Once you receive your registration confirmation, you can book your flight! You will need to look for flights that arrive at Siem Reap International Airport (REP) You are welcome to arrive at any time of the day or night but please keep in mind that check in time at the hotel is 3:00pm. We highly suggest using Google Flights to search for the best itineraries and fares. Feel free to text or call us if you need assistance booking your flights.
Depending on which country you are from, you may need to obtain a Tourist Visa before visiting Cambodia. US Passport holders are required to get a visa. You can get one upon arrival at the airport but we HIGHLY recommend getting it online prior to your departure,. It takes approximately 3-5 business days to receive your visa via email. You do not have to mail out your passport , so no worries there.
It is a very easy process and costs around $36.
Here is the link to get your visa online: https://evisa.gov.kh/
All travelers are required to obtain Travelers Insurance before going on the retreat. This is to protect you in case you have to cancel your trip, in case your luggage gets lost and ESPECIALLY in case you have a medical emergency. We are blessed in the United States to have hospitals that are required to treat us – even if we don’t have money on hand. Most of the world does not work like this. Many hospitals will not even talk to you until you can show proof of a Travel Insurance Plan.
While emergencies are extremely rare, it sure does feel good having the peace of mind while abroad. You are welcome to use any company you wish.
Below is a list of 3 Companies we are comfortable referring you to:
Allianz Global : https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/
World Nomads: https://www.worldnomads.com/usa
The best thing to do is to call the companies directly and tell them that you want to insure a trip . They will ask you your age, what state you live in, your trip destination and total cost of the trip that you want to insure.
You will calculate how much you are spending on the retreat that you booked with us along with the cost of your flights. Then they will give you a quote.
Be sure to note that there are many different types of policies to choose from. One of the main differences is “Emergency Cancellation” ( Cancel because of a medical emergency etc ) vs “CFAR” ( Cancel for any reason – like if you just change your mind. ) CFAR policies sometimes require you to purchase the policy within a certain time frame from placing your deposit and are usually a bit more expensive. Just some things to consider!
Once you have secured your Travelers Insurance, please send us a quick email to let us know. We want to make sure every traveler is protected on this beautiful adventure.
We hope these tips help!
There are no vaccine requirements for United States Citizens. If you are traveling from another country, please check with your local government. We do suggest to all participants that you consult a physician or Travel Clinic before traveling so that you can be educated on the immunizations that are suggested as an extra precaution. This decision is totally up to you. If you plan to travel to more rural areas, extra precaution should be taken. U.S. Citizens can read more here :
No need to exchange money before your trip to Cambodia! The US Dollar is the unofficial “second currency” and accepted almost everywhere. The official currency of Cambodia is the riel ( KHR ) which is currently approximately 4,000 riel to one US dollar. Most ATMs throughout the country will dispense dollars instead of riel. Make sure that you order crisp, new bills from your bank at home before the trip. Bills with creases, rips or markings are not accepted and they are very strict about this.
Many hotels these days are equipped with American & European Outlets but you should always be prepared when traveling. For charging things like phones & iPads, you will need an adapter to fit into Asian plugs. We purchased this Apple Travel Kit. It is a great investment because it has plugs for various countries so you can use for future travels. If you don’t use Apple, just get something similar from your provider. You can find many kinds of adapters on Amazon for cheap as well.
Appliances get a little trickier. Hair Dryers are provided in the hotels so you won’t need to bring one.
For appliances like shavers, flat irons and curling wands; you will need a converter ( in addition to an adapter.)
The Conair Styling Converter Kit is the only converter out there that is designed to work with high-end hair styling tools and we absolutely love it.
Be sure to check out our SHOP on the VIVE Website for easy access to our favorite travel gear!
There are 3 ways you can choose to use your phone while abroad.
Option 1 : Switch the settings on your phone to “data roaming – OFF” and just use your phone whenever you are connected to WiFi. Hotels, cafes, shops will almost always have WiFi. Use the WhatsApp app to text freely with friends & family.
Option 2 : Purchase a SIM card with unlimited data so you can use your phone anywhere & everywhere. It’s easier than it sounds. You basically find a kiosk at the airport, mall or 7-11 and have the employees set it up for you. This option is suggested for those that might want to access FaceBook, SnapChat, Instagram , etc when on the go. I also suggest this method in case of emergencies. We will be doing this upon arrival at the airport – just to get it out of the way.
Option 3 : Set up an International Data Plan with your cell phone service provider. Daily rates will vary depending on your carrier.
- When visiting temples – shoulders, belly & legs must be completely covered ( for men & women)
- At beaches – regular bikinis / beach wear is fine but have a cover up handy for going into hotel lobby , restaurants, shops etc
- Out & about in shops / restaurants – normal stuff you’d wear – shorts & tank top etc is fine as long as it’s not skimpy.
- Remember it’s really hot so wear light materials that breathe.
- You take your shoes off a lot in South East Asia ( all temples, some restaurants so bring mostly sandals that are comfy & not SUPER expensive since you leave them out in public)
- As a rule of thumb in Asia you should dress “nice.” It is said on a lot of travel boards that the quality of service you get in hotels , restaurants, etc will depend on how you dress . Locals judge by appearance & it is a sign of respect to be dressed nice (as opposed to beach bum / tourist)
- Some higher end restaurants / bars will have a dress code.
- DON’T EVER POINT
- DON’T TOUCH ANYONE’S HEAD
- NO FEET TOWARDS ANYONE , ESPECIALLY MONKS / BUDDHAS, DON’T PROP FEET UP
- DRESS MODEST, COVER SHOULDERS & LEGS IN TEMPLES ( MEN & WOMEN )
- DON’T BE LOUD
- DRESS NICE
- NEVER DISRESPECT THE COUNTRY’S LEADERS OR STEP ON MONEY
- WOMEN SHOULD NEVER TOUCH A MONK
- DON’T “LOSE FACE” ( REMAIN CALM & SMILE – YOU WILL PROBABLY GET WHAT YOU WANT)
- GET CRISP MONEY FROM YOUR BANK BEFORE GOING ON THE TRIP. YOU CANNOT USE MONEY THAT HAS ANY CREASES, RIPS OR MARKINGS. THEY ARE VERY STRICT ABOUT THIS.
- DON’T DRINK THE TAP WATER. BOTTLE WATER ONLY. ( FOR HEALTH REASONS. NOT ETIQUETTE )
- ALWAYS REMOVE YOUR SHOES WHEN ENTERING A TEMPLE OR SOMEONES HOME. SOME RESTAURANTS MAY REQUIRE THIS ALSO.
WHEN HAILING A TAXI, KEEP YOUR HAND OUT HORIZONTAL WITH FINGERS FACING DOWN TOWARDS THE GROUND. HOLDING YOUR HANDS WITH FINGERS UP OR POINTING IS CONSIDERED VERY RUDE. NEVER WHISTLE.
- NOT EXPECTED ( LIKE IN USA ) BUT APPRECIATED
- HOTELS ( LESS THAN $1 ) FOR LUGGAGE CARRIER OR HOUSEKEEPING
- RESTAURANTS, CUSTOMARY TO LEAVE ANY LOOSE CHANGE IN COINS AS A TIP
- BUT MOST HOTELS & RESTAURANTS ALREADY INCLUDE A 10% SERVICE CHARGE ON YOUR BILL. IT IS SHARED AMONG THE EMPLOYEES.
- IN VERY HIGH END RESTAURANT WITH EXCELLENT SERVICE 5% – 10% TIP IS APPRECIATED.
- FOR TAXIS JUST ROUND UP THE FARE ( example – Fare is $4.65 – just give $5 )
- KEEP IN MIND MASSAGE LADIES WORK FOR PENNIES SO A LITTLE EXTRA GOES A LONG WAY FOR THEM.
- MAKE SURE TAXIS TURN ON THEIR METER SO THEY CAN’T SCAM YOU. IF THEY TELL YOU A PLACE IS CLOSED “ AND YOU SHOULD GO SOMEWHERE ELSE “- JUST FIND ANOTHER DRIVER. THEY ARE PROBABLY TRYING TO SCAM YOU.
- NEVER GIVE YOUR PASSPORT OVER AS A DEPOSIT FOR JET SKIS OR MOTORBIKES. THIS IS A SCAM AS WELL.
- WE HAVE BEEN TO CAMBODIA AND NEVER EXPERIENCED A FEELING OF BEING SCAMMED. JUST BE AWARE AND ALERT AS YOU WOULD BACK HOME.
IF THERE IS A FIXED, INDIVIDUAL PRICE TAG , IT IS PROBABLY NOT A BARGAINING PLACE.
IF HAGGLING – CUT PRICE IN HALF, THEN MEET SOMEWHERE COMFORTABLE IN THE MIDDLE.
AS A RULE OF THUMB FOR ALL AIRPORTS, VAPES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN CHECKED LUGGAGE ( THEY MUST BE IN YOUR CARRY ON IN A SEPARATE BAGGIE ) NO DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT REGISTERING & GETTING A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL. NOTHING TOO SERIOUS BUT PLEASE JUST ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE LAWS FOR ANY COUNTRY YOU VISIT BY READING UP ONLINE
( VERY COMMON BUT NOT SUGGESTED AS THE ROADS ARE VERY DANGEROUS ) YOU NEED AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENSE. THOUGH NOT ENFORCED VERY OFTEN – IT’S STILL THE LAW. WE DO NOT ALLOW RETREAT GUESTS TO RENT MOTORBIKES DURING THE RETREAT.
- A photocopy of your passport to carry when out and about as I.D. ( keep original passport in hotel safe along with your other valuables) and your Visa!
- Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your entry date into the country. Always check online for any updates to passport & visa policies.
- Prescriptions along with original bottles & doctors note
- Camera, chargers, adapters
- Light weight yoga mat( Expensive ones are usually too heavy for travel. Stick with a cheapy one that you don’t mind getting dirty or leaving behind.) Most of the time you can carry your mat on the plane without it counting as a carry on. It will become your best friend for stretches / naps during airport layovers.
- Entertainment for your flight Books, Kindle, journal to write in, healthy snacks, neck pillow. Whatever makes you happy – plan out your long haul entertainment.
- Packing Cubes are life. Get some on the SHOP page here on our Vive Website!
NOTIFY BANKS OF YOUR TRAVELS
REGISTER YOUR TRIP ON S.T.E.P.
PHOTOCOPY OF ALL PASSPORTS & DOCUMENTS
DOWNLOAD WHATSAPP FOR TEXTING
DOWNLOAD LANGUAGE APP / GOOGLE TRANSLATE
DOWNLOAD CURRENCY CONVERTER APP
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY AND LOCALS ARE VERY APPRECIATIVE WHEN YOU MAKE THE ATTEMPT TO LEARN SOME COMMON PHRASES. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOWNLOADING A LANGUAGE APP AND BRUSHING UP ON THE BASICS. ( THIS WILL ALSO GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO DO ON THAT LONG INBOUND FLIGHT ! )
HERE ARE SOME KEY PHRASES TO PRACTICE:
Susadei – Hello ( informal )
Soksaby – How are you / I am fine ( they are the same )
Lee-hi – Good bye ( informal )
Bah or “bah, bah, bah” – yes ( ladies )
Jah or “chaa, chaa, chaas ” – yes ( men )
Ot teh – no
Arkun – Thank you
Som Dtoh – sorry / excuse me
Chh-nang – delicious
Som tach – Water please
Bo man – How much?
T-lay – Too expensive
Chhmua ei ( cham-moo-ey) – What is your name?
Hope you find this page helpful! Be sure to check in on our Private FaceBook Group for more info, live Q&As, videos and fun posts all about Cambodia! Email or Text us anytime with questions.