Welcome to Cambodia
Cambodia is a country of ancient civilizations nestled beside the bustle of modern cities. With a rich history, beautiful landscapes, stunning islands, and the world’s most incredible temples, Cambodia offers an auspicious and authentic travel experience.
Few countries have a more tumultuous history than Cambodia. From the most powerful empire in southeast Asia to collateral damage in the Vietnam war. Cambodia is a country marred by the wounds of a mass genocide less than fifty years ago. To this day, the country is fighting to recover.
Cambodia has grown as a tourist destination in recent years, yet it remains a hidden gem. Our travel guide will provide all the travel tips and advice you need to get the most out of this underrated travel destination.
Cambodia Travel Guides
Have an unforgettable trip to Cambodia with our comprehensive travel guides. Find out the best places to visit in Cambodia and the best things to do so you don’t miss anything.
24 BEST Things to Do in Siem Reap – Ultimate 2023 Guide
23 BEST Things to Do in Phnom Penh – Ultimate 2023 Guide
Things to Do in Cambodia
1. Explore Angkor Wat & Siem Reap
Cambodia has plenty of amazing things going for it, but Angkor Wat is truly one of a kind. This immense temple complex was once the heart of the mighty Khmer empire, once rulers of most of southeast Asia.
Angkor Wat itself is a fully restored temple (rebuilt one brick at a time) surrounded by a moat. Stepping into the temple is like going back in time. It’s easy to spend hours exploring the grounds of Angkor Wat, imagining what it was like hundreds of years ago.
Due to extensive reconstruction, Angkor Wat is the most pristine temple in the grounds, but there are numerous others worth visiting. If you can set aside at least 3 days you can rush through most of the temples worth visiting, including Bayon, Ta Prohm, and more.
Remember to take your time and read about the history of each temple you visit, or hire a local guide to teach you.
Although Angkor Wat is at the top of our list of things to do in Siem Reap, there’s so much more to do here. Make sure to explore the rest of Siem Reap, including the markets and some of the other temples in the area.
2. Visit Killing Fields & S21 Prison
Cambodia has one of the darkest history’s of any present day country. It’s even harder to believe that so many people around the world have never even heard of Pol Pot or the Khmer Rouge.
When you visit Cambodia, we feel it is important to take some time to learn about the country and it’s pivotal history. The Killing Fields and S21 Prison are the closest you can get to seeing what it was like for the country during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.
Walking through these places can be difficult. Grab an audio guide to get the most out of the experience and take breaks often.
3. Try Khmer Cuisine
I’m sure you can order Chinese, Italian, or even Vietnamese food back home, but can you order Khmer takeout?
The food in Cambodia is surprisingly unique and delicious – and not in some weird mice and tarantula kind of way.
Your trip to Cambodia isn’t complete until you’ve tried lok lak, amok, noodle soup, and Cambodian sausage.
4. Experience Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. Of course, you have to visit both S21 Prison and the Killing Fields, but Phnom Penh is in fact more than this.
There are amazing places to eat, extensive markets, the lux Royal Palace, temples, and some decent photography spots.
All this considered, one of our favourite things to do in Phnom Penh is sampling the street food. Whether it’s getting up for a bowl of noodle soup at a street side stall, or collecting little bags of pork, sausages, spring rolls, and more for a buffet dinner, Phnom Penh’s street food scene is lively and authentic.
5. Relax in Sihanoukville & Koh Rong
People always visit Cambodia for its history. After learning all about the Cambodian genocide, I’m sure you need some R&R to start feeling better about yourself.
Reach Sihanoukville via a bumpy 5-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh. The town itself is clearly over touristed. Casinos and resorts have popped up all over, but you’re not here for Sihanoukville.
Koh Rong (and it’s neighbour Koh Rong Sanloem) are found just North of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc and across the Gulf of Thailand from Koh Samui. As you can imagine, it’s a tropical paradise.
Cambodia Travel Tips
Things to know before travelling to Cambodia, from the currency to the language and visa requirements.
Currency: United States Dollar & Cambodian Riel. Take only clean/crisp USD banknotes with you as damaged notes will not be accepted. Cambodian Riel cannot be exchanged outside Cambodia.
Electricity Socket: 220V AC electricity, plug type A, C, G
Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 16.25 million
Cambodia Visa: Cambodia uses an easy visa on arrival system for most visitors. This should cost $30 USD for one month, but it is not uncommon for officials to charge more, especially at land border crossings. Visas can be extended.
Safety: Cambodia is a reasonably safe destination. As with anywhere, exercise caution when alone or out at night. Petty crime is common in tourist areas like Siem Reap.
Spoken Language: The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, spoken by roughly 90% of Cambodians. Basic English is commonly spoken by those in the tourism industry.
Religion: 98% of Cambodians follow Buddhism
Banks & ATMs: There are many banks in Cambodia, with ATMs common in all cities and tourist destinations. ATMs in Cambodia dispense USD. ATM fees are usually around $5 USD and the maximum withdrawal is $500 USD. You can use a Transferwise Mastercard to minimize your withdrawal, exchange and payment fees when travelling.
Sim Cards: Sim cards in Cambodia are cheap and offer high data limits. We’ve found the connectivity to be good in tourist areas, usually better than hotel or restaurant wifi. AIS is the best sim card brand.
Water: Tap water in Cambodia is not safe to drink. Try to refill bottles at your hotel or accommodation if they provide drinkable water. Otherwise, water can be purchased everywhere for under $1 USD per 1.5l bottle.