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Holidays in Cambodia

Understanding Cambodia

Burundi covers about 28,000 km² with an estimated population of almost 87 million Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika

Burundi is one of the ten poorest countries in the world and it has the lowest per capita GDP of any nation in the world Burundi has a low GDP rate is because of civil wars, corruption, poor access to education, political instability and the effect of HIV/AIDS Cobalt and copper are among the nation's natural resources Other resources include coffee, sugar and tea

Burundi is not different from any other young nation and jealously keeps all the elements that constitute its very rich culture: dances, musical rhythms, handicrafts Its aim is to ensure the transmission of the inheritance from the forefathers and ancestors evidenced by belongings and objects they liked, the dances they composed


The earliest known people to live in Burundi were the Twa, a short "pygmy" people who remain as a minority group there The people currently known as Hutu and Tutsi moved into the region several hundred years ago, and dominated it Like much of Africa, Burundi then went through a period of European colonial rule At the beginning of the twentieth century, Germany and Belgium occupied the region, and Burundi and Rwanda together became a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi

This ended with its independence from Belgium in 1962 In the decades since then, it has been the scene of recurring brutal mutual bloodlettings between the Hutu and Tutsi populations much like the better-known genocide in neighboring Rwanda, and a series of political assassinations Peace and the reestablishment of civil democracy took place in 2005 with a cease-fire and the election of former Hutu rebel Pierre Nkurunziza as president


Burundi in general has a tropical highland climate, with a considerable daily temperature range in many areas Temperature also varies considerably from one region to another, chiefly as a result of differences in altitude The central plateau enjoys pleasantly cool weather, with an average temperature of 20 °C The area around Lake Tanganyika is warmer, averaging 23 °C; the highest mountain areas are cooler, averaging 16 °C Bujumbura’s average annual temperature is 23 °C Rain is irregular, falling most heavily in the northwest Dry seasons vary in length, and there are sometimes long periods of drought However, four seasons can be distinguished: the long dry season June–August, the short wet season September–November, the short dry season December–January, and the long wet season February–May Most of Burundi receives between 1300 and 1600 mm of rainfall a year The Ruzizi Plain and the northeast receive between 750 and 1000 mm

Talking in Cambodia

Although most travelers will find that they can get around passingly well with a working knowledge of French and increasingly English, some familiarity with Swahili or the related local language, Kirundi, is helpful, particularly in rural areas The problem may be that Kirundi is extremely difficult to learn Kirundi and Kinyarwanda the official language in Rwanda are quite similar

What to see in Cambodia

  • The temples of Angkor are the main draw to the country
  • Phnom Penh offers traces of the colonial past and shocking reminders of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge era

What to do in Cambodia

  • Laze on the beach in Sihanoukville

Buying stuff in Cambodia

When shopping be sure to look for businesses that display the Heritage Friendly Business Logo Heritage Watch has launched a campaign that aims to encourage support for Cambodia's arts, culture, heritage and development Businesses that are giving back to the community are certified as Heritage Friendly by the independent organization and permitted to display either a gold or silver Heritage Friendly logo Look for the logo to ensure that you are supporting socially responsible corporate citizens!


You can get away with pretty much haggling anything in Cambodia Restaurants, outdoor food stalls, even rates for guesthouses It doesn't even matter if you lose your temper as myths of "saving face" doesn't really translate to money However, there are a few guidelines:

  • Try to stick to areas that aren't flooded with tourists may not work In Cambodia where dining out isn't really common among local people, restaurants almost cater for foreigners and tend to be a little bit more expensive than neighbouring countries However in Siem Reap, it is, sometimes if not always, possible to haggle with street food vendors over the portion of a dish, free side dish, and get 20-30% discount
  • US dollar is widely used in Cambodia but no circulation of coins will end up giving you a lot of Cambodian Riels when the price you pay is not an integer This gives a chance for shortchanging, which is particularly popular in several grocery stores in Siem Reap For example, you give $1 for buying a bottle of water which is $06, the staff should return the amount of riels equivalent to $04, but they may keep some of them The money cheated is usually minimal Just be smart at mental arithmetic
  • Haggle in groups This is the key Having two other friends will make it much easier to convince Cambodians to give a discount One person can play bad cop, the other good cop
  • Ask to speak with the manager/owner this applies to guesthouse and restaurants Usually if you try to haggle at a restaurant or guesthouse the employee will say that the boss needs to be there If so, then just ask to speak with him or ask the employee to speak with him You would be surprised at how easy it is to haggle down once you speak to the boss, many times he doesn't even want to be bothered and will give the discount to you
  • Never pay the asking price for anything near the temples of Angkor This includes books, souvenirs, paintings, water, and food During the offseason, the foodstalls near the temples will have a separate menu, ask for it You can even bargain on top of that too! Note that it's much harder to bargain at the foodstalls at Agnkor Wat and especially at the breakfast restaurants across the street from Angkor Wat

Siem Reap is the easiest place to bargain, Phnom Penh may be a little harder but still worth a shot worked at a guesthouse in Phnom Penh Just remember to be persistent


The Cambodian riel is the official currency, but US dollars are universally accepted in Cambodia While there are sufficient ATMs in the major tourist areas of Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh which dispense US$ it may be wise to bring your own supply of US$1, $5, $10 and $20 bills to avoid problems changing larger denominations of $50 or $100 notes US dollar coins buy nothing but confused looks

The exchange rate is generally around 4000 riel to the US$, and it's not uncommon to receive change in a mix of the two Near the Thai border especially Battambang, Koh Kong, and Poipet Thai baht is also accepted; further east including Siem Reap baht can easily be exchanged, but cannot be spent - except at uncompetitive rates Likewise Euro can easily be exchanged, but cannot be spent - except at uncompetitive rates Banks give the best rates, avoid money changers at markets or on the street Torn foreign currency notes can be difficult to exchange It's acceptable to check each note and ask to have them changed if you aren't happy with the quality, even in banks

If you're planning on heading out off the beaten track, you need to take enough US dollars to get you back to a point where you can get more

In many of the larger towns one or more of the local banks operate as Western Union Money Transfer agents


ATMs can be found in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Sihanoukville, and Kampot; both debit card withdrawls Maestro, Cirrus, Plus, VISA and cash advances on credit cards are possible For the rest of the country it's best to stick to cash or traveller's checks in US$

VISA and JCB are the most widely accepted credit cards; MasterCard and American Express cards are slowly becoming more widely accepted

Note that ATMs will dispense US$ in varying denominations If you receive bills in poor conditionespecially $50 or $100 from an ATM attached directly to a bank try to change it there immediately as it may be difficult to change later

Please note that ATMs throughout most of Asia only accept a 4-digit PIN If your PIN is more than 4 digits, best to take care of that at home before you need cash and find yourself out of luck

Traveller's cheques

Traveller's cheques, like credit cards, are accepted in major business establishments, such as large hotels, some restaurants, travel agencies and some souvenir shops; American Express in US$ are the most widely accepted flavour However, competitive rates are only usually found in banks in Cambodia's larger cities guesthouses in heavily touristed areas may offer similar services but at horrendous rates The usual fee for cashing traveler's cheques is 2% and US$2 minimum

Food and eating in Cambodia

For the international traveler, Burundi offers some culinary surprises -- fresh fish from Lake Tanganyika and produce from the nation's rich volcanic soil are particularly notable There is a sizable South Asian community, offering curried dishes alongside the more traditional rice and beans, and french-inspired European offerings For lighter meals, samosas and skewered meats are common, and bananas and fresh fruit are often served as a sweet snack

The national dish is beef brochettes kebabs and grilled plantains cooking bananas available almost everywhere

Drinking in Cambodia

Soft drinks and beer is available As in Rwanda, big Primus bottles are available for between $1-$2 as well as Amstel, which is about $2

Accommodation in Cambodia

Although accommodations in rural areas can be spartan, Bujumbura hosts a number of international-grade hotels, catering to a mainly a UN and international clientele Other notable hotels include the Source du Nil $120/night, the Hotel Botanika $85/night, the Clos de Limbas $70/night and the new, anglophone Sun Safari

Working in Cambodia

Education is now compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 13 Primary education lasts for six years The languages of instruction in schools are Kisundi and French General secondary education lasts for seven years, while vocational secondary education usually lasts for five The percentage of eligible children attending school decreased from 28% in 1967 to 18% in 1975 before rising to 51% in 1992 As of 1999, 45% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while only about 5% of eligible young people attend secondary or technical schools

Cities in Cambodia

kampong cham  kampong chhnang  kampong thum  kampot  kracheh  lumphat  phnum penh  phumi samraong  pousat  senmonorom  sisophon  svay rieng  ta khmau  

What do you think about Cambodia?

How expensive is Cambodia?
Meal in inexpensive restaurant3.32 USD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)18 USD
McDonalds meal3.6 USD
Local beer (0.5 draft)0.7 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 1.82 USD
Cappuccino1.95 USD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)0.76 USD
Water (0.33 bottle)0.46 USD
Milk (1l)1.77 USD
Fresh bread (500g)1.44 USD
White Rice (1kg)0.91 USD
Eggs (12) 1.52 USD
Local Cheese (1kg) 25.89 USD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 6.86 USD
Apples (1kg) 4.64 USD
Oranges (1kg) 2.7 USD
Tomato (1kg) 1.46 USD
Potato (1kg) 1.29 USD
Lettuce (1 head) 0.77 USD
Water (1.5l)0.57 USD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 8.84 USD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)0.86 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 1.5 USD
Cigarettes1.04 USD
One way local bus ticket1.23 USD
Monthly pass for bus32.5 USD
Taxi start1.8 USD
Taxi 1km0.56 USD
Taxi 1hour waiting1.47 USD
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.17 USD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment70.63 USD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 9.12 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 326 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 235.25 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 771.39 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 457.88 USD, your travel companion

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