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20 Things to Help you Plan a Successful Cambodia Trip: Ultimate Guide for 2024

Cambodia is an intriguing travel gem that should be on everyone's bucket list.

Whether it is the majestic Angkor Wat, the pristine beaches of Koh Rong Samloem, or the poignant history of the killing fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is brimming with captivating highlights waiting to be explored.

If you're planning your Cambodia adventure, keep scrolling down for 20 essential tips and insights to make your journey unforgettable.

Can I Travel to Cambodia Now? Are There Any Restrictions?

Certainly! Cambodia is now open for international leisure travel, welcoming vaccinated travelers without quarantine requirements.

As of March 17, 2022, the country has also resumed its Visa-on-Arrival service, no longer demanding a negative 72-hour certificate of COVID-19 PCR Test Result before arrival or an Antigen Rapid Test upon entry for fully vaccinated visitors arriving by air, land, or sea.

The Cambodian government took the decision to abolish all COVID-19-related measures in 2023. Consequently, there is no longer a mandatory requirement to wear a mask anywhere in the country, and temperature monitoring is no longer in place.

Is Cambodia a Safe Travel Destination?

While generally safe, petty crime and police issues exist, so exercise regular safety precautions in Cambodia.

-- Avoid violent protests and large gatherings.
'Snatch-and-grab' crimes are common; surrender valuables if targeted.
Fatal road accidents are frequent, so stay alert and avoid traveling at night.
Also beware of scams, credit card fraud, and ATM skimming.
Sexual assault occurs in tourist areas; be cautious and keep drinks attended.
Gun ownership is widespread, leading to violence.
Don't accept invitations from strangers or carry packages for others.

Besides, severe storms and flooding can disrupt travel from July to November. Stay updated with your tour operator.

Is Obtaining a Cambodia Visa Easy? Can I Visit without a Visa?

Obtaining a Cambodia visa is necessary for most travelers, except for ASEAN passport holders.

Luckily, visas can be obtained easily through various methods: online (Cambodia eVisa), on arrival at specific airports/borders, or at an Embassy of Cambodia abroad.

For the Cambodia eVisa, apply through the official government website, pay US$30 + US$6 processing fee, wait for processing (around three days), receive confirmation, and present it to immigration officers at entry points like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and more.

To apply for a visa on arrival, fill out an immigration card on the plane or at the entry point, wait in line at the visa counter, and present the required documents and US$30 (tourist) in cash. Visa on arrival is available at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports.

What is the best time to visit Cambodia? Is the rainy season really that bad?

Cambodia's climate is generally hot and humid throughout the year.

However, the best time to visit the country is from November to May, with low rainfall and warm temperatures.

The wet season lasts from May to October. In the early months (May - July), it remains hot with occasional short spurts of rain. In the later months (late July - September), the rain becomes more constant and heavy, particularly in coastal and rural areas.

Travel to remote areas like Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri becomes challenging due to road conditions, and journeys to the northeast are not advisable during the peak wet season.

Additionally, access to Bamboo Island near Kep is limited due to rough seas.

How can I get to Cambodia? Should I arrive in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh?

The most preferred way to arrive in Cambodia is by air through its two major international airports, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, serving as entry points.

Phnom Penh International Airport is the country's largest airport, situated around 10 km from the city center. Siem Reap International Airport serves the Angkor Wat temple complex.

So pick an airport according to your itinerary.

While there are land-border crossings available from Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos, flying is generally recommended due to its speed, convenience, and avoiding potential language and scam issues.

If you choose to enter Cambodia by land, some options include Bavet/Moc Bai (Vietnam border), Aranyaprathet/Poipet (Thailand border), and Veun Kham/Dom Kralor (Laos border).

What are the must-visit attractions and destinations in Cambodia?

Cambodia offers an enchanting mix of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and ancient architectures scattered throughout the country.

The iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor temples in Siem Reap are a must-see. The capital city of Phnom Penh offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modernity.

The paradisiacal beaches of Koh Rong, the lush beauty of Mondulkiri, the tranquil Tonle Sap Lake, and the picturesque countryside of Battambang—all must be experienced to be believed.

For a more relaxed experience, unwind on the quiet beaches of Kep and embrace the rich cultural heritage of this captivating land, steeped in legends and revered by its people.

How many days are generally recommended for a Cambodia trip?

Six days are a must, but you can explore more if you have enough time. Planning a Cambodia trip depends on the depth of your exploration. 

For a quick visit, 6 days are sufficient to see Phnom Penh and Siem Reap's highlights, including the iconic Angkor Wat complex. Extending your stay to 1 week allows you to add Kampot or Sihanoukville for a taste of their unique charm and pristine beaches.

However, for a holistic experience, a 14-day itinerary is recommended.

· Start in Phnom Penh, delving into its history, then head to Battambang's countryside.

· Spend ample time exploring the wonders of Angkor Wat and visiting the villages along the Mekong River.

If you are fortunate to have 3 weeks, add Kep, a coastal town with quiet beaches, and enjoy island-hopping in Song Saa and Koh Tang for relaxation, diving, and nature-watching.

What are the main expenses for a Cambodia trip? How should I tip?

The Cambodia trip cost is affordable compared to other countries in the region.

On average, budget around $35 per day, considering expenses like meals ($12) and local transportation ($5.28).

ATMs are widely available, accepting various card types with minimal fees of around $4-5 per transaction for international cardholders.

Accommodation options range from budget-friendly guesthouses and hotels ($40 per day) to more comfortable three to four-star options ($75 per day) and luxurious hotels and resorts ($150 per day).

Cambodia's incredible attractions like Angkor Wat have different entrance fees: $37 for a 1-day pass, $62 for a 3-day pass, and $72 for a 7-day pass. Other activities include visiting the Killing Fields (entrance fee of $2 plus $13 for a tuk-tuk) and museums in Phnom Penh ($2 entrance fee).

Tipping is not obligatory in Cambodia, but it's a thoughtful gesture. Tipping around 10% of the total bill is a good guide, but you can leave more if you are pleased with the service; however, if you are dissatisfied, it's okay not to tip.

Do I need to exchange money for Cambodian Riel? Can I use US dollars throughout my trip? Is mobile payment or credit card accepted?

When traveling to Cambodia, we recommend not exchanging currency before your trip.

Instead, carry US Dollars in cash (it is widely accepted here, especially at hotels, restaurants, and bigger establishments) and exchange some of it for Cambodian Riel upon arrival (for more local transactions at smaller establishments and street shopping).

Major credit and debit cards like VISA and Mastercard are commonly accepted in most places but having some cash, especially Cambodian Riel, is beneficial as many establishments prefer it.

For card payments, it is essential to verify with your bank regarding currency conversion support.

Additionally, mobile payment apps like Wing are convenient for topping up phones and paying bills, but physical cash is still commonly used for everyday transactions in Cambodia.

What is the standard of hotels and services in Cambodia?

When it comes to the best beach resorts in Cambodia, the overall standard varies from basic hostels to luxurious 5-star hotels.

If you prioritize safety and quality, opt for 4 or 5-star hotels, which generally offer a more comfortable experience. For a vibrant atmosphere, consider party hostels in popular areas.

Families can find exquisite yet affordable options in Siem Reap, featuring luxury villas and family suites with outdoor pools.

Kampot is a cool and charming destination with unique lodging choices, including private apartments and eco guesthouses surrounded by lush gardens.

What are the must-try local delicacies in Cambodia?

Sampling Cambodian cuisine is a delightful part of your travel experience in the country. Enjoy a typical meal with soup, salad, fish, vegetables, and rice, complemented by fresh fruit-based desserts.

Fish Amok, a steamed coconut fish dish in banana leaves, is a national favorite, while Samlor Machu Trey, a sweet and sour fish soup, offers a lovely taste. Try Char Kroeung Sach Ko, a stir-fried lemongrass beef dish, and relish the unique Cambodian sausage called Twa Ko.

Start your day with Nom Banh Chok, Khmer noodles topped with fish gravy and fresh vegetables. Bai Sach Chrouk, grilled pork with broken rice, is a popular street food.

Savor Kuy Teav, a noodle soup with various meat choices, and indulge in Lok lak, stir-fried beef in a flavorful brown sauce. These local delicacies will immerse you in the rich flavors of Cambodia.

How is the local transportation in Cambodia? Is tuk-tuk safe?

Getting around Cambodia is relatively easy, with improved roads connecting major towns and tourist hubs.

Buses and minivans are popular for travelers while renting a car or motorcycle offers flexibility. Express minivans and air-conditioned buses are common on sealed roads, and shared taxis are available on some routes. Car rental with a driver is convenient for exploring cities and provinces. 

Motorcycles are another option, especially for shorter rides. Local transport includes cyclos for urban areas and tuk-tuks for temple visits. Motos, or motorcycle taxis, cover short distances around towns. Taxis are accessible in large cities and can be hailed through ride-hailing apps. Negotiate fares upfront for motos and taxis to avoid overcharging.

Are Cambodian people friendly? What should I be aware of?

Cambodian people are renowned for their friendliness, earning the country the top spot in the "World's Friendliest Countries" list. They are described as patient, resourceful, and kind despite their hardships.

However, travelers should be cautious of bag snatching and pickpocketing, especially by thieves on motorcycles. Local scams, such as offering food to children or falling for restaurant tricks, are also prevalent. It is essential to stay vigilant and avoid getting involved in such situations.

Overall, Cambodians are warm and welcoming, making your visit a pleasant and memorable experience.

Are Cambodia's beaches worth visiting?

Cambodia may not be the first place that comes to mind for a beach holiday in Asia, but it's blessed with stunning and unspoiled beaches.

From the tranquil gem of Koh Rong Sanloem with incredible diving sites to the castaway island of Koh Thmei with its rustic charm and the remote paradise of Kho Totang for those seeking to disconnect, Cambodia offers a range of hidden beaches.

Explore Coral Beach on Koh Ta Kiev for snorkeling and spearfishing, enjoy sunbathing and hiking on Koh Tonsay, and bask in the beauty of Serendipity Beach in Sihanoukville. Discover Cambodia's stunning and less-crowded beaches for a unique beach getaway.

How to travel from Cambodia to neighboring countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, etc.?

To travel from Cambodia to neighboring countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos, you have several options, flying being the fastest and most convenient.

To cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia, you can choose between flying, taking a ferry from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh, or traveling by road via a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh.

For traveling from Cambodia to Laos, flight passengers entering Laos through an international airport can take advantage of the Laos electronic Visa, which can be obtained online.

However, entering Laos overland may be suitable for certain areas of Cambodia, and only a visa on arrival is available.

Take a bus from Phnom Penh to Stung Treng, crossing the Nong Nok Khiene - Tropaeng Kreal border, and onward to Don Det Island in the 4,000 Islands archipelago in Laos.

To travel between Thailand and Cambodia overland, buses ply between Bangkok and Siem Reap, taking about 6-9 hours, crossing the border at Poipet/Aranya Prathet port.

Are there any cultural taboos to be aware of during a Cambodia trip?

Cambodia has some cultural taboos to be aware of during your trip.

When giving something to a monk, pass it through a male or use a handkerchief, as physical contact with women is forbidden. Use your right hand to pass or receive items, and avoid using only your left hand.

Avoid pointing the soles of your feet at others, and refrain from touching the top of someone's head. Be respectful when posing for photos, and don't walk over someone sitting or lying down.

Remove footwear when entering temples or homes, and bring gifts like fruit or sweets when invited to someone's home. When dining, follow the lead on seating arrangements and eat with your hands, chopsticks, or a spoon and fork.

While gift-giving, use the right hand while supporting the right elbow, and avoid white wrapping paper.

Click here to learn more things not to do in Cambodia.

What are the important festivals in Cambodia?

In Cambodia, a tapestry of vibrant festivals enriches the cultural fabric throughout the year.

Khmer New Year marks a joyous harvest celebration where families reunite and play traditional games.

Pchum Ben, known as the "Festival of the Dead," is a deeply spiritual occasion when Cambodians pay homage to their ancestors, offering food and prayers at pagodas.

The Water Festival celebrates the nation's maritime heritage, honoring the prowess of the naval forces.

Meak Bochea exudes serenity as the monks gather to commemorate Lord Buddha's sermon, while Vesak Bochea radiates with devotion as Buddhists celebrate Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and passage to nirvana.

These festivals capture the essence of Cambodian traditions, inviting all to embrace their rich heritage with warmth and reverence.

What essential items should I bring for my Cambodia trip?

Ensure a smooth and enjoyable Cambodia trip by packing these essential items.

To safeguard your belongings, invest in an anti-theft backpack for navigating busy streets and tuk-tuks. Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle, and remember to carry a filter bottle for tap water. Keep your feet clean with a pumice stone for temple visits.

For women, a lightweight scarf serves multiple purposes. Don't forget a universal power adapter, a silk sleeping bag liner for bus journeys, and your favorite sunscreen.

Also, remember to dress appropriately for the hot weather and protect your electronics with waterproof packs, shock-absorbing cases, and surge-protected chargers. 

Obtain a Cambodian SIM card for cost-effective data, and carry a power bank for your phone. Always have a universal plug adapter and a small yet powerful torch for visibility and security.

How can I make my Cambodia trip more cost-effective?

Maximize your Cambodia trip without breaking the bank with these money-saving tips!

Enjoy cheap and tasty Cambodian street food, negotiate prices with vendors, and limit your spending on drinks to save money. Consider volunteering at hostels for discounted accommodation and book tours as a group to get better deals.

Carry a water bottle with a purifier to save on drinks and reduce plastic waste. Embrace Cambodia's affordability, explore its vibrant culture, and visit stunning temples without compromising your budget!

Cambodia travel tip: Choose the right local travel agency!

Selecting the right local travel agency is a crucial Cambodia travel tip for an enhanced experience. Their expertise, customized tours, and local knowledge provide valuable insights and personalized itineraries. 

With language support and immediate assistance during emergencies, they ensure smooth communication and responsible tourism practices. Additionally, cost-effectiveness, insider tips, and personalized attention make them a valuable resource for a memorable and enriching journey.

When you book your Cambodia trip with us, you not only secure these benefits but also open doors to a seamless and unforgettable adventure.


We hope with our Ultimate Guide for planning a successful Cambodia trip in 2024 has helped prepare you for an unforgettable adventure. By considering the essential items to pack, being mindful of cultural nuances, and exploring the most significant festivals, you can enhance your travel experience.

Remember to choose the right local travel agency to ensure smooth arrangements and maximize your time exploring this fascinating country. Contact us if you're interested to tailor your Cambodia tour.

So, gear up, embrace the excitement, and begin an incredible journey through Cambodia, where ancient wonders, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality await you at every turn. Safe travels!

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