Bokor Mountain National Park in Cambodia

smoking a hand rolled cigarette, on the shores of Kampot, Cambodia

It's all fun and Games

if you know what you're doing.  Where's a doctor when you need one?  Where's the ATM machine? There's 2 here now. Why is it so crowded today, when there was nobody here yesterday?

The two official currencies of Cambodia are the Riel and US Dollar.  Most small purchases are made in Cambodian Riel, and larger amounts (over a few dollars) are made in US currency. The current exchange rate is about 4,200 Cambodian Riel to one US dollar.  You can exchange Thai Baht and Euros in some places as well.  Some banks have VISA and Master Card withdrawal services. Travelers checks can also be exchanged.

Money Part 2
Dollars, dollars, everywhere, but you can't spend them all. Be careful when accepting large bills, as there are a few counterfeits out there. Also be warned: dollars with small rips, writing on the bill, or too old will not be accepted anywhere. Don't accept it, don't expect other people to accept it. Cambodian currency can be torn, taped, or look like it was printed at Angkor Wat 1,000 years before, and it's OK to use. Western Union can be found at ACLEDA Bank.   Canadia Bank in Kampot also has an ATM!

Most places don't have any prices marked on items.  It is always prudent to ask how much something is, before agreeing to purchase it.  In many places, you will be given a price that is several times the normal price.  It is then up to you to bargain the price down.

Help, I need a doctor
Medical services are very basic in Kampot, less than basic in Kep (nonexistent on Bokor Mountain), and a bit better in Phnom Penh.  Malaria is common in the jungles, but not in Kampot and Kep.  Most all drugs can be purchased over the counter at a few pharmacies in Kamot town, mostly around the traffic circle.  For big emergencies, best to get back home or to Bangkok (unless there's a war going on there)

Customs and Culture
Cambodia is a Buddhist country. Monks walk around in the morning, collecting food and money to maintain the Wats (Buddhist Temples).  The Cambodian people are very polite and respectful, and expect the same in return.   

Every week or two comes a yearly holiday.  Banks and government institutions are closed, but most other places are open for business.  In Kampot and Kep, holidays are usually a bit crowded with tourists from Phnom Penh.  If you see a holiday comes on a weekend, expect the following Monday to be a holiday as well. Khmers like to party like the rest of us!

Some people have it here, some don't.  If you are having it, make sure (guys only) to wrap it up.  "Number One" in Cambodia is a condom, not a number, and it costs about 7 cents each.   Use it.   Free AIDs test at the Sihanouk Ville Hospital.

You can get your Cambodian Visa at any border, if you don't have one already.  A tourist visa cost $20 (plus whatever else they can get at the border), and you must have 2 photos.  It's good for 30 days and can be renewed once for 30 days for $50, while you're in the country.  Also, in Sihanoukville, you can get a visa for Vietnam within hours, and at the best price in the world at the Vietnamese Consulate.

Police are everywhere in Cambodia.  But it's usually hard to find one when you need help.  Remember, if you want service, the $20 monthly salary of police doesn't cover all their cost.  If you need help, expect to pay for it.   Kampot and Kep are very safe towns, and most of the legal trouble foreigners have here is when they're drunk.

When calling Cambodia from overseas, the country extension is 855.  Any phone number starting with a "0", you should not dial the "0".   When calling from within Cambodia, you can find public phone stands everywhere, and calls are usually 8 to 12 cents a minute.

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