Cambodia is a thrilling SE Asia destination, and though most travelers are attracted by the stunning temple complex of Angkor Wat, the Kingdom has so much more to offer. The costs of travel in Cambodia are toward the lower end of the budget spectrum, however, be careful as some may try to get more money from you by charging US Dollars for small things like food.
Example: a coconut might cost 2,000 KHR ($0.50), but a vendor might just say $1 to a foreigner.
Cambodia uses the Riel (KHR) currency, though US Dollars are almost the preferred monetary currency throughout the country. It's wise to carry a supply of USD when visiting Cambodia.
1 USD is about 4,010 Riel (KHR)
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Cost of Accommodation
Most accommodation options in Cambodia deal only in dollars. Siem Reap, the entrance town of the famous temples of Angkor Wat, as well as Phnom Penh are loaded with all sorts of accommodation options. As with much of SE Asia, it's usually easier to find a friend and lodge in a double room than find a dorm room.
- Double fan room for two: around $4 – 5
- Double air con rooms: $6 – 8
- Step up to medium range accommodation: $10 – 20
Cost of Transportation
- Motorcycle taxis: Throughout the cities of Cambodia, random men with motorcycles will pull up and offer a ride on their personal motorcycle for a fee. This method of transportation relies squarely on your judgment as to whether the price is worth it or not. I'd say somewhere around $1 for a 5 – 10 km ride, and less for a tiny 1 km ride.
- Motorcycle tuk tuks: Carts pulled by motorcycles are the most common for of taxi around towns, rates shouldn't be much more than a dollar for a short ride.
- Buses: Bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 6 – 7 hour journey on the local bus can cost $5 – 6, on the more tourist oriented bus the journey can run around $10. The bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville (5 hours) is $5.
Cost of Food
Around the major tourist attractions (namely Angkor Wat) prices for everything are inflated. Food can still be found quite cheap if you look to where the locals eat. If you like to dine at restaurants with nice seating environments, designed for foreigners, the prices of food can be relatively expensive.
Street food is not as sanitary as in Thailand, but I ate it every meal and never had a problem. Cambodian food is a delicious combination reminiscent of a Thai and Vietnamese fusion, along with a few fantastic noodle dishes.
- I ate most of my meals in local markets, a plate of rice and a selection of tasty dishes: 6,000 KHR ($1.50)
- Single plate dishes including rice should cost: 3,000 – 5,000 KHR ($0.75 – $1.25)
- Cambodian version of baguette sandwiches on the street: 2000 KHR ($0.50)
- I ate some decent Indian food in Phnom Penh for 8,000 KHR ($2)
For nicer sit down restaurants it's common to eat meals for anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 KHR ($2.50 – $5).
Big bottle of water: 2,000 KHR ($0.50)
Cost of Going Out / Drinking
Most of the drinking and partying is done at small guest house bars and hang outs around the area. There are plenty of clubs and nightlife options within Phnom Penh if you are up for it.
Big bottle of Angkor beer: 5,000 KHR ($1.25), while some places will just charge $1 for a beer or drink.
Cost of Activities & Attractions
- Angkor Wat entrance: $20 for a 1 day pass (check out these photos of Angkor Wat)
- Hiring a tuk tuk all day to visit the temples around Angkor: $13 all day
- Killing Fields: $2 entrance + $13 tuk tuk to get there
- Museums in Phnom Penh: $2 entrance
While Cambodia is famous for a few attractions, the most interesting sites can be seen just walking around, visiting with Cambodians and sampling the local cuisine.
Overall Cost Travel in Cambodia
The low cost of food and accommodation in Cambodia makes it a great budget travel destination. With the exception of Angkor Wat, I was able to get away with spending around $10 – $12 per day on average. If you do plenty of activities and quite a bit of drinking, you might budget anywhere from $15 – $30 per day.