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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



24. Cash Monies & Emergencies

The following advice was given to me, otherwise I wouldn't have been aware of this.

ATM's in Cambodia dispense USD cash
ATM's in Cambodia dispense USD cash and Cambodian currency is the Riel, but most Cambodians use US dollars as well as their own currency. You'll probably find that even the small shops quote prices in US dollars. For a conversion, 1 US dollar is equal to approx. 4,000 Riels. Although you may pay in US money, you may find you are given Riels in change.
Remember this - it is illegal to take Riels out of the country so try to use them up before you leave. It wouldn't be much fun being stopped at the airport and hauled back cos you "forgot" about the half dozen Riels in your pocket! Having to provide an explanation which may or may not be believed isn't my idea of a fun thing and I don't relish the thought of languishing in a Cambodian gaol while they decide whether I made an honest mistake!

Crisp Notes in Small Denominations
Also, with US Dollars, take some from home from a bank and make sure most of it is in small denominations - $1, $5, and $10 notes. Another thing to be careful of make sure the notes you have are crisp and clean - there are plenty of places who'll reject notes for the slightest mar yet give you the dirtiest, tattiest local notes in return.

Malaysian Currency
You won't need US dollars in Malaysia - if I happen to have any left over from Cambodia, I'll have to exchange them.
Tip - If you're YHA member change your money at Travelex - members don't pay commission.

The Malysian currency is the Ringitt, and 3 MYR is around AUD$1. So all I need to remember to calculate the price of something is to divide the MYR (Malaysian Ringitt) price by 3. For example, a meal is 10 MYR - that's around $3.30 in Aussie currency. Here is a useful Currency Converter.

Alternative Credit Card
If you are going to use a credit card you can get another card issued, with a different 16 digit account number, to the one you use at home and have a smaller credit limit on it, say $2,000. This has the advantage that if your credit card should get lost or stolen, there is less to lose in money terms, plus you will have your "usual" credit card to fall back on. The only problem with this is it takes at least 12 to 14 days before you receive the card and I was only given this advice two days ago. Had I known earlier, I would have organised it.

Keep Cash In Different Locations
With cash money, it is wise not to have it all in the one spot. Keep it in different places - some in your money belt, some in your pocket and some in your suitcase. That way if one lot gets stolen, you still have cash at your disposal.

What To Do In Case Of Theft
You should report the theft asap at least within 24 hours, to the nearest police station and get a written report - this is important. Contact your travel insurance company and report it within 24 hours. You will need the written report to make a claim. This applies to any item that is lost or stolen, regardless of what it is.

Telephone Numbers
Have the telephone numbers of the police/tourist police, hospital, emergency, travel insurance numbers with you of the places you will be travelling to, this way you have them on hand in the event that something should happen and you need to make contact in a hurry. It is also a good idea to add the public transport numbers (bus/train) as well.

NOTE - I have just discovered there are no Travelex locations in Malaysian or Cambodia at present.

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