Backpacking Cambodia in 5 days under $550

Taken at Bayon Temples, by the Mastermind, Sadad

Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.

Timothy Ferriss

“Who goes to Cambodia?” the immigration officer sarcastically asked us at DAC airport on the night of 10th April, even before started our journey. With equal parts adrenaline and serotonin running through our veins, we were about to embark on an offbeat trip through 4 cities in 5 days.

Travel Itineraries

Below you’ll see more-or-less our itinerary. With a less fancy meal or a better deal on air tickets, doing this under $550 should be possible.

GENERAL TIPS

  1. Every business accepts (read prefers) US Dollars here. Don’t change more than $50 to Riel, for the occasional small shops that can’t provide change.
  2. Overnight buses help save time and money — Backed by science, time goes faster when you’re traveling. Take overnight buses to travel between cities to save time and also accommodation costs for the night.
  3. Hostels > Hotels — Hostels are, more than a bed and shower access to a community of travelers, services and local information. It also costs a lot less. Whenever you have the chance, choose the former, not the latter.
  4. Carry towels, body wash, shampoo, and all other amenities — when you’re staying at hostels, be prepared to have nothing provided.
  5. It’s incredibly hot — Pack light clothes and take sunscreen. Drink lots of water.
  6. If at any point, someone is rude to you — don’t react. Generally speaking, while people at Phenom Penh and Siem Reap are generally friendly — folks on Sihanoukville don’t show as much mannerism.

Places to Visit

All of these places are quite scenic. Not having the luxury of time right now, I’ll refrain from posting my own photos from these places.

PHNOM PENH

  1. Royal Palace + Royal Palace Park
  2. Central Market
  3. Night Market

SIEM REAP

  • Bayon Temple + Angkor Wat + Leper King Palace
  • Floating Village: We didn’t make time to do this but it came highly recommended.
  • Water Falls

KOH RONG

  • Chilling by the beach
  • Kayaking
  • Party it up

SIHANOUKVILLE

  • Casinos — if you’re into that. We didn’t make time for it.

Where to Stay

SIEM REAP

  • Consider getting a Tent by the beach.
  • Tents are $25 per night

SIHANOUKVILLE

  • Onederz: Again, decent atmosphere, amenities, and rooms.
  • Alternatively, you could try The Big Easy: Also, a chill place.

Apps / Websites to use

  • Google Maps
  • TripAdvisor

Founding team / VP of Product @ Pathao (pathao.com); Global Shaper @ World Economic Forum. (ahmedfahad.com)

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