Im in thailand now but heading to cambodia next week.
Iv'e been using my bank card in thailand daily however im worried about cambodia.
I met this guy who explained that when he got to the border he was told that there were NO atm's in cambodia and that he must use the atm now and change it into cambodian money with them or else he would be stuck.
He and everyone in the group did this in a hurray worried about not having any money. He then got to cambodia realised there were lots of atms, not only that but everyone uses dollars not cambodian money and also that the entire group had been giving a shocking exchange rate. he predicts that they made about 1000 usd !! out of the group he was with.
Obviously i wont be changing money at the border but my lonely planet says that atms in cambodia are only credit card compatable and i just have a normal bank card (not credit card) Can anyone advise me what the situation is?
Our group suffered the same scam too. luckily, I didnt fall into the trap. There are ATM's in Cambodia, but not very many. Any motorbike driver will be able to take you to one. Whilst there I didnt have to use an ATM, but the people I were with were using VISA.
I'm not too sure if they accept anything else.
Just get dollars out before you go to the border. EVERYWHERE accepts dollars. Nothing is less than a dollar really. $1 for laundry $1 for water $1 postcards. Even the locals dont want riel. Some places will accept dollars, pounds, euros, baht, and riel so you shouldnt have any trouble.
So did ours!!! My advice would be to go with some dollars and some dollar travellers cheques incase you have any problem with your bank card (you can always change them back, and if you're going to Vietnam, they use dollar too). There are several ATMs in Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville but you may have a problem in more remote locations. I used my usual bank debit cards and they were fine (but my card does have the visa logo).
There are atms in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap which dispence $ bills, I used these with my debit card (switch & maestro) It's useful to have some riel for smaller purchases, but dollars are fine for meals, accomadation etc. $1 bills are the most useful, $50 bills or more, you may have some trouble getting change, make sure they are crisp too otherwise they won't be accepted. Have some travellers cheques as back up for more remote places where there won't be any atms.