Language of Cambodia
Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. It has been predominantly influenced by Sanskrit and Pali. There are basically 3 different dialects spoken Cambodia: Phnom Penh is the standard tone, Northern Khmer is also known as Khmer Surin which spoken by ethnic Khmer and the last is Cardamon Khmer, spoken by being a small population in the Cardamon Mountains of Western Cambodia.
English is the second language, followed by Chinese and French (spoken mostly in the Capital only and generally only spoken by the older generation).
Climate of Cambodia
Cambodia is a very friendly country and can be visited throughout the year. But the last two months of the year has increased rain, which is not recommended for those wishing to travel to some parts of the countryside.
The climate is tropical and can be categorized as three different seasons. The most pleasant, with a cooler temperature of 20-28, C is from November to March. The hot season starts in April and ends in May, with an average temperature of 30-35 C. From June to October is the rainy season, with a relatively cool temperature of 25-30 C.
The months of December and January are generally considered the best for travels, with the minor temperature and reduced dampness levels. April is generally the hottest month. The monsoon season from June through October, usually follows a pattern of clear mornings, with a period of rain in the afternoon.
Cambodia experiences a tropical climate almost all year round so lightweight dress is best. In the cooler months, warmer dress may be required, particularly during the evenings and in mountainous regions. Travelers should keep in mind to dress modestly and remove their footwear when entering places of religious significance such as pagodas. It is best to wear sturdy walking shoes when visiting temple sites as the ground can be undulating.
Rice is the staple ingredient of Cambodia, along with Prahok. Khmer Cuisine is very famous with fresh ingredients. Sea foods are very much available in the cities and towns, and at relatively good prices. The freshwater fish and shellfish are also very delicious.
Cambodian Passports & Visas
A passport valid for a six month minimum and an entry visa are required when entering Cambodia. Visas are available on arrival at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. You should have two passport sized photos with you to accompany your visa process. Also visas can get in border crossings on the Thai-Cambodian and Vietnamese-Cambodian border points. Travelers can also apply for visas in advance by contacting the nearest Cambodian embassy. Tourist visas can be extended through a travel agent or at the “Department for Foreigners” of the Ministry of Interior.
Alternatively, travelers can obtain visas online via the Cambodian e-visa system: www.mfaic.gov.kh
Transportation in Cambodia
If you are a Tourist and wish to drive in Cambodia, you need to hold a valid International Driving Permit to exchange for a Cambodian driving license. There is a fee for the exchange of US $25.
The majority of roads in Cambodia is now being better. However, if you travel by motorcycle, you are advised to take precautions which include the use of a helmet and protective clothing, both as driver or passenger.
There are many small boats which tourists can rent to view the scenery from the sea or rivers. Sunset cruises in Phnom Penh are very popular. Cambodia doesn’t have big ships…
Domestic air services within Cambodia are limited. Internal air services to Ratanakiri is now available and Cambodia has opened an international airport at its famous sea resort of Sihanoukville.
We currently advise against travel by train. Service and destination coverage is poor and train and rail track are poorly maintained, leading to an increased risk of accidents and delays.
As of 2008, a major rail rebuilding and renovation program has been instigated, making the option of rail travel in the future, especially between Thailand, a viable possibility.
Cambodia also has helicopters for hire.
Post & Communication
Sending mail and parcels from Cambodia is now much more reliable than in the past.
Most hotels and guest houses now have IDD lines, but international calls are expensive.
The internet service is widely available, including wireless hotspots and Wimax services. You can access the Internet from hotels or from the many internet cafes.