This post was updated in November 2019.
Cambodia, the country with such a heartbreaking past… It made a lasting impression on me, every time I think about my time there I still feel the weight of its terribly sad history.
That being said, Cambodia is a very interesting country to visit and a very cheap one as well. In this post, you can read how to travel Cambodia on a budget, as well as detailed information on how much you can expect to spend on accommodation, transport, food, and activities.
Cambodia on a budget
Cambodia travel budget: important facts and figures
- I traveled Cambodia with my husband, all expenses mentioned are for the two of us together.
- We spent 8 days in Cambodia, entering the country in the Southeast from Ha Tien, Vietnam and leaving to Thailand via the border at Poipet.
- I quote prices in $ as this is the currency that is used most in Cambodia. For payments smaller than $1 you’ll get change in Cambodian Riel, $1 is about 4000 riel. Unfortunately for everybody from Europe, including myself, the € has been decreasing steadily and €1 is worth only slightly more than $1. Therefore I don’t quote prices in €, it’s now pretty much the same as the $ ;-).
- In total we spent $585 in 8 days, which comes down to an average of $73 a day.
- All expenses in Cambodia are included, plus the transportation costs for the trip from Siem Riep to Bangkok.
Our Cambodia expenses are divided into four categories
1. Accommodation: 16% of our daily travel costs
2. Transportation: 14% of our daily travel costs
3. Food & Drinks: 39% of our daily travel costs
4. Paid activities: 19% of our daily travel costs
These categories add up to 88%, the other 12% is attributed to the $35 1-month single entry visa that we bought to enter Cambodia. Officially the visa costs $30…
But there is a $5 corruption fee levied at the border. Yes, I am strongly against corruption, bribing, etc. But I paid the $5 per visa extra anyway because I did want to enter Cambodia… Perhaps that makes me a bad person:-(. Anyway, I digress…
The total for two people was $70, which comes down to $9 a day. Better to stay in a country a bit longer, to spread the visa costs over more days;-).
1. Cost of accommodation in Cambodia
In total we stayed at three hotels and spent $96 in 8 days, the average price per night was $12. In the table below you can find the places I stayed at. You can read more about these hotels in my Cambodia itinerary.
|Phnom Penh||Diamond Palace II||€14,50/$16||Agoda||Booking|
|Siem Riep||Overflow Guesthouse||€13,20/$14,50||Agoda||Booking|
2. Cost of transport in Cambodia
Our total transportation costs were $80, so $10 on an average travel day. Check out our complete Cambodia itinerary to read more about getting around and which places you can’t miss on your Cambodia trip!
In general: the faster you travel, the higher your average daily transportation costs. It’s better to stay put every once in a while if you want to stick to your budget;-).
3. Cost of food & drinks in Cambodia
In total, we spent $224 on food and drinks, on average $28 a day. I think 90% was spent on Amok, a delicious traditional Khmer dish that is one of my favorite dishes off all times! I actually cook Amok on a regular basis now that I am back in the Netherlands. It tastes pretty good, though never as good as in Cambodia…
Nope, the dish pictured above is not Amok! I cannot believe I do not have one single picture of my favorite dish! Probably because I ate it all before I could get my camera out. This noodle soup was pretty tasty as well though!
The other 10% was probably spent on fresh smoothies… Hmm, smoothies, so yummy!
4. Cost of paid activities in Cambodia
Total costs for paid activities came to $112, a daily average of $14.
Which activities did we do for $114?
Well, we rented a scooter and went exploring around Bokor, Kampot, and Kep. We watched the movie ‘The Killing Fields’ in the Ecran Movie House in Kampot. A private cinema! Well, a room with a big TV, but the movie is a must-see when you are in or going to Cambodia no matter how and where you watch it.
In Phnom Penh we went to the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields, I found it impossible to find the right words to write about these visits and haven’t gone into detail on the blog. However, these two places should be on any Cambodia itinerary as they played such a terrible but important role in the history of the country.
In Siem Reap, we went to the magical and ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. We only spend one day in Angkor but you can easily spend longer, there are so many beautiful temples to see…
Cambodia travel budget: in conclusion
That’s pretty much it, all our Cambodia travel expenses! Cambodia was a little more expensive for us than the other countries in Southeast Asia we visited. You can compare our Cambodia travel costs with my budget breakdown posts for the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The main reason for these slightly higher costs is that we only spent a week in Cambodia. Plus Euro isn’t putting up a good fight against Dollar which also did not help our travel budget.
Still, the daily costs of living are definitely higher in the Netherlands… And temperatures are much lower. So go to Cambodia, let its history impress you and its people even more. And eat loads of Amok!
Below you can download the Cambodia budget breakdown infographic.