GREETING & INTERACTION WITH CAMBODIAN
Wear appropriate clothes: When entering temples or pagodas, it is must to dress clothes covering your shoulders and trouser with sleeves over your knees for both men and women. Otherwise, you may be not allowed to go inside.
Manners are important in public place, you should call a person by his/her name with “sir” or “madam” in frontside. Furthermore, receiving or giving gift with both of hands is in polite manner.
With any reason, we can’t criticize the royal family and the King that should be on the top important thing.
In Europe, touch the head of a child is normal. In contrary, it is not respectful to touch the head of someone even a child. This gesture is considered as an offense. However, Cambodians can hand in hand to walk together for both men and women.
In temples and pagodas, please don’t stand or sit with your back to the Buddha statues or point your feet/finger in its direction.
Always ask for the accept before shooting a photo of the local.
Candy and money to children: Be careful when you decide to buy some items from the local or giving them candy/money which encourages them not to join class in their school. They will escape from the class, beg the tourists instead and lose their future. Other suggestion for alternatives are to give them books, shoes, clothes or knowledge by some teaching charity activities, etc…
Monks: Monks are very respected by the local community in almost Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia and Myanmar. It seems to be not rude when women touch or stand or sit too close to monks.
VIII. MONEY & BUDGET
The RIEL with a selection of various notes: 100.000, 50.000, 20.000, 10.000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100.
In fact, US dollar is widely used in the whole country even used in ATMs, except some remote areas in the north and northeast of this country. It means, you can use US dollar in all big cities in Cambodia without the difficulty. We can pay or exchange dollars in Riel at hotels, restaurants and even markets. It is highly recommended to keep the amount of 20 dollars in Riel to pay for very local services such as moto-taxis, food, snack, small purchases in markets.
Besides it, Thai Baht is also the second favorite foreign currency used commonly in Cambodia. All price are written in US dollars, Thai Baht and Riel even in some isolated islands such as Koh Rong, Poipet and Sisopon.
Euro is acceptable in Cambodia but very rare, you can exchange it at the bank and luxury hotels.
Exchange rate: For your information: 1 USD = 4100 riel = 35 baht. (August 2016)
1 euro = 5000 (exchange rate euro/dollar). It is not advantageous to have too much money in riels. Highly recommended to have plenty of small billes ($1-$5), otherwise, it is difficult to be exchanged with big notes of $50 – $100.
In Cambodia, Western Union, represented by the SBC and Acleda Bank while Moneygram represented by the Canadian Bank, this payment method is very fast money transfer but quite expensive with the bank fee up to 5-10% per money transaction.
Credit cards is quite popular in Cambodia as well as other Asian countries. Almost superior hotels, airlines, luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants or supermarkets accept the main credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Cirrus and sometimes American Express. The bank fee when compared with Western Union is much better with the rate of approximately 3%.
ATMs in Cambodia is different with other Southeast Asia countries. While other countries allow to get local currencies in ATMs, we can get dollars from ATMs in Cambodia. That is one of comfortable experience for the travelers, tourists and expat communities. The maximum amount at once is up to US$2,000.
As normally, Tips are not compulsory in Cambodia, however, it is something the local are expecting to get it when serving you. In Cambodia, 1 USD tip can represent the equivalent salary of half a day’s work.
Drivers, guides and service staff will always be happy to accept your tip.
In Temples, it is normal to put some money in the donation boxes located at the end of the visit, it is not tips, it is one of custom in the country. The local always do that with the hope of getting back a prosperous life for their family.
Cambodia is risky mosquito countries. All malaria treatments are inappropriate. Only your doctor will be able to give you the indications according to the situation of your health.
Prevention of diseases transmitted by insect bites: For tourists, the usual protective measures should be observed (long clothing in areas where there are many mosquitoes, mosquito repellents to be used on the skin and on the clothes, electric diffusers). The mosquito net is not compulsory if you respect these rules and it can be bulky during your trip. In addition, some hotels offer mosquito nets to their clients. In the hotel rooms, we advise you to activate the air conditioner to keep the mosquitoes away.
Regarding vaccines before your trip, you are recommended to be vaccinated Tetanus, Polio and Diphtheria. Other vaccines recommended include Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, Typhus and Tuberculosis, vaccinations against rabies and Japanese encephalitis are also advised. However, officially, there are no vaccinations required to enter Cambodia.