Cambodia

Traveling to Cambodia offers a captivating blend of ancient wonders, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. From the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat to the bustling markets of Phnom Penh, this Southeast Asian gem beckons adventurers with its rich history and warm hospitality.

Whether you’re drawn to explore the iconic landmarks, savor the tantalizing flavors of Khmer cuisine, or immerse yourself in the country’s enchanting traditions, Cambodia promises an unforgettable journey. Discover the top attractions, essential travel tips, and hidden gems that make Cambodia a must-visit destination for intrepid travelers.

Things to see and do in Cambodia

  • Angkor Wat
  • Bayon Temple
  • Ta Prohm
  • Banteay Srei
  • Angkor Thom
  • Royal Palace
  • Cambodia Landmine Museum
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

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Typical costs when traveling

Accommodation – Accommodation in Cambodia is very affordable, with options to suit all budgets. The cost of your accommodation will also vary depending on the location. Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat, is generally the most expensive place to stay in Cambodia, followed by Phnom Penh, the capital. However, you can still find good deals on accommodation in both of these cities if you book in advance or are willing to stay outside the city center. Prices tend to be higher during the peak tourist season (November to March) and maybe higher on weekends and holidays. Hotels with more amenities, such as a pool or spa, will be more expensive.

Food – Cambodia is a paradise for budget-minded foodies! Street food vendors are everywhere in Cambodia, so you’ll never be far from a cheap and tasty bite. Expect to pay around $1-3 USD for a dish like stir-fried noodles, rice with curry, or a delicious soup. Sit-down restaurants with Cambodian cuisine are slightly more expensive than street food, but still very affordable. Western food is available in tourist areas, but it will be more expensive than Cambodian food. Expect to pay around $7-15 USD for a main course. A local beer will cost around $1 USD, while a soft drink will be even cheaper. Bottled water is readily available and costs around $0.50 USD.

Transportation – Cambodia’s transportation scene is known for being easy on the wallet. Here’s a rundown of the typical costs to expect:

  • Local Transport:
    • Tuk-tuks: These iconic three-wheeled vehicles are a fun and affordable way to get around, especially in cities. Expect rides to cost around $1-$3 USD depending on the distance and your bargaining skills. Negotiate the fare before you get in to avoid any surprises.
    • Moto taxis (motorcycles): Even cheaper than tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis can whisk you around for short distances. Fares typically range from $0.50-$2 USD, depending on distance. Always wear a helmet for safety!
    • Cyclos (cyclo-pousse): These traditional pedal-powered rickshaws offer a slower but charming way to explore. They’re best for short trips and cost around $1-$2 USD.
    • Bicycles: Renting a bicycle is a great way to see the sights at your own pace, especially in rural areas. Expect daily rentals to be around $2-$5 USD.
  • Intercity Transport:
    • Buses: Cambodia has a well-developed bus network connecting major cities. Prices vary depending on the distance and bus company but expect to pay around $5-$15 USD for a journey between popular destinations.
    • Taxis: Taxis are more expensive than tuk-tuks but offer a comfortable and air-conditioned ride. Fares are metered, so you shouldn’t need to bargain but always agree on the price before getting in. Intercity taxi rides can range from $20-$50 USD depending on distance.
    • Flights: For longer distances or if you’re short on time, domestic flights are available between major cities like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Prices can vary depending on the airline and season but expect to pay around $50-$150 USD for a one-way ticket.

Do’s and dont’s

Do’s in Cambodia:

  • Respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or a place of worship.
  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas.
  • Try the delicious local cuisine, such as fish amok and Khmer curry.
  • Visit the stunning temples of Angkor Wat and other historical sites.
  • Greet people with a respectful “Choum reap sor” (hello) while placing your palms together (like in a prayer gesture) and a slight bow.

Don’ts in Cambodia:

  • Don’t disrespect the royal family or the national flag.
  • Don’t touch someone’s head, as it is considered the most sacred part of the body.
  • Don’t point your feet at people or religious objects, as feet are considered the lowest part of the body.
  • Don’t engage in public displays of affection, as it is considered inappropriate in Cambodian culture.
  • Don’t take photographs without permission, especially in sensitive or sacred areas.

Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.

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