The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. (The two pillars of Cambodia's newly-stable economy ) Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006.
Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south east which has several popular beach resorts and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station.
Tourism has increased steadily each year in the relatively stable period since the 1993. In 1993 there were 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists. Most of the tourists were Japanese, Chinese, Americans, South Koreans and French people, adding that the industry earned some 1400 million U.S. dollars in 2007, accounting for almost ten percent of the kingdom's gross national products.
Chinese-language newspaper Jianhua Daily quoted industry official as saying that Cambodia will have three million foreign tourist arrival in 2010 and five million in 2015. Tourism has been one of Cambodia's triple pillar industries. The Angkor Wat historical park in Siem Reap province, the beaches in Sihanoukville and the capital city Phnom Penh are the main attractions for foreign tourists.
Tourist activities in Cambodia are divided into three categories: CulturalNatural Eco- tourism
Exploring Khmer ancient temples in Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Kandal, and Takeo; Tracing frescos and murals of the ancient temples in Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Kandal, and Takeo; Visiting Buddhist pagodas and museums in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh; Visiting the Independence Monument and other monuments in Phnom Penh and its surroundings; Watching kites flown in Phnom Penh; Joining the Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Water Festival in Phnom Penh; Participating in Khmer traditional games and dancing during the Khmer New Year’s and during the other ceremonies/ festivals; and Visiting the indigenous peoples of the rural areas.
Visiting floating villages of the Kampong Phluk Commune in Siem Reap Province; Watching birds at the Prèk Toal ground in Siem Reap Province; Watching wildlife sanctuaries in Siem Reap Province; Taking boat trips along the Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River; Watching fishing activities on the Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River; Canoeing among the flooded forest at the Tonle Sap Lake; Exploring the jungle in the northeast of the Angkor area; Cycling around the countryside of Siem Reap Province; Exploring mountain caves/ caverns in Kampot Province; Trekking at the Bokor National Park in Kampot Province; Relaxing on the Tonsay Island in Kèp City; Visiting waterfalls in Kampot Province and Kampong Speu Province; Swimming and diving in Sihanouk Ville, Koh Kong Province, and Kèp City; Enjoying the pristine beaches of the Rong Island in Sihanouk Ville; Boating among the mangrove forest at the Ream National Park in Sihanouk Ville; Spotting sea dolphins at the Ream National Park in Sihanouk Ville; Scuba-diving and exploring coral reefs at the bottom of the sea of Sihanouk Ville; Sailing in Sihanouk Ville; Paragliding in Sihanouk Ville; Discovering islands of Koh Kong Province; Hiking to the Chambok Waterfall at Kirirom National Park in Kampong Speu Province; Cruising down the river from the Andong Toek to the Village Chi Phat in the southern Mountain Range of the Cardamom; Trekking in the jungles of the Mountain Range of the Cardamom; Camping in the jungles of the Mountain Range of the Cardamom; and Visiting the Pong Roul Waterfall on the Srè Ambel River.
Visiting the Ramsar wetland in Stung Treng; Cruising down the Mekong River from Stung Treng to Kratie; Spotting Mekong River dolphins at the Kampi resort in Kratie; Trekking at the Virachey National Park in Rattanak Kiri; Swimming in the Yeak Laom Lake, Rattanak Kiri; Visiting the Bousra Waterfall in Mondul Kiri; Visiting the Srè Pok Wilderness Area in Mondul Kiri; Elephant riding in Rattanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri; Meeting the indigenous peoples of Rattanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri provinces; and Discovering the trails of the Mekong.
All visitors, except citizens of Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam need a visa to enter Cambodia. The official price for a tourist visa is US$20, and US$25 for a business visa - but expect much higher prices (US$30 or more for the tourist visa) to be demanded at land border crossings. Visas can be obtained at any Cambodian embassy or consulate overseas. Visas are also available "on arrival" at both international airports, all six international border crossings with Thailand, some international border crossings with Vietnam, and at the main border crossing with Laos.
citizens of most nations can now apply for an e-Visa online. The cost is US$25 (US$20 + US$5 processing charge) instead of the normal US$20, and you get the visa by e-mail in 3 business days. www.mfaic.gov.kh
By Air Air Asia from Bangkok to Phnom Penh 1525 (BKK) - 1635 (PNH)
By Land Aranya Pratet – Poi Pet Siemreap to Siem Reap (~2hours) (~ 140km) Phnom Penh to Phnom Penh (~6hours) (~ 408Km)
1-Remove hats and shoes before entering home and holy places 2-Avoid public displays of affection: Cambodian society is conservative and traditional 3-Ask permission before taking photos, especially of ethnic minorities and religious sites 4-Learn basic Khmer words such as "Hello," "How much?" and "Thank you" 5-Politely bargain when purchasing. Bargaining can be an enjoyable and interesting interaction with local 6-Try to stay with a Khmer family. Cambodians are famed for their kindness and hospitality 7-Try local specialties such as Amok (fish curry) and Plea Sach Kor (raw beef salad) 8-Visit rural Cambodia and the local markets for a flavour of Khmer daily life 9-Watch traditional and cultural dance shows which are available in various restaurants 10-Take bicycle ride along the rice field and country sides 11-Buy Khmer souvenirs before returning to your home country
1-Touch people's head. The head is considered the holiest part of the body 2-Point or gesture with your feet or rest them on furniture. Feet are considered the lowest and most unclean part of the body 3-Touch monks if you female. Any physical contact with the opposite sex is forbidden for ordained monks 4-Use expletives, shout or lose your temper. No-one cheaper replicas 5-Remove stones from historical sites, no matter how small or undecorated 6-Consume illegal narcotics or use prostitures. Both are illegal in Cambodia 7-Hug and kiss in public. 8-Purchase historical artifacts in Cambodia. Buy only the replica ones 9-Give children vendors in the temples candies if you do not intend to buy their products 10-Be foul-mouthed in middle of lake or jungle. It is considered bad omen 11-Involve in narcotic drug consumption and sexual exploitation of children