Cambodia Currency: The Riel

Travelers planning a trip to Cambodia often want to know Cambodia currency. That way, they will be able to know what is the best currency to bring to Cambodia.

Cambodia Currency: The  Cambodian Riel

Cambodia has its own currency. It is called the Cambodian Riel (Khmer: រៀល; sign: ៛; code: KHR).

It is believed that the Cambodia currency name “riel” came from the small Mekong river fish of the same name. However, it is highly likely that it was actually derived from the Mexican real which was used by the Chinese, Malay, and Indian merchants in Cambodia’s early history.

Although the Cambodians once used coins, transactions in riel now are in paper. Coins are no longer in circulation.

Acceptance of US dollars

Unlike its neighboring countries, Cambodia establishments and transportation does accept US dollars. However, the lowest amount in dollars accepted is just $1. The loose change will often be in the Cambodian riel.

So there is no need to exchange US dollars you may be carrying for riels. It is generally accepted anywhere.

The US 2 dollar bill

There are some 2 dollar bills circulating about. However, most establishments will not accept it. Perhaps at the borders they do, but not around the cities.

Note: Be careful when accepting change as you might be given one and have a hard time using it to pay for anything.

Cambodia currency exchange

While the currency exchange does vary from day to day, the general conversion rate is $1 = 4000 riels

You can use the conversion app below to try it out.

Money exchangers

Upon arriving at the borders, there are often money changers that have stalls set up. At the airport as well, there are money exchangers that are usually from the banks.

If walking around the cities, there should be some small shops that are offering to exchange your money. Although they are not necessarily affiliated with banks. 

Note: How to spot the money changers? These are often the small shops that have glass displays with various currencies displayed. However, there should always be a “MONEY EXCHANGE” sign hovering about as well.

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