1 Week in Cambodia: The perfect Itinerary

1 Week in Cambodia: The perfect Itinerary

Cambodia has been on my list for a number of years ever since I started seeing images of Angkor Wat on Instagram and in other travel articles. I didn’t know much about the country before my visit and didn’t even realise the country had beautiful beaches as well as such a heart-breaking history until I spent time travelling around Cambodia.

I was looking at touring Cambodia independently and had worked out a budget itinerary staying in hostels which is really out of my comfort zone as I haven’t stayed in shared accommodation before. However just before I started putting this itinerary into place, I came across a tour of Cambodia on my favourite website Tour Radar, it was on sale and it was a similar price to what I had worked out so I decided to go with the group tour.

You can read more about my group tour experience here.

I decided on a group tour for convenience. At the moment I am preferring group tours rather than travelling solo as it meets my needs but Cambodia is easy to travel independently and I would have happily gone on my own if I hadn’t discovered a tour at a similar price.

About Cambodia

Cambodia is known as the Kingdom of Wonder and also the Pearl of Asia and it is definitely a place that needs to be seen to get the true value of the country.

There are 24 provinces, 4 of which are coastal areas in Cambodia. The main crop grown is rice and the country have a lot of factories specialising in textiles which are then imported to Australia, Europe and Canada. Construction and housing are also main trade in Cambodia.

Cambodia is in South East Asia which is a place I love travelling because of the culture, food and people.

My experience in Cambodia

The people are so friendly in Cambodia and welcoming that it made it such a wonderful place to travel around. I think I would have felt safe travelling solo.

A lot of the information is in English and in the restaurants it was easy to order food even if you just pointed at the menu if English was not spoken, everything was done with a smile which was really nice.

I felt as though the locals liked having tourists visiting. I have visited places where I have felt so unwelcome but Cambodia is the total opposite and it is a place that I would highly recommend travelling as I had a wonderful time.

I felt that Cambodia was cheap you could eat a meal for a king for a few $ and getting around the cities in Tuk-tuks was cheap. Even if you went further afield such as getting a bus from Siem Reap to Phmon Pehn it could be done cheaply. One of the things I love about travelling Asia is how much further your money will stretch.

I visited in February / March and the weather was lovely. It does get hot in the afternoon so it is best to go sightseeing in the morning or later in the day so you avoid the hottest part of the day. Cambodia does have a monsoon season so it might be best to avoid this which is apparently July / August. However I travelled India during its monsoon season and apart from not being able to sunbathe I found it quieter and a perfect time to travel as it was cooler.

The weather in Cambodia can be amazing if you are a sun worshipper so I would recommend adding coastal area to your visit so you can send some time soaking up the sun and the islands are beautiful.

Pollution is a problem in Cambodia especially plastic. I was quite shocked at the amount of plastic that was discarded on nearly ever road and street, at some points it was piled high. I even saw people driving down the road and throwing plastic bottles from moving vehicles. It is definitely something that needs to be addressed.

I can not name one favourite place I visited in Cambodia as I loved every part of my trip. The cities are bustling and very busy, the countryside is tranquil and the beaches are beautiful. There is also no destination in Cambodia that I didn’t like and if anyone asked me if they should visit Cambodia I would say yes yes yes, I loved my trip.

stunning islands in cambodia

On my tour around Cambodia we found plenty of toilets which is important when travelling Asia as I am drinking lots of water to keep hydrated so I also need to pee a lot. There was western style sit down toilets as well as stand over toilets that are very common in Asian countries and I am quite proud to admit I can pee standing. I would advise carrying your own toilet roll and hand sanitiser as these were lacking.

If I had more time, I would have definitely travelled slower and I would have loved to have spent some time on the islands. When we visited Koh Rong there were lots of information about day trips and the bars had such a cool vibe, I bet it would have been a great place to spend the night. I would have also liked to have seen the plankton which was advertised as a trip as I have never seen this before and it does look amazing when you see pictures of it lighting up the ocean.

island hopping in cambodia

It would have also have been great to spend more time on the beach topping up my tan as this is something I enjoy. However, the time I did spend in Cambodia gave me a taste for the country and if I was to visit again, I would avoid the major cities and go a little bit more off beat to see how the locals really live.

beautiful white sands in cambodia

I didn’t notice many creepy crawlies and apart from getting eaten when I was on a boat trip at night, I didn’t get many bites. I didn’t have any mosquito bites but I was using repellent.

At the major tourist sites there were obviously tourists but I didn’t feel that it was overran. There were never any large queues and even at Angkor Wat when we visited at a popular time to see the sunrise it still didn’t seem that busy. The coastal area of Sihanoukville is very popular with the Chinese and this is reflected in the places to eat and seemed to be larger groups of people but it still wasn’t that busy that you would have difficulties finding someone where eat or drink.

There is various wildlife in Cambodia such as Elephants, Tigers, panthers and even Irrawaddy dolphins which are endangered. I however didn’t see any of this wildlife during my 8 days in Cambodia but I didn’t visit the areas in which they live. If you want to see the wildlife and some beautiful nature then visit one of the many national parks in Cambodia. 

Currency and Money in Cambodia

US Dollars $ are widely used in Cambodia. I would recommend getting your currency in US Dollars. I did find this a little strange that you would pay in USD and then your change was given in Cambodian Riel. The notes need to be clean and not have any marks or tears otherwise they will not be accepted. They also need to be within a certain date range as if they are old, they again will not be accepted. I visited the Palace in Phenom Penh and they refused my money as it was old, however I did manage to spend it elsewhere but it was a little worrying as I was limited with my currency.

There were plenty of ATMs that were really easy to use. All of the ones I used had a fee 5$ even using a travel currency card. I also read that $100 notes are often dispensed from ATMs and hard to spend unless you are making large payments. I got currency out in batches of $90 to ensure I didn’t get a $100 bill. I took currency with me and only needed to use the ATMs a couple of times. The ATMs are in small cubicles on side of the road which makes them feel quite safe, there were a lot in towns and I didn’t have a problem finding an ATM whilst in Cambodia.

I didn’t use a credit card during my travels but noticed they were accepted in hotels.

Example of prices in Cambodia : 

Water large 60cents to $1 depending on location and shop

Food can be cheap or you can pay a little more if you go to a more westernised place. I was spending on average $10 for lunch and £15 for dinner including drinks but we had to eat at the eateries we were taken to on the road as we had a lot of time travelling you could eat street food or local food much cheaper

Sprite $1-$2

Tuk-tuks $2-$5

Massage $7 to $10

How Accessible is Cambodia

I have mobility limitations,  I am not in a wheelchair and this is my own personal experience of travelling Cambodia others might come across different obstacles. I found Cambodia quite an easy country to get around but this could be due to having private transport as part of our tour.

However, walking around the cities and villages was OK. There were high curbs that were sometimes not in the best condition which could be difficult for some but I always managed to find a way to get onto the curb without too much of a struggle. Some of the roads were well paved but others were dusty dirt tracks especially in the villages so extra care needs to be taken to make sure you don’t trip over.

The major tourist sites had plenty of places to sit and rest which is really good for someone like me who suffers pain when standing for too long.

I also found it a little hard getting in and out of the tuk-tuks but the drivers were patient and gave me chance to get in and out before driving off.

The major tourist attractions were accessible such as the Genocide prison that had a wheelchair ramp. Even Angkor Wat was OK to explore, there were some places I could not get to due to steep steps but the beauty of the temples can be seen from afar anyway.

wheelchair ramp at prison in phnom penh

Before travelling to Cambodia

You can read more about things to know before travelling to Cambodia here but the most important thing you need to research before your trip is if you need a visa.

I am from the UK and I always check the UK.Gov website for Visa requirements. I had to purchase a visa which I did online and it was really easy to complete and the visa approval was emailed to me.

Be careful of sites charging you more to complete visas you do not need to purchase it this way so make sure you are going through a government site for your country. In the UK it currently costs (in 2019) $30 and $6 processing fee, it is valid for 3 months for length of stays less than 30 days. If you are going to be in Cambodia for longer than 30 days you will need to research about relevant visas and conditions.

The website was easy to use and the process was not as complicated as some visas I have had to apply for. I got my approved visa the same day but it says it can take 3 working days.

I was advised to print off a copy of the approval for when I landed in Cambodia but I wasn’t asked for it so I am presuming they had a system to check to see that I had an approved visa. However, I would still advise to take a printed copy just in case things don’t go as smoothly.

You can get a visa on arrival and if you are going to do this don’t forget to take some passport photos with you however it is much easer to get online if this is possible

You should also check to make sure you have had the required vaccinations which you can see here.

Getting to Cambodia

I flew to Phnom Penh in Cambodia with Singapore Airlines changing in Singapore. This was the cheapest option for me. There are a number of airlines that fly into Cambodia and you can either do north to south or south to north.

I arrived in Cambodia with no major delays the flight didn’t seem to drag even though it took a total of 16 hours to get here and I was quite impressed with Singapore Airlines I would definitely use them again. I was lucky to have the row of seats to myself so I laid down and got plenty of sleep.

I loved stepping off the plane and the heat of Cambodia hitting me in the face as it had been over a year since I had been to Asia and I have missed this type of weather but I’m sure after a few weeks of touring Asia I will be craving the English rain.

Phnom Penh Airport – Read More

Siem Reap International Airport – For more information

Cham Yeam – Border with Thailand – For more information about crossing into Cambodia via Borders please read Rough Guides 

Poi Pet – Border with Thailand if you are travelling from Bangkok – Loney Planet Guide for more information

Bavet Border with Vietnam – Read more information

Sihanoukville International Airport – Read More

Tropaeng Kreal border with Laos

Cambodia Itinerary  

You can travel Cambodia as quickly or as slowly as is convenient for you. I personally did not have much time so I was limited to how long as I could spend in each place and which places to include on my itinerary. I choose the tour I did because it covered the 3 main places, I wanted to visit which were Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and the coastal area which looked beautiful online.

There is so much more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat and I didn’t realise this until I actually visited. Although this is of course a place you need to visit when in Cambodia I got so much more out of my trip by visiting the other destinations especially having a ride in the countryside to see how local people were living.

I had 8 days in Cambodia but this was done by private transport, if you are travelling via public transport is might be worth adding a few extra days for travel and to cover if there are any delays.

Since Cambodia is well travelled by tourists and is a popular backpacking destination, there is lots of information online to help plan the perfect itinerary if you want to travel independently. There are over night buses that are available to many of the main areas of Cambodia which I would have loved to have tried as they are cheap however I read lots of warnings online that they are not the safest, again another reason I decided to do a group guided tour in Cambodia. 

Examples of travel costs in Cambodia : Siem Reap to Sihanoukville flight £120, Bus Sihanoukville to Phenom Penh £11 (in 2019)

Grab app works in Cambodia and I was using it whilst travelling in Asia. It is like Uber and very easy to use. tuk-tuks are the best way to get around cheap and quick

If however like me you are limited to time it might be best to do a group tour where everything is organised for you but this also limits your freedom so there are pros and cons of travelling Cambodia this way.

Search here for some great group tours to Cambodia

I travelled Cambodia South to North but it can be done North to South. When I was working out my internary to travel Cambodia on my own I was doing it Siem Reap (North) to Phnom Penh (South) it just happened that my tour was the other way around. I am actually glad I did do it this way though as I got to visit Phnom Penh first which is quite emotional visiting the killing fields but it gives you a greater understanding of the country and then I had Angkor Wat in Siem Reap at the end of the tour to look forward to as this was the main reason, I was visiting Cambodia.

As Cambodia is linked with a few other countries including Thailand, Laos and Vietnam it is quite common to travel to these at the same time to save on airfare. I have already toured Vietnam but added a Bangkok to Singapore tour onto this trip.

Phnom Pehn

Phnom Pehn is the capital of Cambodia and is a bustling city with cars and tuk-tuks speeding down the streets, it can be nerve racking trying to cross the road as you are not sure if the vehicles are going to slow down or not but it’s not as crazy as other Asian cities such as Ho Chi Minh.

Even though there are many things to see and do in Phnom Pehn I feel that 2-4 days would be enough. I had 2 days and to be fair I didn’t get to do everything I wanted and it would have been nice to have more time to eat and stroll around the markets.

The main reason people visit Phnom Pehn is to go to the Killing Fields and S-21 Genocide Museum. This can be done in half a day but be warned that it is emotionally draining so you might want to schedule it for the morning before it gets too hot and then something less draining in the afternoon.

You can read more about my time at the Killing Fields and S-21 Museum here

killing fields monument

There is a film called First they Killed my Father which is directed by Angelina Jolie and this explains what happened in the killing fields. It is a subtitled film and really moving I watched it when I came home and it really hit home what had happened in the places I had been visiting.

prisoners in phnom penh

Royal Palace

The Royal palace is worth a visit, we didn’t have a guide so was not really sure what we were looking at but it was still an interesting pretty place to visit as the architecture is stunning.

The Palace currently costs $10 and is open daily but shuts at lunch time so best to check the opening times for when you are visiting. 

We visited in the afternoon and it was busy but not too busy that it spoilt the visit. It does involve walking a lot outside though, as the afternoon sun is very hot, I would recommend a hat.

It is also important to dress respectively long pants are required and I was advised that vest tops were not accepted, I had a tshirt and long trousers on during my visit. We stopped for an ice-cold drink to cool down there was also opportunity to buy an ice cream.

The palace is still a living residence today for the royal family so not all of the palace is open to the public.

It was a lovely place to walk around and listen to the birds as well as looking at the beautiful buildings. During your visit you will also see the silver pagoda which is also known as the ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’. The Buddha is dripping with 2,086 diamonds and was really impressive. 

There are a lot of Tuk-tuk drivers outside the palace which are also offering city tours. We arrived at the palace when it was closed and it was due to open in 20 minutes but a tuk-tuk driver told us it wasn’t due to open for another hour so would we like to take a tour of the city for $5 each. We didn’t want to be standing around in the heat and even though we fell for this little scam we had a really good tour of the city which I would actually recommend doing.

Our driver took us to some really interesting places and it was nice to be shown the city from a tuk-tuk. We went to the Independence Monument, Cambodia/Vietnam Friendship Museum, Statue of King Norodom Sihanouk he took us crazy fairground that was like something from a horror movie as it was so deserted, we stopped by the river.

He explained the sites we were seeing then let us get out to get some photos, it was quite hard to understand his English over the noise of the road and tuk-tuk but it was still fun and I would recommend doing if you are not in Phnom Penh for long as you will get to see the cities highlights.

Wat Langka

Wat Langka is a Buddhist temple near the palace and we walked around on our way back to our hotel. It is free and it is actually really beautiful, it was quite a tranquil place to visit and there were only a handful of people walking around which was nice after the hustle of the palace. They have free meditation sessions and if you time your visit accordingly you could take part.

Wat Langka

Shopping in Phenom Penh

The Russian Market is the place to go for your souvenirs and handcrafts of the area. Not all of the stuff is authentic but it is a nice place to walk around but be warned in the mid-day sun it will be a hot and stuffy place.

The central market was an interesting experience as it was very busy with locals especially the food area which was very smelly due to the fish and vegetables that were turning in the heat. I read that the central market is the best place to get street food in Phenom Penh, I didn’t eat here but it was interesting to see what delights they had on offer I would recommend walking around the markets if you have time even if you do not want to buy anything.

If I had more time in Phenom Penh, I would definitely have explored the markets more as what I did see was pretty cool. You can even do guided tours of the markets.

There seemed to be hundreds of phone shops every street seemed to have several. This was good for me as I got a sim card for my phone which meant I had data for my visit in Cambodia. It cost $3 for the sim and $2 for 5GB data which lasted me the full trip in Cambodia as I would then use Wi-Fi in hotels. It was really easy to get I just went into the shop and they did it all for me, I would recommend getting data for your phone even if you are just going to use it for google maps it makes life travelling around Cambodia a little easier.

There were plenty of mini marts and chemists for you to get all your essentials such as water, snacks and toiletries.

Massages in Phenom Penh

As with many Asian destination’s massages are very popular and there are lots of places offering massages some of which are not so good so it is worth doing your research.

I visited Khmer Angkor Seeing Hands Massage which trains blind locals a trade. I had visited a spa ran by blind therapists in Vietnam and it was one of the best massages I have ever had but this was a totally different experience. Unfortunately this experience was not the same, the therapist didn’t have a clue what she was doing and it felt like she was rubbing the skin of my legs.  However I learnt a lot about her family as she talked nonstop so the experience of getting to know about a local’s live was worth the $7, I paid.

People I was touring with also had strange experiences with massages in Phnom Pehn and I thought maybe they just were not going to be decent massages in Cambodia but I was wrong as I had lovely ones later on in my trip, I would recommend looking at the reviews of the place you are visiting for a massage. Even though the reviews for the place I visited were really good so it might just have been my therapist that wasn’t the best.

If you are thinking of visiting a blind centre another reason to do your research is some of them are exploiting their employees. This is going to be quite hard to know and it is upsetting that this can be happening. The same with orphanages after reading things online I would advise being careful if you are going to visit something like this.

NGO organisations such as Concertcambodia can ensure you are visiting legitimate places. This website also offers advice on how to deal with children begging for money in Cambodia.

I didn’t notice too many beggars whilst travelling in Cambodia. When I visited the local villages where families didn’t get much income, they made produce for tourist to buy such as toys.

Eating and Drinking in Phnom Penh

There are many places to eat and drink in Phnom Pehn I only had two meals as I had two days there but both were amazing. One was at a resturant that gives locals a trade and I had the best chicken burger I have had in a long time. The Friends Restaurant has some delicious items on the menu and I would recommend a visit. I also went to a very local place where the English was limited but the food was so tasty. 

friends restaurant in Phnom Penh

There are a lot of roof top bars in Phnom Penh and the Bassac lane is the place to go for cocktails in the city.

There are lots of carts selling BBQ which smelt and looked delicious but our tour guide told us it is not good for tourists as it can make you sick so I did avoid which is a shame as I love trying street food when I am travelling.

There are also lots of stalls selling what looked like lemonade in soda bottles but it was in fact petrol. I saw this often when travelling around Cambodia our guide said it was like black market petrol and locals got their petrol for their mopeds there which was cheaper than gas stations.

There are some restaurants that offer fried tarantula and bugs, I asked our guide if locals actually ate things like this or if it was just for tourists but he said in the villages they would still eat critters if they were hungry. I wanted to try a tarantula but I didn’t get the opportunity as I thought it would be availably throughout Cambodia but I was only aware of the tarantula restaurant in Phenom Penh but maybe I was visiting the wrong types of restaurants!!

In the friend’s restaurant had a bug’s burger but I was too hungry to order it in case I didn’t like it.. well that was my excuse anyway but come on it was my first night in Cambodia and I thought there would be more opportunities to try bugs but there actually wasn’t.

There is another tree alliance restaurant like The Friends Restaurant that teaches locals how to cook and they have fried tarantula on their menu. If this is your thing you can see more here.

The beer is tasty in Cambodia I mainly had Angkor Beer and it was a refreshing blonde beer for $1 to $2. There were also imported beers and cocktails, some restaurants didn’t have alcohol licenses but it was easy to find ones that did.

angkor beer in cambodia

When eating out in restaurants they will bring the food once it is cooked so if there are a few of you it might mean some of you have finished your meals before the rest of the group get theirs which happened quite often during my trip in Cambodia.

It was easy to get around Phenom Penh and is a good city to walk, as most of the tourist attractions are close to each other but if the heat is too much there are so many tuk-tuks and you can easily flag one down. Our guide said that no where should cost more than $2 unless you are going to the islands but some might try and say $5, we just replied no its $2 and they said OK. It is still really cheap though and I would happily pay $5 if it saved me walking in the heat.

If you read my blogs you will know I am always taking pictures of the wonderful foods that I eat but I didn’t take any in Cambodia, which is a shame as I had some really tasty dishes. It was mainly rice and noodle type dishes but was all really good quality and cooked well. I didn’t have one meal I didn’t like or couldn’t eat. Everything tasted so fresh and lots of yummy vegetables were used. I loved to be able to get fresh fruit on the road when we were travelling especially mango and pineapple.

Kompot

Kompot is in the South of Cambodia, it is fairly flat and easy to walk around. The traffic isn’t as crazy as the city so it is much easier to cross roads without fearing you are going to be run over. There were not as many tuk-tuks.

There are plenty of things to do in Kampot such as visiting the salt fields or a pepper farm. I visited a local pepper farm and didn’t realise so many things could be made from pepper including wine and ice cream.

pepper growing in kompot

We visited a restaurant near the pepper farm that had the most amazing infinity pool over looking the countryside and this was the highlight of the trip.

infinity pool in kompot

To be honest I have little interest in pepper and it was thought provoking seeing the ladies sat on the floor in the heat picking off the pepper all day long. It will definitely make me think now every time I have pepper where it has come from.

women picking pepper in kompot

The river seems to be the main attraction in this area. Walking along the river is nice although can be smelly in parts due to rubbish and sewage. A sunset cruise is very popular with several boats offering this service each night.

pier to get sunset cruise in kompot

If you visit the pier you can choose a boat sunset tour for about $5 which is so worth it.

boat trips in kompot

It was beautiful seeing the sunset over the Elephant mountains whilst slowly cruising down the Praek Tuek Chhu river.

our boat for the sunset cruise in kompot

We saw several fires in the mountains and was told that this was local farmers burning their crops which was a little worrying due to the dry vegetation but we were assured it was common and nothing untoward occurred. We had a firefighter on my group tour so I felt safe…

sunset cruise in kampot

We stopped by a popular area for fireflies and as it went dark, they started to appear in the trees they were like bursts of lights reminded me of fairy likes twinkling. A couple left the trees and came onto the boat and got so close it was mesmerising watching them flutter around. One landed on my table and it was kind of magical seeing something like this as they do remind me of fairies. The sunset was so pretty and it was a lovely evening chilling down the river.

sunset cruise in kompot

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is a coastal area in Cambodia and is considered a party town there were plenty of bars along the beach.

When we visited there was even a beer festival going on with live music. It is very popular with the Chinese and this can be seen in the menus that are on offer. Also, seafood is very popular here and we had dinner on the beach which was lovely.

beach in sihanoukville cambodia

For the best of Cambodia’s street food head to Phsar Leu market at the beach and sample an array of delights, often for less than a dollar. The Night Market is another good spot to pick up a tasty, inexpensive local-style dinner.

The beaches in this area are what made me book my trip as it wasn’t until I was researching Cambodia, I realised they had such beautiful beaches. The Otres beach is lovely but I preferred the beaches on the islands that I visited on a boat trip.

I did a boat trip to Koh rong and Koh Rong Samloem which are two popular islands to visit when in Sihanoukville. If I had more time, I would have loved to have stayed on one of these islands as they were well catered for the tourist and had an excellent vibe as well as beautiful white sanded beaches.

 

On Koh Rong you could try a happy cookie for a few $ not that I condone drug use but did see a few signs where you could purchase.

Soft white sand and blue sea and you can eat in one of the many cafes along the beach, it is a perfect place to chill and relax after busy travel days around Cambodia.

They are also easy to get to if you are travelling Cambodia independently by ferries from the pier or a speed boat.

koh rong island

Battambang

Battambang is a UNESCO City of Performing Arts and is the second largest city in Cambodia although it is not as touristy as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.  There are public transport options to get to Battambang if you are travelling independently. 

I visited local village in Battenbang and this was one of the highlights of my time in Cambodia as it was totally different way of life than in the main cities. If can take time to get to if travelling independently but if you get the chance then do visit to see the slower pace of life in Cambodia. You can visit Landmine museum or take a Photography tour around the villages.

seeing how the locals live in battambang

Whilst walking around Battambang keep an eye out for some interesting street art. If you want to go shopping there are lots of stall at the Phsar Nhat Market.

Just outside of Battambang and easy to get to by tuk-tuk is Phnom Sampeou here they have killing caves which is another important place of history from the Khmer Regime, there are also bat caves here and if you time your visit for early evening you will get to see hundreds of bats leaving the caves to go hunting search on YouTube to see all these bats coming out of the caves I didn’t know about this before my visit as this is something I would have loved to have seen bats are so ugly they are cute. 

The Bamboo train is a popular attraction in Battambang, it is also known as Norry it can supposedly hit speeds of up to 50kph and you can go on the trains.  

A visit to the circus is also recommended in Battambang my group were unfortunately I was ill this day and didn’t get to go but they said it was really good and so worth the $20 to see the local acrobats.

Siem Reap

Most people visit Siem Reap to go to Angkor Wat, this is the reason I wanted to visit Cambodia as I kept seeing pictures of these temples online.

making sure we got the perfect picture at angkor wat

The city is most westernised than any other place that I visited in Cambodia and is definitely set up for the tourist. If this is the only place you are going to visit in Cambodia it would be a shame as to me it felt too touristy and just didn’t represent what the country had to offer.

Pub street is the liveliest street in Siem Reap and this is the place to go to eat and drink. I am not a huge party going but there are so many bars and restaurant here you could have a really good time trying the local beers and cocktails. There is also food to meet everyone’s taste and carts selling pancakes and ice-creams. Beers are advertised for as little as $1 and because there are so many places to eat you can walk around to find a good cheap dinner.

pub street in siem reap

I explored the day and night market these are where you are going to pick up your souvenirs and handicrafts to take home. There was also a lot of stall selling the typical Asian style tshirt and trousers that tourists wear and they were really cheap some as cheap as $2 for a pair of trousers. The markets are nice to walk around and explore even if you do not want to buy anything. Unfortunately, I was travelling Asia for a few more weeks and had limited space in my luggage so could not buy anything apart from my standard postcard and magnet I get on my travels.

The stalls were selling typical items you see throughout Asia nothing unique from what I could see. There were a number of food stall that were selling dried fish and meats fish which is a local delicacy if a little stinky. There is a local handmade market which is held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.

market in siem reap

When I was doing my research for travelling Siem Reap on my own I noticed a lot of the tours were for 2 or more people which is another reason I decided to do a group tour in Cambodia rather than travelling solo. However, there are lots of hostels in the city where I am sure you could meet fellow travellers to join you on tours.

Angkor Wat

Obviously the most popular attraction in Siem Reap is the UNESCO site of Angkor Wat. I didn’t realise there were so many temples over the city and they are actually quite spread out so you would need to hire transport if you wanted to explore them all. The most commonly visited is Ta Prohm.

angkor wat visit

The temples may just look like ruins but they are religious temples and there is a lot of monks walking around so it is important to still be respectful when visiting the temples in Cambodia.

You can hire a tuk-tuk for the day who will take you to the temples ask any tuk-tuk driver and they have a list of prices. Or another option is an organised tour. We had a guided tour and travelled around the site on a mini bus which was a godsend having the air conditioning as it des get very hot during the day.

byron temple in cambodia

It is possible to do a hot air balloon ride over Angkor wat although I didn’t see any during my visit. Also, when I was researching this online there are a few bad stories so make sure you research the company you are going to use if you decide to do this activity.

Local Tours

You can do local village tours which include dinner for about £30 get your guide, there are also food tours you can do for a similar price, although I do feel you could just walk around pub street area and try foods without a guide, if you are new to Cambodia or only have a limited time then a tour is good to make sure you don’t miss the highlights.

There is a Circus show that shows Cambodia acrobats which is similar to the show that is on in Battambang.

I had a great time exploring Cambodia if you have any questions or want to share your story then please do get in contact. 

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