Publisher Profile
Cambodia

backpacking cambodia travel itinerary banner

“No Money, No Honey”

Backpacking Cambodia remains as one of our favorite countries in Southeast Asia. There is much more attraction than just visiting the ruins of Angkor Wat. To get to Cambodia, we took a 6 hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh.

Although the border crossing was incredibly sketchy, we made it to Cambodia, with our passports stamped and visas passed! Phew! (we were a little worried there…) All visas and stamps were processed at the border, organized through the bus company, with no problem.

We finally arrived in Phnom Penh where we took a few days to learn about the hard-hitting history of Cambodia at some famous museums. We then headed down south for a few days to the relaxing Otres Beach, where the beaches were beautiful and the pizza was tasty…boy, did we missed cheese in Southeast Asia! Mind you, happy hour beers in Otres are $0.50…uhh, we’ll take it with a side of sunrise along the beach!!

We decided to take our party time to the island of Koh Rong instead of Sihanoukville for two days and saw some of the most impressive beaches. A hike through the forest to Long Beach was one of the coolest things we’ve done. Plus, we got to watch the semi finals world cup on the beach with a $5 BBQ and beer!

We ended our Cambodian adventure with the early sunrise at the famed Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.

The thing is, in Cambodia you get everything—the beach, the history, the marine life, the nature, the delicious food, the unbelievable temples, and a decent nightlife. Cambodia’s got it!

Things To Do:

ONE – Check out the Cambodian History Museums
Learn about the horrific history that happened in Cambodia at the Phnom Penh Killing Fields and at the Tuol Sleng S-21 museum. It is a heart wrenching and a sobering reminder of the horrors this country and these people have gone through, but 100% worth the visit. It gives a new found appreciation on life and the happiness within the Cambodian people. Also, always remember to respect the Cambodian culture (hopefully, you knew that already).

TWO – Party in Sihanoukville
There are a few ways to fill your day here. You can enjoy the beach, get some delicious grilled fish, go nuts for the cheap booze and crazy nightlife, or go to Top Cat and get your own private cinema and #netflixandchill! The nightlife gets a bit wild and with cheap drinks and many travelers, it can be an ideal backpacker party scene!

THREE – Relax on Otres Beach
If you are searching for a less crazy time at a nice Cambodian beach, try Otres Beach (only a 30 minute {$5-10} tuk tuk ride away from Sihanoukville). It is quieter, more relaxing, and the beaches are clean and beautiful.

We had a beachfront bungalow for $12 all together, probably because it was low season, but still, $12 for a beachfront! We also had the best pizza while we stayed there at Papa Pippo’s! mmm….cheese.

FOUR – Explore the island of Koh Rong
Koh Rong is definitely a place to see! It is a small island with a few hostels, white sand beaches and some great vibes. You meet crazy cool people, eat some delicious food ($5 BBQ and a beer at Island Boys!) snorkel, hike, and chill out at some amazing beaches!

Make sure you do the hike to Long Beach. Long Beach is just a stretch of beautiful white beach that goes for miles (7 miles on one side and 11 on the other to be exact)! It is pretty secluded and really relaxing. Also, make sure you wear coconut oil to avoid sand flies (we didn’t and were massacred by these jerk bugs!!)

FIVE – Visit the UNESCO Heritage Site of Angkor Wat
This one is pretty obvious, but you have to see Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. There are 1 day, 3 day and 5 day passes so you can really spend a good amount of time at the temples.

You must visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Laura Kroft, anyone?), Bayon, and Ta Prohm–those were our favorites. We did the one-day pass for $20 and woke up at 4:30 am to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat! Even though we got an eyesore of clouds and no sunrise, it was still so worth it!

SIX – Eat some creepy crawlies
Chow down on some creepy crawlers on Pub Street. We tried some BBQ grasshopper and they weren’t too bad! Pub Street has a bunch of restaurants, bars, and night markets so there is always something exciting going on.

What to Eat:

Khmer food is influenced by most of its surrounding countries. It is a mix of Thai, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and surprisingly, France. Khmer food is full of spices, coconut milk, yummy fish and rice. Rice is used in most Cambodian meals as it is a main staple food (like in most Southeast Asian countries).

We found curries to be super prevalent in Cambodia, especially red beef curry. And what makes it the best is that they serve a baguette on the side to dip into the curry… or even to make the curry into a sandwich! Take your pick! Either way, it is sooo yum! Also, you have to try Chicken Amok, which is a creamy coconut based curry, they come served in an actual coconut!

Most people eat the fish amok, but we were a bit nervous eating from the Mekong river. That river is manky, but again, it is all about your preferences. For something more on the lighter side, you can get Naem, also known as fresh spring rolls. We usually got chicken spring rolls and they were awesome!

Ok, so this is where eating gets fun. In Cambodia, you can find deep fried tarantulas, BBQ crickets, rats on a stick, some snake soup, and other creepy crawlies. We had the privilege to try the crickets and spider and honestly, they tasted quite nice! We just had to pick out the parts that creeped us out like wings and legs (plus, they get awkwardly stuck in your teeth). And hey, when in Cambodia, try crazy things!

Please be aware that the water and ice in Cambodia isn’t 100% safe to drink. Watch for vegetables and fruits as they should be washed with purified water or peeled when possible. Also, we had a few friends get sick from ice cream because sometimes they might have been frozen, melted and refrozen, therefore growing more bacteria in it. So, be careful! :/ Try sticking to bottled water!

Where to Stay:

Our favorite place was Jungle Beach Bungalows in Otres Beach in Cambodia. It was an ocean front bungalow, just meters away from the beach. The beds were super comfortable, there was a fan in the room, and best of all, we had the sound of the ocean to put us to sleep.

We paid $12… that is $6 each per person for a beach front! Unreal, right? Right next door was the best pizza place in all of Asia, Papa Pippa’s Pizza place, and further down the road, there is an awesome tree house with great 50 cents happy hour, perfect for a nice beer during sunset.

Visa:

Most nationalities, except Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam need a visa to enter Cambodia. Visas are available upon arrival at the airports and at the international border crossings with Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Or you can take the easy way out and get this company to organize it all for your!

Most visitors to Cambodia require a one-month tourist visa, which costs $25. Bring a passport photo because sometimes they require one (also with an additional $1 stamp fee). We organized our visa through the border crossing on our bus from Ho Chi Minh into Phnom Penh. Pretty simple!

Visited:

Mid June

Weather:

We went in mid June. It rained mostly at night but during the day it was hot and cloudy. Lucky for us, we just missed the massive storm that hit the Cambodian beaches. Check out the monthly temperatures here!

Always check the weather a few days before you go as it can be very unpredictable! We ran into a few travellers that were stuck on Koh Rong due to the storm, unable to leave and explore more of Cambodia! :(

Cambodia Trip Photos

Cambodia Rating

Overall Rating
Sightseeing
Partying
Relaxing
Value for Money

Please Share

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Southeast Asia Attraction Checklist Book

Do YOU Want Free Travel Guides, Deals & Funny Stories?

Join us on our adventure to travel the world!

We have been to a ton of countries, experianced some good and some bad times but that's what it's all about.

Sign up and join our adventure while reciing awesome travel related stuff (deals, gear, stories, free guides etc).

Look for us in your inbox!