Cambodia Travel Facts

Thank you for choosing TUI for your journey into Cambodia.

Cambodia’s tragic past has until recently made this intriguing destination off limits to foreigners. Now, safe to visit, Cambodia reveals itself as one of Southeast Asia’s most captivating countries, rich in culture and history, and home to the most remarkable temple complexes in all Asia. To assist with your travel arrangements we have prepared the following pre-departure information. Please read this carefully before your travel to Cambodia and be mindful of some of our suggestions while on the road.

What to expect:
For many the name Cambodia (or Kampuchea as it was formerly known) conjures images of war, famine, Pol Pot, the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ and political instability. True, these events have all been a part of this nation’s history, and a number of the places you will visit (particularly around Phnom Penh) are reminders of Cambodia’s tragic recent past. However, northwest of the capital near the town of Siem Reap, visitors will see one of mankind’s greatest architectural achievements. The magnificent temples of Angkor – of which Angkor Wat is the most famous – are permanent reminders of the incredible skill and dedication of the Khmer civilisation as it existed from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries. Forgotten and buried under dense jungle for hundreds of years, restoration of this ‘lost city’ only began in 1908. Angkor Wat is truly one of the great achievements of human civilisation.

Responsibility:
Information herein was correct at the time of preparation, however the rapid development of tourism in Cambodia has the potential to make some of the information in this guide irrelevant. This information is intended as a guide only and TUI is not responsible for any inaccuracies. This document does not, in any way, alter the booking terms and conditions in our Small Group Journey brochure. Please contact us with your comments if you find during the course of your travels that the information in this guide is incorrect or out of date.

Visa Requirements & Departure Taxes:
Getting your Cambodian visa is a simple and efficient process.

  • Tourist visas for most nationalities can be obtained on arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airports for $20USD cash. A visa form will be issued to you on the airplane or on arrival. You will also need one passport photo to accompany your visa application.
  • In mid-2006 the Cambodian ministry of tourism launched an on-line process for the issuance of tourist visas. By visiting www.mfaic.gov.kh and by paying $25USD by credit card, a 30-day tourist visa can be issued electronically within three business days (note that this visa is only valid for arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports).
  • Travellers on the ‘Mekong and Temples’ and ‘Inside Vietnam and Cambodia’ Small Group Journeys can get their Cambodian visa on arrival at the Kamsamna border post on the Mekong river on the day of the boat crossing from Chau Doc (Vietnam) to Phnom Penh. This is a straight-forward process.
  • Travellers on ‘Khmer Kingdoms Explorer’ (which crosses into from Laos into Cambodia further up the Mekong at Voeng Kham) should obtain their visa in advance on departing their home country.

It is your responsibility to ensure all visa and entry requirements are met prior to arrival in Cambodia. Please allow $25USD per person for international departure taxes, and $6USD per person for domestic departure taxes. International departure taxes can be paid by Visa card.

 

Cambodia Visa Information

A visa is required for entry to Cambodia

Citizens of Australia, UK, US, EU Countries, New Zealand and Canada require a visa to visit Cambodia. All other nationalities should check with the Cambodian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Obtaining a visa

Getting your Cambodian visa is a simple and efficient process. Tourist visas for most nationalities can be obtained on arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airports for 20 USD cash. A visa form will be issued to you on the airplane or on arrival. You will also need one passport photo to accompany your visa application.

By visiting www.mfaic.gov.kh and by paying 25 USD by credit card, a 30-day tourist visa can be issued electronically within three business days (note that this visa is only valid for arrival at Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) and Bavet (Svay Rieng), as well as Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports).

A current list of Cambodian border crossings is listed below. Please note that visa cannot be obtained on arrival from all these border crossings:

• Phnom Penh International Airport
• Siem Reap International Airport
• Cham Yeam (Koh Kong province), bordering Thailand
• Chorm (Oddar Meanchey province), bordering Thailand
• Daung (Battambang province), bordering Thailand
• Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey province), bordering Thailand
• Prom (Pailin province), bordering Thailand
• Smach (Oddar Meanchey province), bordering Thailand
• Bavet (Svay Rieng province), bordering Vietnam
• Kaam Samnor (Kandal province, on the Mekong River), bordering Vietnam
• Phnom Den (Takeo province), bordering Vietnam
• Prek Chak (Kampot province, bordering Vietnam. Referred to as the “Ha Tien” crossing)
• Trapaing Sre (Kratie province), bordering Laos
• Dong Kralo (Stung Treng province), bordering Laos

We continue to receive mixed reports on obtaining visas at overland borders between Laos and Cambodia. Some travelers have been successful in obtaining visas on arrival when crossing from Laos. However, these border crossings are remote and conditions may fluctuate. To ensure a smooth crossing we recommend that all travelers crossing overland from Laos to Cambodia obtain their Cambodian visa before arrival.

Please allow 25 USD per person for international departure taxes, domestic departure taxes are now included in the cost of the ticket. Departure taxes must be paid in cash.

It is your responsibility to ensure all visa and entry requirements are met prior to your arrival in Cambodia.

Please Note:

All information provided on this page is correct at the time of writing. Rules and regulations can change suddenly. TUI will do their utmost to advise you in ample time of any changes but cannot be held responsible for any additional charges incurred. We strongly suggest that you check with the relevant embassies in your country of residence that these guidelines are applicable to you.

 

Arrival Instructions:
Arrival (and departure) transfers are included for all Small Group Journeys. On arrival in Cambodia you will find a representative from TUI waiting to meet you outside the airport. Please look carefully for a TUI sign with your name on it (not a hotel sign). If you cannot see a sign with your name please call our local office contact number (at the bottom of this document and on your detailed itinerary) and our duty officer will advise you what to do.

Insurance:
You must be comprehensively insured as a condition of travelling with TUI. Insurance should include unlimited coverage for personal accident and medical expenses, full provision for evacuation and a minimum of $25,000USD cover for repatriation expenses, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of your holiday.

We will ask you to confirm your insurance details as part of our travel registration process at the start of your journey. If you do not have appropriate insurance we will insist you obtain insurance. We reserve the right not to provide the services booked with us until insurance is purchased.

Note that travel insurance may be ‘attached’ to your credit card, although usually such cover is effective only if your travel arrangements have been purchased with the card. Insurance cover from credit cards often does not include payment of medical expenses or emergency repatriation. Please check your policy carefully.

Please note that government regulations in Asia do not always require or enforce the possession of hotel, transport supplier and other supplier public liability insurance. Even when this insurance is in place, it can be for very limited cover only. TUI does its best to work with suppliers who possess public liability insurance, however this is not always possible. Regardless of length of stay and type of service, you must have adequate insurance to cover you in the event you suffer a medical problem while travelling.

A Responsible TUI:
TUI practices a thorough, realistic Responsible Travel Policy. We believe that travel should entail an exchange of knowledge and perspectives, a sharing of wealth, and a genuine appreciation of Asia’s beautiful natural environments. This philosophy underpins the heart and soul of our style of travel. It drives all that we strive to deliver to our travellers, and shapes the contact we have with our supplier colleagues in Asia. We recognise that poorly planned itineraries or poorly informed tourists contribute less to cross-cultural understanding and less to the livelihoods of local people. We also recognise that we work in a developing part of the world. Political and social factors sometimes impede the short term implementation of our responsible travel initiatives, so we do not make blanket, unrealistic statements about the achievability of our goals – doing so would make us ‘irresponsible’. We aspire to short or medium term implementation of our policies where this is realistic and to incremental change where there are constraints of a governmental or cultural nature.

We strongly encourage you to refer to our website and read our Responsible Travel Policy, as well as the TUI Guide to Responsible Travel (full of pointers which we hope will make for a more informed, more ‘responsible’ holiday).

The Political Situtation:
Most scholars of Cambodian history would acknowledge that for many of the past several hundred years Cambodia has been plagued by poor, self-interested national leadership. In tragic recent times, a combination of this leadership ineptitude, geographic proximity to the heart of the American Indochina war, and international diplomatic machinations led to rise and terrible rule of Pol Pot and the maniac Killing Fields era of 1975 to 1979 (refer to ‘Sideshow: Nixon, Kissinger and the Destruction of Cambodia’ by William Shawcross for a revealing view of the years leading up to the Pol Pot reign). Khmer Rouge/ Vietnamese border conflicts from the late 1970s precipitated a Vietnamese invasion in late 1978, and a removal from power of the Khmer Rouge. For the next 10 years, Cambodia was occupied by Vietnam, a situation which aroused international angst at the United Nations and which contributed to United Nations auspicing of ‘free and fair’ national elections in 1993. (A thorough account of the occupying years, the massive Cambodian refugee problem during this time, and of the often misguided efforts of the international aid community is given in ‘The Quality of Mercy’ by William Shawcross). Since the staging of the 1993 elections until now, Cambodian politics has been dominated – either in coalition or unilaterally – by the Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP), led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, a Khmer Rouge defector of the 1970s, and for the past 27 years a tough, political strongman.

There are presently two main opposition parties: the Funcinpec royalist party, led erratically by Prince Norodom Rannaridh, and the Sam Rainsy Party, headed by French-educated Sam Rainsy. Neither party has ever been able to organise itself sufficiently to counter a serious and lasting threat to the iron-grip hold of the CPP on the rural peasant communities (educated urban dwellers form much of the Sam Rainsy support base).

Cambodia in the early 21st century is developing rapidly in an ad-hoc fashion, and faces a number of key developmental/ political issues. These include:

  • Corruption on a large scale within government and the public sector
  • The absence of a well-educated leadership class and of educated public servants
  • An large reliance on international donor monies at the expense of establishing a proper tax base
  • Over-dependency on the efforts of the massive NGO (non-government-organisation) sector – there are more than 2.300 registered NGOs working in Cambodia, many of whom work in relative isolation
  • Absence of a broad spread of industries, needed for economic growth and jobs creation (there are essentially two significant exports only from Cambodia: tourism and garments)
  • A judiciary in which few people have confidence li>Land rights (and natural resource) abuses and misappropriations, leading to forced, often improper eviction of poor communities from homes and farms
  • A high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and of other diseases arising from misunderstandings about nutrition, or from pure poverty

It needs to be recognised that modern Cambodia has an extremely short history (when the Khmer Rouge were usurped from power in 1979 there were no schools, essentially no hospitals, few usable roads, no telephone lines and tragically few educated people), so in some ways the country has made good developmental progress in the past two decades. Much about the people of Cambodia is inspiring and bodes well for the future. Young people are often passionate about studying, and about learning English in particular. Investment law encourages the launch of new foreign businesses, and there is a culture of ‘getting ahead’ in the cities which means that by the time of the next national elections (2008), for the first time in decades, a significant percentage of the voting class will be university educated. The future for Cambodia is good – if the enthusiasm of its youth can be harnessed and led competently.

Money:
The official unit of currency in Cambodia is the riel. Current approximate exchange rates are:

  • Riel 6,700 equals 1GBP
  • Riel 4,000 equals 1USD
  • Riel 2,500 equals 1AUD
  • Riel 2,500 equals 1CAD
  • Riel 2,000 equals 1NZD

United States dollar cash is accepted everywhere and can easily be used instead of riel. As you will accumulate riel as change from payments you make in $USD, we recommend you change either nothing or very little (eg. $10USD) into riel upon your arrival in Cambodia. We advise you to carry a mix of $USD cash and travellers cheques.

Please be aware that costs in Cambodia are significantly higher than in neighbouring Asian countries. The cost of meals, transport, and shopping often takes tourists by surprise. Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) can be used in only a limited number of shops and restaurants in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. From late 2005 a number of ANZ Royal and Canadia bank ATMs were installed in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, allowing you to withdraw money (in either USD or riel) from your overseas account. Cash advances can also be obtained using Visa and Mastercards at exchange booths and banks in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. We suggest you allow approximately $7USD per person for a main course meal at a nice restaurant.

Climate
There are two main seasons in Cambodia. From November to March temperatures are slightly cooler with little rain. From May to October, the rainy season, average temperatures in the day range from 24 to 35 degrees Celsius. During this period it rains for a short time in the afternoon, temple moats are full, the scenery is greener, and there are fewer people at the temples. Many people prefer to travel at this time of the year.

There are two main seasons in Cambodia. From November to March temperatures are slightly cooler with little rain. From May to October is the rainy season where average temperatures in the day range from 24 to 35 degrees Celsius (75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). During this period it rains for short periods of time in the morning or afternoon. At this time temple moats are full, the scenery is greener and there are fewer people at the temples. Rain rarely affects travel and many people prefer to visit at this time of the year.

WEATHER
November – March Weather is at its coolest and driest, and it rarely rains.
April – May This is the hottest time of the year with average temperatures above 35 Degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), it also marks the start of the wet season and infrequent rains can be expected.
June The monsoon rains increase, bringing some humidity, rains can be expected daily either in the mornings or late afternoons.
July – October This is the height of the wet season, you can expect to encounter just an hour or two of heavy rain rather than all-day downpours. Cambodia is at its most beautiful as rice crops are a shimmering green, moats at Angkor are full and skies clear for sunrises and sunsets. There are also fewer tourists at Angkor at this time.

Baggage & Clothing:
Standard sized bags (preferably soft bags), backpacks or soft cases only are permitted on our journeys. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and kept to a reasonable minimum. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles and trains is limited. Any flights booked through TUI (domestic and international) have a luggage limit of 20 kilograms per person. You may be required to carry your own luggage at times where porters are not available – you should be capable of carrying your own bags on and off trains, and up and down stairs. If you are doing lots of shopping during your travels, it may be necessary for you to forward any excess to the city where your tour concludes, or ship purchases directly home. Keeping the amount of luggage you carry in check will ensure your safety and comfort, and the safety and comfort of your fellow travellers. Porterage is not included in the cost of your journey. Please ensure you pay porters around $1USD per person for carrying your luggage. Should you wish to avoid such payments, please carry and take responsibility for your luggage.

Comfortable casual clothes made of cotton are best in tropical and semi tropical climates – packing one set of smart casual clothes is advisable. Laundry services are available throughout the country, although hotel laundry costs can be expensive. We suggest you include:

  • Flat walking shoes and sandals
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Jumper/coat/thermals – if visiting in winter
  • Bathers
  • Money belt
  • Raincoat or umbrella
  • Basic first aid kit (see below)
  • Insect repellent
  • Alarm clock
  • Small torch
  • Swiss Army pocketknife
  • Power adapter
  • Women’s sanitary products
  • Ear plugs and eye patches for the train

Please note that airlines insist all sharp items (knives, scissors, nail clippers etc.) are packed in your ‘check-in’ luggage.

Electricity
The electrical standard in Cambodia is 220 volts at 50Hz. Electrical plugs of the two rounded pin type are the most commonly required. You may want to bring a small hair dryer – not all hotels provide one.

Health
Travellers to Cambodia should take precautions as they would elsewhere in Asia. Some of the diseases known to exist in Cambodia include malaria, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, diphtheria, tetanus, and HIV/ AIDS. We recommend you take adequate preventative measures to minimise your risk of exposure to these health risks. We are a travel company and we are not qualified to provide detailed medical information appropriate to your individual needs. We recommend you consult with your local doctor or a specialist travel medical centre for up to date health information on vaccinations and medicine for your trip, at least one month prior to departure. Medical facilities are limited throughout the country (even in the capital Phnom Penh) compared to western standards.

We suggest you bring a simple medical kit. Your doctor should advise you what to include, however as a minimum we suggest you bring:

  • Aspirin or paracetamol (for pain or fever)
  • Antihistamines (for allergies and itches)
  • Cold and flu tablets
  • Something to stop diarrhea
  • Something appropriate for nausea and vomiting
  • Rehydration mixture (to prevent dehydration)
  • Insect repellant
  • Antiseptic and bandages
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Antibiotics (discuss with your doctor)

As part of our travel registration process at the start of any journey with TUI, you will be asked to declare any serious pre-existing medical conditions or allergies.

Small Group Journey Gradings
Each Small Group Journey in our brochure has a ‘grading’ to assist you in choosing a holiday best suited to your level of health and fitness. A guide to the gradings is as follows:

Easy
These tours avoid the more arduous road travel by flying between major cities. They are suitable for travellers of all ages and levels of fitness. However, an average level of mobility and agility is required as these tours still include some walking in often hot and humid conditions, as well as getting on/off boats and walking up/down flights of stairs. Accommodation is generally comfortable by international standards.

Moderate
These tours involve some long distance overland/overnight travel and can include one or two nights of basic accommodation in more remote areas. The tours are suitable for most travellers of average fitness and mobility with a spirit for ‘soft’ adventure. Clients will be expected on occasions to carry their own luggage for short distances.

Adventurous
These tours involve some long distance travel and at least 2 nights in very basic accommodation. On these tours there may be nights when clients will sleep out on boats, on trains, in a hilltribe village or in other basic accommodation. A client should be quite fit and be prepared for travelling in remote parts of developing Asia to get the most out of an ‘adventurous’ tour. Clients will be expected on occasions to carry their own luggage for short distances.

Minimum Fitness Levels
It is essential for good group dynamics on our Small Group Journeys that a less able client does not significantly impact on the enjoyment of the rest of the group during the touring days. We ask you please to consider the above tour gradings and think carefully about the Small Group Journeys most appropriate for your level of health and fitness. As a minimum requirement for our tours graded Easy, you should ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Am I able to walk 2-3 kilometres comfortably in hot and humid conditions?
  • Am I able to walk up 4 flights of stairs without losing breath?
  • Am I able to walk along rough and unstable surfaces?
  • Am I able to board small boats, trains etc?
  • Am I able to carry my own luggage?

If, upon commencement of a Small Group Journey, our Tour Leader takes the view that a client’s physical capabilities are not to the standard set out in by the above criteria (also stipulated in the ‘Fitness Form’ which is required to be completed upon booking) then, in the interests of the client and fellow travellers, we reserve the right to prevent the client from participating in the tour. In such instances, we will assist with onward travel arrangements. Cancellation penalties will apply. You should therefore ensure that you are physically capable and prepared for undertaking our journeys.

Food/ Water
Cambodian cuisine is closely related to the cuisines of neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. Until the 16th century Cambodian and central Thai food was quite similar, however the Portuguese introduction of chillie (from Brazil) to Ayuthaya lead to a divergence in national staples; the Thais developed a preference for spicier, chillie-based foods, while the Cambodians continued to use a spice paste (called ‘kroeung’), comprising of milder flavourings such as lemongrass, galangal, ginger and cardamom. Some distinctly Cambodian dishes include ‘samlor ma chou kroeung’ and ‘samlor kor ko’ soups, and the ‘chas kroeung’ stir-fry. The pungent ‘prahok’ fish stock is usually included in these dishes. Rice, of course, is eaten with most meals. In cities such as Phnom Penh there are large numbers of ethnic Chinese who have brought their own influences to the Cambodian diet.

Breakfast is included each day on our tours and is usually a buffet/ continental style mix. It is a little known fact that tap water in central Phnom Penh is safe for drinking (all pipes in central Phnom Penh have been replaced since the early 1990s), however we would always recommend you drink only bottled water, throughout Cambodia.

Tipping Policy
If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides, drivers and your tour leader, a tip is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, tipping inspires great service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across TUI destinations. As a general guide on Small Group or Special Group Journeys, please allow $2USD to $3USD per day per traveller for each of your local guide, driver and tour leader. If your tour is private, please allow $3USD to $5USD per day per traveller for each of your local guide and driver. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Should you be dissatisfied with the services provided by your local guide, driver or tour leader, please let us know.

Safety & Security
Touristed areas in Cambodia are safe by world standards, but the usual commonsense safety precautions should be adhered to. Tourists should stick to set travel arrangements and avoid unknown areas. It is not safe to walk the streets of Phnom Penh at night where street lighting is poor. We recommend you keep jewellery to a minimum, and leave items of value in your hotel’s safety deposit box. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers, and a detailed record of your encashed travellers cheques.

Post & Communication
International mail generally takes seven to ten days to reach its destination. Prices are equivalent to western postal charges. Reverse charge (collect) calls are not possible from Cambodia. International phone and fax fees on LAN lines are expensive (especially in hotels) and vary between $4USD and $6USD per minute. In both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there are now numerous internet cafes providing email services and internet phone call services. Using these internet phone services is the cheapest way of calling overseas (or locally).

Photography
Cambodia has good and fast processing facilities. A roll of 24 exposures can be developed for approximately $4USD. Slide film and Hi8/V8 video cassettes are not widely available in Cambodia. The x-ray machines at all airports are film-safe. There are now a number of photo shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap which can burn digital images on to a disk and which sell memory cards.

Hotels
Our Standard hotels have private western-style bathrooms, hot water, air-conditioning, satellite television, IDD telephones, laundry, and other facilities. Generally they have swimming pools. Where possible we endeavour at passenger request to accommodate couples in double rooms. Please note however that on occasions during your journey, this may not be possible and a twin room will be provided.

Asia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and historic hotels. With this in mind, we designed our range of Deluxe (Essence of Asia) journeys. The emphasis by day is unchanged – small groups and an authentic experience of Asia. At night however, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the ambience of these specially selected hotels. Please note that in some cases Deluxe accommodation is not available. In these places we use the best hotels available. This will be clearly marked in your itinerary.

Check-in and check-out times can vary but most hotels in Cambodia require guests to check out by 12 noon and do not allow check in until 2 pm. Many hotels may allow an earlier check in or later check out subject to availability on the day.

Massage Services
Many countries in Asia are deservedly renowned for their massage techniques and the quality and value for money of these services. Unfortunately, many massage parlours including some in otherwise ‘reputable’ hotels are also linked to the paid sex industry. We advise you to check carefully before using massage services in Asia.

Transport
When travelling by road we generally use Toyota Camry cars or air-conditioned minibuses. We always use the best vehicles available, however it is generally the case that vehicles in Cambodia are not as modern as those in neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam or Laos. Larger vehicles are used for bigger group sizes. Sedan cars are used when there are only one or two people in the group. Planes used on domestic routes are generally modern and well-maintained. Sometimes schedules change and this can result in alterations to your flight times and tour arrangements. There is only a limited railway network in Cambodia and use of the train is not recommended for safety and reliability reasons.

Tour Leaders/ Guides
Providing the group tour reaches a minimum of seven passengers a western tour leader will guide your entire journey through Cambodia. All our tour leaders have an in-depth knowledge of Cambodia and an enthusiasm for the country that is contagious. Your tour leader is your link with Cambodia and is there to ensure the smooth running of the trip. Your tour leader will also try – wherever practicable – to cater for your individual interests. Local English speaking guides also accompany you on your tour. They impart local information about history, customs and culture that can only come from living in the area. Generally we have a different local guide for each city or region we visit and so local guides are usually only with the group for one to two days.

Local Time

Cambodia is:

  • 7hrs ahead of GMT
  • 3hrs behind Australian Eastern Standard Time
  • 5hrs behind New Zealand
  • 12hrs ahead of Canada Eastern Time
  • 15hrs ahead of Canada Pacific Time
  • 12hrs ahead of US Eastern Time
  • 15 hrs ahead of US Pacific Time

Group Dynamics
Our Small Group Journeys provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery. Travellers need to be aware of certain personal responsibilities when travelling with a group. Simple things like being ready at agreed times and keeping to schedule will ensure the smooth running of the programme. Furthermore, the traditions and culture of the country you are visiting should be respected. Correct behaviour includes wearing the appropriate dress when visiting religious sites and refraining from making comments or acting in a manner that would be viewed as unacceptable by your fellow group members or by the local people in the country you are visiting. Please ask your tour leader for further clarification of the issues mentioned above.

Language
The official Cambodian language is Khmer and most westerners will have a very difficult time trying to understand written or spoken Khmer. French is sometimes understood by the older generation but English is becoming more widely spoken throughout the country, especially in tourist areas. To help you get the most out of your contact with Cambodians, try learning how to say these key phrases:

Cambodia English
Sur s’dei Hello (or hi)
Niak Sohk sabay te? How are you?
Kh’nyohm sohk sabay I’m fine
Or kun Thank you
Teur niak chhmooh ar vey? What is your name?
Kh’nyohm chhmooh … My name is …
Niak ar yuh ponn marnn? How old are you?
Kh’nyohm ar yuh … chhnamm I am … years old
Teur … thlai ponn marnn? How much is …?
Vear thlai naa! Its too expensive!
Te No
Baht Yes
Sohm toh Excuse me / I’m sorry
Min trov kar te No need
Or kun. Pon teh kh’nyohm min trov kar thong plastic te. Thank you, but I don’t need a plastic bag.
Kh’nyohm min trov kar tuy yo te No straw please.
Sohm chuoy kar pea pak ri sthan ro bos yioeng Please help protect our environment
Sohm kom bdo koan seng Please do not change my bath towels
Sohm kom bdo kam rarl pouk Please do not change my linen
Lia sen hao-y! Good bye!
Sam nang la or! Good luck!

Important Dates Affecting Touring and Compulsory meals

01 Jan – International New Year’s Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. The Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace will likely be closed. Other touring will be unaffected.

07 Jan – Victory Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

Feb (date not announced yet) – Meak Bochea Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

08 Mar – International Women’s Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

3 days in Apr 2006 (dates not yet announced) – Khmer New Year:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. All sites in Siem Reap will be open. Some sites in Phnom Penh will be open in the morning, and closed in the afternoon. Phnom Penh will be particularly crowded during the three days of the new year.

01 May – International Labor Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

May (date not announced yet) – Visak Bochea Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

May (date yet to be announced) – Royal Ploughing Ceremony:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

13 to 15 May King Sihamouni’s Birthday:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

01 June – International Children’s Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

18 Jun – Queen’s Birthday:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

24 Sep – Constitution Day:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

3 days in Oct (dates yet to be announced) – Pchum Ben’s Day:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. There may be crowds of people in the afternoon in Phnom Penh, and this may affect traffic flow.

23 Oct – Paris Peace Accord:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

29 Oct – King Sihamouni’s Coronation Day:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

31 Oct – King’s Birthday:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. There will most likely be crowds in Phnom Penh in the afternoon, and this could affect traffic flow.

09 Nov – Independence Day:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

3 days in Nov (dates yet to be announced) – Water Festival:
Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. There will be significant crowds during the day and night, in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Public holiday. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. The Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace will likely be closed. Other touring will be unaffected.

10 Dec – Human Rights Day:
Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

24 Dec – Christmas Eve:
Not a public holiday – no effect on touring. There will be compulsory dinners at a number of hotels in Siem Reap, as follows:

  • Victoria Angkor, Siem Reap, $65USD La Residence d’Angkor, Siem Reap, $60USD/pax (approx. only, based on 2005 prices)
  • Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap, special board and meal package between 29 Dec and 3 Jan.
  • Sofitel Royal Angkor, Siem Reap, $40USD (approx. only, based on 2005 prices).

31 Dec – International New Year’s Eve:
Public holiday – banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses. There will be compulsory dinners at a number of hotels in Siem Reap, as follows:

  • Victoria Angkor, Siem Reap, $100USD
  • La Residence d’Angkor, Siem Reap, $120USD/pax (approx. only, based on 2005 prices)
  • Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap, special board and meal package between 29 Dec and 3 Jan
  • Sofitel Royal Angkor, Siem Reap, $40USD (approx. only, based on 2006 prices)
  • Sokha Beach Resort, Sihanoukville, $70USD

Recommended Reading
There is a wealth of reading about Cambodia, although not all of it is easy to find outside Asia. Many of the books below are available as photocopies in markets in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, or as originals in good bookstores in Thailand (Asia Books, Bookazine, Kinokuniya). Publishers can vary according to the country of printing and the edition, so we have not listed publisher details. Many titles focus on the Indochina War years or on the Pol Pot era; it is much harder to find good titles on other themes. A selection of our favourite/ recommended titles is as follows:

Guide books and the temples

  • ‘The Rough Guide to Cambodia’, by Rough Guide Publications – This is the pick of the guidebooks on Cambodia, however the current 2002 edition is somewhat out of date in the eating and sightseeing sections. Full of relevant detail, good coverage of history and destinations, and easy-to-read maps.
  • ‘Angkor, an Introduction to the Temples’(Odyssey), by Dawn Rooney – Excellent lead-in to the wonderful temples and to ancient Khmer history. Several brief but illuminating pages on each main temple, with good colour photos.
  • ‘National Geographic, May 1982’ – A series of interesting articles on Cambodia which researched the effects of the Khmer Rouge occupation on the temples of Angkor.

Travelogues

  • ‘A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam’, by Norman Lewis – This doyen of British travel writing writes lucidly and with perception of his travels in Indochina, at the end of the colonial era in the late 1950s. A classic.
  • ‘The Cambodia Less Travelled’ by Ray Zepp – Wonderful little guide book first published in 1996, and written by an expat. English teacher who enjoyed exploring backwater rural Cambodia on the weekends. Recently re-published. Very hard to get (photocopies are sometimes for sale in the Last Home Guesthouse near Friends restaurant in Phnom Penh).

Early accounts of Angkor

  • ‘The Customs of Cambodia’, by Chou Ta-Kuan – This book is all that remains of the full account of a Chinese emissary’s visit to Angkor in the late 13th century. Much of what the Siem Reap guides know about ancient Cambodian customs comes from this book. Very hard to get – photocopies are sometimes available for sale at Psar Thmei market in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian culture

  • ‘Culture Shock Cambodia (A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette)’, by Peter North – The much-awaited Cambodia version in the ‘Culture Shock’ series contains practical information on the defining characteristics of Cambodian social norms and society. Highly recommended for responsible travellers who want more than just a surface understanding of a unique and complex culture.
  • ‘The Khmers’, by Solange Thierry – Written by the former curator of the National Museum in Phnom Penh, this is an academic read explaining the roots of the Khmer people, with particular reference to Indian and Chinese influences.

The war years (and the Khmer Rouge period)

  • ‘Cambodia, Report from a Stricken Land’, by Henry Kamm – Based on the author’s career experiences as a journalist in Cambodia from the 1970’s, and numerous interviews with Khmer Rouge leaders and Norodom Sihanouk. The book provides a concise account of the steps leading up to the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge, and its four year reign. Harsh words from the author about the inaction of the international community during these times, and about the refugee era created in the aftermath of the 1979 Vietnamese invasion.
  • ‘Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia’, by William Shawcross – Brilliant, comprehensive and highly controversial account of the USA’s complicated role in Cambodian political and military affairs in the 1960s and 70s. Heavy reading; best suited to those with a serious interest in international affairs and politics.

Survivor accounts

  • ‘First They Killed My Father’, by Loung Ung – One of the better of a series of moving books about surviving the killing fields war years.
  • ‘Stay Alive My Son’ by Pin Yathay – In a similar vein to ‘First They Killed my Father, this is remarkable story of survival, cunning and human spirit in the face of incredible odds and massive personal loss.
  • ‘The Gate’, by Francoise Bizot – True story of Francois Bizot, the French ethnologist who was captured and imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge. Eerie recounts of the author’s interrogation sessions with Comrade Duch, the man who would later become the head of notorious Tuol Sleng concentration camp.
  • ‘One Step Beyond’ by Chris Moon – Autobiography by young British man who worked in Cambodia in the early 1990s as a de-miner, survived kidnapping by the Khmer Rouge, lost two limbs in a landmine accident in Mozambique, then went on to run the London marathon. Inspirational.

The foreign aid industry

  • ‘The Quality of Mercy’ by William Shawcross – Masterful account of international donor efforts to assist distraught Cambodia (and its massive border refugee population) in the post Pol Pot years. Very detailed and heavy, a stark commentary on the competing efforts of large aid organizations for global kudos.

Cambodian history

  • ‘A Brief History of Cambodia’, by David Chandler – A heavy but highly detailed read for the person with an avid or academic interest in Cambodian history, from its early beginnings to the present. Consider reading the chapter on Jayavarman VII (the ‘temple builder’) in isolation from the rest of the book, for a good overview of arguably the most significant of Angkor’s kings.
  • ‘A Short History of Cambodia’, by John Tully – This hot of the press account of Cambodian history is far easier to read than Chandler’s seminal work, yet gives good, concise coverage of matters ancient and recent comprising Khmer history.
  • ‘Brother Enemy, The War After the War’ by Nayan Chanda – seminal book detailing the history of Indochina since 1975 (the fall of Saigon) with reference to the historic antipathies between Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. This is a hard read which perhaps better falls under the heading of ‘Indochina politics’.
  • ‘Sihanouk, Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness’, by Milton Osborne – Milton Osborne is one of the best and easiest to read writers on Indochina and Cambodia. Osborne lived in Phnom Penh from the late 1950s and used his societal contacts and other research sources to prepare this frank account of the enigmatic and ultimately self-centric Sihanouk. Osborne has written many books on Cambodia which are well worth reading.

General

  • ‘Gecko Tales’, by Carol Livingston – A fine and humorous read based on the author’s experience covering the United Nation’s supervision of elections in the early 1990s. Some astute comments about the role and effectiveness of the United Nations and its administrative, military, and support personnel.
  • ‘River of Time’, by Jon Swain – One of the best introductory reads into the trauma of the Indochina war era. Swain writes of his personal experiences as a journalist and resident in Phnom Penh and Vietnam, and recounts some soul destroying stories from Cambodia’s lost decade, the 1970s. He was one of the last foreigners to evacuate Phnom Penh in 1975, from the grounds of the French embassy.

Novels

  • ‘Battambang’ by Ron Poulton – There are not many novels set in Cambodia, but this detective/ mystery set in Battambang near the end of French colonial rule is a great read. Evocative descriptions of western Cambodia’s commercial hub, of its jaded colonial occupants, and set against the backdrop of Khmer Issarak and communist insurgencies.
  • ‘Highways to a War’ by Christopher Koch – A gripping read based on the life story of Neil Davis, the Tasmanian cameraman who made Cambodia his home in the 1970s, filmed the fall of Saigon in 1975, and died in Bangkok while filming a Thai military coup. Tim Bowden’s biography of Neil Davis (titled ‘One Crowded Hour’) is also an excellent read.

 

 

CAMBODIA Q& A

 

Q: When is the best time to travel to Cambodia?
A: All year is fine. Travellers should note that Cambodia is especially hot and humid (highs of 35 – 38 degrees) between May and September. In December, January and February, humidity is at its lowest. Photographers should travel during the hot wet period for the best colours and clearest skies. The rain is usually confined to a torrential afternoon downpour of 1-2 hour duration.

Q: What kinds of transport are used on tour?
A: For road journeys and inner city touring, air-conditioned mini buses or coasters are used. These are well maintained, safe vehicles – the best available, and good for small group travel. Domestic flights are on French built ATR 72 planes.

Q: Will I encounter lots of poverty and squalor travelling through Cambodia?
A: Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and is slowly emerging from its tragic past. Travellers will encounter beggars in the cities and will also likely be confronted by poverty and victims of landmines. However, travellers will also see the ‘new’ Cambodia, where people are eagerly embracing business opportunities and development as the country reestablishes itself after a tragic recent past.

Q: How much money will I spend per day touring?
A: Approximately US$12 per person for day to day living. Cambodia is a country that offers great value for your money. For around US$12 you will be able to buy lunch and dinner at good restaurants, as well as refreshments (non-alcoholic) during the day.

Q: How much English is spoken in Cambodia?
A: As Cambodia continues to open up to the outside world more and more people are learning English. In our hotels, most staff members can speak English. However, on the streets and in local restaurants fewer people can speak English and street signs and menus are written in local script. With the help of our local guides and tour leaders these communication problems are easily overcome. As in the case with most of Asia, younger people are more likely to speak English.

Q: What else will I see in Cambodia, apart from the temples at Angkor?
A: A number of the things that make Cambodia a unique destination. Our journeys in Cambodia include a boat cruise on serene Lake Tonle Sap, the largest fresh water lake in Asia, the source of much of Cambodia’s food, and industry. We travel by boat through a floating fishing village on the edge of the lake and this gives us an insight into a fascinating way of life. We also spend time in riverside Phnom Penh, once regarded as the prettiest of the French colonial cities, and still pocketed with fine examples of colonial architecture. The city is also home to a fascinating national museum, a royal palace, and a stunning pagoda.

 

Money

How should I take money to Cambodia?
How much money will I need each day for food and other expenses?
Do I need to tip in Cambodia?
Will I need to bargain for everything I want to buy?

Health & safety

What vaccinations will I need to have?
Are Western toilets available?
Is Cambodia a safe country?
I’m traveling alone – is it safe to go out at night?
Is Cambodia a good place to take children?

Food & water

Can I drink the water?
Is there vegetarian food and Western food available?
I have special dietary requirements/allergies – can these be accommodated?
What general food and water precautions should I take?

Getting there and away and around

What is the flight time to Cambodia?
Do I need a visa for Cambodia?
Are the domestic flights safe and reliable?
Is it safe to catch a taxi or cyclo at night?

Packing

Should I take a suitcase or a backpack?
What is the baggage allowance on domestic flights?
What should I pack for a vacation in Cambodia?
Will I need wet weather gear?

Communications & technology

Will I be able to use my mobile phone?
Are there many internet cafes in Cambodia?
I am traveling with my laptop – will I be able to access WiFi?

Responsible travel

I would like to bring some gifts for the local children – what do you suggest?
What are some of the local customs I should be aware of?
Looking for further information on how you can travel responsibly?

For information on our responsible travel polices visit our Responsible travel page.

Money

How should I take money to Cambodia?
Bring a combination of debit and credit cards, as well as some USD cash. ATMs are widely available in airports, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and dispense USD. Most hotels change traveler’s checks and cash at reasonable rates. Credit cards can be used in mid-range to upmarket hotels and in a limited number of shops and restaurants in major centres. If you bring traveler’s checks, it is best to use USD, but these are now becoming harder to cash.

How much money will I need each day for food and other expenses?
Cambodia is more expensive than neighboring countries. Allow approximately 30 USD per person for day-to-day living, which will buy you lunch and dinner at good local restaurants (your breakfast is always included), as well as refreshments during the day. Transport such as tuk-tuks and cyclos is inexpensive, and should cost you no more than 5 USD a day on average, and often much less. If you are traveling independently, you will need to factor in any entrance fees, which are generally between 1-5 USD. Angkor entrance fees are 20 USD for a day pass or 40 USD for a 3-day pass. High end and Western restaurants will cost more. Prices of alcohol varies

Do I need to tip in Cambodia?
Tipping inspires great service and, while it is not generally expected in Cambodia, it is appreciated. In basic restaurants we suggest rounding your bill up to the nearest 1 USD. In more up-market restaurants 5% to 10% is appropriate. If you are happy with the services provided by your guides and drivers, we suggest a tip of 3-5 USD per person per day for guides and 2 USD per person per day for drivers. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Will I need to bargain for everything I want to buy?
Bargaining for souvenirs has long been the norm in Cambodia, however ‘fixed price’ boutiques are becoming more common. Even then, you may be able to garner a discount, especially if you buy more than one item. Bargaining should always be good-natured – a smile and friendly attitude are a must. In some cases you will be able to get a 50% discount or more, at other times this may only be 10%. And it’s never a good idea to compare prices with someone else – chances are they will have! In most cases you will not need to bargain for basic items such as bottled water, toiletries and food.

Health & safety

What vaccinations will I need to have?
Some of the diseases known to exist in Cambodia include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, dengue, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rabies and HIV/AIDS. Consult with your local doctor or a specialist travel medical centre for up-to-date health information on vaccinations and medicine for your trip at least one month prior to departure.

Are Western toilets available?
All hotels and guesthouses, including home-stays, are equipped with Western toilets. On long bus drives, we endeavour to time stops according to acceptable and hygienic toilet facilities which will, in most cases, include a Western toilet. We recommend that you carry hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Is Cambodia a safe country?
These days Cambodia is a relatively safe country by world standards. Usual common sense precautions are advisable, especially in Phnom Penh. Avoid poorly lit streets at night and take taxis rather than cyclos. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers, and a detailed record of your traveler’s checks. You should leave valuables in hotel safety deposit boxes wherever possible. In Phnom Penh in particular, we recommend you wear as little jewelry as possible and keep your spending money close to your body in a secure place when out on the street.

I’m traveling alone – is it safe to go out at night?
Our hotels are centrally located in safe neighborhoods however we do advise against walking alone at night in Phnom Penh. Most hotels we use have a restaurant or can arrange a tuk-tuk or a taxi to take you directly to your destination. To assist in finding your way back to your hotel, make sure you obtain a hotel address card, to show the driver where you want to go.

Is Cambodia a good place to take children?
Cambodia is very child-friendly. If you are traveling with children aged 5-17, our Family Journeys, featuring a combination of fun and educational activities, might best suit your needs. Some hotels cater well to families with triple share options, or adjoining rooms.

Food & Water

Can I drink the water?
We advise against drinking tap water in Cambodia. Bottled water provided on a complimentary basis by most hotels and is otherwise inexpensive and readily available.

Is there vegetarian food and Western food available?
Vegetarian dishes are not a common feature of Khmer cuisine, however there are a number of vegetarian restaurants in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Elsewhere, even vegetable dishes may use fish or meat stock as a base so if you are a strict Vegetarian it’s a good idea to ask about the ingredients used. Western food is widely available in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, though is generally more expensive than local cuisine.

I have special dietary requirements/allergies – can these be accommodated?
It is generally possible to accommodate special dietary requirements and allergies, though it is a good idea to have someone prepare a Khmer translation of the details of your needs to show restaurant staff. Even non-seafood dishes may feature prahok, a fish paste, shrimp paste or fish sauce as a base.

What general food and water precautions should I take?
We advise you to use bottled water, even to clean your teeth. Always wash your hands thoroughly, particularly after handling local money. Ensure meats are thoroughly cooked. It is not necessary to avoid salads and herbs out of hand but remember uncooked foods do carry a greater risk. In general, establishments that cater to Western tourists make their own ice on the premises from bottled water. Elsewhere, ice is made from filtered water that is delivered in blocks from local factories. If in doubt as to the origin of ice, it’s a good idea to ask.

Getting there and away and around

What is the flight time to Cambodia?
From Australia: Flight times range from 12 Hours (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth) to 15 hours (Adelaide, Brisbane)
From New Zealand: 16 hours from Auckland
From UK: 16 hours from London
From USA: Flight times range from 17 hours (Los Angeles) to 20 hours (New York)

Do I need a visa for Cambodia?
To enter Cambodia you will need a passport with at least six-months validity and a tourist visa. The Cambodian Government has introduced an electronic tourist visa (“e-visa”) facility. This applies to travelers entering Cambodia at Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) and Bavet (Svay Rieng), as well as Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports. For further details see our visa information page, speak to one of our experts or contact your local Cambodian consulate or embassy.

Are the domestic flights safe and reliable?
All domestic flights within Cambodia are with Cambodia Angkor Air operated in conjunction with Vietnam Airlines featuring French-made ATR 72 and Airbus A321 aeroplanes. Schedules sometimes change and this can result in alterations to your itinerary.

Is it safe to catch a taxi or cyclo at night?
We generally advise against taking cyclo’s at night, tuk-tuks are a safer mode of transport especially if known by hotel concierge. In Phnom Penh there is a network of safe and reliable taxis. To assist in finding your way back to your hotel, make sure you obtain a hotel address card, to show the driver where you want to go.

Packing

Should I take a suitcase or a backpack?
We recommend one piece of medium-sized lightweight luggage with wheels and preferably a soft cover. If you are traveling on a train during your stay, bear in mind that you will need to travel with your luggage in your compartment, where space is limited, as there is no separate baggage car.

What is the baggage allowance on domestic flights?
The baggage allowance in economy class with Cambodia Angkor Air on domestic flights is one piece of checked luggage weighing no more than 20kg (44 pounds), plus one piece of hand luggage weighing no more than 7kg (15 pounds).

What should I pack for a vacation in Cambodia?
Please refer to the following checklist as a guide. You may need to carry your own bags at certain stages during the trip so you should be able to lift them! Laundry service is available in most hotels but can be expensive.

Travel documents: passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets,
Money: traveler’s checks/cash/credit card and money pouch
Day pack and/or shoulder bag that can be slung across the body for security
First aid kit
Medication/prescriptions (it is a good idea to have a doctors letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication), travel sickness tablets if required
Torch/flashlight
Travel plug/international adapter
Insect repellent
A range of comfortable, quick dry, loose fitting clothes
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Swimming costume
Lightweight travel towel
Ear plugs/eye mask
Comfortable walking shoes
Camera, film and/or memory cards with spare batteries (or battery charger)
Raincoat/umbrella
Waterproof jacket
Clothes for temples – long pants or long skirts, long sleeve top, shoes which are easy to slip on/off

Will I need wet weather gear?
We do advise you bring wet weather gear however raincoats and umbrellas can easily be purchased in Cambodia.

Communications & technology

Will I be able to use my mobile phone?
Mobile phone networks cover much of the country and global roaming is available – check with your service provider before leaving home. Reception can be patchy outside urban areas.

Are there many internet cafes in Cambodia?
You will find many internet cafes in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and some in Sihanoukville. Rates are generally reasonable. Most hotels offer an internet service however rates are generally higher than in internet cafes.

I am traveling with my laptop – will I be able to access WiFi?
WiFi is becoming increasingly common in hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. WiFi is also offered in some hotels, either in-room or in certain public areas such as the lobby. Check with your travel expert for availability of WiFi at your chosen hotel/s before departure.

Responsible travel

I would like to bring some gifts for the local children – what do you suggest?
Gifts such as text books and pencils are most appropriate and best given to organizations (such as schools or clinics) rather than to individuals, as distribution through a community channel is more likely to occur equitably, and with dignity. We advise against giving gifts directly to children on the street, at home or in village communities. Gift giving creates inequality within communities and encourages children to start begging. Giving money (even to children who offer to act as guides) can also make children the primary income earners in their family, resulting in long-term school truancy.

What are some of the local customs I should be aware of?
Dress standards are fairly conservative, especially outside major cities. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong. You should try to keep your shoulders covered, especially outside major cities. Try to resolve any difficulties in a calm, friendly matter. Losing your temper will not get you anywhere.

For more responsible travel tips read our ‘Tread Lightly’ booklet on our Responsible travel page.