Cambodia is a country whose international appeal to tourists has been steadily increasing over the years.

Sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam, the two most popular countries for tourists in Southeast Asia, Cambodia was once a place that backpackers would use as a bridge between more well-trodden ports of call.

Now though, Cambodia is much more than a stepping stone, it is an outright destination, which is reflected in the consistent annual spikes in foreigners applying for and receiving a Cambodia tourist visa.

To facilitate this process, Cambodian tourism officials have implemented an eVisa for citizens of several countries, with the list growing to include more nations. Recently, officials introduced an option for passport holders from India, hoping to tap into one of the largest populations in the world with the Cambodia eVisa for Indians.

Here is an overview:

Is Cambodia currently issuing tourist visas?

As restrictions have fluctuated during the pandemic, the most important tip for applying for a visa to Cambodia is to ensure that the country is accepting foreign visitors.

The current answer is: Yes, you can get a Cambodia tourist visas. However, prospective travelers must familiarize themselves with the most recent updates from the Cambodian government before traveling as alterations to the current guidelines and rules can be made at a moment’s notice.

When applying for your Cambodia tourist visa, take the following tips into account:

  • Start your application early.
  • Make sure your passport is valid (including 6 months past your travel dates).
  • Follow all the requirements and get all of the necessary documents read.
  • Make all travel bookings required for the visa ahead of time (though, make sure to double check cancellation policies on your flights and accommodation as you never know when travel restrictions may change again).
  • Several citizens, depending on their nationality, can enter Cambodia with a variety of travel documents. A passport or temporary passport is valid in any case, the identity card and the temporary identity card are not accepted. If you are traveling with children, a child’s passport is sufficient. It is important that your travel document is valid for at least six months after your arrival in Cambodia.
  • If you wish to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, you must stay at least one night in Cambodia. A day trip from another country is not possible.
  • To make your stay in Cambodia as pleasant as possible, you should register via the FPCS app. This applies to all types of stays, even if you are just traveling as a tourist. Without registration you will not be able to extend your visa.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Visa for Cambodia

Visitors need a visa to enter Cambodia.

The following visa types are available:

  • T category visas – tourism
  • Category E visa – Business trip
  • Visa category B – Official visa
  • Category C Visa – Guest Visa

There are three ways to apply for a visa:

  • before entry
  • online as e-visa
  • upon entry

Visa before arrival

If you decide to apply before entering the country, you must contact a Cambodian mission abroad, such as the embassy in Berlin. The visa is valid for three months and entitles you to stay for 30 days from the date of entry.

E-Visum vor der Anreise

For those who prefer to apply for a visa online, there is the option of an e-visa. This is available for categories T (tourist) and E (business), but is only valid at certain border crossings. It is recommended to apply at least two weeks before the planned trip and to pay the visa fee by bank or credit card, Paypal or bank transfer.

Visa on entry

Alternatively, it is possible to apply for a visa on arrival. This also applies to categories T and E and is available at the three international airports (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville) for a fee. The visa is only valid for one entry and one exit. When entering the country, the entry/exit form must be used, which also serves as an application for an “on arrival” visa.

Cambodia visa extension

You can extend your T and E visas before the 30 days expire at the Ministry of Interior Immigration Office near Phnom Penh Airport.

If you have a category T visa, you can extend it once for another 30 days (for single entry and exit). Category E visas can be extended up to 12 months and allow multiple entries and exits after the extension.

When applying for an extension, the purpose of the stay must be stated and supported. It is not possible to convert an E visa into a B or C visa (permanent residence) on the spot, or only in exceptional cases.

Those who exceed the permitted length of stay must pay an “overstay fee” of USD 10 per day and apply for an exit visa, which is issued for a maximum of seven days.

If your passport with the Cambodian visa is lost or stolen, you must apply for a Cambodian exit visa in addition to your travel document. The Cambodian exit visa is valid for a maximum of seven days, even if the original visa would have been valid for longer.

How important is tourism to Cambodia?

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting fallout had an enormous impact on Cambodia. As was the case with any nation that derives such a large percentage of its GDP from its tourism sector, the March 23rd, 2020 closing of its borders shut off the income stream for millions of Cambodians who rely on foreign visitors for their livelihood.

With that in mind, motivation has remained high to work to contain the COVID-19 virus to once again be able to welcome tourists back into the country at or approaching the pre-pandemic levels.

Related Read: Travelling in a Pandemic: Crucial Safe Travel Tips

Cambodia tourist visa
Tourism in Cambodia supports the locals

Infrastructure in Cambodia

The border with Thailand is only partially open. However, the country’s infrastructure leaves much to be desired, as buses, trains and ships generally do not meet other countries’ safety standards. Caution is also advised when flying domestically, as the safety standards of Cambodian airlines are not comparable to those in Europe or North America.

Roads are usually in poor condition and riding a bicycle or motorcycle is not recommended for safety reasons. In some areas, motorcycling is even prohibited for foreigners. However, helmets are mandatory, although motorcycle taxi drivers usually cannot provide helmets for their passengers.

Internet and cell phone coverage is not universal and is not always available, especially in remote areas and on smaller islands.

It is recommended that all overland travel be planned to reach the destination before nightfall. A suitable helmet should always be worn when traveling by motorcycle or scooter.

Driving in Cambodia – Driver’s license

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Phnom Penh, if you are a tourist traveling to Cambodia for a short period of time (category T visa), you only need an international driver’s license that is valid in combination with your national driver’s license.

Please note that only the vehicle classes listed on your driver’s license are allowed. In addition, you should carefully follow the traffic rules in Cambodia to be safe on the road.

What to do and see in Cambodia

After applying for and receiving a valid Cambodian eVisa, and also verifying that travelers can enter the country, there are a ton of reasons to take a trip or even volunteer in Cambodia.

The most consistent of these reasons is certainly the temple and palace structures that can be found throughout the country. The famous Angkor Wat temple not only attracts hordes of visitors daily, but it even adorns the country’s flag, showing its importance to the nation and its people.

Angkor Wat is hardly the only draw for foreigners looking to experience Cambodian culture. There is often a misconception that Angkor Wat is a standalone temple somewhere out in the jungle when that is not the case at all.

Siem Reap, the town that functions as the jumping-off point for a trip to Angkor Wat, features an entire temple complex that houses Khmer (Cambodian people) structures, buildings, and temples made from stone such as the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, and the Terrace of the Elephants.

There can be a lot of misinformation from companies and individuals looking to take advantage of clueless tourists, so it is always best to read up on tips for visiting Cambodia and, more especially, Siem Reap before departing.

Angkor Wat, volunteer in Cambodia
Angkor Wat, in Cambodia

Following local travel guidelines in Cambodia

Understanding and respecting local customs and ways of life is the absolute bare minimum that visitors should do before entering a country. Every country and people have their specific ways of doing things and unique cuisine and Cambodia is no different.

The importance of understanding a country is elevated even more while the coronavirus remains a threat. Just because a country is issuing tourist visas does not mean that the country is going to be completely open for business.

States, counties, cities, and even individual neighborhoods or locales may have their guidelines or restrictions, so anyone who plans to visit Cambodia should research not just the general government-issued regulations, but also the local ones depending on where they are planning to visit.


  • Melvin

    Melvin is the founder and CEO of Travel Dudes, co-founder of the Social Travel Summit and the former COO of iambassador.