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  • Cambodia Facts | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide Pocket Rough Guide Hong Kong Macau View Guide Indonesia Rough Guides Snapshot Southeast Asia on a Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to Myanmar View Guide The Rough Guide to Korea View Guide The Yellow River Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide The Rough Guide to Seoul View Guide Tibet Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide Cambodia Fact file Cambodia is about one and a half times the size of England roughly the same area as the US state of Oklahoma Cambodia s population is just over 15 million of which ninety percent is Khmer The remainder consists of ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese together around 6 percent the Cham 2 5 percent and the chunchiet 1 percent Theravada Buddhism is practised by 96 percent of the population alongside some animism and ancestor worship the Cham are Muslim Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected government comprising two houses of parliament the National Assembly and the Senate Average annual income is just 944 per capita making Cambodia the third poorest country in Asia after Nepal and Bangladesh and compared to a per capital income of 5480 in neighbouring Thailand Average life expectancy though improving is just 63 years Cambodia has one of the world s highest rates of deforestation the fifth highest globally according to recent figures Primary rainforest cover fell from over 70 percent in 1970 to just 3 1 percent in 2007 Cambodia has changed its name more frequently than almost any other country in the world Within the past half century it s been known variously as the Khmer Republic 1970 75 Democratic Kampuchea under the Khmer Rouge 1976 79 and the People s Republic of Kampuchea 1979 89 It s now officially called the Kingdom of Cambodia The Cambodian flag is

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  • Getting there | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    Singapore all of which have onward connections to Phnom Penh Fares from both the east and west coasts to Phnom Penh start from around US 1500 From Canada low season return fares from Toronto to Phnom Penh start at around Can 2000 and Can 1500 return from Vancouver Flights from Australia New Zealand and South Africa There s a wide selection of flights from Australia and New Zealand to Bangkok Kuala Lumpur Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City with onward connections to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap Return fares from Australia to Phnom Penh start at around Aus 1000 from Auckland Christchurch and Wellington flights start from roughly NZ 2000 Travelling from South Africa to Cambodia via an Asian hub city fares start at around ZAR12 000 return Round The World flights If Cambodia is only one stop on a longer journey you might want to consider buying a Round The World RTW ticket Cambodia can be added to itineraries offered by airline consortium Star Alliance staralliance com for example Bangkok or Singapore are more common ports of call for many RTW tickets from the UK figure on around 1000 plus taxes for an RTW ticket including either of these destinations Getting there from neighbouring countries There are numerous land borders into Cambodia open to foreigners from neighbouring Thailand Vietnam and Laos Visas at all are issued on arrival From Thailand There are currently six border crossings between Cambodia and Thailand open to foreigners All are open daily 7am 8pm with visas being issued on arrival at all points although e visas are currently only accepted at Poipet and Koh Kong Far and away the most popular of the six crossings is the mildly infamous crossing at Poipet on the main highway between Bangkok and Siem Reap The Trat Koh Kong crossing further south is good for Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh There are two further crossings in the east at Ban Pakard Pailin Psar Pruhm an hour by road to Battambang and at Ban Leam Daun Lem although this crossing is basically a casino development in the middle of nowhere and of zero practical use unless you re on a visa run from Bangkok Finally there are two remote and little used by foreigners at least crossing points in northern Cambodia at Surin O Smach and Chong Sa Ngam Anlong Veng both 150km north of Siem Reap 2hr by taxi These are not busy crossing points though so your transport options on the Cambodian side will be limited From Vietnam There are currently seven border crossings open to foreigners travelling overland from Vietnam daily 7am 5pm Cambodian visas are issued on arrival at all points although heading into Vietnam you ll need to have acquired a visa in advance The busiest crossing is at Moc Bai Bavet 200km southeast of Phnom Penh on the main road to Ho Chi Minh City Also popular is the crossing at Chau Doc K am Samnar on the Bassac River There are two further

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  • Accommodation | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    you for the duration of your stay If you ve booked accommodation in advance some hotels and guesthouses will send someone to pick you up from the bus boat or plane for no extra charge Note that camping in Cambodia is technically illegal and also potentially dangerous due to the risk of land mines Budget accommodation Budget accommodation in Cambodia is generally excellent value available in a range of guesthouses and hotels note that many places which call themselves guesthouses are actually more like small hotels Most places are functional concrete boxes rather lacking in character although a few livelier establishments geared towards Western backpackers can be found in the major tourist centres Sihanoukville and the islands have a plethora of bungalow resorts these are very simple timber affairs usually with shutters rather than glass windows perhaps with a fan although this is rare on the islands that can cost as little as 5 for a simple room Most budget rooms cost in the region of 7 a night slightly more in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and are usually clean and tidy with cotton sheet s basic toiletries and towels a TV and ceiling fan and sometimes with optional air conditioning for an extra 5 or so a night A lot of budget guesthouses and hotels also have fancier rooms with air conditioning for around 15 a night Virtually all except the very cheapest budget rooms come with en suite bathroom with Western style toilet and sometimes hot water as well Wi fi is now available in the vast majority of places although mosquito nets are only rarely provided bring your own A few places also have dorm beds typically costing around 3 10 per night and there are a couple of hostels in Siem Reap On the islands a number of establishments offer hammocks for a few dollars and tents 6 25 the most expensive of which are crafted into spacious rooms Note that you might also be able to bargain down your room rate if you re going to be staying in one guesthouse hotel for a few nights or longer especially in more downmarket places Mid range and luxury Mid range roughly 25 75 per night and luxury 75 and upwards per night accommodation is found only in major towns and tourist hotspots Mid range accommodation ranges from smart business style hotels to lower end boutique hotels and resorts Facilities are often not significantly different from those in more expensive rooms in budget hotels and guesthouses with a c hot water minibar and perhaps tea and coffee making facilities although rooms are likely to be more comfortably and stylishly furnished and you ll probably also get a pool plus in house restaurant and perhaps other facilities including a gym or spa Breakfast may also be included in the price Luxury accommodation is widely available in Phnom Penh Siem Reap Battambang Sihanoukville and Kep with even a few places elsewhere It s worth making a reservation if

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  • Getting around | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    ll have to sit on or fit around the goods being transported and you risk being bounced around with nothing much to grab hold of Take plenty of water and a sense of humour and dust proof your face by wrapping it in a scarf or krama By boat For years Cambodia s appalling roads meant travelling by boat was the principal means of getting between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap but these days it s easier and quicker to travel by road Even so boats seating about thirty people still run daily between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap as well as Siem Reap and Battambang The trip to or from Phnom Penh isn t particularly scenic as the Tonle Sap lake is so vast it s more like being at sea The trip to or from Battambang is more interesting combining a trip across the Tonle Sap with a journey down the Sangker River Neither journey is particularly comfortable space and movement are restricted and a cushion plenty of water food and a hat will make things more bearable Be aware that in rough weather the Tonle Sap can whip up some fierce waves Boats run daily south along the Mekong between Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese border at Chau Doc this can be arranged via local guesthouses From Sihanoukville in the south regular ferries and fast catamarans depart a few times a day to Koh Rong with a few continuing on to the neighbouring island of Koh Rong Samloem By train Cambodia s colonial era railway network formerly consisted of two lines one connecting Phnom Penh with Battambang and Poipet and the other linking the capital with Kampot and Sihanoukville The tracks were largely destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period however and there have been no passenger services since 2009 In the same year a major railway renovation programme was launched with Australian assistance The line south to Sihanoukville was reopened to freight services in 2012 although the project subsequently hit major possibly terminal delays and it seems unlikely that any passenger services will be launched for the next two or three years possibly a lot longer In the meantime the only way of getting on the rails is to take a ride on Battambang s quirky bamboo railway By car It s virtually impossible to rent a self drive car in Cambodia and even if you do driving yourself entails numerous headaches Problems include finding appropriate documentation your driving licence from home may or may not be considered sufficient some companies will ask for a Cambodian driving licence for which you ll need to take a driving test haphazard driving by other road users and insufficient insurance any loss or damage to the vehicle is your responsibility The lack of designated car parks is another real problem Whenever you park you should get someone to look after the vehicle in town you ll usually find a parking attendant near markets and restaurants who will keep an eye on the vehicle for 1000 riel It s normal to park as directed and leave the handbrake disengaged so that the car can be pushed out of the way to let other cars in or out To prevent theft and damage when leaving the vehicle overnight you ll need to look for a hotel with parking or find a local with off road space where they ll let you park for a few dollars Given all this it s far less hassle and probably cheaper to hire a car and driver see City taxis By motorbike or bicycle Both cycling and renting a motorbike are popular ways to explore Cambodia though even with the improved road conditions poor driving by other motorists makes it safer to travel only in daylight hours Whether you ride a motorbike or bicycle it s worth wearing sunglasses long trousers and a long sleeved shirt to protect you not only from the sun but also from the grit and gravel thrown up on the dusty roads When heading off into the countryside remember that Cambodia in spite of clearance programmes has a huge problem with land mines and no matter how tempting it may be to go cross country stick to well used tracks and paths Motorbike rental You can rent an off road 250cc bike from a number of companies particularly in Phnom Penh although you ll have to leave your passport as security Check the condition of the bike before heading off on a long trip if it breaks down it s your responsibility to get it repaired or returned to the owner Away from the main highways take advice on local road conditions as often even relatively short distances can take a long time Motorcycle helmets are compulsory for the driver only and you risk being stopped by the police and issued with a spot fine 5 if you re not wearing one Note that road checks are particularly prevalent just before holidays and the weekend Motorbike theft in Sihanoukville and the south in particular is a real issue The bike s security is your responsibility so look to rent from a company that provides installed wheel locks and always make sure you leave it somewhere secure when you stop at night guesthouses will often bring it inside for you Foreigners cannot rent motorbikes in Siem Reap Originally safety was given as the reason for the ban but it s more likely to be a protectionist move to keep the moto mafias in business In other towns it s easiest to use the 110cc run arounds available for rent from guesthouses and hire shops rates are around 5 8 per day Cycling Cycling in Cambodia can be a rewarding experience the Mekong Discovery Trail for example positively invites you to explore on two wheels Bicycles are available for rent at many guesthouses and rental shops in towns for around 1 50 3 per day although what you get varies considerably from swish

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  • Food and drink | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    in the morning Snacks Cambodian snack foods are legion the range varying with the time of day Eaten with breakfast or as an afternoon snack available from street vendors and at restaurants noam bpaow are steamed dumplings originating from Chinese cuisine made from white dough filled with a mix of minced pork turnip egg and chives There s a second less common version smaller and sweeter and filled with a green mung bean paste In the afternoon and evening crusty baguettes filled with your choice of pâté or sardines and pickled vegetables can be bought from street hawkers for around 2000 riel Bany chaev are savoury wok fried pancakes commonly available at market stalls they re made from rice flour flecked with chives and coloured vivid yellow using turmeric Filled with fried minced pork onion prawns and bean sprouts they re eaten by wrapping pieces of the pancake in a lettuce leaf and dipping them in a fish sauce mixed with garlic lemon and crushed peanuts Steamed or grilled eggs are incredibly popular and are available everywhere most commonly from street hawkers night markets and at transport stops where you ll often get a choice of eggs with bite sized quails eggs easy to find The black thousand year eggs that you see at markets and food stalls are duck eggs that have been stored in jars of salt until the shells turn black by that time the whites and the yolks have turned into a jelly not dissimilar in texture to soft boiled eggs They are eaten with rice or borbor a soupçon of egg being taken with each spoonful of rice Often found at night markets or served up with beer is pong dteer gowne literally ducks eggs with duckling Said to give strength and good health it really does contain an unhatched duckling boiled and served with herbs and a sauce of salt pepper and lemon juice not too bad if you don t look too closely at what you re eating Cooked bananas are also widely eaten as snacks seasoned with salt and grilled over charcoal braziers or wok fried in a batter containing sesame seeds which are at their most delicious when they re piping hot Both are available in the markets as are noam ensaum jayk sweet sticky rice parcels in different shapes such as pyramids or rolls containing a piece of banana and wrapped in banana leaves Among the more unusual snacks is the much prized grolan bamboo tubes containing a delicious mix of sticky rice coconut milk and black beans cooked over charcoal and sold bundled together by hawkers usually in the provinces The woody outer layer of the bamboo is removed after cooking leaving a thin shell that you peel down to get at the contents Seasonally available are chook the cone shaped green seeds of the lotus flower sold in bundles of three or five heads to eat pop the seeds out from the green rubbery pod peel off their outer skins and consume the insides which taste a bit like garden peas Accompaniments No Cambodian meal is complete without a variety of accompaniments One of the most prized of these is prohok a salted fermented fish paste that looks like a pinkish pâté and has an incredibly strong anchovy like taste A dollop is served on a plate with raw vegetables gee and edible flowers it s eaten either by adding a tiny amount to the accompanying vegetables or by taking a morsel with a spoonful of rice Prohok isn t usually found on the menus of classy restaurants but is always available at market stalls and in Cambodian homes Though it s less pungent than prohok fish sauce is still pretty smelly Used as a dip with every type of food it s made from both salt and freshwater fish which are layered with salt in large vats as the fish ferments the juice is extracted from the bottom and bottled Other accompaniments include dips of chilli sauce and soy sauce to which you can add chopped chillies and garlic which are either left in pots on the table or served in individual saucers Rice and noodles Besides boiled rice Cambodians enjoy rice cooked up as a porridge called borbor usually available at market stalls night markets and in some cheap restaurants either as breakfast or an evening dish Borbor can either be left unseasoned and used as a base to which you add your own ingredients dried fish pickles salted egg or fried vegetables or cooked in stock with pieces of chicken fish or pork and bean sprouts added before serving Shredded ginger a squeeze of lime and spicy soya bean paste from pots at the table can also be added to taste White rice flour noodles geautiev pronounced goy teal are available in different shapes and sizes in fine threads for noodle soup or wide and thick for use in nom bany jowk The latter is sold by female street vendors from baskets dangling on shoulder poles and consists of noodles served cold with a lukewarm curry sauce over the top Yellow egg noodles mee made from wheat flour are used in soups and stir fries Freshly made mee called mee kilo because it s sold by weight are available in the major towns though elsewhere people make do with instant noodles imported in packets from Thailand and Vietnam Loat chat a hollow noodle similar to macaroni is fried up by hawkers using hand carts equipped with charcoal burners Meat Meat is comparatively expensive and is invariably cut into small pieces and mixed with plenty of vegetables Pork is commonly available attested to by the number of pigs wandering around even the smallest village but beef is more difficult to obtain as cows are prized as work animals and not necessarily killed for food The best beef is available in large towns elsewhere it s often tough and chewy in Western restaurants it is generally imported Not so much a soup as a meal in itself sop chhnang day is a bit like a fondue a clay pot of hot stock and meatballs is brought to the table and placed on a small burner in the middle Once the soup is boiling you add a selection of ingredients to the pot according to taste choosing from side plates featuring slices of raw beef or venison often mixed with raw egg prior to cooking sprigs of herbs various vegetables yellow and white noodles tofu dried sheets of soya bean which looks a bit like chicken skin and mushrooms Both the stock and the dishes are replenished as long as you keep on eating and at the end of the meal the bill is calculated according to the number of side plates on the table Restaurants specializing in sop chhnang day often display a sign outside depicting a steaming pan over a burner Another Cambodian favourite is sait gow ang beef grilled over a small charcoal burner at the table Nibbled with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs it tends to be eaten as an evening snack to accompany drinking Similar in style but more of a meal is chhnang phnom pleung volcano pot so named because the burner is said to resemble a volcano in appearance the beef venison is also used comes to the table ready sliced with a raw egg stirred into the meat before cooking It s accompanied by side dishes of raw vegetables such as green tomatoes capsicum and salad greens Once you ve grilled the meat and vegetables to your taste they re wrapped in a salad leaf and dipped in a sauce before being eaten Typically found at cheap restaurants kaar is a stew usually made with pig s trotters and green cabbage it can also be made with fish or bamboo shoots and eaten with unseasoned rice porridge borbor Pork is the usual ingredient in spring rolls though Vietnamese restaurants especially may do a vegetarian version as an appetizer they re either steamed or fried and then rolled up in a lettuce leaf with sliced cucumber bean sprouts and herbs and eaten dipped in a sweet chilli sauce Chicken and duck Chicken and duck in Cambodia often have a high bone to flesh ratio except in tourist restaurants the whole carcass is chopped up which means you have to pick out the bones from each mouthful Worth looking out for is baked chicken sait mowan dot cooked in a metal pot in a wood fired oven and really tasty It s usually prepared to order so there is quite a wait involved Also worth trying is the refreshing somlar ngam ngouw a clear lemon broth flavoured with pickled limes and herbs Fish Fish is plentiful and the main source of protein for most Cambodians Near the Tonle Sap lake there s a particularly good choice of freshwater varieties and sea fish is plentiful along the coast though inland it s only readily available in the specialist and inevitably expensive restaurants of Phnom Penh Fish is served up in all manner of ways grilled fried in soups and stews Popular in tourist areas is amok a mild Cambodian style fish curry chicken is also used the fish is mixed with coconut milk and seasonings and baked wrapped in banana leaves or sometimes cooked in the shell of a young coconut Dried fish is a particular favourite Much prized for sun drying are large freshwater fish from the Tonle Sap which are sliced lengthwise like kippers and grilled over charcoal to be eaten with rice When fish is cheap you ll see people drying their own in baskets outside their houses Vegetables Cambodia s markets offer up a wide range of vegetables some of which will be unfamiliar all delivered fresh daily Regrettably you won t come across many of these on restaurant menus though one unusual vegetable you will find in restaurants is morning glory trokooen a water plant with a thick hollow stem and elongated heart shaped leaves which are carefully removed prior to cooking it s often served stir fried with garlic and oyster sauce and tastes a bit like spinach Fried mixed vegetables are ubiquitous in Khmer restaurants the constituents varying according to what s available in some establishments you may be able to choose from a selection Green tomatoes crisp and refreshing are often added to this and other dishes red ones are only available in limited quantities for special recipes For a decent selection of vegetable dishes though you ll need to try the Chinese restaurants At street stalls and in the markets you ll find noam gachiey best described as chive burgers Made from rice flour chives and herbs they re steamed or fried and dished up with either a sweet sauce based on fish sauce or soy sauce Gee is the generic Cambodian term for all manner of herbs used in cooking served up by the plateful to be eaten on the side or taken medicinally You ll probably only recognize a few such as mint and coriander others include various types of water grass vines and young tree leaves Pickles made with brine are frequently served in Cambodia as an appetizer or a side dish and as a filling for baguettes There are many variations made from combinations of cabbage cucumber ginger turnip bamboo shoots onions and bean sprouts often sculpted into shapes for extra visual appeal Green mango salad chruok svay made from shredded green mango dried shrimp and fish paste topped with crushed peanut is served up in restaurants to be eaten as a starter or snack Desserts and sweets Specialist stalls opening around lunchtime in the markets or in the late afternoon and evening along the street serve Cambodian desserts in a vast range of colours and textures Small custards jellies and sticky rice confections are displayed in large flat trays and cut or shaped into bite sized pieces to be served in bowls topped with grated ice and a slug of condensed milk mixes of dried and crystallized fruits beans and nuts are also on offer served with ice and syrup Other desserts include sweet sticky rice mixed with corn kernels mung beans or lotus seed poached pumpkin with syrup and palm fruit with syrup all of which are served up from large bowls by market stalls Khmer restaurants seldom serve desserts other than fresh fruit though recently a few upmarket places are starting to offer them along with imported ice creams Towns generally have a bakery or two producing a variety of cakes many of which are approximations of familiar Western goodies Market stalls in all towns sell small freshly baked sponge cakes Fruit Colourful fruit stalls can be found everywhere in Cambodia and the selection is enormous stallholders will always let you try before you buy if you don t know what you re looking at Imported apples pears and grapes are also available though comparatively expensive Bananas come in several varieties some of which are seldom seen in the West they re grown just about everywhere and are sold in huge quantities cheaply at around 1000 riel a bunch for snacking cooking and as offerings for the pagoda Commonest are jayk oumvong which is slender and stays green when ripe jayk numvar a medium sized plump yellow banana said to cool the body and the finger sized very sweet jayk pong mowan said to be warming which is a little pricier than the other kinds Relatively rare are the large dry and fibrous red or green bananas generally used for cooking The durian tooren is a rugby ball sized fruit with a hard spiky exterior Much sought after by Khmers it s an acquired taste for most Westerners thanks to its fetid smell often compared to that of a blocked drain Inside are several segments each containing two or three stones surrounded by pale yellow creamy textured flesh which can be quite addictive once you ve got over the odour Longans meeyan have a long season and are often sold still on the twig The cherry sized fruit have a hard brown skin the flesh inside is similar to that of lychees in texture and flavour Bright green and prickly skinned soursops tee ab barang are pure white inside and have a tart but sweet taste Hard round and a bit like a bright green cricket ball guavas troubike have a crunchy dry texture a bit like a hard pear The flat brown pods of tamarind umpbel are simple to eat split open the pods and discard the fibrous thread inside then suck off the rich brown tangy flesh minding the hard seeds The most picturesque of Khmer fruits though has to be the rosy pink dragon fruit pelai sroegar ne yak grown on a climbing cactus like vine Inside its waxy skin the moist pure white flesh is dotted with black seeds and has quite a subtle taste verging on bland Drinks Bottled water is found everywhere as Cambodian tap water isn t considered safe to drink Be aware that the ice that is invariably added to cold drinks unless you request otherwise may not be hygienic except in Western restaurants Tea and coffee Cambodians drink plenty of green tea which is readily available in coffee shops and from market stalls it s normally served free of charge with food in restaurants If you like your tea strong try dtai grolab made by putting water and a mass of tea leaves into a small glass placing a saucer on top and turning the whole thing upside down to brew When it s dark enough the tea is decanted into another cup and plenty of sugar added but no milk Lemon tea dtai gdouw kroit chhmar made with Chinese red dust tea and lemon juice is refreshing both hot and iced and is generally served with a hefty dose of sugar Black tea sold locally under the Lipton brand is served in hotels guesthouses and restaurants that cater to foreigners Noodle shops coffee shops and restaurants serve coffee from early morning to late afternoon but in the evenings it can be difficult to find except at restaurants geared up for foreigners The beans are generally imported from Laos and Vietnam although domestically produced coffee from Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri can be found in some places Beans are traditionally roasted with butter and sugar plus various other ingredients that might include anything from rum to pork fat giving the beverage a strange sometimes faintly chocolatey aroma something of an acquired taste Black coffee kafei kmaow will often be served with sugar unless you specify otherwise and is often served and generally tastes better iced kafei kmaow tuk kork Cambodians often have their coffee or tea iced even for breakfast if you want yours hot ask for it to be served without ice ot dak tuk kork Note that if you order white coffee kafei tuk duh gow it sometimes comes with a slug of condensed milk already in the glass so don t stir it all in if you don t like your drink too sweet Most of the milk tuk duh available is either sterilized canned or sweetened condensed Soft drinks For a drink on the hoof iced sugar cane juice tuk umpow is very refreshing and not actually that sweet It s sold everywhere from yellow carts equipped with a mangle through which the peeled canes are passed sometimes with a piece of orange added for extra taste Equally refreshing is the juice of a green coconut tuk dhowng the top is hacked off and you drink the juice before getting it cut in half so you can eat the soft jelly like flesh Fruit shakes tuk krolok are an important part of an evening s consumption juice stalls recognizable by their fruit displays and blenders set up in towns all over the country from the late

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  • Health | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    raw blisters can rapidly become infected and should be promptly treated by cleaning and disinfecting the wound and then applying an air permeable dressing Bites and stings Insects are legion in Cambodia and are at their worst around November at the start of the dry season when there are stagnant pockets of water left from the rains Even during the hot season March May they come out in the evenings swarming around light bulbs and warm flesh they re annoying rather than harmful with the exception of mosquitoes On the coast sand flies appear in the late afternoon and evening delivering nasty bites that don t erupt until a few hours later when they become incredibly red and itchy Once you scratch the bites become even more inflamed and can take up to a month to recede leaving behind nasty scars These little blighters have a limited range and mostly attack victims on the sand if you re on or near the beach it s probably best to use an insect repellent Sun and heat Even when the sky is overcast the Cambodian sun is fierce and you should take precautions against sunburn and heat stroke wherever you are Cover up use a high protection factor sunscreen wear a hat and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day Hygiene and stomach complaints Though catering facilities at many restaurants and food stalls can appear basic the food you ll be served is usually absolutely fresh all ingredients are bought daily and are mostly cooked to order A good rule of thumb when selecting a place to eat is to pick one that is popular with local people as the Khmers are fussy about their food and seldom give a place a second chance if they ve found the food isn t fresh Food from street hawkers is usually fine if it s cooked in front of you Tap water isn t drinkable but bottled water is available everywhere stick to that and be cautious with ice which is often cut up in the street from large blocks and handled by several people before it gets to your glass though in Western restaurants it will probably come from an ice maker Stomach complaints The most common travellers ailment is upset tummy Travellers diarrhoea often occurs in the early days of a trip as a result of a simple change in diet though stomach cramps and vomiting may mean it s food poisoning If symptoms persist for more than a couple of days seek medical help as you may need antibiotics to clear up the problem Most diarrhoea is short lived and can be handled by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding rich or spicy food Activated charcoal tablets help by absorbing the bad bugs in your gut and usually speed recovery they re sold across the counter at pharmacies but it s worth bringing some with you from home It s often a good idea to rest up for a day or

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  • The media | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    Guide to the Philippines View Guide Rough Guide Audio Phrasebook and Dictionary Japanese View Guide The Rough Guide to Thailand s Beaches Islands View Guide The Rough Guide to Tokyo View Guide The Yangzi Basin Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide The Rough Guide to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide Cambodia The media Much of Cambodia s media is sponsored by the country s political parties and though the prime minister has declared his support for press freedom the media continues to be subject to the government s whims Newspapers and magazines Cambodia has around seven daily Khmer language newspapers The two main dailies are Rasmei Kampuchea Light of Cambodia and Koh Santepheap both of which are pro government Cambodia s two English language newspapers the Cambodia Daily cambodiadaily com published daily except Sun and the Phnom Penh Post phnompenhpost com Mon Fri can be found at newsstands in larger cities It s also worth looking out for the several English language magazines Asia Life asialifemagazine com free from cafés and restaurants is the Time Out of Phnom Penh with a host of articles related to new things happening in the city Bayon Pearnik bayonpearnik com a free satirical monthly available in Western restaurants and bars in Phnom Penh includes travel features and news of bar and club launches Television and radio Cambodia s seven Khmer TV stations broadcast a mix of political coverage game shows concerts cartoons sport kick boxing is a huge favourite and Thai soaps dubbed into Khmer The state broadcaster TVK is owned by the ruling CPP who also have influence with most of the other channels Guesthouses and hotels usually offer cable and increasingly satellite TV stations enabling you to watch a vast selection of foreign channels typically including BBC World CNN CNBC HBO National

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  • Festivals and events | About Cambodia | Rough Guides
    Rough Guide to Bali Lombok View Guide Cambodia Festivals and events Cambodians are always celebrating a festival of some sort heading out to the pagoda with family and friends or taking off for the provinces unsurprisingly festivals are the busiest times for shopping and travelling For details of public holidays consult the Travel essentials The most significant festival of the year is Bonn Chaul Chhnam Khmer New Year April 13 or 14 when families get together homes are spring cleaned and people flock to the temples with elaborate offerings Bonn Pchum Ben late Sept or Ancestors Day is another key date on the festive calendar Families make offerings to their ancestors in the fifteen days leading up to it and celebrations take place in temples on the day itself Marking the start of the planting season in May the ceremony of Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal Royal Ploughing Ceremony held at Lean Preah Sre park in Phnom Penh combines animism Buddhism and plenty of pomp It begins with chanting monks asking the earth spirits for permission to plough Then ceremonial furrows are drawn rice is scattered and offerings are made to the divinities The most important part of the ceremony however is what the Royal Bulls choose when offered rice grain grass water and wine Rice or grain augur well water signifies rain grass is a sign that crops will be devastated by insects and wine that there will be drought Though it has been cancelled for the last few years the Bonn Om Toeuk early Nov water festival has traditionally been celebrated when the current of the Tonle Sap River which swells so much during the rainy season that it actually pushes water upstream reverses and flows back into the Mekong The centre of festivities is Phnom Penh s riverbank

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