Cambodia is a tropical country that has two distinct seasons: the dry season, during which it is hot and sunny every day, and the rainy season during which it really rains! According to the season of your trip to Cambodia, you need to think about some essentials such as comfortable, not too warm clothing, and mosquito repellent!
There are no obligatory vaccinations but an anti-malaria treatment is recommended and, for more remote areas, an emergency malaria standby treatment should be considered, especially for trekking addicts going to forests or the jungle. However, there is no real risk in the big cities.
When it comes to clothes, it's hot all year round in Cambodia and even in the coolest months the temperature does not go below 20°C at night. So you should opt for light clothing, although you are required to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and your legs when you visit temples, pagodas or other sacred sites. In the town you can wear what you normally do - flip flops and shorts if you like. When you are visiting temples wear strong, comfortable shoes because the days are long.
For medicine, there are chemists all over the place but most of the medicines are imported from France so you may not recognise the names. If possible you should buy French branded products rather than local ones which are not always as reliable. Why not check the French translation of the names of your most commonly used medicines before you leave home. However, imported medicines are usually more expensive there than they are at home.
There are two accepted currencies, Cambodian Riels and US dollars. You will find most prices in restaurants and other places are in US dollars. You will get your change in riels.
In exotic countries like Cambodia it's best to know what you should take with you in your suitcase to avoid problems as much as possible and to have what you need!
- Anti malarial treatments if you are going anywhere other than Phnom Penh, Tonlé Sap and Angkor Wat. If you are visiting remote areas or trekking in the jungle an emergency malaria standby treatment is advised
- Identity photos for the visa - they are much more expensive if you have them done on arrival.
- A few US dollars, at the very least to pay for your visa on arrival
- An address book for all your postcards!
- Different kinds of shoes because you can rarely find any bigger than size 39 there
- Medicine for stomach problems which are frequent in tropical countries
- Water purifying tablets
- Mostly cotton clothing which is more comfortable
- A rain cape or waterproof if you are going between July and October
- A book, or some music, for the bus journeys which are often very long
- Walking shoes for all of your trips wherever they may be
- Toilet paper, which can be difficult to find in some regions
- Medicine, because even if you can buy it there, it is more expensive than at home and the brands won't be familiar.
- Sun glasses that have a high level of protection
- Full length clothes, especially for when you are visiting temples
- Mosquito repellent, because there are lots of them, all year round!
- Sun cream, because the sun shines all year long