Flying into Siem Reap International Airport Cambodia 2018

A high volume of travellers take the popular choice of applying for their visas upon landing even though Cambodia evisa is available online which is dedicated to the Tourist Visa (30day stay with a once only option to extend a further 30 days). The Tourist Visa is $30US Cash

https://www.cambodiaonlinevisa.org/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&msclkid=2d5aab77c43e14509a5ef0719c22c124&utm_campaign=CM_MMK_en_bmm&utm_term=%2BCambodia%20%2Bvisa&utm_content=Visa%20Cambodia

This physical approach is the best method particularly for the other optional visas namely:

Ordinary/ Business (for the option of extending your visa at a later date to 3, 6 or 12 months through other external agencies in the city where they will take your passport for 10 days to process).  The 6 & 12 months can also achieve multiple entries with the 12-month requiring additional paperwork that needs confirmation of your status and your future intentions. Visa costs $35US cash upon arrival for the 1 month Ordinary/ Business type. For an extended stay through an agency the cost escalates. A 6 mth visa is usually $60US additional to the $35US at the terminal.

Retirement Visas (more paperwork and proof required). New option provided by the Cambodian Government but they have strict requirements including your global income so don’t rush in to this. http://www.movetocambodia.com/practicalities/cambodia-retirement-visa/

It is advisable to have your cash ready preferably in $US and in very good condition for your visa and a selection of varying sized passport photos just to make sure. I’ll explain later.

From my landing experience this is what I encountered and observed.

The plane parks on the tarmac with no shelter and down the airsteps so a brisk walk to the terminal building to pass as many people as possible within reason. You will find another airplane has just landed with you so be quick.

Look for a small well-dressed suited gentleman handing out tourist visa application forms. He can be hard to spot. Have your pen and passport ready and proceed to the high benches to fill out the form correctly and neatly.

Lines are formed of travellers to the processing counter albeit not truly structured.  There are about 5 personnel at the counter processing passports however some travellers can take awhile with communication, wrong or not clear paperwork, not cash ready and/ or not focussed to keeping the line moving.

I found if you go to the 2 lines or closest line to the right hand wall you will process faster as they have a double person operator attending these lines. They certainly move quicker. The counter takes your passport, application form, cash and photos and they chose the photo size different to what was specified by Aust Post back home (hence the several sizes I brought). From there you are directed around to the left and approximately behind the counter area (a bit tricky). Keep focussed as there are approximately 2 operators quietly calling out names in a random fashion with passports stamped. There is no particular order for your passport to be processed and called. Mine was extra fast possibly due to the Ordinary/ Business visa I applied for being less common.

Once you receive your passport there are more longer waiting lines to undertake for processing. Again, take the far-right line or 2 as they have another 2-person operation in play. Much quicker and believe me the other lines are quite slow.

The above is a great introduction to the workings of Cambodia. Frustration can abound however “smile and the world smiles back”. You will learn this with each day so call it personal development, free of charge.

After this final processing then you can go to the carousel and retrieve your checked baggage and proceed through the large open doorway to Cambodia with the expectation of seeing a large volume of tut-tuts/ taxi operators, tour guides & hotel pickups all with name signs for the 15minute run into Siem Reap. You will feel like a celebrity at a mass function with so many faces but of no resemblance. Usually the tut tut costs about $8-$10US. There are plenty of online booking transfer sites to prebook your transport also. Cars are usually $15US (up to 4 people) and vans $45US for 6-8 people.

One of the best places to stay in Siem Reap is Baby Elephant. Great location and they are excellent & very reasonable rates. Australian on site managed and very eco friendly. Great location. https://babyelephant.asia/

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