Frequently Asked Questions

Gearing up for a trip to Riverkids in Cambodia? Wondering where to stay? What foods to eat? How expensive is the capital city of Cambodia?

Where can I stay? 

Short Stays: Some hotels used by previous volunteers are: Golden GateThe Mekong PalaceBlue Lime and The Pavilion. Hotels often offer free airport pick-ups and drop-offs if you request it when you make your reservation.

Long Stays: It is convenient and economical to rent Phnom Penh apartments or small houses for US$150 to US$500 a month, depending on size and location. Local housekeepers and cooks can be arranged relatively easily as well. To find one, we’d recommend first staying at a hotel and asking around locally by word-of-mouth.

How is the Weather?

Cambodia has two distinct seasons — the wet and the dry: Dry season runs from November to April. November to January are cooler (high 20′s) while February to April are hot and dusty. November is the coolest month, April the hottest.

Wet season runs from May to October. July to September are the wettest months.

We recommend bringing light clothes but Riverkids volunteers are encouraged to dress conservatively in accordance with the Cambodian culture.

What should I pack?

  • Volunteers should wear shoes that are easy to slip on or off.
  • Wear clothes that go below the knee.
  • Spaghetti-strap tops and revealing tops are discouraged.
  • Sunscreen is a must, and hats recommended.
  • During February to May, umbrellas are recommended.
  • There are several supermarkets (Lucky and Pencil) and prices are roughly the same as Singapore, but in USD.
  • You can buy toiletries and basic clothes pretty easily in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
  • Mosquito repellent

What can I eat?

Cambodia has a range of Asian and Western restaurants. Common sicknesses – are food related. Volunteers are encouraged to avoid street or market food stalls. Stick to boiled or fried food, and fruit that needs to be peeled.

Is the water safe to drink?

Drinking from taps is not recommended because the water, while much improved, is still not reliably safe. Bottled water is easily available in Phnom Penh, from $0.25 for a litre of the cheap local brand to $2 for a little bottle of Evian. Avoid ice in your drinks unless the restaurant specifically states the ice has been made from safe water.

How much will it cost to travel to Cambodia?

Accommodation in Cambodia

Budget $10-$20
Low-range hotel $20-$40
Mid-range hotel $40-$100

Food in Cambodia

Western Restaurant $4-$8
Khmer Restaurant $2-3
Bottle of water $0.25-$1

Want to support a cause? There are social restaurants like Romdeng (several outlets in Phnom Penh) runs by Friends international or Lotus Blanc runs by PSE (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant).

Travel

Tuk-Tuk $2-$5 per ride, about $20 to $25 a day
Taxi $7 per hour and $30 per day (they use meters)

Flight companies to Phnom Penh: Jetstar / Silkair

Visa

For the people who needs Visa, Visa can be done on arrival, it costs $30 for a tourist visa for one month (can be renewed). It is recommended to bring the exact amount and a picture (passport’s size).

Money and Bank accounts

Cambodian currency is called the riel (KHR). The exchange rate is around 4,000 to US$1. US cash is commonly used for purchases, though change may be given in riel. Riel is a non-convertible currency, meaning once you have left Cambodia, it is useful only as wallpaper…

Most Cambodian bank ATMs charge foreign cash withdrawals US$5/- per withdrawal. It is advisable for short-term volunteers to bring money as cash or traveller’s cheques. Long term volunteers are recommended to open a local bank account in Cambodia.

For further queries, please contact us at florence@riverkidsproject.org