Cambodia is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia that unfortunately has a bloody history. During the Vietnam War, the country was heavily bombed and from 1975 the Khmer Rouge army, led by Pol Pot, had a reign of terror. A quarter of the Cambodian population was killed during this period. Fortunately, this past is now behind us and the economy of Cambodia is recovering. In the capital Phnom Penh you will find most of the horrific history, including the famous Killing fields.
But it is not only that history that you find when you travel through Cambodia. Tourists visit the country in particular for the famous Angkor temples that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Despite the history, Phnom Penh is a beautiful city to spend a couple of nights and discover all the interesting sights it has to offer. The atmosphere feels pleasant and the people are really friendly.
About three kilometers north of Siem Reap are the temples of Angkor, the largest temple complex in the world. It is definitely one of the highlights of Cambodia and even of all of Asia.
The corpses of the people killed in the S21 prison ended up on the famous Killing Fields. Inside the monument you’ll find around 8000 skulls of people who were killed by the regime. Not a fun place, but one that you must see to really understand the history of this country.
Places I’ve been
- Angkor Temple complex
- Choeung Ek
- Phnom Penh
- Siem Reap
Best travel months
Cambodia can be visited year-round as long as you know the climate of its different regions so you can plan your trip accordingly.
- From November until the end of April is the best time to visit Cambodia;
- December until February, it’s high season so there will be more tourists;
- November, March and April are ideal travel months to avoid mass crowds;
- From the end of June, the rainy season starts slowly, but till August you can travel well.
As with most countries, how expensive your trip is going to be is entirely dependent on your preferences. Below you can find average prices for accommodation, food & drinks and some activitities.
Based on the expenses of other visitors on average prices, I believe that you can budget around €30 per day on your vacation (includes accommodation, food, transportation and fees for tourist attraction).
- Hostel (€5-10)
- Mid-range hotel (€15-25)
- Luxury hotel (€50-100)
Or, you can try Airbnb; a popular choice for many travelers, including myself. Use this link to get a discount of €34 on your first trip.
Tip! Find here your best deals on hotels in Phnom Penh.
Food & Drinks
- Simple breakfast (€1) – breakfast is usually included at your hotel.
- Meal inexpensive restaurant (€4)
- Meal for 2 persons, mid-range restaurant (€15)
- Street food (€2)
- Domestic Beer (€1)
- Bottle of water (€0,40)
- Coconut (€0,75)
Tip! In Siem Reap, I recommend to visit the local market ‘Pho Langka’. Here you can have an authentic Khmer sandwiches for less than €1.
- Tuk-tuk (€2 for 10 minutes)
- All day tuk-tuk to visit the temples around Angkor (€15)
- Museum entry (€2)
- Cooking Class (€20)
- Tours (€15-25)
- Jungle Trekking (€30)
Tip! Tuk-tuks are the most popular transport option within the city in Cambodia. You can hire them for the whole day or just to make a quick ride to the next sight.
Rent a tuk-tuk for a few days and visit as many temples as possible.
In addition to Choeung EK, also visit the S21 prison (Tuol Sleng).
Visit the royal palace in Phnom Penh around closing time. Quiet and beautiful light from the sun.
There are many bars, pubs, night clubs and restaurants. Ideal place for backpackers.