Also known as Kampuchea, (Cambodge, Cambodja and a few other names) is a small country located in South-East Asia. It is surround by Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and the Bay of Thailand. The people of Cambodia are called Khmers, as is the language. The climate here is tropical, and temperatures range from 16 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees. Winter (November to February) temperatures are the lowest, and Summer (June to September) is the hottest time of year. Winter is very dry and sunny, as opposed to the Summer when rain is common.
The county is considered a third world nation, but the big cities such as Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Phnom Penh, and SihanoukVille are a mix of traditional and modern advanced civilizations.
The main languages spoken here are Khmer, a derivative of Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, and lots of English. The older generation can also speak French, studied in school when Cambodia was a French colony. In the tourist spots around the country, you can also find Korean, Japanese, German and a few other languages. English however is the main second language.
Cambodia is mainly a Buddhist country. There are temples (called Wats), everywhere in the county. These are mainly used during holidays and for funerals. The Buddhist religion stresses tolerance for all views and is never associated with violence. Most households and businesses light incense during the evening and say a quick prayer. Other than that, there are no special considerations for this culture other than when meeting a Monk at a Wat or on the street. The policy when meeting a monk is generally one of humility and respect.
Food in Cambodia consists mostly of meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and soups. Oh yes..... and RICE. Freshwater fish can be found everywhere in the country, and Seafood is plentiful around the coast and in the big cities. Meat, such as chicken, beef, fish and pork is served at most meals. Rice is plentiful here (as is French bread). You will see along the streets fruit vendors and snack sellers pushing a cart, or carrying food on their heads. If you're not used to the food here, it's best to drink only bottled or canned drinks and avoid uncooked foods or fruits that are not peeled.
Electricity in Cambodia is 220Volt and not always reliable. Most, but not all of the guesthouses in town have backup generators
Medical services in Cambodia are generally quite poor. Most serious problems here are referred to Phnom Penh and then to Bangkok in Thailand. Best to have travel insurance before coming to Cambodia. Or just don't get sick or injured is really the best.
When you enter Cambodia from most countries, you will receive a 30 day tourist visa on arrival. You must have 2 passport photos (or you can usually pay a couple extra dollars if you don't have them). Tourist visas cost about $30 (more at the land crossings). Once you are in the country, you can extend your tourist visa for 30 days, one time only. Price is about $55. Want to stay a while longer? Get a business visa when entering the country, and it can be extended indefinitely.
Most of Cambodia is covered in forests, but these are disappearing quickly. To the North and West are mountains, and plenty of rice fields in between. The big cities of Cambodia; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and SihanoukVille are much more industrialized than the countryside. The seaside cities of Kampot & Kep, SihanoukVille and Koh Kong all have ports and fishing villages. The main port for Cambodia is in SihanoukVille.
Cambodia is South-East Asia's fastest growing tourist destination. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, the biggest tourist destination in Cambodia, is a collection of thousand year old stone Temples, and is considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Here in SihanoukVille, Cambodia (named after recently deceased King Sihanouk) we're glad to be the number 2 tourist destination in the country.
Come see for yourself!