Travel Tips in Phnom Penh
1. Buy a $2 mobile sim card to have a new local phone number and buy $2-$5 phone card to charge your new number. You can use data for internet connection It is very useful when you need to contact some local business such as hotel, travel agent, restaurant etc and find some information online. The sim card we recommend is Smart Network. They have retail shops in many areas of the city, their staff can speak basic English. And many business and individuals use this network, you can use the data for checking emails and surf the net. This is highly recommend. Having a Cambodian local mobile number is much cheaper than activating international roaming of your own phone from your country. You just need to bring your passport along at the Smart shop to register the Smart Network sim card. Find the nearest Smart shop when you check in your hotel/hostel.
2. All hotels and hostels provide free WiFi for their guests.
3. And you can always ask your hotel reception to call for you. Normally they don’t charge you for the phone call at the reception.
4.Almost all cafes, restaurants and MiniMarts provide WIFI for customers.
Wear a hat cause the Sun is very strong. apply a lot of sunblock when you go out. Drink a lot of water. Wear long sleeve shirt and long pants of cotton material, cause the Sun really burns your skin.
If you plan to visit the Royal Palace, Pagodas, Wats, Genocide Museum, Killing Fields, please remember: no camisoles, no tank tops, no shorts or mini skirts/dresses, always wear a shirt with sleeves, bottoms must cover the knees. Scarf is not accepted as cloth. This dress code applies to men and women.
If you need to go somewhere by tuktuk, always bargain for the fare, and always confirm the price before hopping on. Get a city map from your hotel /guest house or from any travel agent when you go out. They are free! And don't expect the tuktuk drivers speak English and know the places you want to go. And don't expect the drivers can read the maps, they just don't know how to read the map. They were not taught to do so.
Pollution is a real problem in Phnom Penh due to the major transportation for locals: motorbike. If you want to take a tuktuk, don’t forget to buy some masks at a Pharmacy or mini mart. You really need them especially when there is traffic jam at the intersection. You don’t want to be a human vacuum cleaner
Don’t eat at the street-side stalls cause you might end up being sick.
If you want to buy something in the markets, you always can bargain.
Safety - Last but most important
Robbery and stealing are serious social problems in Phnom Penh.
Do not use your mobile phone on the street. Do not keep your phone in hand when you walk.
Do not use one shoulder bag. Use a backpack instead.
There are some motorbike/bicycle renting shops in Phnom Penh. Think again again if you want to rent a motorbike or bicycle. We heard many cases that some tourists rent a motorbike and park it on the street and the motorbike is stolen, then they end up paying $1000 to the shops for losing the motorbike; the thieves are very quick, only a minute, the bike is gone. Report to the Police? The chance of getting it back is very little.
Have a safe stay in Phnom Penh!