The mighty Kingdom of Cambodia, by far one of my favorite destinations so far. It surprised me daily with its strength, culture and determination to be happy through the flaws, corruption and still present effect of the Khmer rouge regime. A place I am desperate to return to. It had everything I wanted from a travel destination, delicious food, lots of history, the most amazing deserted beaches, beautiful islands, a lively nightlife and there are plenty of chances to get off the beaten path if you put in that little bit of extra effort. A place I will 100 percent be returning to, and I highly recommend it.
SO WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND THERE?
Cambodia really is one of the cheapest places in Southeast Asia, once you’ve got your head around the mixed currency of US dollars and Cambodian Riel it is pretty straight forward. Everything from food, to accommodation to even the most well-known attractions barely cost anything. As with most places the more you drink and party the more you will spend, Cambodia has plenty of good backpacker and local nightlife, even in places such as Koh Rong, which when I visited in 2014 was no more than just a beach front with a couple of hostels and 1 shop, you still managed to have a beach party and end up covered in neon paint several nights a week (even if the electric did switch off after hours!)
ACCOMODATION – Dorm rooms within a hostel averaged out at about 17,000-25,000 KHR (rougly £3/5 GBP), and private rooms were 20,000-40,000 KHR. There is also the options of hotels which weren’t too expensive but had air-con, TV and private showers, luxury, and then home stays in some areas which were mid-priced.
FOOD – Unsurprisingly the food is very cheap here, and you must try the seafood fried rice, I don’t think I had a bad dish in the whole of Cambodia. Generally street food is about 4,000-8,000 KHR per meal, and basic restaurants can cost between
12,000-22,000 KHR. If you did want to indulge in a bit of home comforts then western food was usually 20,000-40,000 KHR. I remember one of the cheapest but nicest meals I had in Cambodia that was cooked fresh for me on the beach costing just $1.
GETTING AROUND – Cheap cheap cheap. You can get around for just a few dollars, the buses are around 40,000 KHR and renting a driver for the day is not much more. For a half day tuk-tuk around Angkor Wat Roxanne, Andrew and I paid just $4 each, and considering it is one of the most well known sites in the whole of South East Asia, I expected they would have charged a lot more.
WHAT SHALL I DO THERE? – As with so many places in Asia, Cambodia really does offer everything. You can spend time relaxing and uncovering new beaches on the Koh Rong islands, watching the sunset from those and Otres beach in Sianoukville are where you will find some of the best. From here you can also do diving, and swim with the glowing plankton at night! You can ride horses through villages and countryside from Siem Reap, spend days learning and hearing about the Khmer Rouge at the killing fields and S21 school in Phnom Penh. If you fancy a drink there are plenty of bars, especially the famous Angkor Wat bar on Pub street in Siem Reap. Of course, you can’t come to Cambodia and not visit the UNESCO site that is Angkor Wat, it speaks for itself, and the photos do the sunrise no justice. There is just so much to do, floating river villages, french colonial cities, jungles, tubing and trekking. You really can pick and choose according to your desires.