Airfares are not included in the price of the tours. Paleriders – Cambodia recommends booking well in advance to take advantage of cheaper fares. If you choose to use Singapore as a hub, flights to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap are usually very reasonable with Jetstar Asia. Alternatively, Air Asia offers similar deals from Kuala Lumpur.
There is a USD $25 departure tax payable at the airport. Some airlines cover this cost in their fare. Present your boarding pass at the counter when departing and they will advise whether it is prepaid.
Mobile phones – the mobile phone network is extensive, and there aren’t too many places in Cambodia without coverage. The competition is fierce, which guarantees cheap calls. A local SIM with a small amount of credit can be purchased for $4 or $5 but some SIM cards can only be purchased by locals with an identity card. Mobitel offers extensive coverage, and can be be bought by foreigners. You will need to provide your passport as identification to purchase a SIM card. Calls within Cambodia are very cheap, and overseas calls are usually cheaper than your own network roaming rate.
Internet – a lot of hotels and cafes have free WiFi, and there are plenty of internet cafes around if you don’t carry your own computer. Don’t expect the same speeds as back home though, sometimes the internet is painfully slow.
Passports and Visas
For entry to Cambodia your passport must have at least 6 months validity from date of entry. A visa can be obtained on arrival, or electronically prior to entry. Apply for an e-Visa one month prior to your tour date, it is valid for 3 months from date of issue. The cost is USD $25. An e-Visa can be obtained from http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa/
Paleriders – Cambodia will require your passport each day during the trip for checking you into your accommodation. This avoids you having to wait to check in so you will have more time to do interesting things.
Khmer, or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. Generally speaking, most Cambodians don’t speak English. In the larger cities and towns, hotel and restaurant staff will usually speak some English but please be patient. It is a good idea to buy an English to Khmer phrasebook and try to learn some of the basic terms. These are readily available in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap.
The riel is the currency of Cambodia. However, the US dollar is accepted everywhere and most people find it much easier to use. Change is usually only given in riel for small denomination transactions. When accepting US dollars, check carefully for any tears, rips or other defects as they won’t be accepted by most traders. In the larger centres, you will get much better exchange rates from money changers on the street than from any of the banks. Money changers can usually be found around the markets. ATMs are everywhere in the larger centres, and becoming more common in regional areas. It is a good idea to carry a VISA credit or debit card as these are accepted by most ATM machines in Cambodia.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy with coverage for motorcycle riding is mandatory, and Paleriders – Cambodia requires a copy of your policy certificate one month prior to your tour. Paleriders – Cambodia prefers, and highly recommends travel insurance from International SOS: http://www.internationalsos.com/en/
The motorcycles are covered for damage or injury to third parties. Paleriders – Cambodia also carries a passenger liability insurance policy.
On an offroad trip, where Paleriders – Cambodia provides Honda Baja or XR250 bikes, you will need to ensure that your policy covers you for riding bikes over 200cc.
To comply fully with the local law, and to satisfy the conditions of your travel insurance policy Paleriders – Cambodia require you to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your local motoring association. The permit is valid for one year, or until your driving license expires, whichever comes sooner. Paleriders – Cambodia requires a copy of your IDP one month prior to departure of your trip.
Immunisations are necessary to travel to SE Asia. Your doctor will advise which vaccinations are required for Cambodia. There are Medical Centres in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap which are up to Western standards but in the provincial areas they are a very poor standard. Best avoided altogether unless there is no alternative.
Information on vaccines required can be found here: http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/TravelHealthPlanner
More information here: http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/cambodia.php#11
Generally speaking, any tap water in Cambodia is not fit for drinking. Bottled water is readily available and very cheap. Ice can be a problem as there is no guarantee that it made from clean water. As a rule of thumb, tube or block ice from machine is usually OK but steer clear of rough chunks of ice.
Paleriders – Cambodia requires a copy of your driving license, endorsed for a motorcycle, prior to accepting your booking. This is NOT the place to learn to ride! You must be comfortable riding in traffic, on paved and unpaved roads. Throughout the journey your skills and ability will be closely monitored . If Paleriders – Cambodia have any concerns about your riding ability you will be asked to travel in the support vehicle or as pillion with a Paleriders – Cambodia staff member.
Damage to Motorcycles
You will be charged for any damage you cause to your motorcycle during the journey. Paleriders – Cambodia will hold your $500 surety to cover loss of, or damage to a motorcycle. If a motorcycle needs to be replaced due to rider damage, another one will be arranged wherever possible. However, it may mean that you have to travel in the support vehicle, or as pillion with a Paleriders – Cambodia staff member, for part of the trip. Fortunately, these bikes are very robust with readily available parts that are quite cheap.
On completion of your trip, and subject to motorcycle condition, Paleriders – Cambodia will refund all or part of your USD $500 surety.
Riders must be at least 18 years old.
Paleriders – Cambodia will work out a package deal for couples who are experienced at riding with a pillion passenger.
A tour can also be arranged for non-riders who wish to travel as a pillion passenger with one of our experienced staff members.
In the event of a motorcycle being damaged the rider may have to ride as pillion with one of the Paleriders-Cambodia staff until a replacement can be arranged.
Paleriders – Cambodia prefers to use local style accommodation wherever possible and every measure is taken to ensure that it is clean, comfortable and meals are hygienically prepared and nutritious. We try to ensure that rooms are equipped with hot showers and air conditioners but these may not always be available. Hotel staff may not always speak good English so please be patient. We will try to address any issues before they arise.
Paleriders – Cambodia rides will always have at least one western tour leader. Khmer staff members speak varying levels of English. Please be patient, it can be just as frustrating for them that you don’t speak Khmer!
All rides use the lead rider/sweep rider system, and if for some reason the riders have to be out of sight of each other the cornerman system is used whenever there is a change of direction or turnoff. How it works:
Lead Rider: The lead rider is in charge of the ride. He appoints the cornermen, knows the route and has the final decision in any emergencies.
Sweep Rider: Brings up the rear, helps the slower riders along, fixes any mechanical problems or injuries and looks out for straying riders. He is always in contact with the lead rider by radio or mobile phone.
Cornerman: If the lead rider comes to a change of direction or turnoff, and he can’t see the last rider in the group, he will wait for the first rider to approach. The first rider then becomes the cornerman, pointing the riders in the direction that the lead rider rode until the sweep rider catches up and waves him on.
In most cases this system is not required because the riders stay close together.
Paleriders – Cambodia staff are familiar with our emergency procedures, and a copy is carried on every tour. All Paleriders – Cambodia staff undergo First Aid training prior to commencing employment. Paleriders – Cambodia requires a copy of your travel insurance certificate with a list of emergency contact numbers. In the unlikely event of an emergency your travel insurance company will be contacted first to determine the most effective method of evacuation to a suitable Medical Centre. Paleriders – Cambodia also carries an up to date directory of hospitals and ambulance services in the areas we operate in.
Responsible Tourism in Cambodia
Tel: +856 20 22230787
Address: National Road 6, Samrong Village, Baray District, Kampong Thom Province, Kingdom of Cambodia.
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Website created by Owen Holcombe