Currency

Though Riel (KHr) is the official currency, US dollar is indeed the common currency in Cambodia. Many businesses, especially hotels, airlines, restaurants, souvenirs shops, set their prices in USD and all the expenses can be paid in USD even the minor ones. In the West of the country, use of Thai Baht is also commonplace.

At the time of writing exchange rate is US$ 1 = 4000 Riel, and 1 Euro = 5420 Riel (December 2013). You can change Euros into USD, though the exchange rate is not as good as in Europe. There is no need to change your USD into local currency. Small bank notes of 10 or 20 US dollars are enough. Against payment in USD, the change will be given back to you in local currency as there is no USD cents in Cambodia.

 

Traveller’s cheques can be cashed only at major banks and usually incur a 2 to 5% transaction fee. 

 

Visa, Master cards, JCB, CCB and American Express are accepted in top-end hotels, restaurants and shops in the main cities of Cambodia, such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, but can also be subject to 2 to 3% transaction fees.

ATM (cash dispenser) are now available everywhere in the main towns (Visa, Mastercard). You can withdraw cash in USD only - transaction fees may apply. ATM from the ANZ bank are notably available in souvenir shops and in most of the service stations Caltex.

Banks are usually opened from 08h00 to 15h30 from Monday to Friday. Only a few banks are opened half-day on Saturday.

 

Please note that some hotels may need an imprint of your credit card as a deposit during your stay, which is a normal procedure.  However, this deposit can be made in cash and will be refunded upon check-out

 

The best advice is to bring US Dollars in cash. Note that exchange rates for small and big notes vary, however we would recommend you to bring some small notes to cope with the first expenses and then to carry small riel for minor expenses. 500 and 1000 riel are the most useful denominations.

Be careful, banks and foreign exchange offices do not usually take old, scribbled or even stained bank notes.