Cambodia Costs and Review

See our general tip page here.  Note the costs here do not include external flights, vaccines and insurance etc – this will be detailed at the end of the trip.

  Total per day
  USD gbp USD gbp
Accommodation $326.00 £207.45 $17.16 £10.92
Busses $94.00 £59.82 $4.95 £3.15
Taxi/TukTuk $7.50 £4.77 $0.39 £0.25
Food (not beer) $241.00 £153.36 $12.68 £8.07
Essentials $40.00 £25.45 $2.11 £1.34
Entertainment (inc beer) $456.00 £290.18 $24.00 £15.27
         
         
Total $1,164.50 £741.05    
Nights 19      
Total per night $61.29 £39.00    

Overall

Cambodia was a massive surprise.  Before we came we only read information on how we’d be ripped off at every opportunity; and how the roads were awful and dangerous; and how bad some accommodation was.  Our real findings though were vastly different.

Not once were we ripped off (maybe short changed a few pence), and not once did we feel unsafe.  The locals were unbelievably friendly, and even the kids happy to say a quick hello and not want/expect anything in return other than a hello and wave.  Very undemanding.

Cambodia has an awful history that we need to look at in more detail, and find out why the UK still supported Pal Pot of the Khmer Rouge years after he got booted out and millions (25% of Cambodian population) were murdered.

Considering what the country has been through we think it is amazing, and with so many kids at school the future is bright.  We only hope it doesn’t get ruined by being too touristy and then treating all westerners as walking ATMs. 

Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh were great, though we disliked the beach areas – though may have just been a bad choice.  We know we missed other parts off, and we didn’t go too far off the beaten track so haven’t really gone too deep, but we think we got a good view on the country.

Recommended to visit, and of course, Angkor Wat area is just stunning…

Budget

Our daily spend of  £39 is so little, and yet we did so much.  A fairly cheap country to get around in, and you could easily reduce our hotel costs by 50% if you like it rough,  At our level it was rather pleasant!

Security

Keeping small change (notes) loose is a good idea so you don’t get you wallet out.  Be wary of having “stuff” on display, or things dangling, as there are so many mopeds snatch-crime would be easy to do and hard to catch.

For us, we’d say we had no security issues – though we stayed alert throughout.

Useful facts:-

  • ATMS:  ATMs everywhere (even in Kratie) and they only give USD.  When you get money out, if you have a big note go direct into the bank and change it (free) to smaller notes.  Canadia bank didn’t charge us anything for withdrawal
  • Currency:  Most big items priced in USD, whereas smaller items priced in Reil.  4000 Reil=$1 and they are interchangable everywhere.  e.g. $1.75 item, pay $2 get 1000 reil in change.  $1.25 item, pay 5000 reil, or $1 and 1000 reil.  Easy really.
  • Landry:  Most places around $1 to $1.50 per kg
  • 7/11:  None – local shops only, but water etc similar price everywhere.
  • Transport:  TukTuks are typical – negotiate first.  Even locals use “good” bus companies – Capitol and PP Soyra 168 are both fine and you can get tickets everywhere, and they can do hotel pickup.  Avoid tourist minibusses as they put 20+ in busses meant for 16. (+luggage!)
  • Chemists:  Reasonable selection – also big supermarkets (Lucky) in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for all western toiletaries.
  • Food:  Street food easy to access.
  • Language:  Knowing Yes, No helps – but English ok for normal stuff. 
  • Power:  mains plugs everywhere so charging stuff is trivial (socket adapter may be needed, and of course make sure charger is 110/240v!). 
  • Internet:  Wifi available in every guesthouse we used and in many bars/cafes.  Internet cafes and PCs to borrow also available free/cheap.
  • Toilets:  Western style in all guest houses and in most “good” public places, there may only be one in a row so look.  Worth carrying toilet paper though seldom needed.

Stuff we took and didn’t use

(see our packing list here)

  • Towels – they were provided by every guesthouse, even special beach towels
  • Mozzie net – only needed in one place, and it was already provided.
  • Loads of clothes – you only need 4-5 sets of undies – laundry is so trivial to do you do not need to carry as much as us.
  • Spare batteries for stuff – power so available we kept things charged
  • Main padlock – all guest houses had normal locks

Things we’d change

Sihanoukville wasn’t worth the trip, though Kep and surrounding places may have been.  Potentially we should have done more research surrounding these places and amended our routing.  But apart from that, we’d keep all as was.