Is Cambodia Receiving Travelers Now?

August 02, 2021

In March of 2020, what we now look back on as being the start of the coronavirus global pandemic, Cambodia joined the vast majority of the world in shutting its international borders.

The logic was simple: if fewer people are allowed to enter the country, fewer outside cases of the COVID-19 virus will be able to spread to the Cambodian population. Also, if Cambodians cannot leave the country, they will not be able to either spread it to neighboring populations or among themselves upon their return.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021, and government and health officials are steering the conversation in a positive direction, recommending that borders be reopened, with some conditions, and for travelers to be allowed to hit the road again.

This change in approach signals that, accompanied with the other measures, the strategy to shut down international travel paid off. Cambodia is among the countries that are eagerly awaiting travelers.

Although the pandemic may not be fully eradicated, health officials have weighed the pros and cons of reopening and have decided to partially let international visitors enter. Among those travelers whom Cambodians are trying to attract are Canadians. Canadians are known for being big international travelers and are among the most represented in Southeast Asia.

That is among the reasons why the Cambodian government includes Canadian passport holders on their list of foreigners who are eligible to apply for the simple-to-use electronic visa or eVisa. The Cambodian eVisa for Canadian citizens is the easiest way for Canadians to finally be able to visit Cambodia and all it has to offer.

Why Are Cambodian Officials Starting to Reopen Borders?

Like many other developing countries, Cambodia derives a substantial amount of its national GDP from international visitors. It is easy to understand why a country that boasts one of the most spectacular sites in the world would try to take financial advantage of that situation.

When tourists from more financially stable nations, especially in the global West, come to Cambodia, they spend money in a myriad of ways.

These can include staying at expensive hotels and eating at nice restaurants, but perhaps just as importantly, tourists tend to patronize the street food vendors, tuk-tuk drivers, and souvenir trinket salespeople, meaning that they have an impact on the economy at the human level.

There are thousands upon thousands of people in Cambodia who derive their livelihoods from the quotidian nature of tourism, relying on the steady stream of people to make a living. When the borders were closed, the lion’s share of these people was left high and dry with no way to support themselves and their families.

That is why when there was a noticeable drop in coronavirus numbers within Cambodia, officials decided to start the process of reopening. In a country with so much to offer visitors, the hope is that people will jump at the chance to once again explore Cambodia’s rugged charms.

What Is Required for Tourists to Enter Cambodia Today?

No matter how much governments water down the hoops that travelers will have to jump through to travel during the pandemic, some aspects will not resemble the pre-pandemic process. Principle among the changes is COVID-19 testing.

All travelers who enter Cambodia must do so accompanied by a recent negative PCR. If a passenger tries to board their flight without proof of a negative test, they will be denied the opportunity to enter the plane, even with a valid ticket and even if they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Similarly, upon arrival in Cambodia, all foreign travelers will need to take another test at their own cost and quarantine until the government health officials notify them that they have once again tested negative. Although this may feel like overkill to some people, it is just about keeping everyone safe.

The best thing to do is to adopt a good attitude from the start and remember that following the rules and regulations will help smooth out the process.

Is Day-To-Day Life In Cambodia Normal?

Travelers should be aware that even though Cambodia is beginning to allow tourists back into their country, that does not mean that they should expect one hundred percent normalcy.

The pandemic remains a fluid situation in Cambodia just as it does everywhere in the world, and while there is a successful vaccination campaign in place, there are still many restrictions that are in place in the capital city of Phnom Penh and throughout the rest of the nation.

The best way to ensure that travelers remain vigilant and respectful of the local guidelines is to familiarize themselves with these regulations and check them frequently as they are subject to change. If they do so, tourists can once again return to their favorite activity of exploring all of the countless wonders that come with it.