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Best Cambodia Travel SIM Card for Tourist

It is now the 21th century, and you need to connect to the world every day.

You want to call your family and friends at home to share a picture of the beautiful landscapes or the wonderful people you met.

Or sometimes you need to finish your urgent business.

This will lead to the popular questions: 

  • How can you call back home from Cambodia? 
  • How can you connect to the internet in Cambodia?
  • And what is the best travel SIM card for tourist in Cambodia?

We make it all clear below.

Phone Call in Cambodia

First of all, we need to understand the phone number system in Cambodia and how to make a phone call from/to Cambodia.

Cambodia phone number

Land lines number

To dial a land line in Cambodia all over the country, the format is Area Code + Phone Number. The area code is 3 digits long, followed by a 6-or-7-digit phone number.

Calls made from outside Cambodia must omit the prefix 0. Therefore, to call a land line number in Phnom Penh from other countries, dialing begins with +855 23 followed by 6 or 7 digits.

Cambodia Country Calling Code: 855

Provincial Calling Codes as in the below table

Add to landline numbers only!
Battambang 53 Kampot 33 Siem Reap 63
Kampong Cham 42 Kandal 24 Sihanoukville 34
Kampong Chhang 26 Phnom Penh 23 Sisophon (Saophoan) 54
Kampong Speu 25 Poipet (Paoy Paet) 54 Suong 42
Kampong Thom 62 Pursat 52 Ta Khmau 23

 

Mobile telephones number

Likewise to call mobile phones from land line or other mobile phones, domestic dialing begins a 0 followed by 8 or 9 digits.

Mobile numbers in Cambodia take the form: 0TT-AXX-XXXY.

The first two numbers after the leading 0 or 'TT' in the example above identify the operator. For example, 010 234 567 is an example of a 9 digit mobile number from Smart. 088 234 5678 on the other hand is an example of a 10 digit mobile number from Metfone.

The 3rd digit after the leading 0 or 'A' in the example above must be between 1 and 9.

Normally this value is between 2 and 9 which allows a value of '1' to be used for mobile phones which are roaming in Cambodia. However some operators such as Mobitel are using a '1' in this range to extend their number ranges for certain popular prefixes. For example, 012 123 4567 and 092 123 456 are valid mobile numbers in Cambodia

'X' can take the values 0 to 9 and 'Y' is an optional extra digit which is used by some operators.

Most mobile numbers are 8 digits long (excluding the leading 0), however some operators are now using 9-digit numbers. 0882345678 is an example of a valid 9-digit mobile number. 

Calls made from outside Cambodia must omit the prefix 0. Therefore, to call a mobile number in Cambodia from other countries, dialing begins with +855 1, +855 8, or +855 92662075/9 etc.

The below picture will give you the summary of the mobile number in Cambodia.

How to make a phone call?

To Cambodia

Exit Code Country Code Area Code Local Number
## 855 ### ######

 

AREA CODE

This is the code for a part of the country. It is usually a general area or a city. Some countries are not large enough to warrant their own code, so will have the country code 1 and use the area code to define the country.

You can check the full list of area codes in Cambodia in the Land line number part

If there is no area code (i.e. the mobile number), just ignore and come directly to the number.

For example, in case you want to call the mobile number: 031-2345678, just dial: Your country exit code + (855-31-2345678). 

Below are some examples

  • From USA & Canada: 011 855-31-2345678
  • From France: 00 855-31-2345678
  • From German: 00 855-31-2345678
  • From UK: 00 855-31-2345678
  • From Belgium: 00 855-31-2345678
  • From Switzerland: 00 855-31-2345678
  • From Australia: 0011 855-31-2345678

The numbers in red are the country exit code. For the full list of country EXIT CODE, please check HERE

From Cambodia

Exit Code Country Code Area Code Local Number
001/007/008 ### ### ######

 

  • Cambodia has 3 different EXIT CODE: 001 - Telecom Cambodia, 007 - Royal Telecom, 008 – VoIP. If you are the tourists and just buy a normal SIM Card in town, your exit code is normally 001
  • Then type your country code + your area code (if any) + the number that you want to call

Below are some examples (add area code to the telephone number if needed)

  • To USA & Canada: 001 + 1 + Telephone number 
  • To France: 001 + 33 + Telephone number
  • To German: 001 + 49 + Telephone number
  • To UK: 001 + 44 + Telephone number
  • To Belgium: 001 + 32 + Telephone number
  • To Switzerland: 001 + 41 + Telephone number
  • To Australia: 001 + 61 + Telephone number

The numbers in red are the country code. For the full list of different country phone codes, please check HERE

Internet in Cambodia

The access to internet is quite good in Cambodia, from the capital Phnom Penh even up to the remote parts of the borders going to Vietnam and Thailand, surprisingly they do have internet. Of course, it should be better in the urban Cambodia such as Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap…… Though the internet speed is not as good as Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh, but it is faster than Myanmar and is quite cheap.

You can access free internet in most of the ubiquitous cafe, restaurant, guesthouse, hotel, University or office building in Phnom Penh. You can even do 2–3 hours of free internet at some of the cafe near old Kirirom Cinema by just buying coffee for 50 cents.

Most mobile operators offer 4G internet and rates are very cheap. Currently one operator has a plan: 0.25 cents = 1GB, 1-day validity.

Internet speed

Cambodia’s broadband Internet download speed ranks ahead of some of Asean’s more advanced countries, but is far behind the global average, according to the most recent results of Internet speed tests conducted by the U.S.-based broadband testing company Ookla.

Internet Speed in Cambodia averaged 1929.20 KBps from 2007 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 5430.40 KBps in the first quarter of 2017 and a record low of 231.76 KBps in the third quarter of 2007

Internet access

To get Internet in Cambodia you have basically 3 options

1. With a Wi-Fi (or cable) Connection

Your hotel, restaurant or café may provide you with a Wi-Fi connection (or a cable connection). Most of the times the wifi is free if you consume a drink or you stay at the hotel, other times the business asks for a special fee.

2. With a Local Sim of one of the cell phone Networks

If Internet access is important for you and you want to be independent from the wifi networks in cafés and hotels, buy a local SIM from one of the local cellphone (cellular) networks and make a pre-paid Internet subscription, like that you can get internet even under a coconut tree on an island.

3. With the Sim Card of your country

This is usually not going to be the cheapest option. The cellular network of your country will charge you high for phoning or using internet from abroad and it is difficult to beat the prices of Cambodia, but you can never know. If you are not sure about the prices that your operator will charge you, buy a local SIM for your stay in Cambodia.

Internet censorship

Although still ranked “Partly Free”, internet freedom in Cambodia is slipping, says a report in 2018 by Freedom House, a US-based democracy, political freedom and human rights watchdog. 
The report found that Cambodia was among 26 countries that had dropped on its scale, while 19 had seen internet freedom improve.

It said Cambodia had intensified a crackdown on online dissidents, with arrests made over political commentary on social media and news sites.

Cambodia scored 55 on the scale in which 0 is “Free” and 100 “Least Free”. Over the past five years, the Kingdom has been slipping – from a score of 47 points in 2013 and 2014, 48 points in 2015 and 52 points in 2016 and 2017.

Freedom House assesses internet freedom in 65 countries with grades of “Free” for a score from 0 to 30 points, “Partly Free” for 31-60 points and “Not Free” between 61-100 points.
Cambodia’s neighbors, Vietnam (with 76 points) and Thailand (65 points) remain “Not Free”.

The report based its conclusion on a wide range of aspects affecting media freedom, including the adoption of the lese majeste law, the release of code of conducts for the media by the National Election Committee, inter-ministerial prakas to form groups to monitor online news and the closure of Radio Free Asia Cambodia and the Cambodia Daily newspaper.

However, if you ask a Cambodian, most of them will say that the report is not true as most of the blocked parts are related to sensitive contents such as politics or pornographic. 

Being the tourist, we advise you stay away from all of this, it is your turn to enjoy the culture, the food, or the sea; it is not your turn to debate and end up in jail.

Buying a local SIM Card in Cambodia

Now we answer the most important question: what is the best Cambodia travel SIM card for tourists?

We will first need to know...

Who are the Cellular operators in Cambodia?

There are four main telco providers in Cambodia: Metfone, Smart, Cellcard and qb. Locals and travelers use SIM cards from all four networks, and the networks can be trusted regardless of the plan you choose. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Cambodia has strong network coverage around Phnom Penh and other main cities and towns. Other areas can be weak, and in some country areas, it can be difficult to find a signal at all.

Metfone

Metfone is the largest network provider in Cambodia with more than a 50% market share. You can purchase prepaid SIM cards for $1-$2 in official stores. The MetTravel Tariff is the best SIM card on offer for tourists, and they also offer 4G/LTE services.

Smart

Smart is the second largest provider in Cambodia and one of the cheapest. It has the best coverage in the country and was the first to introduce 4G/LTE. It’s available in all major towns and cities, including Phnom Penh.

Cellcard

Cellcardis the third largest provider and provides good coverage in the main towns and cities. Its network signal can be a bit unpredictable in the country areas. You can purchase prepaid SIM cards for just $1 from official stores. Avoid the “Niyeay” plan because you won’t be able to upload any add-on packs. You should stick to the regular SIM card, so you can add data. The standard SIM card comes with 50 Cellcard texts and 10MB of data, which is valid for 30 days.

qb

qb is the smallest provider in the country. They offer the lowest data rates but the network coverage can be very limited in some areas. qb is not a good choice if you’re planning on going on a tour of the country. You can pick up a prepaid SIM cards for as little as $1, which include 10 data minutes per day on the basic plan. You can also purchase credit and add-ons.

How much does a Cambodia SIM card cost?

In general, the price of a tourist SIM card in Cambodia will start from $2. However, from our experience, you should buy one at $5-6/SIM with which you can have either unlimited data plan, free text, or free call depending on the package you choose. These packages are actually designed for tourists travelling in Cambodia

Check the below table for your reference.

  Smart qb Cellcard MetFone
Speed 4G LTE 3G 4G LTE 4G LTE
Cost $5 $5 $6 $6
Free Calls Unlimited None None Some
Free Text Unlimited None None Some
Data 2GB 4GB 8GB Unlimited
Days 7 14 30 7
Others Unlimited data for Facebook, LINE, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp $5 credit for use on calls, text, or data $3000 credit for use on calls, text Includes cost of SIM Card

Where to buy a SIM Card in Cambodia?

Buying a SIM card in Cambodia is very straightforward. There are plenty of small distributors in town where you can buy the SIM card that you want.

However, we recommend you come directly to the official shops of the suppliers, where you may find an English-speaking staff who can help you activate the SIM and give some suitable information of the SIM.

Moreover, remember to bring the passport along with you as they need it to register the SIM. The small shop in town may not care about this, but the risk will be then all yours.

How to subscribe to a pre-paid Internet program with the Cambodia SIM card?

My advice to make your SIM card work is … to ask the help from the sellers! Yes, that is all you need to remember.

What you need to know is which prepaid package that you want to register and top-up money at least enough for that. Prepare the money and give it to the sellers, then leave it for them.

Of course, do not forget to recheck the plan that they register for your before leaving.

You can either ask for help from the hotel receptionists, this seems better as they can speak English and give you some advices.

The story is even much easier if you have an escorting guide who can do everything for you.

That’s it. Do not waste your time to learn about something you will not do it twice.

In case you really want to learn about this, we recommend reading this article: https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/cambodia 

The question you should ask now is…

What is the best Cambodia travel SIM Card for tourist?

To find the best SIM Card for your trip in Cambodia, you should consider at least the below 5 factors:

Coverage

If you plan to travel around the big cities and tourist hubs, you can choose any operator. If you plan to visit the remote area, choose the one with the largest coverage.

At the time we write this article (September 2019), MetFone has the largest coverage over the countries. You should choose the SIM from this supplier in case you want to visit the remote northern Cambodia. 

Data usage

We recommend you buy a limited data package (just in case) as the public wi-fi (restaurants, coffee shops, hotels) is almost everywhere in Cambodia. Moreover, you do not need internet during most of the daytime while travelling around. You only need it in the evening or early morning while you are … at the hotel.

The internet speeds

According to broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk, MetFone has the fastest internet speed in Cambodia. Staying in places like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, or Sihanoukville, MetFone is definitely the best Cambodia prepaid sim card for tourist when it comes down to Internet speed.

Phone & Text

We recommend you buy some extra minutes to call your guide and driver sometimes; or you can register and call a grab taxi to go around on your own.

Duration of your journey

The longer your journey is, the bigger data package and more minutes to call you need.

The recommended SIM Card for Sonasia Holiday traveler

After considering all the factor above, we recommend you buy a SIM Card for tourist from MetFone, who has the largest 3G or 4G coverage all over the country. With $6, you can have fairly enough for what you want during your journey in Cambodia

Tip: Heading to a specific area then go to opensignal.com and zoom in on your destination to find the best provider. Especially for long term travelers this tool is perfect to see what the best Cambodia sim card for nomads is. That said, MetFone is the best provider at the moment, but things change quickly. It is best to re-check the situation when you travel.

To conclude

It is fairly cheap and popular to have internet access in Cambodia.

For our travelers, we recommend you buy a Portable Mobile Wi-fi Router, with which you can buy only one SIM Card and share the Wi-fi internet with your travel mate on the go. 

In the urgent case, if you do not have the Wifi router, you can use internet tethering on your mobile phone to use the internet on your computer or share the internet with your travel mate.

Wherever you have connection, you can use Skype or WhatsApp to call to your family without all the hassle of learning about exit code or country code to dial your friends’ numbers at home.

Hope that the article help you have more information about the communication system in Cambodia. If you need the most updated information, feel free to CONTACT US at your own convenience.

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Cambodia, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Cambodia
Siem Reap
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Tonle Sap Lake
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One of the most fish abundant lakes in the world and supports 360 floating villages and thousands of waterbirds.

Phnom Penh
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Koh Rong Island
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Cambodia PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Cambodia PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Cambodia BLOG ARTICLES

A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.

The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, it is said that it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed Cambodia’s independence from Java.

Additionally, it is a very sacred site with multiple temples easily accessible. Two sites most noted are the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, within the Kulen National Park site and Preah Ang Thom pagoda with its giant reclining Buddha. The area is a magnet to “kru khmer” (natural medicine doctors), and attracts people seeking blessings from its holy waters, particularly the potent life-giving waters at Kbal Spean, that are said to help couples conceive.

You may be interested in Khmer Empire & Jayavarman II

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Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours

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Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.

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Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.

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Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 

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