What do I need to know before traveling to Cambodia?

If you’re planning to travel to Cambodia, you are going to experience beautiful sceneries. In fact, the country is rich in religion, customs and religion as well. Also, your love for history may even become deeper with the historical attractions that the country has got to offer. On the other hand, if you are more of a person willing to relax by the shore while watching the sunset, Cambodia has got it all covered for you. However, there are certain things that you must know before you plan your visit. And if you are travelling from the United Kingdom, you should check the requirements for Cambodia Visa UK before planning the trip.


While it may sound a little weird at first, you will be requiring a mixture of different currencies on you trip here. These have to be both Riel and US Dollars. If you happen to buy something that has a price higher than a dollar, you’ll have to pay in US Dollars. However, if the price is lower than that, you can use Riel to pay. Similarly, if you pay in dollars but the change is less than a dollar, you’ll be receiving it in the form of Riel

So how do you have money in both the currencies initially? Well, the ATMs in Cambodia will usually provide you with cash in dollars. However, in some of them, you’ll have a choice between both the currencies. It is always better to go for USD since it is widely accepted and more convenient to carry. 


Ripped Bills

It might come as a surprise to you but when you pay a shopkeeper with an old bill or one that is ripped, they’re likely to deny taking it. All they’ll argue with you is for you to pay in bills that are new and don’t have a sign of tear. So now that you know this, you must ensure that you have a pristine bill while getting change. This will save you from any possible arguments. 


Learning Khmer

The basics of the official Cambodian language, Khmer, must be learned by learned by you prior to your visit. It’s possible that somebody around you do not understand the language that you speak so it is better to learn a few phrases in Khmer. A few of them are mentioned here that are very easy to learn.

  • Sohmtou – Prounounced as soz dude, it means sorry.
  • Ah Kun – Pronounced as all good, it means thank you.
  • Sousdey – Pronounced as sewer snake, it means hello. 


There is one thing that you can be glad about though. Even if you do not know Khmer, it is going to be alright since English is a widely spoken language in Cambodia. This also means that you will not require a guide or a translator to go shopping around with you. 


Don’t Drink Tap Water

While you might not be in the habit of drinking tap water around, it is important to know the extent to which it can happen to be harmful. You are likely to have an upset stomach if you do so. So instead of dying of thirst, you may consider buying several large bottles of water from a supermarket since they’ll be cheaper. 


Food Scam

The term food scam might seem surprising to you but it is no surprise in areas like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Commonly, a poor kid or an adult may come to you and ask for you to feed them. They may also point out to you a certain restaurant where you can buy them a meal. Initially, you may get caught up in the act. However, once they are done with the meal, you’ll be asked to pay a massive amount of bill. These are food scams since the poor person and the restaurant split the profits once you leave the place. So, make sure to never feed people asking you for food. 


Face Mask and Sunglasses

The only two important things after a visa and money in Cambodia are face mask and sunglasses. Not only with regard to COVID-19 but also with regard to dust, grit, and pollution, you will be required to cover you face. Further, if you have asthma or an allergy, wearing it becomes even more necessary. 

The sunglasses will protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays while making sure that the dust does not enter into them. 


The Bottom Line

Cambodia is a beautiful city that consists of several attractions. However, there are certain things you must be aware of so you don’t get yourself into any kind of scams. Also, if you’re careful enough while roaming around in the market and while making conversations with the locals, your trip is going to be great. 


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