Cambodia is a very popular country among backpackers, and for good reason. The country is relatively small, very cheap and has beautiful sights to enjoy. The visa for Cambodia is easy to apply for online, so every year thousands of backpackers go on an adventure to Cambodia.
Is Cambodia safe?
Cambodia is generally safe for foreign tourists. There are relatively few reports of violent crimes against foreigners. The vast majority of tourists are positive about the way they were received by the local population. Inhabitants of Cambodia are generally very friendly and helpful.
Nevertheless, it is wise to remain vigilant. Cambodia is a poor country with a lot of unemployment and low wages. This means that some inhabitants are looking for other ways to get money, such as pickpocketing or scams. For example, you may be held up by fake policemen who say you have to pay a fine or you may be arrested. There have also been cases of taxi drivers dropping you off somewhere else than you agreed because they have a deal with a hotel.
Always keep copies of your passport. Put your money somewhere where others cannot easily reach it; criminals often try to steal bags or wallets on bikes. Also take out good travel insurance. Should something go wrong, you will always have a safety net to fall back on.
How expensive is Cambodia?
Cambodia is extremely cheap for foreign tourists, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular with backpackers. With a daily budget of $15 you are already set. Hotel rooms are already available for $4 per night. For a tenner extra you get more luxury, such as air conditioning, room service and a swimming pool. Airbnb also operates in Cambodia.
For $5, you can get a delicious meal in a restaurant. Street vendors are even cheaper, but watch out for hygiene. Diarrhoea is a common problem with backpackers who have not paid attention to what (or where) they eat.
However, there are also a number of costs that are relatively high. For example, the visa for Cambodia costs £59.95. The entrance fees for certain places of interest, such as the national parks, can also be quite high. It is therefore important to plan your route for a trip to Cambodia. This way, smart travellers can quickly save hundreds of dollars.
Does Cambodia have internet?
Cambodia has internet in almost all major cities, and certainly in places that are popular with tourists. Hotels and other accommodations often have free Wi-Fi, or the cost is included in the standard price. But there are also places where the internet is slower, or doesn't work at all. This is especially the case in poorer towns and villages. To always have internet, it is therefore recommended buying a SIM card in Cambodia. Do this at an official shop; street vendors often increase the price, up to three times as much. To buy a SIM card a copy of the passport has to be made. You can usually find a good SIM card for $5.
The visa for Cambodia: Online or at the border
British and Irish travellers going to Cambodia are required to apply for a visa. Only visitors from other Southeast Asian countries do not require a visa. Most travellers to Cambodia use either the online version, or the visa that can be purchased locally at the border points. The advantage of the online Cambodia visa is that everything can be arranged in advance. This way, you will not be faced with any surprises upon arrival in Cambodia. If you choose for the paper visa on location, it may happen that due to a problem with the passport the visa cannot be granted. This may even lead to you being sent back home on the next flight. With both visas you can stay in Cambodia for a maximum of 30 days. This is usually more than enough because Cambodia is not a large country. A backpack adventure usually lasts two to three weeks.