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Cambodia backpacking guide

Backpacking Cambodia – things to know before setting off

Traveling to Cambodia is certainly one of the best experiences that you will ever have in your life. People, before they visited Cambodia, may have had low expectations of the country as they hadn’t heard too much about the place. What people only knew about Cambodia was that it had a terrible past and the place wasn’t a developed one.

But once you travel to Cambodia, you’ll be rather blown away by the friendly nature of the people, the beauty of the country and by the variety that you can see and do there. Cambodia is definitely one of the most underrated nations of the world. Apart from its beauty, it has got a rich history, beautiful coastlines, delicious and lip-smacking food and a lively nightlife.

In order to reach Cambodia, you need to get a Cambodia Visa on Arrival land border crossings between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia. So, if you’re eager to walk through the roads of Cambodia, read on to know more.

5 Things do to and see in Cambodia

Angkor Wat Cambodia

  • Angkor Wat: The temple ruins that you find here are massive and hence you will require few days to satisfy your inner quench for exploring ruins. In case you’re not a history buff, you should buy a single-day ticket ($37). Others who are history buffs should consider taking a 3-day ticket of $72, which offers s slight discount.
  • Sihanoukville: Deserted islands, white powdery sand beaches, delicious seafood, great diving and a heavy nightlife that is filled with cheap beer makes this spot a hot spot among tourists. Though this is not a calm place to hang out, it is great for drinkers.
  • Phnom Penh: This is the capital of Cambodia and it has got a Wild West environment with dusty roads and a ‘who cares’ atmosphere. There are few great attractions to see and you’ll love the foodie vibe of the city.
  • Tonle Sap: When you sail across this tranquil river, you’ll get an insight into how closely Cambodian life is tied to this waterway. Take your boat all the way down to the other end and cruise through the river on a short day trip. This tour will start around $3/person.
  • Battambang: This is a place to find the most special temples, a stunning architecture and bamboo train. This is Cambodia without tourism. Take a river boat to Siem Reap or Phnom Phen for a unique experience at $20/person.

Things to know before you visit Cambodia 


#1: Cambodia is splendid and there are lots to see and do

One of the prettiest countries to visit is Cambodia. It is like what Thailand was 2 decades back as the tourism is rapidly growing and still it retains the old school Asian charm, friendly locals, awesome landscapes and wonderfully tasty food. We recommend visiting Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, the Islands, Angkor Wat and Kampot.

#2: Learn about the history of Cambodia

For such a happy and vibrant place, you need to know that Cambodia also has a dark history. Upon grabbing power in 1975, the Khmer Rouge, under the leader Pol Pot, started a murderous plan which lasted for 4 consecutive years. If you wish to understand the current-day Cambodia, you should read up on the past before you visit.

#3: There are heavenly beaches in Cambodia

Cambodia’s islands and coastline are splendid and beautiful and you can definitely find one beach that will suit your vibe. You can prefer to chill on Kiev to Koh but in case you like to party, visit Koh Rong or visit Sihanoukville.

#4: Use Tuk-Tuks or buses to move around Cambodia

The simplest way of exploring towns or cities in Cambodia is through a tuk-tuk. They’re cheap as compared to taxis and are nimble enough to take you from destination X to destination Y before you even realize it. In case you travel within the region, ensure using the bus network. It is widespread with several operators accessible on the main routes like Sihanoukville – Phnom Penh.

#5: Cambodia can get extremely hot

As obvious as it may seem, Cambodia gets extremely hot, particularly during the peak season from November to March. Hence, if you’re traveling to Cambodia during this time, be ready to face warm days and nights. It would be best if you could wake up early and explore the hottest areas during the day. Wear sunscreen always, drink lots of water and wear breathable clothing during your day trips.

Thankfully, Cambodia also happens to be an incredibly safe place for traveling. It is very rare that you’ll see violent attacks occuring on the roads. Nevertheless, you may come across petty thefts here and there. People are nice, helpful and friendly and so it is most unlikely that you’ll fall in trouble.

Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. As a kid he was lucky enough to live for many years in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s developed a taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Laos, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.

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