Cambodia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Cambodia in 2023
Welcome to Cambodia
Cambodia is a country that has been on the radar of many travelers for decades, but it’s only recently that more and more people are beginning to discover its charms. The country is known as ‘the land of smiles, and this is largely due to its friendly locals who welcome visitors with open arms. It’s also one of Asia’s most affordable destinations, making it an ideal place to travel around Southeast Asia.
The capital city of Phnom Penh is home to some of the best-preserved examples of French colonial architecture in SouthEast Asia. This includes the Royal Palace, which was built between 1866 and 1893 by King Norodom Sihanouk.
Here you will find the ultimate Cambodia travel guide.
Document checklist for Cambodia
Valid passport (for 3 months beyond length of stay)
Return airline ticket
Essential Cambodia travel information
Currency - Official currency is the Riel (KHR). USD 1 is equivalent to approx KHR 4133,36.
Daily budget for 1 person - The daily budget for one person is around KHR 201,847 (USD 50).
Languages - The official language is Khmer.
Socket type - Cambodia has three associated plug types, A, C, and G. Cambodia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - Indochina Time, Cambodia (GMT+7)
Top 3 cities to visit - Phnom Penh, Koh Rong and Kratie.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - The Royal Palace, Angkor Wat, and, Bayon Temple.
Visa information for Cambodia
The Cambodia e-visa allows one to enter Cambodia for up to three months without needing to issue a visa at Cambodian airports or consulates abroad.
Cambodia e-Visa explained
The Cambodia e-visa is an official document that authorizes travel to and from Cambodia for any traveler who is required to apply for this document. It is valid for 90 days after issued, and the maximum stay in Cambodia is 30 days in Total.
Most nationalities will need an e-visa to enter Cambodia unless you arrive from a visa-exempt country. We invite you to see if you need this document by using our Visa Checker Tool
Typical costs and budget for Cambodia
Here we will give you an idea of the budget you need to consider for your trip to Cambodia.
Daily spending per person - You will spend around KHR 201,847 (USD 50).
Meals - Meals cost about KHR 50,997 (USD 13).
Transport - Local transportation around KHR24,295 (USD 5.98).
Hotel - For one person, the hotel room is KHR 73,508 (USD 17,78) and KHR 147,016 (USD 35,57).
A Cambodia trip for one week usually costs around KHR 1,412,930 (USD 341,84) for one person. Consequently, a two-person trip to Cambodia costs around KHR 2,825,859 (USD 683,67) for one week. A two-week trip for two people costs KHR 5,651,719 (USD 1367,34) in Cambodia.
Transport and ways to travel around Cambodia
Cambodia has recently improved its roads to make getting around much more accessible. Here we will tell you the most used means of transport to travel short and long distances, so prepare and choose the one that is best for your needs.
When choosing your means of transport, you must have in mind the rainy season and wet season that causes the roads to be more difficult for transportation.
Buses and minivans are the most popular form of transport, connecting the main towns, cities, and resorts. Renting a private car with a driver or an English-speaking guide is a much easier option. You can also rent a motorcycle to explore Cambodia differently.
Air travel- The best option if you want to avoid the roads of Cambodia are the country’s three airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, that are well connected. You can find cheap tickets; just schedule your trip well in advance.
Boat- The most used boats by travelers are the speedboats from Sihanoukville and other coastal cities to the South Islands, which go to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem. The sunset cruises on the Mekong River in Phnom Penh are a unique experience you should consider if you like romantic evenings.
Tuk tuk- They are the most widely used local short-distance transport, an incredible way to get to know the surroundings, to have fun and try something completely different. Tuk tuks will take you up close to exploring local life.
Bicycle- If you like to ride a bike, you can explore the nearby places, including having a bike tour through memorable places while learning about historical sites.
Safety in Cambodia
Cambodia is a safe country for travelers. However, you must take care of yourself and take the necessary precautions when you are traveling, such as taking care of your belongings and valuables. Never carry all of your money in your pocket or purse; the riskiest places are the busiest places, like markets, public transport, etc.
If you are a woman, you should travel accompanied and avoid using tuk-tuks at night alone. In addition to taking general precautionary measures.
Here are some Cambodia travel tips:
Have travel insurance with you.
If you’re traveling near the border with Thailand, be careful when traveling in those areas. Cambodia and Thailand have clashed in the past, and the tension can still exist.
Avoid driving or traveling at night because the rates of car accidents are high for irresponsible drivers.
We hope these Cambodia travel tips help you in your journey!
Weather in Cambodia
There are two distinct seasons: dry (October to the end of April) and wet (May to the end of September). Each season has variations in temperature, with the last dry months before the wet season (March and April) and the first months of the wet season (May and June) being generally the hottest of the year, with temperatures above 35°C at times.
Humidity is at its highest during March and April, while the coldest months of the year tend to be between October and December. However, this is cool for Cambodia but far from cold, with average temperatures oscillating around 24°C-26°C.
The prices can be higher in the high season, but if you travel in the low season, you can find reasonable deals to travel.
Popular cities and towns in Cambodia
These are the major cities and towns you need to explore during your visit to Cambodia.
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia, which has a perfect balance between the new and the old vibes. You can visit the Royal Palace, walk along the Sisowath pier that runs through the Mekong, place markets, and picnic. On the outskirts of Phon, Penh is located in the genocide camps, where horrors were lived by the people of Cambodia. You can learn more about this face of the country’s history, a reminder that atrocities cannot be committed again and that the value of human rights must always prevail.
Koh Rong is an island paradise located in the waters of the Gulf of Thailand with the South China Sea, making it a tropical place. It has rustic bungalows you will find on the coast while you take a walk. You will also have the opportunity to dive into its beautiful water.
Kratie is a small town that attracts visitors for its local life. You can take a boat through the Mekong River to reach this charming city. You can see the Irrawaddy dolphins in this part of the river. Don’t forget to make this beautiful city part of your plans.
Battambangwas a trading center in the 18th century and is the second most populous city in Cambodia. Battambang later became a part of French Indochina, so it retains some colonial buildings you can see. This city has many Angkor-style temples and Buddhist shrines; you can rent a bike and explore every corner without haste. Don’t forget to try Cambodian food in this city.
Siem Reap It is a vibrant and fun city where you will find the famous spectacular temples of Angkor. You can give a pass using tuk tuk through the center of the town, so you can observe the French-style houses and Chinese shops, in addition to having Angkor Wat in the jungle, a UNESCO world heritage site that seems out of a fairytale.
Must do and see in Cambodia
Cambodia is a magical place to travel, so here are the top 5 of the best things to explore on your adventure in tourist hotspots.
The Royal Palace- It is one of the important places in Cambodia. The Throne Hall is one of the most impressive buildings in the capital of this country. It's Khmer, and French colonial style steals all the attention.
Angkor Wat- It is an ancient temple and is recognized as the largest and most magnificent temple of all the temples; it is also the largest religious monument in the world. It is the main tourist attraction of Cambodia. It was built in the first half of the 12th century by Khmer King Suryavarman II. The temple symbolizes Mount Meru, the home of the devas in Hindu mythology. Angkor Wat will make you feel at peace!
Bayon Temple-It has over 200 stone faces facing all directions, with something special; they are smiling. They were built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as part of a massive expansion of its capital Angkor Thom. Many consider it a portrait of the king himself.
Beng Mealea-A place where you will feel like you are in an adventure movie, thanks to its incredible vegetation surrounding this temple. You can explore and appreciate the Hindu and Buddhist complexes. In addition, you can reach the temple by Koh Ker, a lost city located 130 km from Siem Reap.
Preah Vihear- It is one of the main temples, located on a cliff of 525 meters (1,722 feet) in the Dângrêk mountains between Cambodia and Thailand; it was built in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is an essential building of the empire Kmer's spiritual life and has a unique architectural grandeur. You can explore this place in a day trip!
Typical Cambodian food to try
Explore the unique flavors of the Cambodian cuisine
Nom Banh Chok- It is a dish of noodles that can be eaten for breakfast or a snack. These fermented rice noodles are crafted in a stone or wood mill, have lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and coconut milk, and are complemented with raw vegetables such as cucumbers and fresh herbs such as mint and basil, among others.
Kuy teav (noodle soup)- This is trendy street food for breakfast; you can get it from street vendors. It is composed of rice noodles and beef or pork bones. Its soup is seasoned with green onion, garlic, and bean sprouts.
Lap Khmer (meat salad)-It is a veal salad made with slices of marinated beef, fish sauce, basil, mint, garlic, peppers, and hot peppers. It is a dish that is eaten as an appetizer.
What do you think? Ready to taste this delicious food? You can even take a short cooking class on Cambodian food in this adventure.
Vaccine information for Cambodia
Here you can find all the information about the Covid vaccine and other requirements you need as travel insurance for Cambodia; just click on the CDC website.
Fun facts about Cambodia
The only flag in the world with a building as a symbol. Cambodia is the only country in the world with a building on its flag, and it is the presentation of Angkor Wat, which symbolizes justice, integrity and heritage.
People from Cambodia don’t celebrate birthdays. Traditionally birthdays are not celebrated, and much more so in rural areas, so many people do not know their date of birth very well and only recognize the season.
Funerals are a significant event in Cambodia. The average funeral expenses in Cambodia are said to be 9000 USD. Families save their whole lives to cover the costs of the funeral, as this moment is vital.
The dollar is an unofficial currency in Cambodia. Locals accept payment in dollars; even many stores quote their prices in dollars.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure on Earth and one of the most important ancient temples. This architectural complex covers 1,626,000 square meters.
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