Weather and Climate
As part of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is in a tropical zone that is influenced by monsoons. Thus, it is a wet and dry country with 2 seasons, the dry season (November-April) and the rainy season (May-October).
November – February: The weather is cool and dry with the average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and sometimes drops below 20 degrees Celsius at night. A few monsoon rains continue to drop until mid-November. This is the best period to visit Cambodia especially from December to January when it generally has warm days, no rain, clear skies, and is cool in the evening.
March – May: During these months, it is hot and dry. The temperature rises to its peak in the mid-April and sometimes can get up to 40 degree Celsius. The 3-day Khmer New Year is celebrated in mid-April, and in Siem Reap, a big New Year celebration is held at Angkor Archaeological Park.
June – Early November: Rain begins to fall during these months and is particularly heavy from July to October. The rain usually occurs in the afternoon or at night and lasts no more than two hours. The rainy season is also a good time to visit Siem Reap because it is green and less dusty.
General Safety Guidelines
Unlike its reputation as an edgy county, Cambodia is really a safe country to visit. The nature of violence and crime doesn’t normally occur in this country, especially in Siem Reap province. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your precaution strategies when visiting Cambodia. There are some rules and guidelines for you to follow in order to keep yourself and your possessions safe.
Bag-snatching is the biggest problem when kids on motorbikes or people walking behind you, and unsuspectingly grab your bag and get away. It will be an opportunity for them when they see you walking, cycling, or riding on the back of motorbike. Your basic precautionary method is to tightly carry your bag across your body.
If you go cycling, you can put your valuable belongings in the basket of the bicycle with a zipped cover to protect it. Don’t forget to bring them with you when you stop and visit somewhere. You should not carry too much cash, you can use your credit/debit card instead, or you can keep your passport or jewellery in a safety box at your hotel.
Money in Siem Reap
Cambodia has a dual-currency system where US dollars and Khmer riel are commonly used throughout the country. Most businesses in Siem Reap set their price in US dollars. Thus, the exchange rate differs from time to time, but it’s normally $1 = 4,000 riels.
Khmer currency is in the form of paper notes and the most common currency is 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000-riel notes. Be careful, when you old or teared US dollars, they might be not accepted.
Most restaurants, hotels, supermarkets take credit/debit cards, only a few small places that do not accept them. ATM machines are spread around the city, so you easily withdraw money, but there are little or no ATM machines in the countryside. Cheques or Western Unions are other popular choices and they are mostly welcomed by many banks.
Health Care in Siem Reap
The health care system in Cambodia might not meet the international standard when comparing with other countries in the region. In Siem Reap, there are pharmacies, public and private clinics and hospitals. However, it is not a good place to get sick since the medical care here is either expensive or limited. Make sure you have health insurance and keep it in order before travelling here.
In case you fall sick, ask your insurance agents which hospital or clinic is the good option for you. If you have a serious illness, you may have to find treatment in nearby countries such as Thailand, Vietnam or Singapore as they have better health care. Pharmacies are a bit fishy because the lack control of government control over fake medicines and drugs. U-Care Pharmacy is quite good and it is similar to Boots in Thailand.
Due to being in a tropical region, Cambodia is a good shelter for mosquitos. It is possible to get malaria or dengue fever. You should wear long-sleeved clothes, use insect repellent or mosquito nets when you go to bed. If you suspect any sign of malaria or dengue fever, see the doctor immediately.
Eating and Drinking
There are many places to eat and drink around Siem Reap – from street food to restaurants. How to eat safely in Siem Reap? This question have been asked by many tourists coming to this town. We are sure you don’t want to be sick during your trip to Angkor Wat because it will ruin your day and you won’t be able to catch up with your activities.
The hygiene here is not like in Western countries. The simplest measure you can take is to avoid eating anything that you cannot peel, boil or cook. You should be aware of fresh salads or vegetables since they may not wash and clean them carefully, and stay away from shellfish, raw crabs and rare-cooked meats.
Thanks to the heat, you will be easily dehydrated, so drink a lot of water. You should drink bottled water because tap water is not generally clean. If you want to drink with ice, you should choose the round ice rather that the crushed ice.
Getting Around Siem Reap
There are many ways to travel around Siem Reap and Angkor Archaeological Park. You can choose to walk or take bicycles, e-bikes, motorbikes, Tuk Tuks, PassApp and metered-taxis.
Prepare your two feet and walk around the city. It is a budget method of travelling. You can walk around the Pub Street or along Siem Reap river to enjoy the view of the city and get some exercise as well.
Bicycles, E-bike and Motorbike
There are many places to rent bicycles, e-bikes and motorbikes in Siem Reap. These two-wheeled vehicles can take you as far as you want.
Tuk Tuk and PassApp
There are plenty of Tuk Tuks around which will take you everywhere in Siem Reap. PassApp is a new transportation method. You can download the app from the Playstore (Android devices) or Appstore (iphone) and call them to come and take you.
Metered-taxis are the best choice if you want to avoid the hot sun and dust. It is also good for long distance travel. You don’t have to bargain for the price because there is a machine that measures the distance. The further your go, the higher the price.
We would like to provide you with transportation to get around Siem Reap and Cambodia. You don’t need to worry about being cheated for a higher price with Cambodia Golden Tours.