Q1. How do I obtain a Cambodia visa?
A1. There are two ways to obtain a Cambodian visa. If you have time, you can apply for the visa in advance at the Royal Cambodian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Make sure that you receive the right visa type (Type B), so you can have it extended at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when you are in Cambodia. Otherwise, you can obtain a visa, which is a regular one, upon arrival at the airport for a fee of $20. This visa will be good for one month, after which time PAS can facilitate visa extensions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; however, you may have to pay for the extension fee. If you choose the latter option, please have extra passport size photos on hand upon arrival.
Q2. How should I bring money into the country? I would rather not carry a substantial sum with me in cash. Any suggestions?
A2. Cash: Cambodia has a cash-based economy and virtually all transactions take place in dollars. We recommend having a fair amount of dollars on hand initially; the rest can safely be brought in travelers checks, which can be exchanged at most banks or hotels (normally a 3% commission is charged). You will not have access to the Embassy’s cashier service unless there is an emergency need to do so. A limited number of establishments (including top hotels) accept credit cards.
Q3. I would like to bring some materials with me for my teaching assignment in Cambodia. If I decide to ship some of these materials by DHL to lighten my luggage, would it be possible to use the Embassy or any other address you can suggest, as a shipping address? If so, will there be a problem with "extra fees"
A3. As a Fulbright Scholar or English Language Fellow, you are authorized to make a one-time shipment of materials in support of your program. This shipment is limited to 4 boxes, each weighing less than 40 pounds. These materials cannot be sent back to the U.S. via pouch. Due to pouch regulations, no other mail services are available through the Embassy. Please use the following address:
Theresa Loong, Public Diplomacy Officer
4540 Phnom Penh Place
Dulles, VA 20189-4540
Hold for: (your name)
Q4. What is the availability of prescription medication in Phnom Penh? Should I bring a sufficient supply for the duration of my program, or is there a way to fill prescriptions through the Embassy?
A4. Post recommends you bring a sufficient supply fro the duration of your stay in Phnom Penh. There is an SOS clinic adjacent to the Embassy and you can contact them for advice if you do need medical attention or prescriptions while you are here (they would know if/where you could find the medication you need). But it is safest to have enough medication on hand, as the Embassy has no pharmacy on-site and you are not authorized to use the pouch system to refill prescriptions by mail.
Q5. What is the public transportation system like?
A5. There is no local bus system and taxis are not readily available, though private cars are available for hire on an occasional basis through several local services. The primary means of public transport is to hop on the back of a local motorcycle, though this is not recommended for safety and security reasons. If you wish, post can arrance to rent a carfor you for the duration of your program, at a cost of approximately $400 per month. Costs for this should be covered out of the grant you receive in Washington. Post will not pay additional funds to cover local transporation.
Q6. Will I have access to the U.S. government e-mail system?
A6. Since you are not a government official permanently assigned to the mission, you are not allowed to access the U.S. government e-mail system. You will, however, be able to use a computer, Internet/e-mail, phone and fax in the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy for official business from time to time. However, you may wish to bring your own laptop for routine work.
Q7. Who I will meet with upon arrival in Phnom Penh?
A7. A member of the PAS staff will greet you at the airport and ensure that you get settled into your temporary accommodation shortly after arrival. A courtesy call will be scheduled with the Public Affairs Officer as soon as possible after your arrival.
Q8. What is the local security situation?
A8. Street crime remains a concern in Cambodia. Military weapons and explosives remain readily available to criminals despite efforts by authorities to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed robberies occur frequently in Phnom Penh, and while not specifically targeted, foreign residents and visitors are among the victims. Victims of armed robberies are reminded that they should not resist and should surrender their valuables as any perceived resistance may be met with physical violence to include lethal force.
Pickpockets and beggars are also present in the markets and at the tourist sites. Pesons visiting Cambodia should practice sound personal security awareness by varying their routes and routines, maintaining a low profile, not carrying or displaying large amounts of cash, not wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, and not walking the streets alone after dark. In addition, we recommend that Americans travel by automobile and not use local moto-taxies or cyclos for transporation. These vehicles are more vulnerable to armed robberies and offer no protection against injury when involved in traffic accidents.
The Heart of Darkness nightclub in Phnom Penh has been placed off limits to all persons under the authority of the Chief of Mission due to a number of safety and security incidents that have occurred there. American citizens are also advised not to visit that establishment.
Political and labor related public demonstrations occur on a fairly regular basis in the capital city, are generally peaceful and conducted without notable incident. Nonetheless, these gatherings have turned violent on occasion and the Embassy continues to advise American citizens to avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and political party offices where crowds may gather.
Q9. What vaccinations should I plan for before arriving in Cambodia?
A9. Recommended vaccinations for Phnom Penh include rabies, hepatitis A, hepatitis B (for at-risk groups), typhoid as well as standard childhood immunizations, diphtheria/tetanus/polio and measles/mumps/rubella and polio. The prevalence of Japanese encephalitis is low and not recommended for short-stay visitors who will be working in primarily urban centers. Visitors staying over several months or traveling extensively through the countryside may wish to be vaccinated. Given the low prevalence of malaria in most areas of Cambodia, travelers are advised against taking anti-malarial prophylaxis unless they are traveling to one of the remote jungle areas. Should an individual need to travel to these jungle regions, anti-malarials can be obtained locally. Dengue Fever, another mosquito-born illness is increasing, particularly in rural areas. To learn more about Dengue Fever please click here. Travelers should be advised that rabies and Japanese encephalitis are a series of three vaccinations over the course of one month and the hepatitis A and B series require six months to complete. Other information on vaccinations and medical conditions in Cambodia are available through the websites of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov or The World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int.