Money & Cost
ATM & Cash
Since 2005, the ATM network has steadily increased in most major cities including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Kompong Cham. US dollar is widely used in Cambodia, Khmer riels is the local currency, but US dollar is sometimes the best choice when you travel to Cambodia shortly.
ACLEDA Bank has the most extensive network, with ATMs across the country and even in the smallest of places. ATMs of ANZ/Royal Bank are concentrated in the capital Phnom Penh and in tourist places like Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
Cambodia’s official currency is the riel, but you’ll see many people using the US Dollar to pay for everyday expenses. Don’t be fooled into changing dollars into riel at the land border crossings! The touts will tell you that the dollar is now not used anymore, so you have to change into riel at their ridicolous low exchange rate.
Coins are not used in Cambodia. The riel fluctuates around 4000 riel to a dollar
The riel comes in denominations of 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10.000, 50.000 and 100.000 (although the latter two are very rare).
Check your US dollars carefully as notes with a small tear are not accepted, especially the larger denominations of 5 dollars and more.
You don’t need to change dollars into riel when entering the country as you will inevitably pay a lot of things in dollars and receive change in riel, which you can use for smaller purchases.
Credit cards are still not widely accepted in Cambodia, but are gaining in acceptance, mostly at more expensive venues. Sometimes you must pay for high bank fees if paying this way.
Money changers are concentrated at the markets and change all well known currencies into US dollars. They usually offer a better rate than the banks. But if you have small amount of money, don't need to go there. You can do at your hotel if acceptable.
Tipping is not traditionally expected here, but in a country as poor as Cambodia, tips can go a long way. Salaries remain extremely low and service is often superb thanks to a Khmer commitment to hospitality.