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Welcome traveler!

We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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Thank you for visiting and we hope you find value in our destination pages! ​We thoroughly research and curate all content ourselves and everything you find on this site is put together by only the two of us.

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CAMBODIA TRAVEL GUIDE

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia, with Vietnam to the east, Laos to the north, and Thailand to the west of the country. The country has a turbulent and unstable history and still suffers from great poverty today. Overall security has improved immeasurably, and this allows ever-increasing numbers of visitors to safely visit and discover Cambodia's stunning temples and beaches. If you’re planning on visiting Cambodia, be sure to approach your travels with an open mind and an adventurous spirit - Cambodia is a place where things don’t always go according to plan, and the more you’re able to relax and go with the flow, the better your trip will be.

 

We spent a month visiting Cambodia for the first time in December 2019. We still only scratched the surface of Cambodia and flew into Sihanoukville and out of Siem Reap while visiting Kampot, Kep, Phnom Penh, and Battambang along the way. While the bustle of the big cities might be the country’s main attractions, our favourite spots in Cambodia are the smaller towns and villages. From the jungles to the beaches, this country is full of amazing sights just waiting to be explored.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Currency: Cambodian Riel (KHR). Although the Riel is the official currency, the US Dollar is most widely used and is what most ATMs dispense. Despite prices often being indicated in USD in most of the country, expect to likely receive Riel as change during transactions. The conversion rate is pegged to 4000 KHR to 1 USD.

  • Electricity: 230V AC electricity. Power outlets are both flat and small round two-prong sockets (type A and type C) as well as flat three-pronged (type G). Be sure to carry a universal travel adaptor so you can still use all your electronic devices. If you are from a country with 110V as a standard be aware that you will need a voltage converter.

  • Visa: Traveling to Cambodia is easy; Cambodia grants a paid e-Visa entry to passport holders of most countries valid for a single stay of up to 30 days. Be sure to check online for the latest visa requirements and be VERY CAREFUL when applying for the online e-Visa as there are NUMEROUS fraudulent websites out there! At best, these are just online travel agencies that charge you more to obtain the same visa for you; at worst, you may end up with a fake e-Visa or nothing at all. You can also obtain your visa upon arrival at most ports of entry. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your entry and that you have an available completely blank page in your passport. You will also need to bring a passport-sized photo with you. Also, note that you may need to hold a valid ticket for either a return journey to your country of origin or your next country of destination. For those planning on extending their visa once in Cambodia, make sure to apply for the correct visa from the start as the Ordinary Visa can only be extended once for a total maximum stay of 60 days and this is not the simplest process. The latest entry requirements and e-Visa application process are available here. https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

  • Safety: Cambodia is a safe and friendly country with the usual exception of large cities, particularly Phnom Penh, late at night. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching (even from scooters) is a common issue, especially in public crowded places like bus and train stations, so keep your belongings close. One thing to be very aware of if you are renting a motorcycle is to rather purchase and use your own lock for securing it as it is fairly common for rental companies to use their copy of the key to steal bikes and leave the traveller paying the exceptionally high value estimation. Once again, this is most prevalent in Phnom Penh. In general, the violent crime rate is amazingly low, especially toward foreign visitors. Depending on where you will be travelling, consider the necessary precautions against malaria and dengue fever, in particular by using a trusted DEET mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites. Avoid wandering off in rural areas such as forests and rice paddies without a guide. While not common, it is possible to stumble upon unexploded mines. In most of the places you’ll be visiting, this won’t be an issue, but just take heed from the locals and don’t go wandering off in the jungle alone. Whatever you do, don’t travel without travel insurance! We would suggest checking out World Nomads or SafetyWing, for travel insurance as they have the best coverage for active travellers.

  • Language: The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, which is not a tonal language. There is no universal system of Latinized transcription for Khmer characters, so don't be surprised if you see three different spellings for the same word. Most Cambodian youths study English in school and maybe eager to practice their few English phrases with any foreigner they see, though few outside of major cities can actually use the language to communicate.

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POSTS ON CAMBODIA

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

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FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

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MAY

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JUNE

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JULY

HOT

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AUGUST

HOT

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT CAMBODIA

Cambodia is hot and sticky throughout the year, with the peak visitor season from November to April, when the weather is fairly dry and temperatures are at their coolest (25-30°C). This means that the temples are packed, especially around the end of year holidays and accommodation prices are also at their highest. March to May are the hottest months, with temperatures easily reaching 40°C. The rainy season is from May to October when some roads leading to the temples can turn into muddy messes. The advantage of braving the wet season is that the temples are at their quietest, and it's still often possible to do a half-day of sightseeing before the afternoon rains start.

BEST TIME FOR:

Cambodia's beaches are best visited from October to May, with April and May being particularly hot and October and May still having a few rain downpours. The beach scene in Cambodia is changing rapidly, so do a little homework before deciding on which beach to head to.

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CAMBODIA TRAVEL COSTS

Travel in Cambodia is pretty affordable which explains why it is a popular destination along most backpackers' routes through Southeast Asia. If you’re happy sleeping in a hostel and eating street food, you can easily get by on as little as $15-25 a day. If you want to stay in slightly nicer accommodation (simple double en-suite style) but are happy to eat local food, up your budget to $35-50 per day and if you prefer to splurge on fancy digs or a few gourmet meals, you might want to up your budget to $100.

Note that ATM withdrawals are generally limited to 1000 USD. Try to get smaller notes if possible as 100 and 50 USD bills may be difficult to use in general as most smaller shops will not have change.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR CAMBODIA

TRANSPORT

Getting around Cambodia is simplest done by bus. Three are fairly good quality roads linking most major cities, although the traffic and general lawlessness on the roads can be horrendous. You can also find a few internal flight options which may be safer but will take equally as long at a far greater cost. Skyscanner.com or Kiwi.com are handy tools for finding great flight deals.

 

You will need to take a boat to reach the southern islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem. There are only limited rail routes remaining and the famous Bamboo Train near Battambang is now for tourist purposes only. Bus accidents are common and often fatal, so be sure to rather spend a little more for a bus ticket from a more reputable agency.

 

We recommend using BookAway or 12Go to view bus and boat schedules ahead of time as these are often sold out well in advance, particularly in the busier seasons.



REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF CAMBODIA

Most people visiting Cambodia are there to see some of the many temples and beaches that Cambodia has to offer. Out of respect, both men and women should make sure to cover their shoulders and knees when entering temples.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CAMBODIA

Visit Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap

Angkor Archaeological Park, just 6km south of Siem Reap, is so much more than just the famous Angkor Wat. The most famous temples are indeed Angkor Wat (the largest religious monument in the world) and the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom. The temple and surrounding complex engulfs over 400 sq km and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. Angkor was once the heart of the Khmer civilization, and the temple is now perhaps the best remaining representation of Khmer art and culture. Whether you’re interested in history and archaeology, or just like taking in the incredible views at sunrise, Angkor Wat is a must-see. There's also much more to Siem Reap than just temples, so don't fear the inevitable temple burn-out!

Watch our VIDEOS on visiting Angkor Wat:

Angkor Wat Small Circuit

Angkor Wat Temple, Srah Srang Baray, Banteay Kdei Temple, Ta Prohm Temple, Ta Keo Temple, Bayon Temple, Baphuon Temple, Phnom Bakheng Temple, Pub Street, Siem Reap.

Angkor Wat Grand Circuit

Preah Khan Temple, Banteay Prei Temple, Neak Poan Temple, Ta Som Temple, Eastern Mebon Temple, Pre Rup Temple.

 

As independent travellers, we usually prefer to go at activities ourselves and although you can most definitely just wander around on your own at Angkor Wat, it definitely makes a difference when you have a guide giving you some relevant background information about each temple - which is why in this case we strongly recommend going on a day tour.

  • Angkor Wat Sunrise Day Tour With a small group tour (max 10 people) this tour will take you to experience the legendary Angkor Wat sunrise as well as taking you around the other famous temples like Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom City, and Bayon Temple.
  • Full-day Angkor Wat Private Tour Perfect if you prefer to explore on your own, this private tour will give you the freedom to sightsee and explore at your own pace. The guide will be there to explain historical temples and to take you to the best spots around the Park. Being a sunrise tour, this offers a great chance of seeing the park "come to life" as visitors flood in.
  • Angkor Temples Siem Reap Bike Tour For something a bit more active, opt for a bike tour around the Park. As you are travelling by bike, your guide will be able to take you through some lesser-known temples which make the entire experience super memorable.
  • Angkor Wat Two Day Private Tour Two days of exploring the Park is an absolute minimum as you can see and everything without ever feeling too rushed.

 

Explore The Capital of Phnom Penh

The capital city of Cambodia is a busy city where, amongst other city attractions, you can visit the Royal Palace, National Museum, and Toul Sleng Museum. While a visit to the historical parts of Phnom Penh like the S21 Prison and the Killing Fields will probably be a harsh reality check and can be painful and depressing, they are absolute musts in your visit to this country. Understanding the history of the country will give you a new sense of comprehension of the true resilience and kindness of the Cambodian people.

 

As with Angkor Wat, you can visit the sites by yourself but by joining a tour you will better understand the scale of what the Cambodian people went through and the extent of their suffering.

  • Private City and Genocide Tours in Phnom Penh This tour includes an English speaking guide that will take you to all the highlights including Wat Phnom, Wat Onnaloam, National Museum, Royal Palace, Diamond Island, Independence Monument,. King's Statues, Genocide Museum, Killing Field and theRussian Market
  • From Phnom Penh: Killing Fields and Prison S21 Tour Learn about the dark days of the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit Prison S21 and the Cheung Ek Killing Fields, where thousands were imprisoned and killed. Getting a private tour allows you to take your time through the sights - recommended if you prefer travelling at your own pace.
  • Relax in Kampot - Kampot is a charming place where you can relax and enjoy the peacefulness of The Kampot River. Kampot is also home to the beautiful and scenic Preah Monivong Bokor National Park which is well worth visiting. Kampot has become increasingly popular with tourists and ex-pats in recent years and it has plenty of restaurants, quaint shops, and riverboat cruises to keep you entertained. It's a great place for a breather during your travels, with time and space to relax.
  • Kep - The original beachside town of Kep is slowly gaining popularity once again as fewer people are attracted to the mass development of Sihanoukville. In addition to beautiful white sand beaches, Kep is also home to Kep National Park.
  • Battambang - While Battambang has become famous for Norry, the Bamboo Train, there is so much more to see in this area. A great way to start is by doing a walking or cycling tour of the city. There are also numerous temples to explore such as Baset Temple, Wat Ek Phnom, Prasat Banan, and Prasat Snung. Located between two mountains, you will find Kamping Puoy lake which is famous for its giant lotus flowers whose fiber is spun and weaved to make a new organic fabric. We also really enjoyed attending the Battambang Circus (Phare Ponleu Selpak) for a fun and affordable night of entertainment!
  • Koh Kong - In addition to white sand beaches for relaxing, Koh Kong also claims to have Southeast Asia’s largest mangrove forest. Or you can explore the Cardamom mountains with jungle trekking and waterfalls.
  • Visit The Islands Of Cambodia - Currently, Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloeum are the only two islands accessible to the public and with any form of development. Koh Rong is the larger of the two islands and is easier to reach from Sihanoukville. It does, however, have a fast-growing backpacker presence and is developing to this ever-growing tourist market. Koh Rong Samloeum is the smaller of the two islands, is just as beautiful, and is currently favoured as the quieter and less developed island getaway.

 

Join a Tour of Cambodia - If you prefer travelling with a group tour, we highly recommend G Adventures. With many years of running tours around Cambodia and the rest of Southeast Asia, they're known to be reputable and reliable. We particularly love this Ultimate Cambodian Adventure as it covers all the highlights. G Adventures has loads of different tour types that cater to all travellers such as well as wellness tours, tours for 18-30-year-olds, and even tours that take you all over Southeast Asia, allowing you to explore a little bit of everything on one trip.

If you prefer travelling in a group and making new friends, check out their website for details of the variety of tours that G Adventures offer, using the filters in the side-bar to match your travel style and -dates to an available option.

WHAT TO EAT IN CAMBODIA

While Cambodian food might not be as well known as neighbouring Thailand’s, it’s a unique cuisine full of vibrant flavours and spices and is a must-try when you’re in the country. We'll briefly describe some of the most popular and common Cambodian dishes below.

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Must-Try Food Of Cambodia

  • Bai Sach Chrouk (pork and rice) - This is one of the simpler dishes and should satisfy even the pickiest eaters out there. Sweet pork is grilled, often marinated first in coconut or garlic, and served over warm rice with a side of pickled cucumbers and radishes and broth. This is a common breakfast item in Cambodia, and you’ll find it on most street stalls throughout the country.
  • Bai Sach Chrouk (pork and rice) - A common breakfast item found in the street stalls of Cambodia, this is one of the simpler dishes that should satisfy even the pickiest eater. Often first marinated with coconut or garlic, sweet pork is grilled and served over warm rice, accompanied with broth, pickled cucumbers and radishes.
  • Fish Amok - While the idea of a “fish mousse” might sound repulsive, this curry dish offers a warm and buttery melt-in-your-mouth taste that perfectly balances local herbs like lemongrass and ginger with just the right amount of spice. This is one of the most popular dishes in Cambodia.
  • Lap Khmer (lime-marinated beef salad) - The thin slices of beef, marinated in lime juice and spaces, that make up Lap Khmer often reminds of ceviche. Sometimes the beef is lightly seared first. Packed with fresh chillies, this is definitely not a dish for those with sensitive palates!
  • Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles) - Noodle soup tends to be most popular for breakfast in Cambodia, contrary to the expectation that it's more suited to lunch or dinner. You can find it at street stalls or from vendors wandering the streets in the early mornings. Rice noodles are combined with a fresh green curry sauce and topped with bean sprouts and other vegetables.
  • Khmer Red Curry - Similar to, but less spicy than Thailand's famed red curries, Khmer Red Curry has a creamy coconut milk base blended with chunks of beef, pork, or chicken and a mix of local herbs and spices. Most often served with bread, you can also it served with rice.

LGBTQ IN CAMBODIA

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WHERE TO STAY IN CAMBODIA

From $5 hostels to $100 hotels, Cambodia has a huge variety of accommodation options. Competition can be fierce and spending a few extra dollars can get you significantly nicer accommodation. While you can find some luxurious stays in the main cities, venturing off into the countryside, you will have to accept very basic accommodation.

When visiting Cambodia for the first time, it's essential to choose the right area or region to stay in to explore the country's rich history, stunning temples, and vibrant culture. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation suggestions for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Siem Reap:

Siem Reap is the gateway to the magnificent Angkor Archaeological Park, home to iconic temples such as Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm, making it an ideal base for exploring Cambodia's ancient wonders and cultural heritage.

  • Budget: Mad Monkey Hostel Siem Reap - Affordable hostel offering dormitory and private rooms, social activities, and a lively atmosphere, located near the city center and Pub Street.

  • Mid-range: Central Suite Residence - A mid-range hotel featuring modern rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Khmer and international cuisine, situated within walking distance of the Old Market and Night Market.

  • Luxury: Angkor Grace Residence & Wellness Resort - A luxurious resort offering elegant rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and a tranquil setting amidst lush gardens near the Angkor temples.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Siem Reap, consider visiting during the offseason (May to October) when prices are lower due to fewer tourists. Additionally, booking accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, can help secure better rates.


Where to stay in Phnom Penh:

Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, offers a blend of history, culture, and urban charm, with attractions such as the Royal Palace, Killing Fields, and vibrant riverside promenade, providing visitors with insights into Cambodia's past and present.

  • Budget: The Local Riverside - Situated along the Tonle Sap River, The Local Riverside provides basic yet comfortable accommodations at budget-friendly prices. The location is excellent for exploring the city on foot.

  • Mid-range: The Pavilion - Set within a beautifully restored colonial building, The Pavilion offers stylish rooms and personalized service. It's located in the heart of Phnom Penh, within walking distance of major attractions like the Royal Palace and National Museum.

  • Luxury: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - A legendary luxury hotel offering colonial-era elegance, opulent rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and a prestigious location near the Royal Palace.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Phnom Penh, consider staying in boutique hotels or guesthouses located in the city center, where you can find charming accommodations at reasonable prices. Additionally, exploring accommodation options in the less touristy areas of Phnom Penh may offer better value for money.


Where to stay in Sihanoukville (Kampong Som):

Sihanoukville is a coastal city known for its white sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and island-hopping opportunities to destinations like Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, offering visitors a relaxing beach getaway with plenty of recreational activities.

  • Budget: Sunset Lounge - Sunset Lounge offers affordable accommodations in a relaxed setting near Otres Beach. The hotel features comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace where guests can enjoy stunning sunset views over the ocean.

  • Mid-range: Independence Hotel Resort & Spa - Located on Independence Beach, this mid-range hotel offers spacious rooms with modern amenities and stunning ocean views. Guests can enjoy access to the hotel's swimming pool, spa, and beachfront restaurant.

  • Luxury: Sokha Beach Resort - A luxurious beachfront resort offering spacious rooms, upscale dining options, a spa, and a private beach, set amidst tropical gardens overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Sihanoukville, consider visiting during the offseason (May to October) when prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists. Additionally, booking directly with hotels or guesthouses and negotiating room rates may result in better deals.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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VISA SERVICES

Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they also provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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