Cambodian Riel is the official currency of Cambodia. It trades at 4,000 Riel to the United States dollar. Even though Cambodia has its currency, ninety percent of transactions done in the country are in US dollar. This implies that you don't need to stress yourself about getting Cambodian Riel on when you arrive in Cambodia. Funny enough, you are to pay for your Cambodian entry visa in US dollars.
Cambodian currency, Riel is denoted with KHR, and its symbol is ៛. The Cambodian Riel comes in 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 and 100000 notes.
USD versus KHR Currency Rate
Both USD and KHR are used for business transactions in Cambodia. Let's say you are buying an item worth $2.50 and all you have is a US$5.00 bill. You are supposed to collect US$2.50 change, but not all will be given to you in US dollars. Instead, you will get US$2.00 and the rest in Cambodian Riel s. A different rate is used when exchanging USD and KHR in Cambodia. $1.00 is traded for between 4,000 - 4,200 Cambodian Riels.
If the price of an item is $1.00, you can pay $1 US dollar or 4,200 Cambodian Riel s as equivalent.
If an item costs 5,000 Cambodian Riel s, you can pay $1 US dollar also with 1,000 Riel s.
The worth of a US Dollar varies between 4,000 and 4,200 Cambodian Riel s subjected to how you won't pay. Here is my advice, use Riel s for smaller procurements to get the best price.
Cambodian Riel (KHR) General Currency Guides
Cambodian Riel is the local currency of Cambodia. It trades at 4,000 Riel s to the United States dollar. Even though Cambodia has its currency, ninety percent of transactions done in the country are in US dollar.
Majority of the foreigners who comes into Cambodia for business quote prices in dollars just like all the leading grocery stores in the bigger metropolises. Most small stores sometimes quote prices in Cambodian Riel though they accept US dollars too. Contrary to what is obtainable in other countries, transacting US dollar gives you a fair exchange rate. As at the time of preparing this article, the official exchange rate stands at 4,002 Riel to the United States dollar while on the street, 4,000 Cambodian Riel s is exchanges for $1 with a 1 cent difference to the official exchange rate.
The economy of the rural part of Cambodia is completely done in Riel despite that fact that you can use smaller dollar denominations for payments. Meanwhile, don't expect anyone to give you change when you offer $20 bill for a purchase of $0.50. The best thing is to move around with enough $1 and $5 notes.
ATM Machines Guides
Since 2017, you can quickly locate ATMs at every corner of Cambodian cities, and the majority of these machines dispense US dollars as well as local currency. Aside from that, leading the machines also accepts all leading credit and debit cards from MasterCard, Visa, Cirrus, Maestro, and UnionPay.
The charges on most of the Cambodian ATMs are reasonable while most banks charge between $4 and $5 per each transaction for international cardholders.
The only disadvantages with Cambodian ATMs are that most of the times, they dispense big denomination bills. For instance, if you're withdrawing $200, the machine will dispense two $100 notes but to avoid getting more significant dollar bills from the computer, you can withdraw in multiples of $10 or $20 bills by requesting for $290 instead of $200. With this tactics, the ATM has no choice but to smaller notes for you.
Note that all Cambodian ATM dispenses local currency, i.e., Riel and as well as US dollars. Meanwhile, using foreign ATM cards on Cambodian ATMs will only give you US dollars.
Is the Use of Credit Card, Debit Card or Travel Card, the Best Way of Collecting Money in Cambodia?
It is advisable to explore different options of travel money for Cambodian trip although the use of Credit Cards remains the perfect travel buddy. With credit cards, you can have interest-free purchases with some expediency like emergency card replacement, emergency cash and complimentary insurances access to protect yourself, your household as well as the stuff you buy.
You can travel with a U.S Dollars preloaded card and use it to withdraw US dollars from Cambodian ATMs. The US dollar bills can be used for any transactions in Cambodia. Also, the charges on Travelcard ATM I lower than that of debit ATM cards. Looking for few places where Travel Card can work in your favors, then Cambodia is the right place!
Another option you have at getting cash in Cambodia as a foreigner is the use of a debit card. There are a few numbers of travel-friendly debit accounts you can choose from. In fact, there are transaction fees (like ATM charges and currency conversion dues), waivers on some international debit cards. Opening a transaction account is free and cost you nothing unless you use the card. To compare different travel money options available for you, Read on! You will undoubtedly discover the best option for you.
How to Tip
Traditionally, tipping is not accepted here, but it can't be ruled out in the country as poor as Cambodia. Most of the 3 and five start hotels collect a 10% service charge from their customers bust. Unfortunately, this doesn't get to the staff. If you stay a couple of nights in the same hotel, ensure you tip the room service attendants that clean your room likewise drivers that drive you around and your tour guides too. Why should you consider doing this act of kindness? Majority of these people you come across spend their time offering you one service or the other while they are away from their family. Tipping in the form of small donations is considered a proper thing to do after visiting a temple (wat), ), especially if a monk has shown you around; most temples have contribution boxes for this purpose.
Ensure you get new and clean notes as change. Also, make sure that the bills you get from ATM are crisp, unsoiled, and untorn because no Cambodians will collect dirt and torn notes from you. All tattered, torn US dollar bills will be returned to you even though filthy Riel notes are in circulation. Old US notes are not acceptable in Cambodian community except new and relatively new notes.
Daily Budget for Cambodia
Even though Cambodia remains one of Southeast Asia's smallest developed countries, it can be slightly more luxurious to visit than its economically developed and prosperous neighbours.
For an economical, simple traveler's experience, we endorse a daily budget of at least $40 to be spent in Cambodia. This budget is sufficient for you to stay in economic guesthouses and hotels, eat a mix of local and international delicacies and travel around the country by bus.
This is mostly because there's small tourist infrastructure across the entire country. This means that the few available options come at a slight premium.
For a five-star experience in Cambodia, expect to spend as much as you would in Thailand or Vietnam. We recommend budgeting at least $150 per day if you plan on staying in luxury hotels and dining in high-end international restaurants.
For a more comfortable experience with three to four-star hotels, we recommend budgeting at least $75 per day. This is enough for you to travel around Cambodia by plane and get a higher standard of accommodation and food.