Our eleventh month on the road was spent in a country that charmed, awed and saddened us: Cambodia. From temple hopping and dolphin spotting to visiting the notorious Killing Fields, our time in the country was full of activities and we fell in love with the people who treated us like true Cambodian brothers and sisters. Despite the tragic recent history and poverty in Cambodia we were surprised at how expensive it was to get from one place to another and to see Angkor Wat; here are our Cambodia travel costs for four weeks.
Activity Costs in Cambodia
There are so many things to do in Cambodia; from visiting ancient temples and learning about the recent genocide to rare dolphin spotting and a catching a circus performance in Battambang. We learnt a lot about the evils that took place in the country by visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison, which were both heart-breaking but worthwhile experiences. Activities were generally cheap in Cambodia although our Angkor Wat passes set us back almost £50; given how incredible the temples were though we don’t regret spending extra to see them over three days. We also had some more unusual trips out to see the wonderful Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus and ride the Bamboo train in Battambang as well as spot some rare Irrawaddy Dolphins on a day trip from Kratie.
Entry to the Killing Fields, Phnom Penh
Entry to Tuol Sleng Museum, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh
Entry to Bokor National Park, Kampot
Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus, Battambang
Bamboo Train (plus tip), Battambang
Temples and Cave Entry Fee, Battambang
(Phnom Sampeau, Phnom Banan and Wat Ek Phnom)
Angkor Wat 3-Day Temples Pass
Foot Massages (and beer), Siem Reap
Foot Massages (and beer), Siem Reap
Irrawaddy Dolphin Boat Trip, Kampi
Cost of Cambodia Hotels
This is one area where we spent a little more than usual, especially compared to Laos and Vietnam. We found that we could get some great accommodation if we paid a little more than we usually did and we thought it was worth it. Some notable hotels were Fancy Guesthouse in Phnom Penh, King Fy Hotel in Battambang and Angkor Orchid in Siem Reap. All of our accommodation included Wifi (although not always working perfectly) air-con and hot water except in Kampot and Kratie which were both fan rooms and were our cheapest accommodation, costing just £7.30 and £4.90 per night. Only one of our guesthouses or hotels included breakfast but for the rest you could add a basic toast, coffee and jam breakfast for a little extra ($2 per person).
Cambodia Food Costs
We’ve probably eaten better in Cambodia than in most other Asian countries on our trip so far other than the Philippines and Thailand. However this did come at a price. There are many NGO restaurants and cafés set up that help the locals and serve great food. One of my favourite dishes was the local fish amok, a coconutty, smooth and slightly spicy curry which changed slightly wherever you were in the country. We were also able to get some good and healthy muesli breakfasts pretty much everywhere we went too. All in all, we found great food at a little over our Asian average food costs.
Cost of Transport in Cambodia
We travelled mostly by bus and divided our time between five places in Cambodia, returning to Phnom Penh twice in order to get to other destinations. While in Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap we used tuk-tuks to take us on our tours around the areas, one of our favourites being with our wonderful driver/guide around Battambang. Although we have had many horrid journeys while in South East Asia, we had actually only experienced one break down before we visited Cambodia so we were surprised when on two consecutive days our bus broke down while travelling through the country. We rented scooters twice; the roads in Kampot to get up to Bokor National Park were fabulous to ride on, however in Kratie they were more than a little uncomfortable due to the dust and poor maintenance.
Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh: £12.20
Phnom Penh to Kampot: £12.20
Kampot to Phnom Penh: £9.80
Phnom Penh to Battambang: £13.40
Battambang to Siem Reap: £6.10
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: £19.50
Phnom Penh to Kratie: £15.80
Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Tour: £9.10
Hotel to PharePS Circus and back: £3.10
Day Tour around Battambang: £12.20
Small Angkor Wat Tour: £9.10
Large Angkor Wat Tour and Sunrise: £14
Roluos Group Temples Tour: £10.40
11 other short trips: £13.70
Kampot Rental: £3.10, Fuel: £1.80
Kratie Rental: £3.70, Fuel £1.50
We didn’t spend a huge amount here except for the usual laundry and toiletry costs as well as a few postcards, stamps and books. We could have saved about £6 on our Visa costs if we’d gone through customs ourselves (which we had to do in the end anyway) rather than pay our bus ‘guide’ to take our passports through for us; another example of border crossing bribes. We found some ATM’s that would not charge us a fee but one did – only telling us after we made the transaction.
Laundry (x 4)
toiletries and medicine
Post cards, stamps and book
Total Cambodia Travel Costs for Four Weeks
Cambodia certainly isn’t one of our cheapest countries to date however we found it interesting and well-worth spending time in. It has some of the most harrowing history and the people we met were some of the friendliest so far; the food is great and good accommodation is very affordable, even on a budget. Here’s how much we spent in total during our trip to Cambodia.