Cambodia – A Survival Guide

Sihanoukville, Cambodia, March 2016. Travelling down to Sihanoukville? Then here’s a quick survival guide to helping to keepthat budget on track when you get here.

  1. Money: The local currency is the Riel but vendors and business’s prefer to trade with the US Dollar. Change can be a mix of both. 4000 Riel is worth $1. Don’t get confused with the zero’s – check that your not handing over 10,000 Riels when you mean 1000, trust me when I say you won’t get any change! ATMs dispense Dollars, there are a couple on Victory Hill, more downtown.
  2. Transport: No local public transport here in Sihanoukville. What transport there is is controlled largely by the Tuk Tuk mafia. Intercity and Boarder runs will drop in down-town. A Tuk Tuk to Victory Hill should cost around $4 and a ride on the back of a scooter if your travelling light should be no more than $2. When negotiating your price, walk away and the price will come down quickly!
  3. Pests: Actually compared to other Asian countries I’ve visited being bothered by pests isn’t the trauma it could be. Mosquito’s are few (until rainy season in June), beggars limited to maybe 1 or 2 every couple of days here on Victory Hill. But occasionally there will be a landmine victim shuffling around because his limbs have been decapitated – you may not notice and of course your bag may disappear – most of the time though they’e asking for money, curiously they won’t take food if its offered.
  4. Climate: Stay cool, hit the beach, swim and drink plenty – filtered water should cost 1000 riel and no more!. its pretty hot if your not used to it – 31c on the beach, up to 34 in town.
  5. Safety: Try not to stray too far from civilization. A large proportion of Cambodians are still poor and may just be tempted to find out how much you have in your wallet. Don’t wander around dark lanes at night either, especially if your likely to be inebriated! Having said that, crime doesn’t appear to be a problem in Sihanoukville.
  6. Don’t get Board: Bring your drivers license and hire a scooter, about $6 per day. Explore local villages, the Sihanoukville Snake House, a few temples and try different beaches. Also be sure to take a boat trip to the Islands. Shopping, best do that in downtown for the cheapest prices on just about everything.
  7. A few more ideas of things to do here.
  8. Victory Hill Google Map
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