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Traveling in Cambodia


Getting into Cambodia

Traveling by land into Cambodia can be problematic from Laos and only marginally less so from Thailand. This  
necessitates writing about transportation which we rarely do.

Mild but annoying corruption and scams can be prevalent upon reaching the Cambodia side of the border, worse from most  
accounts for those coming from Laos. Transportation also is not always evident or easy from the border into a town. It is  
extremely wise to get your Cambodian visa while in Laos or Thailand before going to Cambodia for those traveling  
throughout South East Asia.

The Embrace Founders opted to re-enter Thailand for one night from Laos and then cross into Cambodia via Thailand,  
much to the amusement of the Thai officials who laughed heartily at this maneuver. We arrived in Cambodia at Poi pet. It is  
a confusing arrival point, so let us offer directions for anyone who might be approaching this way.

When you debark from your vehicle in Thailand walk towards Cambodia on the left side and enter the building to get your  
passport stamped out of Thailand. After getting stamped out of Thailand, walk towards the Golden Gate, which is the  
welcome sign for Cambodia. You will be crossing a small bridge over a creek. Then walk across the street (to the right  
side) and a little further down and enter  Cambodian Immigration to stamp your visa. Remember the visa issuing office is  
different from immigratiion. If you need a visa then go to visa office is  approximately a hundred yards prior to the  
immigration office. If you do not need to purchase a visa, keep walking towards the immigration office.  Donot get a health  
check up. (It is not required.)  Again, we strongly recommend getting your Cambodia visa before arriving in Cambodia.
If you fly in or out, there are no problems whatsoever.

Don't Change Your Money, Yet

You do not need to change your money at the convenient bank on the border. Cambodia prefers using all Euros,  
Commonwealth currencies and the U.S. Dollar. (The world economic war is on and has been heating up, so we seriously  
doubt this will continue to be the case in a year or two.)

Getting to Siem Reap From The Border

There is a bus stand that is supposed to take you to a local bus stop for free. From this bus stop one is supposed to be able  
to transfer to a bus heading for Siem Reap. However, we never saw anyone boarding any of these “free” buses.(Not a good  
sign) The idea is that passengers actually get dropped off at a place where the buses are never around, but a place  
convenient to many taxis.  Can you guess where this is going?  Siem Reap is a long, long way from the border. A taxi may  
not be what you want.

If you wish to go directly to Siem Reap for a reasonable rate, do the following.

Watch where the Chinese tourist groups get off their private bus. Go to one of the men unloading the luggage after his job is  
completed. Tell him you want to take the bus to Siem Reap (they usually go back empty). Give him the small amount of  
money he asks for or agree to pay the bus driver when you get at your destination the amount he and the driver decide  
upon.  You will get an entire bus to yourselves or if any other people are as enterprising as you, a bus including a few other  
people as enterprising as you.


Siem Reap is the small city visitors stay in to visit the Angkor Wat ruins.  It is a truly lovely place where the people are  
incredibly appreciative and good natured.  A considerable amount of work is being done by many volunteers and  
independent entrepreneurs from Western nations who are contributing to the employment skills and job market of  
Cambodian people.
The first Angkor ruins are approximately 8 miles from Siem Reap's main center on the route of a broad boulevard. The  
primary mode of transport is some variation of the motorcycle rickshaw, (otherwise known in other parts of the world, as a  
tuk-tuk, or a Bajaj. - Bicycles are also available: Euro 2.70/ 3 U.S.)

We strongly urge visitors not to be unreasonable in negotiating the price for transport. The drivers have to support families,  
buy gas and wait around for their  passengers which prevents them from making additional money. In general, just a ride  
from town to the first / main building of Angkor in a two person vehicle should be a minimum of  Euro 7.5 / $8 U.S. for an  
hour and a half of taking evening photos in 2015. On longer outings and for longer periods of time, give more. The Embrace  
Founders always contribute additional in tips.  For example, for those going to Banteay Srey Temple which is 37K from  
Siem Reap - Euro 23  (U.S. 25) is a fair price in 2015  The temple is relatively small and the most time you will spend there  
will be an hour and a half.  Remember, there is an admissions fee to the park which at this point is: Euro 18/ $20, one day,  
Euro 36/ $40 three days within a week and Euro 54/ $60 seven days within a month.  Every time anyone enters the park,  
they have to make a slight detour to check in. Hours are 5:30 am until Sunset.

Due to the heat and humidity, it is recommended  breaking up the tour during the afternoon. There are a few very basic  
food/ beverage stands near most temples, however for those who would really like to be out of the heat and relax, it will  
necessitate going back to Siem Reap and then rehiring a driver for another round trip.

There are numerous excellent travel books on the Angkor Wat complex, so we will not elaborate on them.  

NOTE  FOR THOSE COMING FROM WEALTHIER NATIONS: Tourists are often uncertain of how or what to do to assist  
people in difficult economies. One of the most constructive ways to give is to generously tip those who do a good job for  
you or a service.  Unless, you are requested not to tip, do so. Waiters/waitresses, housekeepers and drivers are people  
you see firsthand working hard and usually for long hours in low paying jobs with whom you deal with directly. It is unlikely  
tipping by tourists will disrupt the community cultural norm as people in the service industry know that locals are usually  
coming from a similar background as themselves, They rarely expect locals to tip them, even if tourists do.  By tipping, you  
are helping working people increase their standard of living and the standard of living for their whole extended family.

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Ankgor Wat Main Complex - Cambodia
Ankgor Wat Main Complex - Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Preah Thom Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Preah Thom Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Bayon Temple Complex - Cambodia
Preah Khan Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Garuda - Hindu,   Preah Khan Temple Complex - Cambodia
Ta Som Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Ta Som Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
A Sacred Place within the temple Complex - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Ta Som Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple Complex - Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple Complex - Cambodia
Ta Som Temple Complex - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Banteay Srey Temple Complex, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Angkor Thom Bayon Complex - Cambodia
Hindu Shiva Lingam, Ankgor Wat - Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple Complex, Angkor Wat- Cambodia
Preah Khan Temple/ Monastic Complex - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
School children on the road between Luang Prabang & Banteay Srey outlying temple = Cambodia
Neak Pean Temple Complex of Angkor Wat - Cambodia
Angkor Thom - Banyon Complex of Angkor Wat - Cambodoa
Angkor Thom - Bayon Temple Complex (See faces on the top of the Towers - Cambodia
Angkor Wat Main Complex - Cambodia