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Tips

Airport taxes

The international departure tax at Siem Reap Airport is USD 25, included in the air ticket price; the domestic departure tax is USD 6.

ATM and Foreign Exchange

The hotel has an ANZ ATM onsite for the withdrawal of USD and KHR. Foreign Exchange services are available at the Front Desk, and the hotel accepts all major credit cards, namely American Express, Visa, MasterCard and JCB.

Climate

The climate is tropical, and there are only two seasons - the summer or green season lasts from May to November and the winter or dry season lasts from December to April. There is little temperature variation year round; December is the coolest month, with temperatures around 20° to 32°C, and April is the hottest month, with temperatures sometimes above 40°C.

Currency

The official currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian riel. The value of the riel fluctuates regularly against the US dollar. Denominations come in 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50 riel. The most common denominations used are those with a value of less than USD 1 dollar. US dollars are widely used, and establishments catering to foreign tourists usually quote prices in US dollars. The riel is used often as the coinage for US dollars - US coins are not accepted in Cambodia and cannot be used; hence, change of more than USD 1 is often given in USD and less than USD 1 in riel. Please be aware that US bills that are torn or very old are not accepted by most businesses or even by banks for exchange, especially if the bill denomination is greater than USD 20. There are numerous ATMs in Siem Reap and most have the option of taking out either riel or US dollars. Foreign currencies can be easily changed into US dollars or Cambodian riel at most hotels, airports or markets.

Customs

Each person must complete an immigration form and a customs declaration form for submission upon arrival in Cambodia. Any amount of foreign currency can be brought into Cambodia, but the amount of local currency - Cambodian riel - must not exceed 100,000 riel per person - approximately USD 26. Tourists and non-residents carrying more than USD 10,000 in cash or its equivalent must declare it - otherwise you may not be able to take the same amount out of the country.

Health

It's hot, so drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, but never drink tap water. Good quality bottled water is available everywhere.

Wear light, breathable clothing for protection against the sun and against mosquitoes. Wear a hat and use sunblock while sightseeing. Though there is no risk of malaria in Siem Reap, there is a risk in the surrounding countryside. It is recommended that you use insect repellent as protection against mosquitoes, especially during dawn and dusk when they are the most active. Light-coloured clothing is also a deterrent for mosquitoes.

No vaccinations are required for entry to Cambodia, but they are highly recommended. Please consult a doctor for recommendations. It is wise to bring essential medication to Cambodia as there is no guarantee they will be available locally.

Independence

Cambodia was granted independence from French colonial rule on 9 November 1953.

Language

The official language is Khmer, which is part of the Mon-Khmer family and has its origins in Sanskrit and Pali. Recently, English has been gaining in popularity especially with the younger generation. French is also widely spoken as a second language but mostly by the older generation, who had closer ties to French colonial rule.

Opening hours

Government offices are open Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and are closed on weekends and public holidays. ANZ Bank operates several ATM machines in Siem Reap. Only a few places such as major hotels accept credit cards and traveller's cheques. Even at the airport, visas and departure taxes must be paid for in cash.

Photography

Photographers should prepare for very bright conditions outside the temples and for dark, shadowy conditions inside the temples. Photography is forbidden in airports, railway stations and near military installations. One should also use discretion when photographing people, particularly monks. Generally, the Cambodian people are accommodating when it comes to having their picture taken, but please ask first.

Religion

The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practised by 95% of the population. The remaining 5% is made up of mainly Muslim and Christian faiths.

Telephones

Mobile phones are widely used. Currently there are no pay phones in operation in Siem Reap; however, roadside stands offer mobile phone usage charged by the minute. Overseas calls are quite expensive in Siem Reap, as there is no access to phone companies such as AT&T, which offers local numbers for international calls in a variety of different countries.

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory but is widely practised in hotels and restaurants. Tipping is greatly appreciated though not expected.

Visas

A visa, valid for 30 days, can be obtained on arrival at Siem Reap Airport. The cost is US$20 for a tourist visa and US$25 for a business visa. Two passport-sized photographs are required, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your arrival date. Visas can be extended at the Immigration Department in Phnom Penh. Visas are also issued at Cambodian embassies or consulates in foreign countries; however, the validity is based on the issue date and not on the arrival date. A Tourist eVisa can be arranged via www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa prior to arrival at USD 25, and an express visa can be organized by the hotel concierge at USD 10 handling fee to customs.

For more information and enquiries please contact us at:
Tel: +855 63 963 888
Email: rga.concierge@raffles.com

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