Phnom Penh International Airport
Despite being modernised and upgraded several times in the during the last two decades Phnom Penh’s airport, formerly known as Pochentong International Airport, is in its twilight years. A brand new airport is currently under construction and due to be operational by late 2025. While the current facility is quite small it is a mere 10 kilometres from the city. Arrivals and departures are on the same level separated by some fast food restaurants.
Turn left off the air bridge and continue to the end. After going down the escalator turn right to immigration, if you already have your visa, straight on for visa on arrival. Although it is not clearly marked the visa on arrival counters are divided into three section. At the first section you hand over your passport then continue to the middle section where you hand over your money. You collect your passport at the end and then continue to immigration.
How long it takes to issue the visa will depend on how busy it is. Mine took only a few minutes but there were only a handful of applicants at the time.
Baggage claim is on the right after immigration, customs and the exit are in the far left corner.
Once outside you will find the usual collection of booths. To the right for sim cards to the left for airport limousines and car hire. There is a cluster of ATMs to the far left. Although the currency of Cambodia is the riel (KHR) if you are using a foreign card the machine will only dispense US$. Most transactions in the country will be in dollars also, riel is only used in place of cents.
But I digress. Transfer into town is a flat fee, tuk tuk is US$ 10 and taxi is US$ 15. Journey time is about 30 minutes or so depending on traffic.
If you feel adventurous you might try the airport train. It is actually a railcar that goes back and forth between the old station in Phnom Penh and the airport. The train is supposed to run at 70 minute intervals with a journey time of 30 minutes but you wouldn’t want to set your watch by it. The ride costs US$2.50 (KHR10,000) and you will still need to transfer between the station and your hotel so you are unlikely to save much money.
The check-in area is comparatively small and airlines share counters so check-in procedures don’t start until about two hours before departure. If you get there too early there is the Dining Gallery to the left with burgers, pizza and Asian choices. There are no self check-in terminals. A board will tell you which counters your flight is assigned to. If your airline offers web check-in one of the counters will be for baggage drop.
Domestic and international passengers both check-in at the same area. Having deposited your bags domestic passengers should head for the escalators to the left which serves gates 1 & 2, International to the escalators on the right for gates 3-10.
Immigration is before security check and once through the latter you will be forced to walk through a surprisingly extensive duty free area in order to reach the boarding gates. There are quite a few of brand name shops such as Victoria’s Secret, Adidas and Hard Rock Cafe (branded apparel only).
There are a number of western and Asian snacking options. A Starbucks and a Dairy Queen are near gates 9 and 10, Burger King and Dim Sum Emperors are near gate 6. Airline lounges are up the escalator opposite gates 9 and 10.