Thanks for coming to my blog. I am a Colombian based in Cambodia since 1999 (I have seen a lot of changes.)
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Fee for visa extension in Cambodia: 1 month 50 USD - 3 months 80 USD - 6 months 160 USD - 1 year 290 USD / Updated on 07.07.2011
1. Don't touch the head of nobody. 2. Don't point out people with the feet. 3. Remove your shoes when you enter a place such as a house, local or temple, better use easy-to-remove shoes. 4. Don't bring your wallet in the back pocket of your trousers, especially in the middle of crowds. 5. Don't trust easily in any person, even if he/she seems too cute and smiling. 6. Don't touch persons of your opposite gender, especially in public. 7. In Cambodia is normal for males to go caught by the hands or touching their shoulders, it has nothing to see with being a gay, but it's just a demonstration of friendship (don't confuse boys and young men demonstration of friendship.) 8. Don't raise your voice, they would think you are angry. 9. Showing anger in Cambodia means you are immature. 10. In your business transactions, use the local currency (Riel), using US dollars increases for you the cost of everything (there are not cents and coins in dollars). 11. Don't enter shirtless into locals, they will consider it impolite, though they will not tell you and they will not respect you the same. 12. Don't take a moto-taxi (moto-dop) or tuk-tuk without agreeing first the price with the guy. 13. Be careful to drink water or juice in places of dubious hygienic (you can see how clean is a place just looking its toilet.) 14. Clean your bedroom of vermin and mosquitoes before sleeping. 15. Smile will open to you many doors in Cambodia and you will get many friends. Unsmiling in Cambodia is seen like conceit. 16. Don't come to Cambodia to teach us how to eat, do, shit, speak, make, sing or nothing. Share with Cambodians your experiences, but don't forget it is THEIR country, not yours... you are a guest. 17. Don't give money to children in the streets. 18. Don't buy things from children after 6PM. 19. If you drive (motorbike, bicycle or car), don't rush and get to know that Cambodians do not follow traffic rules. Never touch a motorbike with your car... if you do so, even if the motorbike driver is mistaken, you have to pay a big fee. 20. In a traffic accident, do not lost your temper... even if you see a lot of peaceful people, there are some rude guys with guns that can shoot you if you shout too much. Wait for the authorities or call your embassy. A Cambodian friend could be very useful. Get to know that Cambodians take a lot of time to make conclusions, so forget any other business and wait until the parts reach an agreement. 21. Looking for directions, get a Map. If you ask other foreigners for a direction, you will get more precise information. Show a tuk-tuk driver a map with explanations in Khmer only. 22. If you are in a guest house (small and cheap), don't let in your room valuable things... you can lost them and the owner will not take responsibility. 23. Taking a bus company to travel other provinces: the best is Mekong Express... the worst is Sorya (this Sorya is very slow because it serves to rural areas.) Safe travels by vans and shuttles. 24. If you travel by taxi, get it from an agency better. Take the agency number phone with you. 25. Don't take photos of policemen, Buddhist monks, children, etc, without authorization. 25. Be aware of orphanages using children to get money. Get enough information about any institution caring children... many of them are fake and abusive. 26. Be aware that Cambodia is a country with a high level of HIV... be careful if you get in contact with prostitutes. 27. Cambodian women are very much conservative, so a Cambodian woman too seductive with a man has her own intentions... be aware of it. 28. Under any reason you will not look for underage prostitution... there are many organizations ready to put you in place and to protect children. Denounce any irregularity that could put children under risk of abuse. Don't hesitate to request an ID of a woman or man that you suspect is underage... do it for your own and her/his own safety. 29. Be aware of male and female prostitution, especially in the streets: some guys pose as prostitutes, but they are thieves. 30. Be aware that prostitution is illegal in Cambodia. 31. Drugs are illegal in Cambodia. 32. Even if you see a pacific country, be aware that Cambodians are not predictable and they can react in a violent way if they consider that you are completely abusive. 33. You need to be too much polite when talking with Buddhist monks, Muslim or Christian leaders, Police authorities, Political leaders and elderly people. 34. Cambodians don't shake hands. 35. Learn how Cambodians greet. 36. Cambodians do not ask the name in the first contact. They use the title (Sir, Madame, brother, sister, grand pa, grand ma, uncle, official, Venerable, etc.) 37. In Cambodia a smile is a greeting or a thanks. 38. Point nobody with the finger. Point with the extended hand. 39. Give or receive things with both hands. 40. Cambodians stare to people they don't know with curiosity. Even if it is disturbing, it has not a bad intention. If you are object of such stare, look to that person and smile. You will get a smile back and probably a good friend. 41. Cambodians are so so curious with new people, especially foreigners: if you get too much questions, know that it is only a need to welcome you. You don't need to answer all. 42. Questions Cambodians think are okay to ask is for your age and your salary. If you are older than 30, Cambodians will say by sure "oh, you are too old!" Don't get offense: they mean actually that you are a very mature person and full of experiences and, to be old in Cambodia, is to be wise. As for salary, tell them that you get 200 USD per month... it will be enough. 43. Cambodians, as much as Southeast Asian people, laugh very much if you make a mistake... they don't intend to make fun of you: it is just they want to cool the situation. 44. LGBT travelers should know that Cambodians are rather tolerant to homosexuality, but be aware that they don't accept expressions of affection in public. 45. Most Cambodians assume that a man and a woman traveling together are husband and wife. If you are just friends, when you want to clarify it, tell them you are siblings ("friends" they will understand as "engage", while siblings is more exact to them and it does not mean necessary a relative.) 46. If you are invited to eat in a rural house, do this to prevent a decease coming from poor hygienic: request lemons in the meal and put it on most meals you can. After, buy a purgative to clean your stomach from any infection or diarrhea. 47. If you are traveling with children, be exaggerated in the prevention of deceases and hygienic. 48. Malaria can be prevented by drinking at least a daily cup of any alcohol... The presence of alcohol in the blood kills any infection transmitted by mosquitoes. 49. Cambodia is a hot tropical country. Prevent hot like this: a) Avoid to walk under the sun (use hats and umbrellas if possible). b) Alcohol heats the body, so if you drink too much alcohol in Cambodia, you will be always hot by consequence. c) Don't abuse of air-conditioning: it will sick you and your body will not get use to the local temperature. d) Take a shower at least three times per day. e) Drink a lot of water. f) Use light clothing, including your shoes. g) Some foods cool the body, such as cucumber, water melon, pineapple...