Cambodia Travel Blog and Guide

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This page is a Cambodia blog and guide full of personal experiences and travel information to help you plan your visit to Cambodia. We cover getting to Cambodia from Southeast Asian countries, places, towns, cities and attractions to visit in Cambodia and the practicalities of food, lodging, handling money and getting around.

We have visited Cambodia several times, recently as a family with fairly young kids. So if you’re planning to visit Cambodia as a family, this post will be great for you!

Cambodia travel family
My family exploring a wonderful temple complex, not far from Battambang Cambodia. You can take a bus to Battambang from Siem Reap. The locals were very excited to see us and we were always warmly welcomed.

Cambodia Travel Blog

Is Cambodia Worth Visiting and Where To Go?

Angkor Wat Face Cambodia
Magnificent Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Allow yourself at least 3 days, to do it justice.

We love Cambodia. Cambodia is a must-visit destination in Southeast Asia because of Angkor Wat, many people fly into Siem Reap just for this UNESCO-listed wonder of the world.

However, there is much more to Cambodia to explore, consider Cambodia’s beaches and islands, the capital, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Kep and Kampot. We tell you a bit about these places, and our experiences visiting as a family.

What Are The Leading Tours And Things To Do in Cambodia?

angkor wat with kids climbing
Exploring Ta Prohm at The Bayon. This is the part of the Angkor Wat complex with the huge faces.

Angkor Wat is the big draw in Cambodia, then there are The Killing Fields and various relics of the Pol Pot Era. For Angkor Wat you need to be based in Siem Reap and from Siem Reap the Kampong Phluk Floating Village tour is also popular.

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You should try and see Angkor at both sunset and sunrise, your 3 day ticket should allow this. Booking a guide and driver is 100% essential, the site is vast. These days you can book tours in advance online, but if you can pay a local tuk tuk driver in person, we think this is better. It should be easy to find a driver on the street and negotiate a price. You will probably have to haggle. Our driver was the nicest guy, barely a word of English, but full of laughs.

Fried spider Cambodia
Cambodian fried spider, don’t try this!

You can visit The Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Prison S21 from Phnom Pen. We don’t think these are suitable for young or sensivive children, or some adults. It’s tough to see.

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We didn’t take our kids, having been ourselves as a couple.

There is another Killing Field near Battambang, we wandered in by accident.

While the children loved exploring and climbing the ruins at Angkor Wat, it was a very long, hot day for them and it wasn’t particularly safe. Take plenty of water. Your guide will normally take you to a small restaurant for lunch.

Travel To, From, and Around Cambodia

You can travel by land into Cambodia from Thailand easily, we’ve done it by bus and taxi, although it can be a long trip. The journey from Vietnam into Cambodia is somewhat complicated by water crossings although, we must admit, we haven’t travelled this route since 2001.

Obviously, you can fly. If you’re short of time, this is probably your best option. Have a little think about your carbon footprint, not just costs, when you’re deciding how best to travel.

Siem Reap is where you need to go to see Angkor Wat. Siem Reap International Airport is the closest airport to Angkor Wat and has direct flights on AirAsia and several other Southeast Asian countries. Find out about airport transfers from Siem Reap airport here.

Phnom Pen also has an international airport but it’s a long way from Angkor Wat. (145 miles, 233 Km). You can travel by bus or minivan between the two, there are boat options. Or you can fly.

If you plan to travel between Phnom Pen and Siem Reap, the best way to research prices and availability for boat/plane/bus options is to open 12GoAsia here. This is a great site for getting around Asia. Or you can use our search box, below.

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Is Cambodia an Easy Country to Visit?

No, I don’t think Cambodia is an easy country to travel around. It’s pretty hard. I’d say it was the hardest country in this corner of Asia.

The country was knocked for six by the Pol Pot years and you can see the scars, both in terms of infrastructure and human suffering. Transport practicalities are challenging and you may find some of the realities of Cambodia today hard to take. My younger son, particularly, was upset at times by the things he saw.

We opted not to take the kids to some of the more harrowing destinations in Cambodia. Having visited before we knew what was there. We didn’t want to traumatise the kids so we skipped a few places when visiting Cambodia with them.

Instead we opted for the more fun destinations, like Angkor Wat, Kep, Battambang, Kampot, and the nicer parts of Phnom Penh.

Battambang Cambodia
Battambang Cambodia, we liked this town and it had a good children’s playground and plenty to see nearby.

There are also beach opportunities in Cambodia if that is what you’re looking for. Our Cambodia travel blog section tends to reflect our interests, and they are more cultural and historical.

Cambodian Food

Cambodian food
Taking a Cambodian cooking class in Battambang Cambodia.

We ate a lot of fried rice in Cambodia. If you’re travelling from Thailand or Vietnam you may be disappointed in Cambodian cuisine. It’s maybe not as good, but still, take a cookery class, learn more about it and try local dishes like amok, a steamed dish with meat or fish set almost like a custard.

The kids were very happy to eat fried rice. Western food is widely available in Siem Reap.

We also tried deep fried tarantula, we don’t recommend it.

The fish market at Kep is quite interesting. The area also famously produces salt and pepper and you may enjoy seeing these processes.

Voluntourism in Cambodia

Cambodia has big problems with well-meaning tourists wishing to volunteer, particularly with cute orphans. We have been contacted directly by a Cambodian charity and asked to pass on this information to our readers. Many of these children are not orphans at all. The orphanages are businesses and they need a steady supply of children to keep the tourists coming. They are taken from their families to extract tourist dollars and donations.

In all of our travels, we’ve rarely seen any form of voluntourism business that was actually doing good for the people involved. This form of tourism is particularly damaging for these children. You’ll see leaflets explaining this all over Cambodia. Please do not get involved. But thank you for wanting to help. These communities would be much better saving themselves without interference from Westerners.

If you’d like to help, find legitimate ways to do so, probably best in your own country. White saviourism is a well-known term.

Can you book tours in and around Cambodia in advance?

Yes. We are big fans of this site for booking all sorts of tours and transfers. This allows you to pay online with your card, have the backup of a big company with guarantees, and avoid all local scams, rip-offs and haggling.

Can you pay for many things using your credit card in Cambodia? Currency and ATMs.

Yes in the bigger cities and tourist areas. Availability of credit card transactions is growing. For markets, local shops, tuk tuks and street food you will need cash. Cambodian currency is the Cambodian Reil, you can draw cash from ATMs in Cambodia. Cambodia is one of those countries where you can still use the US dollars. Some cashpoints (ATMs) will even give out US dollars.

Visas For Cambodia

You can apply online for an for Cambodia, single entry (US $30 approx) for a 30 day stay for the major airports in Cambodia. This will make your life easier if you plan to cross a land border to Cambodia. Expect long queues.

Phones and SIM Cards for Cambodia

We travel with dual SIM, unlocked phones, allowing us to buy a physical SIM card at the airport on arrival in each country.

You may like to check out DrimSim, this is a new way to purchase a roaming SIM card which will work in over 200 countries. Buy it online here. Perfect for travelling around Southeast Asia.

card skimming, Security and Theft

We have never been robbed in Cambodia, nor encountered pickpockets. Be careful, obviously, but we don’t think theft is very likely outside Phnom Penh. We always recommend travellers buy an anti-theft bag or daypack. If you open either of these posts it gives you more details on what makes a bag “anti-theft”.

hotels and hostels in Cambodia

In Siem Reap, we can warmly recommend Garden Village Guesthouse, (on Agoda, the booking platform we use for Asia) a budget but rather nice guest house or hostel, with a pool and on-site food. We and many other family travellers have used this place as a base in Siem Reap

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Our Cambodia travel blog section is short right now despite spending months in the country. Cambodia is one of the first countries we revisited when I first started this travel blog. My blogging game wasn’t as strong as it is now. We will most certainly be back to add more content just as soon as we can.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.