TOP 10 Reasons to Visit Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia lays in between Thailand and Vietnam and bordered by Laos on the north. Compared to its neighbours it does not get as big attention as the two other countries. Even though Cambodia gets more and more visitors each year, it is still easy to get off the beaten track and discover the rural countryside with rickety wooden houses and rice paddies, kids waving at you and smiling locals everywhere. For women travelling solo it is also a perfect place to go.

Cambodia offers a great package for budget travellers and backpackers. With low prices, welcoming locals and wonderful sights it can be the best option for someone who would like to spend some weeks on a relatively low budget but many people include the country into their itinerary as part of a longer Sout East Asian trip.

Despite of the country’s sad history the Khmer people seem to be the happiest people on Earth. Despite of the poverty it is a country of genuine smiles. Do not think twice, book a flight and see it for yourself!

1. Easy to reach


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

If you find a cheap flight anywhere from Europe to Bangkok it is a great option to spend a few days in the big metropolis and than take the direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap. It is an 8-9 hours long journey, the ticket costs about 20 EUR. The other option is to fly from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) into Siem Reap or to the capital Phnom Penh. Air Asia offers great rates (Bangkok – Siem Reap flight costs around 50 EUR).

2. Easy Visa Process

 Visa on arrival is available for most nationals. At the airport you have to fill in a form, pay 35 USD – dollars are accpeted everywhere in the country – hand in your passport photo, wait a few minutes and done. If you are travelling overland it is perhaps wiser to get the visa in Bangkok or also possible on the border, however that can take long sometimes.

3. Visit Angkor Wat


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

Visiting the amazing temple complex is the highlight for most people and the main reason for going to Cambodia. The temples are remains of the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century surrounded by jungle. It can be very crowded in the peak season so it requires some logistics which temple to start at. The sunset watching spot is overcrowded and also the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Probably the best idea is to buy the 3 day pass for 40 USD and do the small circuit, big circuit and go back to your favourite temples when they are less crowded. Generally said the big tourist groups go back to Siem Reap for lunch and return again in the afternoon. Make sure to start early in the morning this way there is a chance to see even Bayon without people. Bycicling is possible but you have to deal with the heat and the distances are big. Bargain with a tuktuk driver (usually 15 USD/day) to drive you from temple to temple.

 4. Easy to get around


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

The main towns are all well connected to the capital, Phnom Penh. The road can be bumpy and the busride is long but very cheap. There are sleeping buses for the longer rides on which at least you stay in a half-sit half-lay position. However the seats are usually double, causing a little discomfort. Every hotel or tourist agency can book you the bus to get to your next destination. Phnom Penh is well connected to the Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh City, the ride takes normally 6 hours.

5. Great food


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

Delicious street food, fresh ingredients, fried rice and fried noodles are worth trying. For the more adventuorus ones there is plenty of strange things available such as barbecue cricets, spiders or snakes and on the rural areas rats also. Refreshing fresh juices, coconut and sugar cane can be found around every corner for a dollar. Street food is dirt cheap usually one dollar a meal.

6. Amazing locals



Photographs taken by Dragan Tapshanov

Often called the land of smiles, Cambodia is truly about being very welcomed as a foreigner. The Khmer people make you feel at home and you will remember some smiles for long. If you are into photgraphy there is a great chance take some great shots of people.

7. Authentic experience



Photographs taken by Dragan Tapshanov

In Cambodia many peple still lives from farming on their fields. About 75 percent of the poplation lives from growing rice, corn or vegetables. Once you leave the capital or any bigger town you find yourself on the countryside where people live in wooden houses. This is the kind of experience that is very difficult to find in Thailand or Vietnam, if at all.

8. Beautiful beaches


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

If you are looking for quiet, laid back beaches without huge resorts and crowded beach bars you are at the right place. Head to Kep from the capital, and take the small boat from the pier to get dropped off on Rabbit Island. This small island has only a few huts and the electricity comes on for 4 hours a day. If you are looking for something louder check out Shinaoukville. Or take the speedferry to Koh Rong Island. Koh Rong Samloem is more quiet and in general the white sand and turquise water can be only found on the islands. You will feel yourself in Paradise.

 9. Safe


Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov

Even for women traveling alone Cambodia is one of the safest destinations. In bigger towns it is impossible to stay alone as you will get to know so many other travellers in restaurants, hostels, tourist sights. If this is your first journey alone, it will be a great experience go for it!

10. Low budget

If all the above mentioned reasons still have not convinced you let us give you a quick example how cheap Cambodia can be. You do not need to save up for years for this journey and yet you will get a great experience on an extremely low budget. Let’s say that on an avarage you can find decent private rooms for 10-15 USD/room. Dorms are the cheapest (starting from 3-5 USD/person) and it is possible to find basic beach huts on the islands from 5USD/night. Streetfood is 1-3 USD/meal. So for a 20 USD daily budget your can be a happy camper. You need a little money for gettin around by buses and the flight comes on top of this. Do the maths, it is a great country to explore on a budget!

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