Living in Cambodia?

Do you want to gain a whole new experience of living in Cambodia like a local? Cambopedia.com provides local insights, practical tips and advice to travel and live the life like Cambodian people when in Cambodia. On this website, you’ll find useful travel information and local living experience in this beautiful country in Southeast Asia.

Royal Palace of Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Tharum Bun
Photo by Tharum Bun

Live in Cambodia with love

Getting to Know Cambodia

First of all, you may ask why would anyone want to experience this local lifestyle. Well, it’s really easy to visit Cambodia as a tourist, or a traveler, or an expat. However, it’s a rare, unique experience to feel and breathe this lovely country and city like Phnom Penh as any local here.

Being a local here, it means that you eat, sleep, and enjoy the way of living like the majority of Cambodians. Not only that you learn about culture and traditions, but you do really feel and experience them. So are you ready to start? You won’t regret for a second after all.

Cambodia is a safe destination and place to travel and live! Actually, there are problems due to extreme poverty and inequality, but people are generally super friendly and trustworthy. Most Cambodians are very kind and generous, and they’re are hospitable and helpful to tourists, travelers, backpackers, and expatriates.

Kids on the street may call you foreign traveler a “Barang,” which means a French. Or “Ta Barang” to refer to an older Westerner. “Ta” means grandfather, a way of saying with respect to an elder.

Getting into or out of Cambodia by bus is the cheapest option, although there are many direct flights to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Travel across Cambodia is also getting easier. What amazes most travelers and visitors to Cambodia is high-speed Internet and free Wi-Fi everywhere, either on the bus, in a cafe, or in a budget guest house for backpackers.

Mobile Internet? You can easily buy a 3G or 4G sim card. How to describe Cambodia? Believe it or not, Cambodia is about the same size to Oklahama of the United States of America. Khmer people are super friendly and gentle people. Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville all have its own unique characteristic. If you’d love to know and learn about Cambodia, visiting one of these cities is not enough.

This is a list of reasons people from all over the world fall in love with Cambodia, a charming country in Southeast Asia. Before you continue reading this, please make sure that you’ve been to Cambodia before. Or at least you’ve heard about Cambodia from you friends or family members. After reading this, it’s time for you to decide to make your first visit to Cambodia. If not, you may regret it.

What exciting developments are happening in Cambodia right now?

  • Phnom Penh’s cityscape is changing. Getting taller and taller everyday. More and more skyscrapers in are everywhere now in the heart of Cambodia’s largest capital city.
  • More Chinese money and people
  • Going digital. Digital payment, e-commerce, and everything in between. Not going digital means lagging behind. Entrepreneurs are keeping up with the trend.
  • Private international English schools in Phnom Penh are going to be for the elites. In just a couple of years, Phnom Penh’s international English schools will be comparable to ones in Hong Kong.
  • Coffee shops are everywhere.

Khmer People Are Super Friendly in Asia

The most friendly people in Asia are Cambodians. Khmer people are very hospitable. Get a formal or informal invite to visit their home? You must be very fortunate because Khmer people consider you a nice person. In the urban cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, or Sihanoukville, most Cambodians people are able to have a conversation with you in English.

Eat Khmer Food to Feel Cambodian

Khmer food doesn’t have the global brand name just yet. But it’s just a matter time that Cambodia will take its authentic Khmer food to the international arena. Have you ever heard of fish Amok? It’s very Cambodian dish popularly served at air-conditioned restaurants.

Want to smell Prohok? Cambodia’s iconic salted fish paste favorable by the majority of ordinary Cambodians, Prohok is a must-taste if you really want to know what it’s like to live a Cambodian life.

If you can eat Prohok for the first time, you’ll be good the next time. But if you couldn’t taste it, forget it, you’ll never ever understand why Cambodian people live and eat this their entire life.

Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s Most Colorful City

Phnom Penh, the largest and most vibrant capital city of Cambodia, is sandwiched by Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Yangon, and Vientiane. Basically, Phnom Penh is a safe city in Southeast Asia. Phnom Penh is not largely known as a city of burglary, theft, robbery, or vandalism.

However, beware of having your handbag snatched by a motorcycle driver while you are riding in a Tuk Tuk. Don’t wear valuable jewelry and ride motorbikes. You just need to not go out at night alone at a quiet place. Keep your wallet or purse under close surveillance in crowded markets. It’s always good to avoid dark and lonely areas at night or groups of drunk youths.

Phnom Penh was once regarded as Paris of the East and the Pearl of Asia. Phnom Penh is becoming one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Asia.

The infrastructure is getting better every year. It’s not very clean, but people start to realize this importance of a livable city. Unlike Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok, Phnom Penh is a cheap city to live and work. There are nice, friendly people who speak English and Chinese, too.

Moving to and Living in Cambodia?

Q: What is visiting Cambodia like?
A: Cambodia’s Siem Reap is internationally known for its temples of Angkor, where you can have the breathtaking view of the sunset on the top of Phnom Bakheng.

In Phnom Penh, the charming capital city, Cheoung Ek and the S-21 prison (for those who are brave enough to delve into the country’s dark past).  S-21 prison is an ideal place to visit and learn about Khmer history.

You might want to visit the floating villages on the Tonle Sap lake. Cambodians people are typically friendly, smiley, and polite. If you’re planning a long-term stay in Cambodia, you’d be able to figure out how to enjoy the low cost of living.

You should visit the floating villages on the Tonle Sap lake. Cambodians people are typically friendly, smiley, and polite. If you’re planning a long-term stay in Cambodia, you’d be able to figure out how to enjoy the low cost of living.

To Kampot & Kep with Love: Must Visit when in Cambodia

Q: What things should you do and see when you travel to Cambodia?
One of the best things to do when visiting Cambodia is to get to know the local people, who are typically friendly and kind.

Getting to know Cambodians personally allows you to learn about Cambodia in a way that you don’t find on the travel guide book. The ultimate place to visit and see is Angkor Wat and many other ancient temples in Siem Reap.

Q: When is the best time to visit Cambodia?
A: from November to March. Avoid the rainy season. April is the hottest month of the year, although Cambodians celebrate the Khmer New Year during this time of the year.

In December, it’s typically dry, sunny weather, low humidity and quite cool temperatures (average temperature: 26 °C) throughout the country. Not surprisingly, December is amongst the most popular months to travel to Cambodia.

Q: What are the best islands in Cambodia?
A: Both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem (as tipped by Lonely Planet writer Jessica Lee) are on the south coast of Cambodia. In Sihanoukville or Kampong Som alone, there are nearly 20 islands.

However, these two Koh Rong and Kong Ron Sanloem have been praised by travelers for their cleanliness, beauty, and serenity. Also, the best choice and closer from Phnom Penh is Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay).

Khmer food?
While Amok is much better known as something called authentic Khmer food, there are some more dishes you should know. I’m not just talking about Prohok. Cambodian people eat cooked crickets, ants, snakes, among other things.

Khmer music
There is no better way than getting into Cambodian culture through Khmer music, which is part of Cambodian daily life. Cambodian legendary singer Sin Samouth is Elvis Presley. In this blog post, you can find some selected YouTube music video to listen to.

Cambodia (Kampuchea)?

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the South-East Asia region of the Indochina Peninsula. The Kingdom of Cambodia is the eighth country with an area of ​​181035 square kilometers out of 10. This geographical position provides easy connectivity in the economy, tourism, and neighboring countries.

Cambodia’s Tourism: the Backbone of the Economy

The tourism industry is the second largest source of the country’s hard currency after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, arrivals of 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% At the same time in 2006.

Most tourists traveled through Siem Reap (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other destinations include Sihanoukville in the east of the South, which has a beach resort.

The most popular and the area is near Kampot and Kep, including the Bokor Station. Tourism has increased steadily each year in a stable period, compared to the 1993 UNTAC 1993 in 1993, with 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists.

Rice is the most important cereal, as in other Southeast Asian countries. Fish from the Mekong River and Tonle Sap are an important part of the diet.

Khmer cooking rules include fruit, juice, and dumplings. The main ingredients are lemongrass, lime, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, caramel, ginger, ginger, olive oil, coconut milk and pepper.

In the 1990s, roads that link major cities and provinces in Cambodia were really bad. During the rainy season, the flood also cut off those main roads. Today, it’s easy and cheap to travel across Cambodia by bus. So, if you’re looking into how to get around Cambodia by bus, this is the page for you.

A view of Cambodian countryside landscape

How to Get Across Cambodia by Bus & Train

The best and cheapest way to get across Cambodia is by bus (soon by train). With improved roads, you can get between major towns and cities by bus without hassle. Bus routes are increasingly available to Cambodian and foreign travelers. More bus operators also offer competitive prices and services. To avoid getting scammed, you should try the online ticket aggregator BookMeBus.com.

You can get from one province to another easily by bus (comfortable, free WiFi). Traveling by bus is usually an affordable way for a long distance trip. It’s also the best way to explore and experience your travel with the locals. Popular choices among travelers are either air-conditioned buses or speedy express minivans (small price different).

Bus Routes in Cambodia, to/from Vietnam and Thailand:

Bus Schedules and Routes

BookMeBus is one of the most trusted bus-ticket booking website (as also featured in the Lonely Planet Cambodia guidebook). You can find long-distance bus trip like from Ban Lung to Siem Reap and some cross-border trips. You can quickly check the bus route and and schedule below and instantly book your tickets online.

Some bus operators like Giant Ibis also provide online booking, making it easy for most passengers. There are many bus operators offering day and night bus trips. Not all of them are offering the best bus travel experience every traveler can expect. These are some of the bus companies operating in Cambodia.

Many of them have their offices in major cities like Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap.

Bus Companies in Cambodia

Mekong Express, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport, Capitol Tours, Virak Buntham, GST Express, PSD Xpress, and more. BookMeBus has partnered with these bus operators.

Getting Across Cambodia by Trains

In the last few years, Cambodia has renovated and upgraded its railways across the country. In 2010, the Phnom Penh Royal railway station was reopened. It’s getting better and easier to travel across Cambodia by trains. In this page, you’ll find all the useful information about train schedules, stations, and routes.

Train schedules for passengers

From Phnom Penh, you can take a train to Sihanoukville, Takeo, and Kampot. Poipet is coming up on the list. A one-way ticket for an air-conditioned train trip is for under $10.

To book a train ticket, you can:

  • call to book: (+855) 78 888 582 or (+855) 78 888 583
  • or book online through the Royal Railways website.

A List of Railway Stations in Cambodia

Western line: Phnom Penh, Pursat, Moung Ruessei, Battambang, Sisophon, Poipet
Southern line: Phnom Penh, Takéo, Damnak Chang Aeur (Kep), Kampot, Veal Renh, Sihanoukville

A Map of National Roads in Cambodia

Good to Know

  • Cambodia has 612 km (380 mi) of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge rail network.

Getting a visa to Cambodia?

If you’re a planning to visit Cambodia, this page is all you need to know about the Cambodian visa. Currently, international tourists can obtain a Cambodian visa upon arrival at the Visa On Arrival or international tourists can apply for a Cambodian visa via the ambassadorial office in other countries.

Visa On Arrival (VOA)

Foreign tourists can obtain a Cambodian visa after arrival at the airport and any international border checkpoint (Visa on arrival). The Visa On Arrival (VOA) has been issued officially at the following entrances:

  • Phnom Penh International Airport
  • Siem Reap International Airport (Angkor Temples)
  • Land: Passengers can travel to / from Cambodia by land through the Aranyapat-Poipet border or Trat- Koh Kong border of Thailand and the Moc Bai-Bavet border in Vietnam and the Trapiang-Kilil border checkpoint in Lao PDR.
  • At the Cambodian-Vietnamese border checkpoints, there are 9 gates.
  • Along the Thai-Cambodian border, there are six gates.
  • Along the Cambodian-Lao border, there is only one checkpoint.

The Cambodian visa is valid for thirty (30) days from the date of issue of the visa, not from the date of entry.

Conditions required to obtain an entry visa
Make sure the following documents are properly prepared:

  • Valid passport valid for at least four (4) months.
  • A new photo slips off the visa application form, the same size as a snapshot.
  • Pay visa fees.

Visa Fee (only in US Dollar)

  • Tourist Visa Type: US $ 20.00
  • Business Visa Type: US $ 25.00

K Visa

Is issued to Cambodians entering the Kingdom of Cambodia holding foreign passports (Applicants must provide proper documentation as proof that the applicant’s father or mother is a Cambodian). The visa is only issued once and is free and valid for unlimited access to the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Visa Extension

Passengers wishing to stay in Cambodia for a long time can extend their visas at the immigration department located opposite Phnom Penh International Airport or by going to a travel agency.

Visa-Free Travel Arrangement for ASEAN Member Countries

The Cambodian government first announced the arrangement of visa-free travel arrangements with the following ASEAN Member States:
Singapore, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Electronic Visa

Currently, electronic visas are available online via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Please complete the online application form via:

e-Visa Website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation. There will be a credit card charging requirement for payment.

Tips When Crossing the Cambodian Border

  • Make sure you check the opening hours of the crossing point ahead of your trip.
  • Be aware of the Visa application (which are different depending on your citizenship). First primary source is your embassy.
  • Be cautious about your visa validity: if you overstay, you’d be fined 10 USD per day in Cambodia. In neighboring country Vietnam, for those who have two weeks free tourist entry, you have to wait a month before coming back after you leave the country.
  • Be cautious of the time you will cross the border (night or day time)
  • Crossing the Cambodian border, it’s better to patient and polite. You will avoid problems with this tip.

Addition Questions & Answers

As an Asean national, do I need a visa to visit Cambodia?
Asean: the nationals of the Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia do not need a tourist visa and may stay in Cambodia for 21 and 30 days respectively.
As a tourist, can I get a visa on arrival in Cambodia?

Most visitors to Cambodia require a one-month tourist visa (US$30). Most nationalities receive this on arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports, and at land borders, but citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan need to make advance arrangements.

How long can you stay in Cambodia without a visa?
The tourist visa is an ideal option if you know you will be staying 30 days or less. The 30-day tourist visa is available to travelers in advance or on arrival (for most nationalities) for a cost of $30. The tourist visa is single entry only, and can be renewed once for an additional 30 days for a fee of $45.

One of Cambopedia’s readers asked:
“Last year I was 7 days over time for my visa. This time I am staying 5 weeks. Last year i paid 7 x USD 5 (5USD per day) I think at the customs at the airport. Is this still common practice? Or should I better get an extension visa ?”
Answer: It’s always a good idea to get an extension visa. You don’t want to run into inconvenience or difficulty with the penalty (can be unpredictable from time to time).

With a 30 day tourist visa, can I leave the country after a week and come back on the same visa with in the time limit?
Answer: In the visa, it says it’s only for single entry. You must get new visa. You can actually get another single visa for $30 upon arrival at the border or airport. You need to have a passport sized photo with you or they will charge you for photocopying your passport.
For a 3 or 6 month multi entry get an ordinary visa on arrival then go to a tour agency and in 3 days they will get your multi entry visa. More expensive then 2 single entries though.

More discussions about getting a Cambodian visa on Quora:

Covid-19 Vaccination registration: https://cambodia-vaccine.gov.kh/

Need health checkup? Healthcare services in Cambodia is not the best in Southeast Asia, but it has been improving significantly. This is a list of some of the best private hospitals and clinics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

A List of the Best Hospitals and Clinics in Phnom Penh

Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this is the first Japanese-run hospital opened in late 2016. The Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh has a 52-bed health service with more than 100 members of staff, of which 30 percent are Japanese.

When Cambodians need good treatment, where do they go? For the middle class Khmers, they travel to Vietnam or Thailand. For the Khmer riches or elite, they fly to Singapore.

Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh has a 52-bed health service with more than 100 members of staff, of which 30 percent are Japanese. The $35 million Japanese-run hospital wants to change that for good. Backed by Kitahara International Hospital group, the Japanese-run hospital will open its door on October 17, 2016. The high standard hospital will serve both locals and expats.

“Common sickness and injuries, emergency response and healthcare management (complete medical checkup) that were previously insufficient will be covered so that we can take a part of the Cambodian medical infrastructure and help the people living a healthy lifestyle,” wrote the Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh’s CEO Toshiaki Fukuda.

The hospital operation is being run by team of Japanese doctors, nurses and relating medical professionals, who also provide training and working with well-experienced Cambodian medical staff members.

The hospital has 13 departments, including emergency, trauma, infectons, general internal medicine, general surgery, gastrointinal medicine, cardiology, remote consultation, neurosurgery, neuroendovascualar, neurology, rehabilitation, and health checkup. “The hospital will offer emergency medical treatment for brain and heart disorders, injuries from traffic accidents and medical checkups, and will continue working toward the establishment of general hospital services, including obstetrics, pediatrics and rehabilitation and their associated information technology and education systems,” Shigemi Kitahara, the founder and adviser to Sunrise Japan Hospital, told Japan Times.

Khema International Polyclinic

Khema Clinic in Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1) has a good reputation. It has been recommended by many parents. Housed in a new building, the clinic is clean, very professional. Khmer Clinic is specialized in prenatal and pediatrics. The first Khema International Polyclinic in 2012 in Toul Kork district. More and more expats and foreigners prefer Khema for its high standard services.
Address: No 28, 294 Oknha Chrun You Hak St. (294), Phnom Penh
Beoung Keng Kang 1 (BKK 1) branch: #28, Street 294, BKK1
Phone: 089 911 911. Hours Open: 24 hours
Website: http://www.khemaclinic.com/

Phnom Penh Family Medical Clinic

Specializes in orthopedics.
Address: St 336, Phnom Penh
Phone: 070 321 121

National Pediatric Hospital

The newly-renovated hospital buildings with improved management provides an acceptable service to low-income families in Phnom Penh and those from the provinces.

St 122, Phnom Penh

nphkh.org

023 884 137

Sakal Dental Clinic

In Phnom Penh, this clinic has dentists who have over ten years of experience in their professional work. I took my 5-year-old son there for a check-up. One of the dentists offered some good advice when it comes to clean up and regular follow-up.
#12Eo, St.130 Corner 51, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: (855) 23 990 942
Email: [email protected]
Web site: http://sakaldental.com/

Psychiatry and Substance Abuses Clinic By Dr. Daramoon METH

Address: # 42D St.178 Sangkat Chey Chomneah Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh

Phone: 012 965 999

Mercy Clinic

Reasonble price with great quality service for most middle-class Phnom Penhers.

No. 17BC, St. 296Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Procare Medical Center

Procare Medical Center offers healthcare services for babies, children and adults in Phnom Penh.

AURA Condominium, #87 Street 63Phnom Penh

Tel: 061 828 410

Physiotherapy Phnom Penh

Phone: +855 (0)23 996344 / 092 485 593

http://www.physiotherapy-phnompenh.com/

Medical University

The best, affordable dental clinic is located in this Phnom Penh’s Medical University. Many senior dental students are ready to help most patients.

Location: Preah Monivong Blvd (93), Phnom Penh, opposite to Vattanac Capital

Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital

Officially designated by the Cambodian ministry of health to treat COVID-19 (Coronavirus) patients. Located on Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin Boulevard in Phnom Penh, The Khmer–Soviet Friendship Hospital is a public hospital managed by the Ministry of Health.

Institut Pasteur du Cambodge Medical Lab in Phnom Penh

Probably the only official lab to test COVID-19 and other major viruses and diseases. https://www.pasteur-kh.org/

What are the best things to do and best places to visit when in Phnom Penh? The capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the largest city with nearly 2 million people (2017), Phnom Penh is the center of commerce, industry and the largest labor force in Cambodia. There is a set of several large buildings, including the market and the largest shopping mall in the country’s top college and universities, International Airport, Port Road waterways and ports for supplies, and tourist spots which attract many national and international visitors.

Best Places & Destinations to Visit When in Cambodia

Top of the list is that Cambodia has Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Not Angkor What, but the earth’s largest religious monument. The best beaches in Southeast Asia, the Lazy Beach and Koh Rong Saloem. These destinations and places must be on your itinerary when you travel to Cambodia.

Read this: Tour Around Siem Reap on a Budget

Among the many Asian and local countries, Phnom Penh is a well-known capital for welcoming most visitors to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Phnom Penh is located at the intersection of the Three Great Lakes, on the 4th of the Mekong River, Tonle Sap and Bassac River, on the right side of the Royal Palace.

The Cambodian capital city has cultural and historical attractions including the Royal Palace, the Temple of Parnak and the National Museum. Also, there are five-star hotels, guesthouses, international restaurants, local noodle shops, local entertainment clubs, and international disco clubs.

Shopping in Phnom Penh: Markets & Malls

Did you know that there are more than 30 markets where you can shop for local and imported products in Phnom Penh? This is a mini guide to buying and window shopping in the Cambodian colorful city. Whether you need to do your regular groceries shopping to electronics products, I have you covered.

TK Avenue: Tuol Kork’s Popular Shopping Mall

Once a quiet district of Phnom Penh city, TK Avenue is an addition of shopping spree area for the residents in Tuol Kork. Unlike the Aeon mega mall in Chamkarmon district, TK Avenue is quite unique in its offerings and space: an open-air mall that hosts a good number of high-end luxury shops and restaurants. Metro Restaurant is just on the corner as you enter the TK Avenue.

Phnom Penh Safari Zoo

This Phnom Penh’s first zoo is located in Prek Tasek commune, Chroy Changvar district, about 18 kilometers from Phnom Penh. The Phnom Penh Safari Park has four main areas where you can see tiger performance, crocodile performance, monkey, orangutan, and the fourth parrot performance from Africa and from other countries.There are many other types of animals for sightseeing and also water parks for cruises and a playground. Ticket prices $15 for for adults and $5 for children.

More Phnom Penh Places to Visit

  • Central Market
  • The Killing Fields
  • Independence Monument
  • National Museum
  • Night Market
  • Cruises on river side
  • Royal Palace
  • Market of Tuol Puong
  • Tuol Sleng Museum
  • Wat Phnom

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