Cambodia Travel Guide
Cambodia was definitely one of the most interesting and culturally rich countries we have visited in Southeast Asia. While it might be mostly known for Angkor Wat, it’s becoming increasingly popular to travel around the country and also visit its beautiful temples, islands and beaches. The true magic of Cambodia lies outside the bigger cities, so there are definitely many corners left to explore.
Cambodia is very popular among the backpackers discovering Southeast Asia and has gained a lot of popularity of the past few years. Cambodia is bordered to the west and northwest by Thailand, to the northeast by Laos, to the east and southeast by Vietnam, and to the southwest by the Gulf of Thailand. Hence, its location makes it the perfect addition to your South East Asia travels. We visited Cambodia and Vietnam on the same trip, but I’d highly recommend adding Laos to the itinerary as well.
Things to See and Do in Cambodia
- Roam in Angkor Wat
- Phnom Penh
- Pub Street in Siem Reap
- Pepper farms of Kampot
- Attend an Apsara Dance show
- Scuba dive at Koh Tang
- Try unique street food, such as fried insects
Typical Costs When Travelling
Accommodation – You can definitely live on the cheap in Cambodia, as dorm rooms in hostels start at around $4 USD per night. The good thing about cheap accommodation is that you can also stay in a luxury hotel for as little as $40 USD per night. You will find something for any budget, especially if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Siem Reap. You won’t have to break the bank to be comfortable!
Food – Food is very cheap in Cambodia. Local street vendors will charge about $1-2 USD per meal, and mid-range restaurant meals will cost between $3-5 USD. Western meals at nice restaurants will cost you between $5-15 USD per person. A cocktail on Pub Street will cost you $1.5 USD and tap beer $0.50 USD.
Transportation – The only mode of transportation we used were the tuktuks and I can safely say it’s the most convenient mode of transport in Cambodia. The price will depend on your negotiating skills, but expect to pay around $15-20 USD for a full day with a tuktuk driver.
Suggested daily budget
$15-25 USD. This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a mid-range hotel and eat out for moderate prices. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!
1. Bring USD with you Avoid expensive exchange rates and be prepared. Cash is king here and USD is preferred.
2. Bargain Don’t accept any prices from tuk-tuk drivers or the night markets straight away. Bargain for everything that doesn’t come with a fixed price!
3. Don’t shop at hot spots You’ll see plenty of stalls by the hot tourist spots. Don’t buy souvenirs there, go to the market in town instead and get them at a better price.
4. Angkor Wat trick Buy the 1-day pass after 5 pm the day before the real date that you plan to visit. Once you purchased the ticket, you can enter Angkor Wat and visit 1-2 temples while its still bright.
When to visit Cambodia
The best time to visit Cambodia is in its dry season, which is also its peak tourist season, between November and March. There will be large crowds at top attractions like Angkor Wat and hotels raise their rates.
If you’re on a tight budget, plan your trip to Cambodia between and May and October instead. While there will be daily rainstorms, they mostly happen in the late afternoon and don’t last so long. We visited in July and never had any plans disturbed due to rain. However, it was very hot and humid.