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Thread: Cambodia currency

  1. #1

    Default Cambodia currency

    Hello everyone, i'm heading to Cambodia soon and i'm wondering where can i exchange some Riel locally. I've tried mustafa the mecca of uncommon currency but they do not carry it. I'm wondering if the only way is to change some US currency?

    Is there anyone who has been there who can help me out?

  2. #2
    Member blaz7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    I only used USD when i was there a couple of years back.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    the greenback is the de facto currency in cambodia... everything there is priced in USD, don't bother with the riel...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    yeah..pay in USD..forget abt riel.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Wouldn't that be slightly more expensive?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    not really..just maybe a few cents difference..

    if u want to be stuck with banana notes tat u cannot be used elsewhere, up to you.

    once u change it back to SGP or USD..yr exchange rates will be very poor too..

    i find paying in USD i pretty alright..and at times when i bargained so hard there..i realised i only saved S$0.20 or something..hhahhaha..

    just buy and don't be pound foolish and penny wise as the time spent there staring at Angkor Wat or exploring the Bayou is more impt..hehe..my 2 cents..

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Quote Originally Posted by STCHAN View Post
    Wouldn't that be slightly more expensive?
    it's just the way it is in cambodia...

    you can try to change your currency to riel but pretty soon you will find out that most establishments, if not all, insist that you pay in USD... and you'll end up changing riel to USD at a much weaker rate than what you would have here...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Thanks for the replies everyone. How much would basic stuff like food cost? How much would a bowl of noodles cost?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Go with USD, but be prepared to come back with some Riels... Most are charged in USD till the cents part plays in, then it will be in Riels.

    Not sure if it (USD - riels exchange) still holds, but when I was there 2 years back, 4000 riel = 1 USD. So for a 1.50 USD you pay 2 USD, you get 2000 riels back.

    Food.. Hmm... Don't recall what was the pricing... Sorry.
    Last edited by Alpc; 14th December 2010 at 12:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator PhotoProZero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpc View Post
    Go with USD, but be prepared to come back with some Riels... Most are charged in USD till the cents part plays in, then it will be in Riels.

    Not sure if it (USD - riels exchange) still holds, but when I was there 2 years back, 4000 riel = 1 USD. So for a 1.50 USD you pay 2 USD, you get 2000 riels back.

    Food.. Hmm... Don't recall what was the pricing... Sorry.
    Agree...A bowl of noodles starts from USD2 onwards. Tuk Tuk is now about USD$2 per trip, if im not wrong...
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Dont worry about the Riel. If you prefer to play it safe, just change $50 > Riel. The remainder in USD is best. Honestly, the people seem to dislike the Riel
    They give you change in Riel, so you will end up with tons of it for tipping your hotel/service staff

    The Tuk Tuk pricing is correct at about US$2/ride. I'd reccomend taking the Tuk Tuk for the day to the temples. This means you book him for the entire day at about US$20-$30 (If i remember correctly). Shared amongst 2 people, this is cheaper than the hotel's Limo.

    Food is relatively priced, at US$2/bowl/fried rice, beer is cheap . In fact more worthwhile than bottled water

    Just remember -

    Bargain like MAD. But make sure you accept it once he/she accepts.

    Have a good time!
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    yep in cambodia mainly accept USD, as for riel only for small change or tips etc.. nowadays foods prices is going up can be more expensive than our foodcourt. shuld try visiting Naga resort with casino, nice place. we can discuss further if u r planning to do some biz over in Phnom Penh. cheers..

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Just as the rest have advised, don't worry about the Riels. You'll soon find yourself with some when you pay them USD and get back the small change. I would highly recommend that you do a more generous estimate of the amount of cash you need over in Cambodia as the exchange rate from SGD to USD there is horrendous.

    In Siem Reap, most places will quote you in USD. Roadside stalls starts from USD1 for noodles. Restaurants and proper eatery will cost you USD3 and up. If you love your alcohol, congratulations. Replace food with alcohol and you'll save even more money.

    In Phnom Penh, however, it is more common for small establishments to quote in Riels. But fear not, as the people are always pleasant and would help you convert to USD should you choose to pay them in USD. In generally, IIRC, they do it at USD1 = 4000 Riels. You can even pay them with a mix of USD and Riels and compete with the locals on the speed of your mental summation. Don't worry about the folks. They are very honest people.

  14. #14
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Ditto. I brought only USD when i visited Cambodia . U will get more than enough of their local currency from small change from various transactions. USD is their national currency!

    Ryan

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    yeah, it seems that USD is preferred there in cambodia which makes it extra attractive for us to visit cambodia now due to the low exchange rate of usd/sgd...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    One important thing is to try to obtain crisp and new USD (as close as possible). USD notes that are mutilated, have small cuts in them, etc. may not be accepted (or at a worse rate).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Just use USD. You will lose a few cents here and there by the vendors rounding off the amounts in USD, but it's no big deal.

    e.g.
    a) metered taxi fare 15,000 riel, taxi driver will charge you 4 USD (1 USD = 4000 riel)
    b) you should get back USD 0.75 in change, restaurant gives you 2500 riel instead of 3000 riel.

    of course, if you have spare riel and can work out the small change, then you will save a few pennies here and there.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Yup, as advised by fellow CSers, just use USD to pay... most places also charge u USD anyway, but they will refund you in Riel. End of the trip just spend or give away the loose change.

  19. #19
    Member VanGogh53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    Just back from Cambodia - visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Very worthwhile visit to understand firstly the bloody history, and yet its ancient civilisation dated back to the 9th century. The currency is like what all the other friends have stated. If you want to change, it is about U$1 = 4000 rel or slightly more. Yes, exchanges that are small will land you with some NEW bills of rels. Small money really, and one should be happy that you are helping an honest country to develop. Tuk tuk depending on distance can even be $1. I asked the price of a bus ticket from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - guess what? Cost only from $5 - $9 depending on luxury. The distance is 312km and about 5.5 hours. Guest houses in Siem Reap cost anything from $3 - $30. The mid range is pretty decent for 2. But prices at Swensen Pizza isn't that cheap. For us 3 small eaters; still cost us $16. Coke isn't cheap at $1.50 to $2. Massage can be from $4 - 10 per hour. This is value for money. Do leave a tip.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Cambodia currency

    For a very budget person like me and my friends, back in Jan 2010, we used riel more often than USD. Spending in riel is more worth if you know how to manage your money well. We always request to pay in riel for transports, foods and entrance fees. Only big amount would pay in USD. For example, entrance fees is $3, if pay Riel is 10,000, (US$1 = 4000 riel) so you will save 2,000 which is $0.50. In the end, I left 1000 riel to keep.

    If you find this troublesome, then pay in USD lo. Don't wait till last day then u find out you got too much riel left to spend. Now USD exchange rates drops alot. Maybe its worth paying in USD?
    Last edited by DarkImperial; 26th December 2010 at 10:37 AM.

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