Photo: Time for some larger notes we reckon.

Finance and money forum

Currencies in Cambodia

Posted by natwest on 11/3/2008 at 18:53

I have some doubts on the Cambodia Money article.
So is Cambodia basically operated on three currencies (USD, THB and KHR)?? with everything quoted in three currencies?

What happen to transaction smaller than $1, cos $1 is still quite big for a small item, right? esp in this part of Asia. What happen to a transaction, such as $2.50? Can I use USD COINS in Cambodia?

Do I need to change some Riel? Where can I use Riel? Would it be more beneficial (cheaper) to pay in Riel than USD? cos in most other countries, paying in FOREX usually means paying comparatively more. The vendor inccurs charges on changing currencies.

FYI: I am just going to Cambodia for 5 days.

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Posted by Lother on 11/3/2008 at 21:33

The Thai baht is really only used in places near the border and is definitely not universally accepted in Cambodia, although I'm sure you could also manage to pay with it in tourist-oriented establishments in SR or PP.

To you as a tourist, most prices will be quoted in dollars, but you can always use riel just as well. In any case dollars will always be accepted, and you will get change below $1 back in riel. USD coins are not accepted, and there are no riel coins.

A while back $1 was pretty much exactly 4000R which made transactions simple ($0.5 = 2000R, $0.25 = 1000R etc.), but with the dollar now at around 3900R, I suppose it's getting a bit more complicated.

Vendors do lose some money changing currencies, but for tourist-oriented things it's not usually markedly cheaper to pay in riel. For a short trip like yours it might not be worth the trouble to exchange USD into riel - you'll get some as change anyway. Just take undamaged small USD notes.

As a sidenote, to make things even more complicated, when speaking Khmer Cambodians may also refer to dollars as "rial". This of course is really only an issue if you speak Khmer.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 12/3/2008 at 07:27 admin

As Lother says, no coins.

Any situation where the change is less than $1, you'll get it in riel. Most nearly anything can be paid for in dollars -- which is what most people use as, if nothing else, a few ten dollar nots fit in your wallet better than 30 Khmer notes.

In most cases there is little need to change money into riel as you'll pick up enough as you go (in change) -- a good idea is to arrive in country with 20 or so crisp $1 notes -- evry handy.

Also, never ever accept a torn US note in Cambodia -- you'll not be able to exchange it till you leave the country.

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Posted by exacto on 12/3/2008 at 08:13

As an aside, the ANZ international ATMs in Cambodia dispense US dollar notes, which is quite handy, particularly for people who don't normally operate using US dollars. I've used those ATMs in Siem Reap and PP, but I hear that they are in many other places now as well.

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Posted by gmarx on 7/8/2008 at 17:49

Do the ANZ international ATMs accept US-bank ATM cards? My ATM card is a Citibank card.

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Posted by exacto on 8/8/2008 at 07:18


my ATM card was from the states as well and it worked no problem. perhaps to be sure you'll want to check with your bank to see if they have a reciprocal agreement with ANZ. you could also check the ANZ website for info on which cards they accept. you'll also want to be sure that your ATM card has a 4-digit pin code, since that is what the ATMs in Asia accept. cheers.

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Posted by dageshi on 12/3/2009 at 17:14

just came from cambodia, thai baht are widely accepted along the border areas, and will be accepted in siem reap most likely. everywhere else accepts the dollar and riel, riel is used for anything under $1.

no US coins are used in cambodia.

pretty much all the atm's give us dollars not cambodian riel.

keep your US notes in good condition, they won't accept them if they have any serious imperfections (tears, holes e.t.c)

as for atm cards, yes probably it will work, if it has a visa for mastercard symbol on your card then if definitly will.

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Posted by busylizzy on 13/3/2009 at 16:39

I got some US$ in NZ before heading off to Cambodia. They were the older style currency but still in good condition. I ended up having a hard time using them in Siem Reap. Make sure you get the freshest, cleanest and newest currency notes that you can find!

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