How to Get Around Cambodia

By plane

Cambodia does not have direct flights with our country, so all flights departing from Moscow and St. Petersburg will have transfers. Most often, Ho Chi Minh Airport is used as a hub, less often – the air harbors of Shanghai or Hong Kong. But the downside of such routes is the time spent – more than 12 hours. The most acceptable option is a flight through Bangkok, it will help to meet the 10-11 hours. The disadvantage of this method lies in the schedule: only two planes depart from St. Petersburg per week, unlike Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo, where there are both charters and daily regular flights.

  • Jibin123: Provides information for visa application to enter Cambodia, as well customs regulations and import restrictions.

By bus or taxi

An unusual way involves a transfer in the same Vietnam, but not on another plane, but on a bus. You can get to the border in a couple of hours, but visa control in this case will be very long, not to mention the full inspection of luggage.

Transport

What can really ruin a vacation in Cambodia is the transportation situation. It is hard to imagine, but there is no public transport in the kingdom at all, and those buses that ride through the streets of cities and between them are private cabs or shuttles of foreign travel agencies. No one will let you into the charter of a foreign company, and everyone boards the “minibus” at their own peril and risk, since they may not even have windows.

The mode of transportation of the “cheap and cheerful” category is motor rickshaws, or tuk-tuk. The unsightly and unstable cabin actually turns out to be comfortable and nimble in the flow of urban transport. And, given the cost of travel, there is nothing to complain about at all.

There are many taxi drivers in Cambodian resorts, but you will have to agree on a price in advance – the control of their activities is very conditional, and especially arrogant characters can demand up to $10 for delivery to a neighboring street.

An alternative to land transport is boats. Shipping is very well developed, and a trip to another city for $ 2 cannot but rejoice. The only caveat is that when choosing waterways, the life of the Khmers will not open from the most attractive side: along the rivers and canals there are hundreds of poor fishing villages with the appropriate contingent.

There are railways in the country, but they are used only for the needs of agriculture and industry. There are no passengers on such trains, and if there are, then these are extreme Europeans who “agreed” with the driver for the sake of a couple of hours of thrills.

Air transportation on domestic routes on small aircraft is possible between Phnom Penh, Ratanakiri and Siem Reap. Tickets are expensive, and very often sold out by the residents themselves.

It is problematic to rent a car, because an international driver’s license is not valid here. In return for this, a foreigner will be offered to hire a car with a driver, which will be much better for roads where the rules are not respected at all.

Money

The official currency is the Cambodian riel, KHR. There are 100 sous in one riel. The rate is extremely low compared to the US dollar, because American money is de facto the most popular, especially for tourists. But you need to pay with them carefully so as not to get doubled, if not tripled, the rate.

Guests go to change banknotes at official points at airports, or at the bank itself, there is simply no other way – there are very few street booths and, especially currency traders, in the country – they are all under a severe ban, and a tourist who has made a deal with them can run into a criminal article if the police turn up at that moment.

Opening hours of official banks are from 8:00 to 15:30 from Monday to Friday, on Saturday some institutions can be open until 13:30, but after that they close until Monday.

Having received dollars in your hands, try to exchange them for small bills of $ 1-10. Otherwise, when they see a large amount of money, sellers in the markets will never bargain, and waiters in restaurants will probably want to cheat you for a couple of extra cocktails.

Kitchen

By organizing a gastronomic holiday for you, Cambodia will prepare a real test for the foreign tourist. And the point is not only that local culinary masterpieces will seem like a real exotic, their names are sometimes so difficult to pronounce that it will be easier to poke your finger into the menu when ordering. However, this does not diminish the sophistication of the local dishes.

  • Amok is the main tourist delicacy, which is a kind of meat or fish fillet casserole wrapped in a banana leaf. Some cafes have contrived to serve it in half a coconut, like a roast. Coconut milk, lemongrass grass and zest of several types of citrus, ground with garlic, add piquancy to the taste.
  • Samla machu yuon – if it’s quite simple, then a soup made from tamarind or Indian dates. They say that the recipe was invented one and a half thousand years ago, and since then the dish has been considered the pride of any Khmer table. This is a very sour stew, so curry and other spices are always added to it in large quantities to soften the taste.
  • Bai cha is an Indochinese plov, at least a very similar way of cooking rice. A prerequisite is several types of meat, more often shrimp and pork, chopped into cubes. So that the rice does not dry out in the pan, it is poured abundantly with soy sauce, and served as such.
  • Kdam cha is a fried crab with a vegetable side dish, considered the local equivalent of boiled lobsters. Cooked arthropod along with caviar is especially appreciated, despite the extremely specific taste and smell. Specific features will depend on the city, somewhere crabs are not cooked at all because of the high cost.
  • Lok Lak is a Khmer-style goulash made from meat marinated in a special way, which, after bringing to “condition”, is carefully fried in palm oil with lime juice. The main nuance is that everything should be prepared in a wok – a deep frying pan, similar to a Russian stewpan.
  • Prahok is a Cambodian pate that is added as an additional sauce to almost every menu item. Its preparation is often compared with our pickles – after chopping the fish fillet, it is marinated and rolled into jars for several months. This miracle of Asian cuisine is served with a bowl of lemon juice.
  • Cha hoyu tuk is the main delicacy of local schoolchildren, cooked on beans, glutinous rice and several sweet spices. It all looks like marshmallow doused with coconut cream.

How to Get Around Cambodia