What’s going on with work permits in Cambodia?

Update Apr 5, 2018:

They’ve extended the deadline for work permit applications until April 30th. This is handy because they never officially announced the previous deadline. Unfortunately, the extension does not include an amnesty for previous years’ fines as it did in 2017. They have also announced that employers will be fined $630 for employees who do not have a work permit and employees will be fined $10 per day for overdue work permit extensions.

So if you haven’t gotten a work permit, now is probably the time to do it. The cost is $100 per calendar year that you have had an EB visa (formerly the “ordinary” or “business” visa) and $100 for the current year. If you work for an employer, they need to have applied for a quota for foreign workers. If your employer neglected to do this, you will need to apply as a self-employed worker.

Those who are self-employed report that their applications are being rejected multiple times for not having a business license. Those who persevere have reported that on the fifth or tenth attempt, they have gotten approved. So keep trying. If you are self-employed, do not list a business name or they will (understandably) request a business license. Those who have been approved report entering “freelance/freelance/salary 0/category X (other) 100 (other)” on their application.

I can’t keep up with the changing work permit information or with emails I get from readers asking for advice on their situation, so if you have questions or need updates, please visit the Cambodia Visa and Work Permit Group on Facebook. Continue reading

The best bars in Siem Reap

Temple Town, as Siem Reap is fondly known, has no shortage of watering holes no matter the season. And while Pub Street is the center of the alcohol-fueled action, our favorite bars in Siem Reap are off the main drag. Read on to find out which are the most famous (and infamous) bars, and where the hidden speakeasies, best craft cocktails, and cheap margaritas are in Siem Reap.

Long's Bar Siem Reap

Long’s Bar features wonderful cocktails and air-conditioning. What more could you ask for?

Outer Pub Street / Old Market

Long’s Bar

Located on a small alley between Belmiro’s and Miss Wong’s, Long Bar is a stylish, comfortable bar with great drinks that has attracted a dedicated expat clientele who sing the praises of their friendly staff and powerful air conditioning (which is less common in Siem Reap than you might think). There are always drink specials on the board, and happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring $0.50 draft beers to compete with its neighbor and $2.50 cocktails. Our favorites are the Kampot Pepper Martini and Earl Grey G&T, with plenty of free refills of roasted peanuts with garlic and basil. Continue reading

Review: The InterContinental Gym, Phnom Penh

You’ve requested more Phnom Penh gym reviews, and I’m here to deliver. When I first moved to Phnom Penh I joined the gym at the Great Duke (formerly the Intercontinental Hotel). The Great Duke gym is seriously underrated and probably Phnom Penh’s best value, high-end gym.

Fredrik Carlsward

Fredrik is happy to show you how to get muscles as big as his.

The gym was set up by Fredrik Carlswärd and Maria Ahlberg, married Swedish bodybuilders and fitness freaks. They are no longer there, but are the reason that the Great Duke gym is so great–it’s was put together by people that actually work out! So while the gym is small, it has everything you need to get fit. Continue reading

How to get from Phnom Penh to Kampot (and vice-versa)

Not too long ago, getting from Phnom Penh to Kampot by bus was a complete headache. Buses detoured to stop in Kep on their way to Kampot, making the trip closer to five hours long. Now, though, there are direct mini-buses from Phnom Penh to Kampot that make the trip in around three hours, and taxis are even faster.

Kampot River Cambodia

Going from Phnom Penh to Kampot? Here’s how to get there.

Taxi

You can get a taxi from Phnom Penh to Kampot for between $35 and $50, although the prices can rise during public holidays (and that not so public holiday, Chinese New Year). Taxis are generally very clean Toyota Camrys that can seat four passengers. However, most have very little room for baggage, so if you have a lot of baggage, you may want to look into getting a van. Taxi drivers like to affirm their existence by driving as fast as possible and you’ll be able to make the trip in less than three hours. You can book a taxi online in advance, or at any travel agent or guesthouse in Phnom Penh or Kampot, although they will add a surcharge. Larger CRV or SUV taxis cost around $60. They seat four passengers more comfortably than the regular taxis. Continue reading

How to get to Kep

Wondering how to get to Kep? Check our handy guide to getting to Kep from Phnom Penh, Kampot, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap. We’ll cover all of your options for how to get to Kep, including taxis, tuk tuks, mini-buses, and even a riverboat.

How to get to Kep

Kep is within reach. Here’s how to get there.

How to get to Kep from Phnom Penh

Bus: Phnom Penh Sorya runs four buses a day to Kep, at 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:45 p.m. Tickets cost $7 and while they claim that the trip takes 3.5 hours, Sorya buses are known for usually taking at least an hour more than their estimated time, and sometimes several hours more. Sorya is not one of our favorite bus companies in Cambodia — all of their buses are quite old — but this is the only full-size bus that goes from Phnom Penh to Kep and tickets can be purchased online.

Continue reading

Visit the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, aka the ECCC

Occupying swampy land about an hour outside of Phnom Penh, behind the National Army Headquarters on National Road 4 beyond Phnom Penh International Airport, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)—more commonly known at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT)—continue to quietly try those accused of being responsible for alleged crimes of the Khmer Rouge, whose four year reign saw the loss of up to 2 million lives and widespread destruction of culture, livelihoods and infrastructure.

Cambodia ECCC Khmer Rouge (3)

The grounds of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Photo courtesy of the ECCC.

In the 11 years since the first judges were sworn in, the United Nations-supported hybrid court has had three successful prosecutions, seen two defendants pass away, and heard the testimonies of thousands of survivors, perpetrators and experts on what happened in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 when the Khmer Rouge controlled the country. Continue reading