November through February is considered tourist friendly, as it is the cool and dry time. However, the rainy season is the photographer’s paradise – moats are full, air is clear, greenery is fresh, paddy fields filled with water and new rice etc. Tourists flock to Angkor Wat to take in the elaborate 12th century stone carvings at one of the world’s largest religious monuments, the royal palace at Phnom Pehn, the various temples, stupas, and shrines. Khmer cuisine is widely consumed in Cambodia. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice and soup, with three or four separate dishes which will be sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Coffee with condensed milk is very popular. Cooking courses, which initiate the traveler to the culinary secrets of Khmer, are also a major attraction.
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|Lonely Planet Cambodia||978-1741794571||$16||Good introduction followed by Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Temples of Angkor, and region-wise detailed coverage.|
|Cambodia Travel Map||978-0794605490||$9||1:1,000,000 scale. Insets of Angkor Temples Area, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap Town.|
|When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge||978-0393322101||$11||This book along with another classic ‘First They Killed My Father” are both autobiographies written by daughters of privileged families who underwent the forced evacuation to Phnom Phen, faced near death and murder of family members.|
|Cambodia Grounded Adapter Plug GUA and GUB||B001FDA7PY||$15|
The first stamps of Cambodia were issued in 1951 and feature three different designs. The set of seventeen stamps (Scott #1 to #17) catalog for around $100 MNH and around half that for used. Three souvenir sheets of the designs were also issued (Scott #15a, #16a, #17a) and each of those are valued at around $35. The designs show Apsaras, King Norodom Sihanouk, and Enthronement Hall. This was followed in 1954 by another long set of twenty stamps in four different designs. The set (Scott #18 to #37) catalogs for around $40 MNH and $25 used. The designs show Phnom Daun Penh (a fourteenth century temple), East Gate – Angkor Thom (capital city of Khmer Empire from the twelfth century), Arms of Cambodia, and an elephant used for mail transport. A set of four souvenir sheets with five stamps from the set in each sheet was also issued. Each of those (Scott #18a, #23a, #26a, #28a) catalog for around $45 MNH.
Below are other relevant stamp issues of Cambodia over the years:
- A set of three stamps (Scott #129 to #131) released on March 3 1964 featuring Kouprey, characterized as a forest ox, the animal designated as the national animal of Cambodia in 1960. The set catalogs for around $3 MNH and around half that for used. This is a very collectible item as the Kouprey is an animal shrouded in mystery - it is a subject of debate as to whether it is extinct and whether it is a separate species. This was followed on May 2nd with the issue of another set, this time featuring birds. The set (Scott #132 to #134) catalogs for around $6 MNH and $4 used. The design shows black-billed magpie, kingfisher, and gray heron.
- A set of five stamps (Scott #152 to #156) released on February 1 1966 in the ‘Temples of Angkor’ theme. The set catalogs for around $10 MNH and $8 used. The designs show Baksei Chamkrong (a small temple in the Angkor complex dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in the tenth century), Banteay Srei (temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in the 10th located 24 KM away from the Angkor Complex - Citadel of Women), Angkor Wat (12th century temple complex depicted in the national flag), and Bayon temple of Angkor Thom (Early 13th century Khmer temple located at the center of the capital city of Angkor Thom).
- A set of three stamps (Scott #210 to #212) released on October 10 1969 in the ‘Butterflies’ theme. The set catalogs for around $25 MNH and $6 Used. The designs show papilio oeacus, papilio agamenon, and danaus plexippus.
- A set of twelve stamps (Scott #346 to #357) released on February 13, 1975 released to mark the 1974 World Cup Soccer Championships. Ten of these stamps are lithographed while the other two (Scott #355, #358) are lithographed and embossed. The set catalogs for around $70 MNH. The designs show soccer players and arms of Hamburg, Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin.
- A long running series of sets in the ‘Khmer Culture’ theme. The first in the series was released on December 2, 1990 as a set of three stamps (Scott #1046 to #1048) showing Khmer architecture. The series continued with the following releases – A set of three stamps (Scott #1134 to #1136) released on April 13, 1991 showing statues; a set of three stamps released on April 13 1992 featuring nineteenth century structures (Scott #1209 to #1211); A set of three stamps (Scott #1270 to #1272) released on April 13, 1993; A set of three stamps (Scott #1353 to #1355) released on April 13, 1994 showing Khmer Statues; A set of three stamps released on April 13, 1995 (Scott #1431 to #1433) showing statues; A set of three stamps released on April 13 1996 (Scott #1504 to #1506); A set of three stamps (Scott #1621 to #1623) released on April 13, 1997; A set of three stamps (Scott #1748 to #1750) released on April 13, 1998; A set of three stamps released on April 13, 1999 (Scott #1853 to #1855); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2000 (Scott #1959 to #1961); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2001 (Scott #2087 to #2089); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2004 (Scott #2216 to #2218). Each set catalogs for around $3 MNH and a dollar used. This series is an excellent choice for collectors who want to specialize in the area.
- A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #1534 to #1547) released in the 1996-97 time-frame featuring Historic Sites. The set catalogs for around $8 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show Apsaras, Statue of Angkor Wat, Statue of a Goddess, Carved Wall of Tonle Bati, Structures of Tonle Bati, and Views of Angkor Wat.
- A set of five stamps and a souvenir sheet (Scott #2230 to #2234 & #2235) released on September 27 2004 in the ‘Tourism’ theme. The designs show Prasat Preah Khan, Prasat Preup, Prasat Banteay Samre, Prasat Bayon, Angkor Wat, and Prasat Bayon. The set catalogs for around $4 MNH or used.
The first coins of Cambodia were copper coins of the Tical Coinage issued during the reign of King Ang Duong in 1847. The first coin catalog for around $10 VF. The large silver Tikals issued during this period are rare and valuable. Undated Brass Token Coins issued by Pnom-Pehn Merchants also circulated during this period and those denominated in Centimes go into the $100 range for VF. Independence Era Decimal Coinage (100 Centimes = 1 Franc) started with the issue of a 10 Centimes Aluminum coin showing Bird Statue in Obverse and Denomination and Wreath in Reverse. The issue has high mintage (4M) and catalogs for less than a dollar VF. The tumultuous political history of Cambodia following independence has resulted in a number of different decimal era classifications: People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979 to 1990), State of Cambodia (1990 to 1993), and Kingdom of Cambodia (1993 onwards).
Numismatic items of Cambodia include:
|Coins||$1 and up||Common UNCs start around $1. Hamza Bird Tikals from the mid-nineteenth century start around $20 in VF. Silver Bullion Commemoratives start around $30. Year of the Pig Silver Proofs and other colored proofs from the 2000s start around $50. Gold Proofs from the 2000s, China Wall Silver Gold Proofs, and other scarce silver proofs from the 1970s start into the 100s.|
|Paper Money||$1 and up||UNCs from the 70s onwards start around $1. Large Size Notes from the 50s in VF start around $10. Recent UNC bundles, Replacements, etc start around $25. Specimen varieties from the 2000s, High Value Bundles, etc start around $50. Rare Dates and Older UNC Specimens go into the 100s.|
Cambodia can spoil one with choices when it comes to souvenirs - antiques, silverware, paintings of Angkor Wat, silk products, gems, sandstone carvings, miniature earthenware are only the beginning of an endless list as takeaways from the country.
|Antiques||$20 and up||Bronze statues and ornate rings start around $20. Exquisite wood-carved larger pieces can go into the 1000s.|
|Art||$20 and up||Original photo prints from the early 20th century start around $20. Khmer Art original oil paintings start around $100.|
|Jewelry||$2 and up||Zircon gems start around $2 and go as high as $1000 for flawless blue zircons over 7 carats.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.