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Phnom Penh guide for BarCamp Phnom Penh 2010 international participants

By: Preetam Rai Posted: September-21-2010 in
The venue location - Puthisastra University
Preetam Rai

Barcamp Phnom Penh (25 and 26 September this year) attracts visitors from around South East Asia and beyond. If this is your first visit to Phnom Penh, below are some pointers that might be useful.

Airlines and getting there
If you are in South East Asia, the best way to get to Phnom Penh is via the budget airlines. You can get these for around 150to 200 USD.
AirAsia (From Malaysia and Thailand)
JetStar Asia (From Singapore)

You can also travel over-land from Thailand. Over-land and via boat from Vietnam.

Travel from the airport to the city centre will cost you around 10USD by taxi. If you are traveling light, you can take a motor bike taxi (moto) for around 2 to 3 USD. Just walk out of the airport and the moto-taxi people will find you.

Visas
Visitors from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the Lao PDR and Vietnam do not need a visa. Most others can get it from the airport at arrival. Just get the form from the counter, fill it and submit it along with the visa fee (20USD).

You can also apply for the visa online. You will have to upload your details and a photograph. Keep your credit card ready for online payment. The visa will be sent to you via email. Remember to take 2 printouts of the eVisa. You will show one when you enter and the other one when you exit. The E-visa costs USD 25 and it is processed in 3 days or less.
Cambodia E-Visa website

The venue
Puthisastra University, the barcamp venue, is in the city and easy to get to.

Accommodation in Phnom Penh
My favorite source of looking up hotels and guesthouses in Phnom Penh is the online guide published by Canby. The riverfront area in Phnom Penh has many reasonably priced guesthouses. You can find good hostels and hotels from 10 USD and upwards depending on the features you want.

Internet and mobile
Most guesthouses and some cafe have free wi-fi. Cellcard offers a tourist 2.5 G SIM for short stay use. It costs 10$ and comes with 10$ worth of data usage. (The data rate is 1USD for 5 MB).

Money
There is a good choice of food available and you can get by 10 USD/day. You can use ATMs to withdraw money in USD. So you don't need to carry many moneys on you. US currency is in wide circulation and if you are brining US$, get small denominations. For local transport you can use inexpensive motos (motorbike taxis) and tuktuks. From the riverside to the barcamp venue should cost you 1 to 1.5 USD on moto. The central market is close to the BarCamp venue so you can pick up souvenirs from there.

Phnom Penh's Central Market. The best gift to buy to take back home is the scarf being modeled here by BarCamp PP 2008 participants. It is called the Krama.

There is great food in Phnom Penh. Many local and international restaurants. Most restaurants by the river and city will have some English and you won't have trouble ordering. Halal restaurants in Phnom Penh. Vegetarian and vegan eating in Phnom Penh.

Language
Most people you meet at the BarCamp speak good English and young people in the city speak a fair amount of English. If you want to impress, you can download a Khmer language app for the iPhone or a Khmer basics podcast at http://journals.worldnomads.com/language-guides/post/30469.aspx.

Power adapters
These are power plugs in Cambodia

Other resources
Wikitravel Page for Phnom Penh (has recommendations for places to stay). TravelFish's Phnom Penh Information and Interactive Map

Source: Preetam’s notes

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