Cambodia’s official national currency is the riel (the unofficial one being the US dollar). The riel has been in use only since independence in 1953.
The national currency of Cambodia is the Khmer Riel but US dollars are commonly accepted for everyday transactions. There is no need to change your money into riel before you get there.
You can come anytime to Cambodia! But depending on whether you like it hot, cold, wet or dry, some days are better than others... Probably when the kids are off school and your boss lets you take a well earned holiday...
If you don’t know the usual price for an item you are interested in. I suggest you check prices at three different stalls to have a feel for the prevailing market conditions! With the exception of a few scoundrels, Cambodian vendors don’t usually ask for crazy mark-ups.
For a quick start, you only need to learn numbers from 0 to 5 and multiples of 10. That’s only 16 Khmer words to be able to count to 1000! Khmer has the particularity of using a bi-quinary counting system (base 5 and 10), which makes it easier for visitors to pick up.
The easiest way to get around in Cambodia is on a motorbike. You’re travelling with a group of friends. Should you all fit on the same moto dup (Cambodian motorbike taxi) or hail separate rides?
King Father Norodom Sihanouk composed a famous song called “Phnom Penh”, which croons about the local “joie de vivre”. Those were happier times in the 1960s. Phnom Penh is still moving and shaking, and abuzz with local arts, galleries, performances, eateries, drinkeries and generally loud noise.
Phnom Penhers get up early. They start cleaning their houses at around five. When the night air is still a little chilly, your average Phnom Penher makes his way to the nearest river front, park or stadium for the morning exercise.
If there is one expression you should learn, it is Sok Sabay, which is used to greet people, ask how they fare, bid goodbye. Literally Sok means peace and Sabay means happiness.