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Language and communication


The official national language of Cambodia is Cambodian language, Khmer. It is spoken all over the country except in some tribal areas where local indigenous languages are used. Young Khmer now prefer to learn English over other foreign languages, and English is widely use in whole country so you will find people who speak anywhere from basic to fluent English in major towns and cities. In tourist market situations, most Khmer will know enough English to complete a basic transaction, though many vendors carry calculators into which they punch numbers and show you the screen to demonstrate the price.

French is spoken by some elder Khmers from the Sangkum Reastr Niyum period. French is still an official language in Cambodia, and used in government communications, but partly because of the Khmer Rouge era in which those speaking foreign languages were targeted for extermination, actually encountering anyone fluent in French is rare outside of Phnom Penh.

Some international languages including Chinese, Japanese, German, Thai, Vietnamese, and even Russian are also a popular language for tourist industry workers and in major cities as Phnompenh and Siemreap as well in which Thai is more prevalent in northwestern provinces, whereas Vietnamese dominates southeastern provinces.


You can make domestic and international calls at post offices or telecom offices in most towns. The government telecommunications network; Camintel (W) (www.camintel.com) usually runs these services, which along with the Australian firm Telstra, also runs public call boxes in Phnom Penh. To use these, you'll need a phone card, available in denominations ranging from $2 to $50; look for shops displaying the phone cards can't be used in each other's facilities, but with a Tele 2 phone card, you can make international calls from any call box by dialing the access code (T) 007 (instead of the usual (T) 001), then the country code and number as usual. With any of these options, making international calls is expensive at around $3 per minute, so It's worth looking out for deals offered by internet shops, guesthouses and travel agents, which can as much as halve the cost.

For domestic calls only, the cut-price glass-sided booths, payable to the attendant. The booths vary in their coverage of Cambodia's various networks: accessible numbers will be written on the side of the booths (usually (T) 012 MobiTel numbers - see below - plus the local area code and sometimes other mobile providers).

Faxing is extortionate in Cambodia, at $3-$6 per page. If you really must send a fax, the hotel business central and internet shops are the most reliable place to do so.

Mobile Phones
There are three mobile phone service providers in Cambodia: M Phone code (T) 011, MobiTel (T) 012, Beeline (T) 090, Smart Mobile (T) 010, Cube (T) 013, MetFone (T) 097. MobiTel is the most widely used network and has transmitters in all major towns, although reception is still limited to within the town boundaries. Mobile phones can be rented in the arrivals hall at Pochentong International Airport for around $28 per week. Usage is by pre-paid phone card, available in values from $5 to $100; in most towns, you'll find outlets displaying the logos of the various providers. When you get your card, scratch off the panel on the back to reveal your PIN, and then call up the top-up number-also given on the card-and enter the number to activate the card. Call rates are around $0.20 per minute within the same mobile network number or out to a local landline.

Internet Access in Cambodia
Internet is available in most cities. Internet cafes are cheap around US$0.50-US$1 per hour and common, even small towns will have at least one offering broadband. In Kampot, Kratie and Sihanoukville rates are around US$1 per hour. WiFi is increasingly popular, with signals available in some unlikely places: not just in coffee shops but also fast food restaurants, bars, and even gas stations. Domestic broadband prices range from $29.95 to $89.00. Always remember vat is added to all prices, and even the locals pay vat.

Fast wireless 3G/4G internet (3.5G or 7.2MBpS 3G/4G Modem usb stick, unlocked 3G/4G modem costs 30$) is now available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep with slower Edge coverage in almost all other areas. Tourists can add 3G/4G mobile internet to their SIM for as little as $3/month (0.8GB max, LT3 package)(Metfone) or 1c/MB with Qbmore or unlimited data package for $25/month (Metfone), equipping another 3G router can form a WiFi hotspot to share internet in your house/neighborhood.

Khmer does not yet have a big presence in the electronic world as do Thai or Vietnamese. Phones and computers (and hence Cambodian text messages, emails, social network slobbering and web pages) tend to be in English.

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