My Failed Attempt At Extending A Cambodian Ordinary Visa On The Cheap

Encouraged by a post on stackexchange, I decided to give it a try and go the DIY route. Although the most upvoted answer was from a person that extended a tourist visa, there was another answer from somebody reporting having successfully extended an ordinary visa (aka E visa or business visa). According to that post, a six month visa extension was just $100 – almost $60 cheaper than good ole Lucky Motors! So, not only would I get to save a good chunk of money, I would equally enjoy the satisfaction of being able to by-pass the visa agents altogether. Being cheap can be a real joy at times!

So, armed with the knowledge that the office is open from 2pm to 4pm in the afternoon, I decided to set out at about 12:45pm. Since this was to be the thrifty way of getting the visa extension, I of course also decided to take the public bus, just like the adventurous traveler that answered the stackexchange question. So, I jumped on the bus somewhere not too far from Big New Market and around 45 minutes later, arrived at the airport.

The immigration department was really easy to find. It was just behind the bus stop. Once you enter the area, walk straight down, ignoring the sign saying “Visa Service” pointing to the left, and walk all the way down to the end of the building. There, on the left corner, you will see the visa extension office.

So, with huge anticipation, I entered the office, which was void of people, and approached the lonely guy behind the counter at the far side of the room. After letting him know my intention of getting an extension, he asked me to show him my passport, which I immediately procured. He then wanted to know for how many months I wanted the extension. Since I wasn’t sure yet, I asked how much a six-month visa cost. Then came the first surprise: he quoted me $160 – even a few bucks more than good ole Lucky Motors! But the worst wasn’t over yet. After I inquired about the expense for a 3-month visa, he kindly asked me to go to – get this – a visa agent to get the extension! Because, apparently, they only accept people that “run a business in Cambodia” there.

Very disappointed and a bit confused, I turned around and made my way back to the bus stop. So, that’s the truth then. Unless you have a business here, you are actually supposed to go through an agent. Did something change since that stackechange post in 2015? Or did I just not have the air of a business man? I guess I will never know. Lucky Motors it is, then!

Surviving A Ride With Capitol Tours

Capitol Tours might not be everyone’s favorite bus company. But let’s face it, if you’re on a tight budget, it should be your first choice. I have traveled on Capitol Tours between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Bangkok more often than I can remember.

Advantages

  1. The bus stops are usually right smack in the middle of town. At least in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang. Well, in Siem Reap and Battambang, the real stations are out of town, but they have free pick-up service from the ticket offices, which are downtown.
  2. It’s cheap! The price goes up a bit during the high season (October to March, I think). But it still hard to beat.
  3. Compared to what you pay, you actually get a semi-reliable service.
  4. Capitol’s Thai partner for routes to Bangkok actually has free working Wifi. This compares to Mekong with their so-called VIP bus service, where there is still no Wifi on the Thai side and the Wifi on the Cambodian side is usually out of order.

Disadvantages

  1. It can be slow. They stop along the way very often to pick up and drop off passengers. Engine breakdowns also happen every once in a while.
  2. The majority of passengers are from the working classes. This can make for a noisy environment. Also be prepared for the unexpected, such as a mother having her child pee into the aisle.
  3. Don’t expect Wifi or any other amenities on these trips. It’s totally no-frills!
  4. They have routes to Bangkok, but no route from Bangkok back to Cambodia. I have no clue why.

Survival tips & tricks

All in all, it’s really not just such a bad experience. But there are some things that can make the journey with Capitol Tours a little bit more pleasant.

First, I would like to suggest that you stay relaxed and prepare yourself for a really long trip. Just accept that the bus probably won’t be on time anyways, so why get upset about some delays along the way?

Also, pack some food to snack on during the trip. The bus always stops at least twice at a restaurant, but the prices at those places are always on the higher side, I think. There are also many reports of these restaurants charging foreigners extra, but the one time I bought something, I made first sure to see how much a local paid and lo and behold, I was charged exactly the same price. I guess your mileage may vary!

Finally, Capitol Tours will usually allow you to choose your seat. I found it better to take a seat in the back section. It seems locals aren’t too picky and ticket clerks automatically assign seats starting from the front. So, if the bus isn’t full, you are more likely to have a lot of space for yourself in the back.

10 Courier Services in Cambodia That Are Cheaper Than DHL

After emailing several logistics providers, I found ten companies that offered quotes for international door-to-door delivery service cheaper than DHL. The one surprising thing was that, if you want to use DHL, instead of booking through them directly, you should go through a DHL agent. I got quotes from two DHL agents, which were about 20% and 50% cheaper than what DHL was asking for. The column “Discount” is the average of quotes to three different locations (Bangkok, New York and Paris) compared to the DHL quote. So, e.g., “70%” means the prices were on average 70% cheaper than DHL. The base prices from DHL for a package of 3kg were as follows -> Bangkok: $97, New York: $147, Paris: $151. Please note that this is just an approximate comparison. Some quotes do not include Cambodian VAT of 10% and may also not include other things, such as insurance.

Name Email Agent Discount
Expert Cargo Services [email protected] 70%
AGL – Advanced Glory Logistics [email protected] 58%
TSP Express Cambodia [email protected] FedEx 57%
Elan Global Logistics [email protected] DHL 55%
CLN Cambodia [email protected] 53%
Linehaul Express (Linex) [email protected] 51%
Smile Link Express World Wide [email protected] 45%
Pdex Worldwide Express Logistics [email protected] 42%
Cambodian Air Sea Logistics [email protected] DHL 22%
Agility Logistics Limited [email protected] 19%

How much you have to pay to rent a car with a driver in Cambodia

Unlike renting a car without a driver, hiring a vehicle with a driver is really easy. I requested for quotes for one-day city tour and two-day tour to another city (for companies located in PP to SR, and for those in SR and SV to PP). All rates below usually (but not necessarily) include gasoline, insurance and other expenses. Some will also let you pay for the gas separately if you prefer that. Also, the prices may be negotiable, depending on the season.

The rate for a single-day rental in Phnom Penh can be anywhere from $35-$100, the average being $54. In Siem Reap, it’s clearly cheaper, hovering around the $30-$35 range. In Sihanoukville, I only got two quotes, each for $50. For the two day trip to another city, PP to SR costs $226 on average. The other way around would set you back about $190.

Phnom Penh

Name Email Car City Other
Aveera Travel [email protected] Hyundai H-1 $80 $270
Blue Travel & Tour [email protected] Lexus RX300 $35
Budget Cambodia Tours [email protected] Highlander $45 $230
Bung Sopheap Taxi Service [email protected], [email protected] Lexus RX300 $50 $180
C – Car Rental Service [email protected] Camry $40
Cana Vehicle Renting Service [email protected] $35 $145
Car Rental Co., Ltd. [email protected] Camry, Pajero $35 $170
Channel Limousine [email protected] Camry $40 $279
Daily Transport Car Rental Service [email protected] Camry $70 $275
Eco Tour de Mekong Tour [email protected] Camry $45 $210
Heng Mardy [email protected] Camry $50
Henry Car Rental [email protected] Lexus RX300 $60 $180
Khmer Tutor [email protected] Camry $50 $180
Kim Se Transportation [email protected] Toyota Fortuner $50 $250
Landa Car Rental [email protected] Highlander, Siena $60 $240
Larryta Car Rental-Express [email protected] Camry, Lexus RX300 $60 $230
Mekong Visit Travel & Tours [email protected] Camry $35 $175
Mey Hong Transport Ford Transit $95 $350
Mittapheap Tours [email protected] Camry $45 $210
Moon Noons [email protected] Camry $40 $260
Mr Mak [email protected] Lexus RX300 $55 $200
Nickolas’s Tourist Services [email protected] Highlander $80 $270
Nisay Car Rental Service [email protected] Lexus RX300 $90 $480
Piseth Transportation Association [email protected] Land Cruiser, Lexus $70 $240
Rattana Transportation-Service [email protected] Lexus 470 $100 $300
Ravy Angkor Tours Cambodia [email protected] Camry $35 $180
Sada Car Rental [email protected] Camry $35 $150
Sar Borith [email protected] Camry, Honda CRV $45 $220
SB Car Rental [email protected] Honda CRV $50 $190
SK – Transport [email protected] Camry $40 $180
Sok Hour Car Rental/Asia Explorer [email protected] Camry $50 $250
Sunly Car Rental Group [email protected] Camry $45 $160
Taro Car Rental Service [email protected] Highlander $100 $200
Tony’s Tuk Tuk and Car Service [email protected] Lexus RX300 $50 $200
Tourism of Cambodia [email protected] Camry, Lexus RX300 $35 $210
VLK Royal Tourism [email protected] Camry $45 $200

Siem Reap

Name Email Car City Other
AAA Travel & Tours [email protected] Prius $30 $220
Brother Trading Transportation Service [email protected] Camry, Pruis $25 $180
Mr Chan Sopul [email protected] Mercedes $30 $220
Pro Angkor Travel [email protected] Camry $30 $150
Siem Reap Transport [email protected] sedan car $35 n/a
The Mandalay Travel & Tour [email protected] Camry $30 $180

Sihanoukville

Name Email Car City Other
Sihanouk Ville Tour [email protected] Lexus RX300 $50 $140
Sihanoukvilla [email protected] Camry $50 $150

68 Swimming Pools Open To The Public in Phnom Penh

Below, you will find a map and list of publicly accessible swimming pools in Phnom Penh. The standard charge for a day pass is around $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Some hotels will allow free access to the pool if guests spend any or a certain minimum amount at the restaurant. That’s indiciated in the column “Spend”. Also worth noting is that the age to determine qualification for the child rate varies across places. The two most common ones seem below 5 and below 12 years. Finally, the pool sizes are indicated in meters.

Map of pools

List of pools

Name Open Close Size Day adult Day child Spend
3mangoes Guesthouse free free any amt
9 Dragon Hotel
Anik Boutique Hotel and Spa 10:00 19:00 10×4 $10.00 $5.00
Anise Villa 06:00 22:00 13×5 $5.00 $3.00
Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort 10:00 23:00 30 long, 1.5 deep $12.00 $6.00
Arun Villa 08:00 18:00 4.5x7x1.4 $5.00 $5.00 $10
Blue Lime 10:00 20:00 5x15x1.3 $4 (WE: $6) not allowed
CCC Hotel & Cambodian Country Club 06:00 22:30 25x15x1.8-12 $12.00 $12.00
Circa 51 08:00 20:00 11×4.5 $5.00 $5.00 $5
Colina Boutique Hotel 07:00 22:00 3×5 $5.00 $5.00
Dara Airport Hotel 06:00 22:00 171sqm $8.00 $5.00
Double Leaf Boutique Hotel 09:00 10:00 10.77 long $7.00 $3.50
Essence Hotel 08:00 20:00 $10.00
Eureka Villas Phnom Penh daylight hrs daylight hrs 10×6 $5.00 $5.00 $5
Goldiana 242 Hotel 08:00 22:00 14.7×5 $5.00 $3.00
Good Time Health & Fitness
Grand Phnom Penh Water Park 09:00 18:00 $5 (WE: $7) $4 (WE: $5)
Grand Waterfront Hotel 07:00 12:00 8×4 $5.00 $5.00 $5
Harmony Phnom Penh Hotel 08:00 20:00 12×4 $6.00 $3.00
High Sky Hotel 07:00 19:00 15x12x1.2 $3.00 $3.00
Himawari Hotel Apartments 06:30 21:30 25x10x1 & 5×4.5×0.5 $7 (WE: $8) $4 (WE: $5)
Hotel Cambodiana 06:00 22:00 $12.00 $8.00
InterContinental Phnom Penh 07:00 20:00 21×14 (adults) $25.00 $12.50
International Youth Sport Club $5.00 $3.00
Jasmin Monument Hotel 07:00 21:00 8mx4mx1.5m $4.00 free
La Rose Boutique Hotel & Spa 06:00 22:00 10x4x1.4 $5.00 $5.00 $9
La Rose Suites 08:00 19:00 4×10 $5.00 $5.00 $5
Le Safran La Suite 12:00 17:00 4×2 $5.00 $5.00
Lyla Center 06:00 20:00 $4 (WE: $5) $3 (WE: $4)
Manor House 07:00 22:00 10mx4m $5.00 not allowed
Ming Hour Sport Club 05:30 21:00 20×20 $3 ($4 aft 2pm) $2 ($3 aft 2pm)
National Olympic Stadium 06:00 22:00 50mx18m KHR2000
New Midtown Hotel 08:00 22:00 3×5 $4.00 $2.00
Okay Boutique Hotel 10:00 22:00 $5.00 $5.00
Omana Hotel 08:00 18:00 8×5 free free any amt
Palm Tree Boutique Hotel 08:00 22:00 13×5 free free any amt
Patio Hotel & Urban Resort 06:30 23:00 16.5×4.5 $10.00 $5.00
Phnom Penh Hotel 09:00 21:00 $6.00 $4.00
Phnom Penh Sport Club $5.00 $3.00
PRASATs Boutique Hotel 07:00 22:00 $5.00 $3.00
Raffles Hotel Le Royal 06:00 22:00
Rambutan Resort – Phnom Penh 08:00 21:00 6×11 $8.00 not allowed $8
River Home Boutique Hotel 10:00 18:00 10 (l), 1.4 (d) $4.00 $4.00
S.D. Holiday Hotel 09:00 19:00 17×5 $5.00 $3.00
Skyline Boutique Hotel 10:00 19:00 12×4 $8 (WE: $10) free $8
Smango House
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 06:00 09:00 21×18 $15.00 $11.00
Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel 07:00 22:00 1650sqm $10.00 $5.00
Sun & Moon Urban Hotel 07:00 19:00 6x15x1.5 $18.00
Sundance Inn & Saloon 08:00 12:00 7×3 free free any amt
SuperFit Gym 06:00 22:00 1.4-1.7m (d) $8.00 $5.00
TeaHouse Asian Urban Resort 07:00 22:30 9×5 $5.00 $5.00 $5
Teav Bassac Boutique Hotel & Spa 10:00 22:00 1.5 max (d) $5.00 $3.00
TG Sport Center Condo Hotel 07:00 21:00 $4.00 $2.00
The 252 Boutique Hotel need to check 5×13 $5.00 $5.00 $5
The Billabong Hotel 10:00 18:00 10×15 $5.00 $3.00
The Governors House Boutique Hotel 07:00 22:00 11×5 free free any amt
The Kabiki 07:00 22:00 15×5 $5.00 $3.00
The Kingdom Resort & Spa 08:00 18:00 250sqm $3 (WE: $4) $3 (WE: $4)
The Laneway $5.00 $5.00 $5.00
The Mekong Dragon Hotel 11:00 21:00 14×1-1.6 $5.00 $3.00 any amt
The Place Gym 06:00 21:30 $15.00 not allowed
The Sangkum Hotel 07:00 21:00 11m long $10.00 $10.00 $10
Villa Samnang 08:00 21:00 5x2x1.5 $5.00 $3.00
Villa Sovanna Boutique Hotel 08:00 22:30 6×3.2 $5.00 $5.00
VIP Sport Club
VMansion Boutique Hotel 07:00 22:00 7.5x5x1.06 $5.00 free $7
You Khin Guesthouse 08:00 21:00 8×4.5 $3.00 $2.00 any amt

100 Hotels and Guesthouses in Cambodia With Monthly Rates (Low season edition)

Almost ever since I arrived in Cambodia, I have been staying at guesthouses. What would always irk me is that most of them wouldn’t give me a discount for paying by the month, even during the low season. It’s been only recently that I stumbled upon a really amazing deal. The guesthouse is in 7Makara district in Phnom Penh and charges only $160 a month! The daily rate is $6/night during low season and $8 during high season. But the monthly rate is always the same. So, that just proved to me that there are some good deals out there – you just have to go look for them. With that in mind, I started out emailing all kinds of hotels + guesthouses in Cambodia’s major cities to ask for monthly rates. Unfortunately, there are so many (2000+) that it would have taken too long to email all of them. So, I stopped once I had about 100 places with discounted rates for extended stays.

The results are not too surprising. More expensive hotels will give bigger discounts than cheaper places. The average regular daily rate for all hotels + guesthouses I got a response from was $33.24. The average discounted rate amounted to $23.77 and the average discount is roughly 24%. Even some of the cheaper guesthouses are still willing to give discounts. However, one point that is important to pay attention to is what exactly is included with the monthly rate. Some will not include breakfast (while the daily rate does) and others might not even include utilities. Another thing is, I asked to stay during the low season. High season rates will inevitably be higher at some places and they might not have the monthly rate for that time at all. Finally, I had to pull some daily rates from hotel booking websites, where rates vary all the time. So, this comparison is just a very rough approximation. You definitely need to do your own research and inquire at each place individually. So, below is the data, by city.

Battambang

Name Email Daily rate Discounted Discount %
Au Cabaret Vert Ecologic Hotel [email protected] $35.00 $16.67 52.38%
Bambu Hotel [email protected] $90.00 $45.00 50.00%
Emerald BB Battambang Hotel [email protected] $15.00 $13.50 10.00%

Phnom Penh

Name Email Daily rate Discounted Discount %
9Dragon Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $33.00 $28.60 13.33%
Adore Hotel [email protected] $30.00 $24.00 20.00%
Aimé House [email protected] $20.00 $8.33 58.33%
Almond Hotel – Phnom Penh [email protected] $50.00 $43.33 13.33%
Almond Hotel Bassac River [email protected] $90.00 $40.00 55.56%
Ambrose Villa 360 [email protected] $33.00 $26.40 20.00%
Anise Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $29.50 $26.67 9.60%
Arunreas Hotel [email protected] $120.00 $95.00 20.83%
Asia Palace Hotel [email protected] $35.00 $28.00 20.00%
Bali Resort & Hotel [email protected] $60.00 $36.67 38.89%
Billabong Hotel & Hostel [email protected] $36.00 $23.33 35.19%
Blue Kiwi Guesthouse [email protected] $20.00 $15.00 25.00%
Blue Tongue Hotel [email protected] $29.00 $20.00 31.03%
Bolyna Palace Hotel [email protected] $20.00 $15.00 25.00%
Bougainvillier Hotel [email protected] $50.00 $32.73 34.53%
Burly Guesthouse [email protected] $8.00 $7.67 4.17%
Chateau the Meliya Hotel [email protected] $88.00 $46.67 46.97%
Circa 51 [email protected] $48.00 $29.00 39.58%
City Centre Hotel [email protected] $19.00 $18.07 4.91%
Comfort House [email protected] $25.00 $20.67 17.33%
Comfort Star Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $20 $18.33 8.33%
Cozyna Hotel [email protected] $19.00 $17.00 10.53%
Cyclo Hotel [email protected] $22.50 $15.00 33.33%
Dara Airport Hotel & Dara Club Hotel [email protected] $120.00 $66.67 44.44%
Dara Reang Sey Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $20.00 $15.00 25.00%
De Art Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $36.00 $33.33 7.41%
Diamond Hotel Phnom Penh [email protected] $35.00 $30.00 14.29%
Diamond Palace Resort & Sky Bar [email protected] $35.00 $30.00 14.29%
Double Leaf Boutique Hotel [email protected] $42.00 $40.00 4.76%
Embassy Place Apartments [email protected] $60.00 $50.00 16.67%
Envoy Hostel [email protected] $25.00 $22.50 10.00%
Eureka Villas [email protected] $49.00 $20.00 59.18%
Europe Guesthouse [email protected] $10.00 $8.50 15.00%
Fancy Guesthouse [email protected] $18.00 $16.00 11.11%
Golden Boat 1 Guesthouse [email protected] $12.00 $10.00 16.67%
Golden Gate Hotel [email protected] $20.00 $18.33 8.33%
Golden Sun Guesthouse [email protected] $15.00 $13.33 11.11%
Goldie Boutique Guesthouse [email protected] $15.00 $13.00 13.33%
Grand Residence [email protected] $45.00 $20.00 55.56%
Grand Sompovmeas Hotel [email protected] $18.00 $15.00 16.67%
Green Pasture Inn [email protected] $26.00 $22.47 13.59%
H Hotel [email protected] $75.00 $40.00 46.67%
Hang Neak Hotel [email protected] $20.00 $16.00 20.00%
Rihga Hotel [email protected] $30.00 $25.00 16.67%
Skyline Boutique Hotels & Apartments [email protected] $96.00 $46.67 51.39%

Siem Reap

Name Email Daily rate Discounted Discount %
3 Monkeys Villa [email protected] $58.00 $35.00 39.66%
Alliance Villa [email protected] $15.00 $12.00 20.00%
Amatao Tropical Residence [email protected] $188.00 $126.67 32.62%
Angkor Palace Resort & Spa [email protected] $70.00 $50.00 28.57%
Apsara Angkor Resort & Conference [email protected] $40.00 $31.67 20.83%
Apsara Palace Hotel [email protected] $49.00 $39.67 19.05%
Apsara Residence [email protected] $54.00 $50.00 7.41%
Babel Guesthouse [email protected] $20.00 $15.00 25.00%
Banyan Leaf Hotel [email protected] $22.00 $19.00 13.64%
Baphuon Villa Guesthouse [email protected] $16.00 $12.00 25.00%
Big Lyna Villa [email protected] $13.75 $10.00 27.27%
Bloom Garden Guesthouse [email protected] $35.00 $20.00 42.86%
Bou Savy Guesthouse & Restaurant [email protected] $14.00 $11.90 15.00%
Cambodia Backpacker Guesthouse [email protected] $15.00 $8.33 44.44%
Central Indochine [email protected] $22.00 $20.00 9.09%
Cercle D`angkor Villa [email protected] $15.00 $13.33 11.11%
Chateau D’Angkor La Residence [email protected] $50.00 $48.00 4.00%
Cheathata Angkor Hotel [email protected] $38.75 $35.00 9.68%
Chhorvivorn Guesthouse [email protected] $13.00 $12.00 7.69%
City River Hotel & Restaurant [email protected] $40.00 $33.33 16.67%
Damrei Angkor Hotel [email protected] $40.00 $36.00 10.00%
Dara Guesthouse – Siem Reap [email protected] $8.00 $6.67 16.67%
Dinata Angkor [email protected] $35.00 $26.00 25.71%
European Guesthouse [email protected] $10.00 $9.50 5.00%
Firefly Guesthouse – The Berlin Angkor [email protected] $12.00 $8.67 27.78%
Frangipani Green Garden Hotel & Spa [email protected] $35.00 $28.00 20.00%
FTC Natural House [email protected] $10.00 $9.00 10.00%
Garden House Guesthouse [email protected] $8.00 $7.00 12.50%
Glory Angkor Hotel [email protected] $30.00 $21.67 27.78%
Golden Banana B&B Superior [email protected] $33.00 $19.80 40.00%
Golden Butterfly Villa [email protected] $38.00 $25.00 34.21%
Golden Orange Hotel [email protected] $12.00 $6.67 44.44%
Golden Papaya Guesthouse [email protected] $10.00 $8.00 20.00%
Golden Premier Inn [email protected] $15.00 $13.33 11.11%
Golden Temple Villa & Restaurant [email protected] $18.00 $17.00 5.56%
Golden Village Guesthouse [email protected] $29.00 $23.20 20.00%
Grand River View Boutique Hotel [email protected] $25.00 $20.67 17.33%
Green Leaf Boutique Hotel [email protected] $35.00 $20.00 42.86%
Han Kong Hotel [email protected] $25.00 $15.00 40.00%
Happy Guesthouse & Restaurant [email protected] $9.00 $6.00 33.33%
Helen Cafe & Guesthouse [email protected] $8.00 $5.00 37.50%

Sihanoukville

Name Email Daily rate Discounted Discount %
@home Guesthouse & Restaurant [email protected] $8.00 $6.67 16.67%
7 Motel Guesthouse [email protected] $12.00 $10.00 16.67%
Apple Guesthouse & Mini Mart [email protected] $10.00 $6.00 40.00%
Aqua Family Resort [email protected] $16.14 $15.00 7.08%
Beach Club Resort [email protected] $25.00 $16.67 33.33%
Chantha Boutique Guesthouse [email protected] $15.00 $12.00 20.00%
Chochi Garden Guesthouse [email protected] $12.00 $9.33 22.22%
Coolabah Hotel [email protected] $25.00 $18.33 26.67%
Divers Hotel [email protected] $25.00 $13.77 44.93%
Eden’s Garden [email protected] $40.00 $20.00 50.00%
Fortuna Hotel & Casino [email protected] $35.00 $31.50 10.00%

ATM and Debit Card Comparison

This is a somewhat comprehensive, although by far not complete, overview of the fees charged for ATM and debit cards in Cambodia. I tried to gather as much information and be as accurate as possible. But there are so many different options as well as types of fees that I could not possibly obtain them all. But I hope it can still prove useful.

TLDR: I would go for the Foreign Trade Bank’s  ATM card or FastCash card. They seem to have the lowest fees overall. They are also compatible with both EasyCash and Visa Plus. And the requirements to get an account are not too onerous. 如果你是中国人建议你去中行工行办个借记卡 (两个都应该有微信号)。台湾人可以选择國泰世華銀行

Pure ATM cards

A few banks issue ATM cards that are not compatible with any other ATM network, such as the Cambodian EasyCash or the international Visa Plus, and cannot be used for POS transactions. Some of these banks may not have any debit cards at all.

Name Issuance Annual
Acleda free $0.50
CIMB Bank free $6.00
Hong Leong Bank free free
Sathapana Bank $5.00 $3.00
Phillip Bank free free
Phnom Penh Commercial Bank $2.00 free
RHB Indochina Bank free free

Debit cards with EasyCash/Visa Plus

This type of card can be used to withdraw cash at any Easy Cash ATM and, if applicable, also at any Visa Plus ATM. However, some can only be used in Cambodia and they can only be used for POS transactions at the issuing bank’s devices (if at all). Not listed here is the Foreign Trade Bank’s FastCash card. The fees are the same as for the debit card in the list below, but it is a prepaid Visa card, so you do not need to open an account to get it. It costs just $3 for the basic version (maxium top-up amount is $500 and $5 for the advanced (max top-up $5000). You also pay a fee each time you top up.

Easy Cash and Visa Plus cards

Pure Visa Debit Cards

This type of card is a regular Visa debit card that can be used for cash withdrawal and POS transactions worldwide. Most banks will have different levels of cards, such as Classic, Gold, etc. I always tried to choose the most basic card.

Pure Visa debit cards

Union Pay Cards

UnionPay is the Chinese payment network. The two Chinese banks ICBC and Bank of China offer this type of card. This is similar to the prepaid Visa debit card, as it is not connected to an bank account. Recently, ABA also converted their regular ATM card to a UnionPay card.

Union Pay cards

How much does it cost to paint an apartment in Phnom Penh?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get too many responses to this survey. Understandably, some contractors want to see the site before supplying a quote. But I thought I would still post it, as it still gives some insight.

Cambodian Chemical Supply (Cam-Paint)

St. 217, Kraing Svay Village, Sangkat Prek Kampeus, Khan Dangkor

023 885 657

[email protected]

Quote

Paint: Paintex Acrylic Emulsion Paint

Labor/sqm: $1.50

Paint/sqm: $1.80

Total/sqm: $3.30

Natural Colour

No. 13AE1, Rue de France (St. 47)

012 499 248

[email protected]

http://naturalcolorcambodia.com

fb.com/naturalcolorcambodia

Quote

Paint: Kansai Par Supermatt

Labor/sqm: $1.20

Paint/sqm: $3.00

Total/sqm: $4.20

TS Federal Paint

No. 243Z, Oknha Tep Phan (St. 182), 12157 Phnom Penh

023 880 094

[email protected]

http://www.tesreng.com

fb.com/federalpaintcambodia

Quote

Paint: Federal Paint Fedesilk

Total/sqm: $4.00

Ly Chhen Construction (Carpoly Paint)

#89D St271 Toek Tla , Khan SenSok, Phnom Penh

086 361 168

[email protected]

fb.com/lychhenconstruction

Quote

Paint: Carpoly paint JRM0112

Total/sqm: $2.40

Renting a car without a driver for a day in Cambodia

It turns out renting a car without a driver for short-term in Cambodia is not easy at all. Most companies that rent cars have various requirements. The only two that are simple and straightforward are Avis and Lyna Car Rental. They even help you converting your foreign/international driving license to a Cambodian one (as Cambodia apparently does not recognize any other driving license except its own). They also offer online booking.

If you need a car for longer, there are some other options. After contacting a few places, I found the following companies that will rent cars without a driver, each with varying minimum rental periods:

Name Phone Email Minimum
AN Kong Car Rental 071-7171727 [email protected] 1 month
Bung Sopheap Taxi Service 012-894155 [email protected] ?
Henry Car Rental 088-8261175 [email protected] 3 days
IZUMI Enterprise & Development 012-437375 [email protected] 1 year
Nisay Car Rental Service 092-503011 [email protected] 3 days
Ravy Angkor Tours Cambodia 023-215618 [email protected] 6 months
Sok Hour Car Rental/Asia Explorer Travel 023-218609 [email protected] 7 days
SVR Service Vehicle Rental (Mr. Seng Votry) 092-820887 [email protected] ?

On the other hand, if you are also willing to pay for the driver, there are plenty of options. Most travel agencies can arrange for a car plus driver, even for daily rental. Rates usually seem to be quoted for either in-city or provinces, and can include unlimited mileage + gas. But I will do a separate post on that.

Comparing accounting service prices in Phnom Penh

I contacted about 100 accountants by email and received quotes from 18. Obviously, accounting can get very complex and this is just purely a price comparison, not an evaluation of the quality of the service. This is merely intended as a reference and starting point. It is certainly necessary to do your own thorough research.

With the disclaimer out of the way, here are the details of the comparison. The assumed business case is a limited liability company with no employees and only a few transactions per month. I asked for quotes for the legally required monthly and annual tax declarations as well as bookkeeping service. It was not always clear what exactly is included in the service, so these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. But I thought it was still an interesting & enlightening exercise. Just for fun, I also threw in some of the big accounting firms.

It seems setting up and running a limited liability company in Cambodia involves quite a bit of bureaucracy and does not come cheap. Barachina CPAs quoted a cost of about $1,200 just for the setup fees payable to the government. Besides, it appears that tax laws are vague and the tax officers have strong incentives to interpret them in ways, so as to increase tax revenue. For these reasons, and because they said a single-member private limited company was “unusual”, Barachina CPAs did not even want to consider taking me on as client. Brian from Covenant suggested that, in my case, it would be probably more advisable to set up a company in a low-tax jurisdiction and then bill clients through that entity. Clients will then have to deduct 14% withholding tax from your invoices. However, in the end, that will amount to less than all the various taxes owed by a LLC, plus it involves none of the red tape.

As for the fees the accountants charge, here is a rough summary (not including the big accounting firms):

Monthly tax declaration: avg $137/m ($70-$240)

Annual tax declaration: avg $295/y ($120-$550)

Monthly bookkeeping: avg $177/m ($100-$250)

What was a bit disappointing is how few responded to my inquiry. Out of about 100, only 24 bothered to get back to me. Quite a few emails were invalid, even though some of them were taken from the member list of the Kampuchea Institute of CPA and Auditors dated December 2015 (you can access the list here). Below is the list of all accounting firms that came back to me with an answer (not necessarily a quote, tough). If anyone wants to see the actual quoted prices, they can leave their contact info in the comments, and I will send it to them.

Name Email KICPAA member
AT & Associates (Cambodia) [email protected] Yes
Barachina Consulting [email protected] Yes
BSE Accounting [email protected] No
Cambotax Accounting [email protected] No
Camer-Go Limited [email protected] No
CH NG Associates [email protected] Yes
Chan & Associates [email protected] Yes
Chhin Heng Accounting [email protected] No
Covenant Cambodia [email protected] Yes
Crowe Horwath (KH) [email protected] Yes
Deloitte (Cambodia [email protected] Yes
Donasco & Company Ltd. CPAs [email protected] Yes
EBM Co Ltd [email protected] No
Em Tola [email protected] No
Grant Thornton (Cambodia) [email protected] Yes
HR Group Cambodia [email protected] No
HRDP & Associates [email protected] Yes
KH Business Consulting [email protected] No
NAS [email protected] Yes
PAT Professional Limited [email protected] Yes
PMH Asia Family [email protected] No
PricewaterhouseCoopers [email protected] Yes
Rosoco Ltd [email protected] Yes
V Chartered Accountants vc[email protected] Yes