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Phnom Penh International Airport: things to know

March 27, 20248 minute read

The Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is quite an old airport, the original dates back to at least the 1940s. However, what we have now is a  double story building which has been extensively renovated within the last 10 years. It’s easy to get around, and has aerobridges to make life easier.  This is an update of our earlier story in 2017.

Phnom Penh International Airport
The arrival area


The airport is equipped with sky-bridges, so you walk straight into the terminal. Signage in Khmer and English, is clear.  There are people available to direct you whether you’re a transit passenger, ‘Visa free’ or need a Visa or are just unsure. 

When you reach the entrance to the Immigration area, you should no longer see any ‘runners’ who can assist with the process, for a fee. There are uniformed officers who will assist you and there is no charge requested. Apart from the visa counters, there are no payments to be made and signs on the desks confirm this.

Other Immigration information:


Post-Covid, many countries are introducing a pre-arrival form which will help speed your travel through Immigration. The Cambodia e-Arrival (CeA) is clear and easy to fill before you leave home and we found the queues to be short and speedy. Enter all your details and you’ll receive a QR code that you can show on arrival.

Phnom Penh International Airport
Cambodia e-Arrival QR code

If you need a visa and you’re eligible for ‘Visa on Arrival’ you should check that box in the form and enter all your details. This will save you the additional cost of using an agent. You’ll also save time  in the queue when you arrive, as you will only need to show your QR Code at the Counter in the Immigration Hall (keep left after you enter the hall) and they’ll check that all is in order, you pay the visa fee (currently US$30 for tourists) and wait for your passport. The wait doing it this way was about 10 minutes, those filling forms took longer as there was a queue.

  • Exit tax is now included in your plane fare, so you no longer have to keep cash to pay this on departure. The Immigration counters have notices stating this and also add that the officers do not accept any payments. You may also be fingerprinted.
  • The Phnom Penh Airport is relatively new, having only been opened in early 2016. As such, the layout is similar to most international airports worldwide, signage is clear and there are plenty of clean, western style toilets, including a washroom close to the Visa on Arrival counter. There are plans in development for a new, much larger airport to be built just south of the city.


  • There are well placed clean toilets close to the visa on arrival counter and in the baggage claim area.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH),practical tips Cambodia
Washroom in arrival area
  • There are a number of Arrival Duty Free shops close to the Baggage Claim area as well as Currency exchange counters.
Phnom Penh International Airport
Duty Free shops
  • As you exit the Arrival Hall at Phnom Penh Airport, you will see a row of stalls selling phone cards (local SIM). The prices for the phone SIM are all clearly displayed and start from USD2 for a card that will last 7 days, for calls and data.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH),practical tips Cambodia
Phone card purchase

Departure / Check-in

If you arrive at the airport by car, taxi or tuk-tuk, you will be dropped close to the entrance to the Departure Hall. There is a quick security check as you enter, so have your documents handy. The check-in desks are opposite the entrance and if you arrive before your counter opens, there are plenty of seats to wait. There’s also a coffee and eats stand to the left of the entrance doors, opposite the toilet entrance.

  • Whether you have checked in online, or have yet to collect your boarding pass, ensure that you know what is in your bags. Packed your bag yourself. Don’t carry unknown packages for anyone else.
  • Your carry-on bag should be within the size and weight limits stated by your carrier.
  • Baggage wrapping services are available in the Check-in area between 5am and midnight. You can find the stand near the entrance in the Departure Hall, opposite Check-in counters 1-3.
Bag wrapping service

To reach the Departure lounge and departure gates, use the escalator to the right of the entrance doors. You will find the Immigration and security checks as you come off the escalator. You must show your passport and boarding pass to go up the escalator.

Phnom Penh International Airport
Escalator to Departure Security and Immigration


A number of items need to be declared (e.g. More than USD10,000 equivalent in foreign currency). Ask for a Passenger’s Declaration Form and ensure that you have all supporting documents.

Artefacts, statues, antiques and ancient items are required to have an authorisation and permit issued before the exportation by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and an export permit by the General Department of Customs and Excise.

Although they have not yet been commissioned, there is a bank of check-in kiosks opposite the counters. These are immediately to your right as you enter the departure lounge.

Phnom Penh International Airport
Self check-in kiosks have been installed, though yet to be enabled.

Getting to and from Phnom Penh International Airport

You can get to and from the airport by taxi or three wheeled vehicle (tuk-tuk). A taxi between the airport and most parts of the city will cost you from USD 9, rising to USD 12 and USD 15 if you need to travel outside the main city, or across the river. Pricing may vary within the area depending on distance and traffic.

  • The least expensive transport option to the city seems to be the tuk-tuk, you can buy a ticket at the stand for between 7 and 9 $US. The taxi stand is also nearby.

A new rail service planned to connect the airport with the main station in Phnom Penh seems to have quietly died, as infrastructure is needing replacement. The stop for the airport service would be on the Sihanoukville line. There is also no formal bus service within Phnom Penh.

We caught a tuk-tuk the first time we visited, negotiating the price with the driver, with pricing starting from USD 7. If you want to make a detour on the way to your destination, be prepared to negotiate upwards, especially if it will make the journey longer.

Only use the services which are waiting at the designated pick-up areas and make your prepayment at the counters. The drivers will have uniforms and their Registration details will be displayed. If you are able to communicate with the driver in a common language, it may be useful to get his number so you can use his services later to get around the city and later return to the airport.

To get back to the airport, you will pay a premium if you book through your accommodation. Taxis and tuk-tuks normally wait near hotels and hostels.There is a large transport hub for cars / taxis / long distance buses at the New Market, the large yellow market in the city.

There is no train services to the airport, and there is no public bus system.

Services and facilities

Plaza Premium Lounges have airside lounge facilities in Phnom Penh International Airport offering lounge and shower facilities. You can find them in the Mezzanine Floor, International Departure.

Duty Free Shops

You have plenty of choice of Duty Free stores in this airport. There’s a wide choice of international goods, as well as local handicrafts, food and souvenirs. The local products are more expensive than those in shops downtown, but there’s a good range of high quality items – check out the Artisans of Angkor, high quality, beautifully made items, mainly silk.

Where to eat?

We weren’t really looking for food on arrival, as we were more focused on getting transport and phones connected. You’ll find stalls selling SIM cards, right outside the exit from the Customs Hall. You do also have a number of food choices in the same area, as well as the Dining Gallery, just beside the taxi queues. The Dining Gallery can be accessed from both the Arrival and Departure areas. We found the choice to be fair, with prices in line with other airports.

Here are some useful practical tips to get the best out of your visit to Cambodia. You can also get more information from the Airport website.

Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)

images © LL

# Airport Guide, Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Airport
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