The dry season extends from November until May during which time temperatures range from 20°C to 32°C. The southwest monsoon prevails from June till October with stronger breezes and higher humidity. Rainfall is usually limited to the afternoons and is sporadic. Temperatures are warmer during this time, varying from 26°C to 38°C.
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, although French is still spoken by the older generation. English is gaining in popularity, particularly in tourist areas.
The national currency is the Cambodian riel. It is issued in notes of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000. In Siem Reap, however, most prices are quoted in US dollars and travellers may find it convenient to carry small denomination notes in this currency. Amansara accepts payment by American Express, JCB, Visa Card and Mastercard. Elsewhere, use of credit cards is limited to the larger hotels.
Tourist visas are required and can be obtained in advance or on arrival at the airport in Siem Reap. In the latter case, guests must provide a passport photo and US$20. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date and must have one entirely blank page for the visa. Guests are advised to check with their nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate.
A doctor is on call at Amansara 24 hours a day. In some areas of Southeast Asia, precautions should be taken against contracting mosquito-borne diseases. Guests are advised to use mosquito repellents in the early morning and late in the day to minimise any possible risk. Travellers may also wish to consult their doctors.
Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles. Cambodia is plus seven hours GMT. The country is in the same time zone as neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Loose, light clothing is recommended. In the dry season, which is a little cooler, a light sweater may be needed during the evening. It is recommended to bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen. Bargaining is customary in the local markets.