The Cambodian government has announced plans to change the airport departure tax system. From April 1st 2011, departure tax will now be included in all ticket prices. This is a welcome move and should facilitate smoother travel. I have seen numerous chaotic scenes at the airport in Phnom Penh with travellers forgetting about the 25 us dollars that the government collects between checking-in and heading to the departure gate. It’s quite common for people to have spent their remaining sheckles on some of the many goodies on offer in the capital before heading to the airport. The move means many will be spared the irritation and time consumed in queueing and the charges levied by having to use atm machines or credit cards to pay a fee which would be so much more simple were it included in the ticket price.
Tom Armstrong is one of the founding members of Asia specialist travel company Experience Travel Group, having first fallen in love with Sri Lanka in 1999. He was in the country at the time of the 2004 tsunami, which prompted him to found the Aid Sri Lanka Foundation. His other ventures have included lettuce-farming, beanbag-weaving and setting up The Mudhouse, an eco-resort in the Sri Lankan jungle. These days, he looks after our in-country experience, sourcing partners and trying all new product (i.e. visiting new hotels and sampling new experiences - it's a hard life). Tom is based in Sri Lanka and Thailand, but he is notorious for never staying in one place. Don't even try to keep up with where he is!