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Cambodia Itinerary - 2 weeks

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Cambodia is one of the most shocking and beautiful countries I have visited.

Overview of the itinerary


Before you go


The important thing to note before you travel to Cambodia is that the local currency is Cambodian Riel, however, everything is priced in $USD. You pay in USD and might receive back a combination of Riel and USD. Even when using ATMs to withdraw cash, it will give out USD.


These are only recommendations, as always. Travelling in this area of the world is fantastic because you can always adapt. Consider keeping your plans somewhat flexible if you will be in Laos for longer than two weeks. It's excellent to have additional time for unforeseen experiences because you might learn about intriguing things from other backpackers while there.


Things to make sure you do before starting your trip:

  • Health insurance

  • Power adapter

  • Covid vaccination proof and any other vaccination if needed/required.

  • Battery pack

  • Emergency cash

  • A visa can be obtained upon arrival but do check your government website for any changes. The Visa cost is $40 and needs to be paid in cash!

  • Sim card (Can be obtained once you land)

  • Waterproof bag

Day 1-3

Phnom Penh


Overview

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. The city is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers.

In comparison to other Southeast Asian capitals, Phnom Penh lacks excitement. Its markets are not as chaotic as Vietnam's and its temples are not as stunning as Thailand's. Despite efforts to brand it the "Pearl of Asia", Phnom Penh is not a must-see destination. It is easier to include in a long-term backpacking trip or if you have a lot of time, but otherwise, Phnom Penh may not be worth prioritising.


Hostels

  • Mad Monkey

  • Onederz.

Restaurants & Cafés

  • Topaz

  • Malis

  • Romdeng

  • Mith Samlanh Eating House

Things to do

  • On your first day go to the S21 Museum (Thou Sienag Genocide museum). The entry fee is around 3$. Make sure you pick audio where you can learn about the tragic history of the Khmer Rouge that took place between 1975-1979 and the ripple effects it had on the country to this date.

  • Afterwards, take a Grab/Gojek to the Killing Fields: The Choeung Ek Memorial is located about 15km outside of Phnom Penh and it is a mass grave site for victims of the Khmer Rouge regime during the Cambodian Civil War (1975-1979).

  • Visit Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple located on a hill in the center of the city. It is said to have been built in the 14th century, and it is a popular destination for both locals and tourists

The next day take an early bus from Phnom Penh and head south to the city of Kampot

Day 3-5

Kampot

Transportation from Phnom Penh to Kampot

You can book the bus with the hostel you are staying at. It will take around 3 to 4 hours.


Hostels

  • Onederz or Mad Monkey

Restaurants & Cafés

  • Sothy's Restaurant

  • The Rusty Keyhole

  • La Plantation

  • Sala Bai

Things to do

  • Go to the hostel Arcadia for a water theme park. Don’t stay here, go for the day, stay at a different hostel (the ones mentioned above) as the rooms aren’t nice there

  • Spend the day exploring the pepper fields and visiting the Bokor National Park, where you can explore the beautiful countryside and visit local markets

  • In the evening, take a boat ride on the river to see the sunset.

  • If you have more days then you can do a day trip to Kep which is a small coastal town located in the province of Kampot in southern Cambodia. It is known for its seafood and crab market.

Afterwards, head to the beautiful island of Koh Rong Sanloem.

Day 5-8

Koh Rong Sanloem


Transport from Kampot to Koh Rong Samloem

Take a bus to Sihanoukville and then from there a ferry to Koh Rong Samloem. The bus should drop you next to the ferry office. Do not stay at Sihanoukville at any cost!


Overview

Koh Rong Sanloem, also known as Koh Rong Samloem, is a beautiful island located off the coast of Cambodia. This is probably one of my favourite islands that I have visited. I was planning on staying for 2 nights on this island, ended up being 5! There are no ATMs on the island so make sure you bring enough cash with you.


Hostel

  • Onederz

Restaurants & Cafés

  • Onderz Hostel food is really good

  • Cafe EdenCafe Eden

  • Sara Resort Restaurant (This has the best brownies on the island)

Things to do

  • Relax on the beautiful beaches: Saracen Bay and Lazy Beach are two of the most popular spots on the island. Saracen Bay is known for its clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, while Lazy Beach is a secluded spot that's perfect for those looking for a more peaceful experience.

  • For your second day book a boat tour and go snorkelling, and fishing in the clear waters: The waters around Koh Rong Sanloem are home to a variety of marine life, including colourful fish, coral reefs and sea turtles. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities on the island, and there are several diving schools that offer courses for all levels.

  • In the evening, go swimming in the sea to see the glowing plankton.

  • If you do decide to stay with Onederz then there is a social activity every night so it's super easy to meet people.

After spending a few days on the island, take a boat to the next island Koh Rong


Day 8-9

Koh Rong

Transport Koh Rong Samloem to Koh Rong

Take a boat from Koh Rong Samloem to Koh Rong, and book this with the place you are staying at or at the local boat office.


Overview

Koh Rong is the larger of the two islands that make up the Koh Rong archipelago in Cambodia.


Hostel/Bungalows

  • Starfish Bungalows

  • Bunnan Bungalows and Restaurant

Things to do

  • Spend the day exploring the island's beautiful beaches

  • In the evening, attend the Nestival beach festival at Nest Hostel (on Saturdays only)

Next head to Battambang


Day 9-11

Battambang

Transport from Koh Rong to Battambang

One way to reach Battambang from Koh Rong is by taking a night bus. It is recommended to book this in advance as availability may be limited. If a direct bus to Battambang is not available, an alternative route is to travel to Siem Reap first and then head south to Battambang, the whole journey from Joh Rong to Battambang will take approximately 12-14 hours in total.


Overview

Battambang is a city in northwest Cambodia known for its colonial-style architecture, beautiful temples, and rich cultural history. Here are a few things you can do during a visit to Battambang.


Hostel

  • Onederz

Restaurants & Cafés

  • Cafe Eden

  • Olly's Place

Things to do

  • Explore the temples: Battambang is home to several beautiful temples, including Wat Banan, Wat Ek Phnom, and Wat Kor Village. These temples offer a glimpse into the city's religious and cultural history and are great places to take photos.

  • Visit the Phnom Sampeau Cave Temple: Located about 12 km from Battambang, the Phnom Sampeau Cave Temple is a popular destination for its beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and the opportunity to explore the many caves and temples on the site.

  • Take a boat ride along the Sangker River: Battambang is located along the Sangker River, and taking a boat ride is a great way to see the city and its surrounding countryside. You can also visit the floating villages along the river and learn about the way of life of the people who live there.

  • Visit the Battambang Museum: Located in a beautiful colonial-style building, the Battambang Museum is a great place to learn about the city's history and culture. It features exhibits on the city's art, archaeology, and cultural heritage.

  • Go to the Battambang Circus: Battambang is home to the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus, a non-profit organization that trains young people in the arts. The circus offers daily performances that are a blend of traditional Cambodian storytelling, music, and acrobatics.

  • Try the Bamboo Train, an improvised rail system that runs through the Cambodian countryside; Wat Ek Phnom, an 11th-century temple

  • Visit the Bat Cave, which is in the Preah Monivong National Park in the Cardamom Mountains of southwestern Cambodia. Watching the bats leave the cave can be an incredible sight as they take to the skies in large numbers, creating fluid black shapes that contrast the colours of the setting sun. It can take up to 20 minutes for all of the bats to exit the cave and it's a sight not to be missed.

Afterwards finishing from Battambang head north to Siem Reap.


Day 11-14

Siem Reap


Transport from Battambang to Siem Reap:

You can take a bus from Battambang. Arrange this with the place you are staying at beforehand. It should take around 4 hours to get there.


Overview

Siem Reap is a city located in northwestern Cambodia and is the gateway to the ancient ruins of Angkor, one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. The city is best known for being the closest city to Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic temples in the world.

Siem Reap itself is a charming and vibrant city, with a mix of traditional and modern elements and personally, I prefer it over Phnom Penh.

Hostel

  • Onederz

Restaurants & Cafés

  • Khmer Taste Restaurant (This has the cheapest and best food I had in Cambodia) - Highly recommended

Things to do

  • Get a 2-day pass to Angkor wat - Sunrise. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat is the biggest sight in Cambodia— and one of the biggest in all of Asia. Angkor Wat is massive. The main temple that appears in most photos is just a tiny part of the 400-square-kilometre site.

  • For the first day pass book a tour guide, this can be arranged with the hostel you are staying at. The best way to experience Angkor Wat is at sunrise. The complex is massive and thus you will need more than one day to explore all of them. For the second day, you can hire a driver to take you around the remaining complex.

  • Sign up with the hostel to see the floating villages - totally worth it. Located on the Tonle Sap Lake. These villages are home to many families who have lived on the lake for generations, One of the most popular floating villages in Siem Reap is the Chong Khneas floating village, located about 10 km south of the city. The village is home to more than 1000 families and is known for its stilted houses, floating schools, and floating market. Another popular floating village in Siem Reap is the Kompong Phluk floating village, located about 16 km southeast of the city. The village is home to more than 3000 people.

  • At night head to Pub street, all the souvenir and shop markets are located there


Overall, Cambodia is one-of-a-kind! Your trip will be filled with a mix of emotions - excitement for all the amazing sights and experiences in Siem Reap and the islands, and sadness for the country's history. Make the most of your journey and have happy travels











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