and islands on the South China Sea . Since not all the stuff you are used too is just around the corner such as swimwear and almost every other a bit more sophisticated things.

If you intend to go swimming prepare some protection and a good idea would be a little neoprene suit for the small ones, the sun burns real hot at the South China Sea. It also could be a great idea to buy a floatable mobile phone protection gear (above) etc. check it out it will protect you from trouble, you can't buy the items there.

Cambodia Day Tours

Safe travel in Cambodia

When visiting ASEAN and renting a scooter, motorbike or car thinking about safe travel is extremely important. Roads are good only good in a few countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Most people don't care about any traffic rules actually, they don't know any. It's even worse than in Thailand and that means something since the Thai can hardly be beaten in terms of strange behavior.

When  roaming around is on the agenda make a good insurance at home which includes to take you out if something happens and don't consider Thailand as a good place to get you back on the feed. Thais can do some medical checkup with some imported analyzer and machinery but most doctors etc. are substandard with a very low level of education and knowledge when it gets complicated.

If there is something serious and they can't get you home try Manila they are the best in the region because they have a good English educated CV.

If you are men and get very close to a local women use a condom, that is almost mandatory because all this hygienic and health care stuff is below standard.
safe travel in Cambodia by elephant
Tags: Visit Cambodia  Cambodia Tours   Cambodia Travel
In the old Europe, they said "All roads lead to Rome" and I guess that the roads at that time were better than the Cambodian Roads of today.

One of the reasons is an incredible corruption, actually, they get road building equipment donated from Japan but the local people built the road here. They win a contract to construct but during construction they use substandard material underneath to make more profit. That finally means that after one year the surface is totally broken and potholes litter the road.