Guide To Backpacking Cambodia On A Budget

Cambodia, a captivating country rich in culture, history, and architecture, is a Southeast Asian nation. It’s the perfect place for those planning to go backpacking on a budget. You know why? Because their beers cost 25 cents, a delicious meal for just a couple of bucks, and a bed for a dollar only! Isn’t that great? You might be wondering if backpacking Cambodia is that cheap. Will it even be worth it? The answer is yes! Cambodia is filled to the brim with stunning beaches, breathtaking islands, regal temples, and extraordinary Khmer Food!

From exploring the magnificent temples of Angkor to viewing a rare bat cave phenomenon in Battambang, raving till sunrise in the Jungle of Otres, paddling alongside bioluminescent plankton on Koh Rong Island, backpacking Cambodia is the perfect trip for those on a budget!


Must-visit Places In Cambodia:

1. Angkor Wat (Angkor Archaeological Park)

Rated as one of the world’s must-see ancient sites, it is a vast Buddhist temple complex located in the North of Cambodia. The temple of Angkor is only a small part of the site; the whole area needs three weeks to explore!

If you are short on time, after visiting the Angkor temple, you can see the tree root clasped temple of Ta Prohm, the Bayon Temple famous for its 216 stone-carved faces, Angkor Thom, and Preah Khan. This is a must-visit place when Backpacking Cambodia.

Angkor wat

2. Phnom Penh:

This is Cambodia’s most sophisticated destination, with cafes and restaurants that have no match in the rest of the country. You can visit the National Museum, the Royal Palace, for elegant masterpieces of traditional artistry, and the Tuol Sleng Museum.

backpacking cambodia

3. Sihanoukville Beaches:

Located in the Kompong Som Province, Sihanoukville is a combination of a central district and a shoreline area, consisting of the most vibrant beach resorts.

If you prefer something on the luxurious side, you can visit Sokha Beach and Independence Beach. For backpacker parties, Ochheuteal Beach and Serendipity beaches are famous! For a romantic and peaceful environment, you can opt to visit Otres Beach!


4. Koh Rong Samloem:

This is Cambodia’s version of Phuket and Koh Samui, more of a laid-back tropical bliss with the long, sandy Saracen Bay, consisting of beach hut resorts and scuba diving activities.

backpacking cambodia

5. Ratanakiri

Located in outback Cambodia, this region of extensive red roads and ethnic minority villages is a fearless traveller’s dream.

This is the best place for trekking, from sighting gibbons at Veun Sai Siem Pang Conservation Area to hiking in Virachey National Park, where you can see elephants, tigers, and sun bears.

You can also visit the emerald waters of Yeak Lom Crater Lake and the waterfall diversions of Chaa Ong and KaTieng.

Source: UF online – University of Florida

You can also check out other tourist attractions such as:

  • Battambang
  • Kampot
  • Tonlè Sap Lake
  • Kratie
  • Sambor Prei Kuk

As we’ve discussed the places you could visit, now let’s go onto when the best time to go backpacking in Cambodia is?

According to the weather, the best time to go Backpacking Cambodia is during December and February. However, this is the high season, which means more crowds, higher prices, and expensive airfares. Since we are on a budget, then the best months to travel to Cambodia are March or Early April.

Is it Easy To Visit Cambodia On A Budget?

The low cost of food and accommodation in Cambodia is what makes it a perfect budget trip for backpackers!

Even though Cambodians use the Riel (KHR) currency, US Dollars are the preferred monetary currency, which can cause some people to fool you into paying more.

1 US Dollar= 4,107 RIEL (KHR)

Modes And cost Of Transportation:

  • Motorcycle Taxis: these charge $1 for a 5-10 km ride,
  • Motorcycle tuk-tuks: these cost more than a dollar for short rides,
  • Buses: A 6-10 hours journey can cost $5-6.

Ways To Get Cheap Flights In Cambodia:

Some discount airlines in Cambodia can take you from one place to another in Cambodia, quicker and without costing an arm and a leg!

Cost Of Accommodation:

Most accommodation places deal in Dollars, so make sure to keep them!

There are plenty of options for staying in Siem Reap (the town of the famous Angkor Temples) and the Phnom Penh.

It is recommended to travel with a friend and pay for a double room instead of a dorm room. The charges for that are:

  • Double room for two with a fan: $4-$5 (16,430-20,500KHR)
  • Double room with air conditioner: $6-$8 (24,600-32,900 KHR)
  • Medium Range accommodation: $10-$20 (41,100-81,200 KHR)

To find the best home accommodations, when Backpacking Cambodia you can use Hotels Combined and compare prices.

Cost Of Food:

You will mostly find food expensive near the major tourist attractions. However, if you find out where locals eat, you can easily find cheaper food.

Cambodian cuisine is a delicious concoction of Thai and Vietnamese fusion handsome drool-worthy noodle dishes.

Local market dishes consisting of a plate of rice with another selection of delicious dishes will approximately cost you $1-2.

A single plate of rice with another single dish will cost you $0.75. Cambodian Baguette Sandwiches cost $0.50.

For more nice options at restaurants it will cost around $2-5.

If you do plenty of activities and drinking, your travel cost while Backpacking Cambodia will range from $15-$30 per day.


Backpacking Cambodia can be very cheap if choices are made after doing research and comparing. It is essential you do your research beforehand and not get fooled by the people there.

If you are on a budget then by now you must have realized that Cambodia is the best option with a wide range of tourist attractions, good food and activities!

We hope you found our guide helpful! We will be looking forward to your positive feedback!

Backpacking Cambodia: A Full Travel Guide | TripTrop
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Backpacking Cambodia: A Full Travel Guide | TripTrop
Get all the required information for backpacking cambodia easily. Discover the best places to visit and the an estimation for the cost.
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