December 20, 2021

Travel Restrictions in Cambodia - What to Expect When Traveling

**Below is Naida's personal account of entering Cambodia. Click here if you want to skip to the 5 Steps to Enter Cambodia**

In November, Cambodia started to open their borders, removing travel restrictions which had been in place since March 2020. Having spent seven months in Europe, I decided it was time to return to Cambodia. I was anxious and don’t get me wrong, travel is one of my true passions. I work in the travel industry and exploring both new and old places is what I truly love, but I also know that travel has changed and it’s not as simple as “just jumping on a plane”.

So, what can you expect as a traveler returning to Cambodia? Be prepared that travel has changed and my biggest advice to you is to keep yourself updated by working with Kaanect and a travel coach, as things can change very quickly. The amazing team at Kaanect helped guide me and answered any questions I had.

I’ve detailed out the current travel restrictions and the process for entering Cambodia below. Note, the travel restrictions in Thailand are very similar.

The pre departure process:

The documents you need are: Proof of vaccination, visa, pre departure PCR test and I would highly recommend travel insurance.

I applied for my visa in advance as all visas on arrival are suspended at the moment. Once the visa was approved it was time to book a flight.

It was important for me find a flight with good (the shortest) connections as I have to do two transfers to arrive in Cambodia and PCR tests are only valid for a certain amount of time. All airlines and transfer destinations have different requirements so it is important to confirm the requirements for each airline and destination.

Having booked my flight, I booked a PCR test. I needed to find a testing clinic who could accommodate Cambodia’s very specific requirements.

Cambodia’s current PCR test requirements are:
The test can’t be more than 72 hours old before arrival.
The test results must be an original document that has a wet signature and original stamp.

Now this is not the easiest as everything is digital in Sweden stamps are no longer used. It took a few calls but after having explained my situation, I found a clinic that was willing to do this for me. The day before departure, I went and got my test and picked up my negative result later the same day.

Day of travel:

Check in was a breeze, as long as you have all the documents you need, you are fine. My documents were checked and verified twice, once in Sweden and once in Germany. Be prepared to put on your mask as soon as you enter the airport and not take it off before arrival. If you forget, you will be reminded. Social distancing rules are in place everywhere and even if my flights were quite busy, the airlines did everything to space passengers out. My one concern was delays. What happens if I am delayed and miss a connection and the PCR test is no longer valid? Again, I had done my research before and knew that if this was the case, all I needed was a letter from the airline and not to leave the transit areas and I would be let into Cambodia. My flight from Frankfurt to Singapore ended up being delayed and I was going to miss the flight to Phnom Penh. After having spoken to the chief stewardess on the plane, I did find out that all planes in Singapore were being held back to make sure people could make their connections. It is more hassle for the airline to have passengers with timed PCR tests to miss a connection than to hold back a plane. As we arrived in Singapore, they disembarked passengers by plane connection. As my flight was waiting for me, I got off the plane first.

Arrival in Cambodia:

I booked a seat as upfront as possible as I knew that the arrival process takes time. As you disembark and enter the terminal, the process starts. The first stop verifies your documents so make sure you have your documents ready and that you have completed the three forms you receive on the flight (health declaration form, immigration form and custom form) as you will be sent to the back of the queue if you haven’t. It is also important to have all your boarding passes as you might be asked for these as well. As you get the ok stamp, you move on to immigration and then luggage collection. Last stop is your rapid test. You line up and all of your documents are checked again, take the test and move on to the waiting area. The waiting time is 10-20 minutes and after your name is called, you are free to leave the airport. The whole arrival process takes 30-90 minutes depending on where you were sitting on the plane.

So, what I’m really trying to say with this text is that you will be fine, it seems like a lot but it is fine. Be patient as everyone is adjusting to the “new normal” and a smile will get you far. Keep yourself updated and the great thing about having Kaanect organizing the trip for you is that they will keep themselves updated for you and will guide you through the whole process.

/Naida

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