Tips for backpacking in Cambodia

Vietnam Cambodia tour

Tips for backpacking in Cambodia are of great importance for those who plan to visit this country. Let’s consider below tips.

Cambodia is one of the most attractive travelling spot in the world. After 25 years of isolation, Cambodia began to welcome visitors since 1990s and the number of visitors is increasing

It does not cost too much money to visit Cambodia. Have you ever made a backpacking trip to explore this country by yourself? If not, why don’t you give it a try? The below tips might be of help to you.


Passport and Visa

You passport must be valid within a period of 6 months. In order not to lose your passport, you should make a copy.

Procedures to apply for a visa in Cambodia is simple and you can obtain your visa in Phnom Penh international airport or in Siem Reap airport. You should prepare passport, 2 portrait pictures and you have to fill in a form to apply for visa

Especially, Vietnamese tourists don’t have to obtain visa to enter Cambodia


Best time to visit Cambodia

Cambodia has tropical monsoon climate with two separate seasons namely rain season and dry season. Its climate is similar to that of Vietnam so you can easily adapt to.

Dry season begins from November to April in the following year. You should pack necessary items to protect yourself from the sunlight.

Rain season usually begins from May to October. It rains a lot during rain season, causing trouble for tourism activities. Nevertheless, this season is the best time for tourists to come to visit temples in Angkor and rural villages in Cambodia.

November to February may be the best time for travelling as the weather is cool and comfortable. If you travel in April, you will be able to take part in Khmer people’s traditional festivals as April is Tet holiday of them. If you travel in November, you will have opportunity to participate in water festival and boat racing event.


How to travel to Cambodia

Long time ago, visitors had to use coach to travel to Cambodia. Since the development of tourism in many countries, air travel has become more popular and flights form Vietnam to Cambodia were offered to tourists. Therefore, transportation is now getting much easier

Coach: there are many brands of coaches for you to choose from such as Mai Linh, Sapaca, Mekong Express and Kumho buslines

Flight: there are many flights routes from big cities of Vietnam to Cambodia and airline companies usually offer cheap tickets. Such tickets are suitable for backpacking


Transportation in Cambodia.

Cambodia supplies tourists with many means of transportation for visitors to go sightseeing.

Tuk tuks are the most popular means of transport and they are easily found in Phnom Penh and Seam Reap. They look like lambrettas of Vietnam. The drivers are very friendly and can speak English. Many of them can even speak Vietnamse.  The cost is not to high but you are advised to make a deal with the drivers before getting on a tuk tuk.

Belows are phone number of Vietnamese tuk tuk drivers in Phnom Phenh. All the numbers are located in Cambodia so you should dial the phone code 0855 when calling

Mr Hung 012533387

Mr Kiet 0976603406

Mr Thong 0973445212

Mr Nghia 0977205226

Alternatively, you can hire a motorbike to get around. Besides there are many means of transport such as motorbike taxi and lambretta. Taxi is not popular here. You should not find a bus as buses are not used for travelling in Cambodia



You must be worried about  where to stay in Cambodia especially when you do not know the language as well as local people’ lifestyles and culture.  My advice for you is that search and book your hotel before you go there. You can visit the website for more details in booking

Bellows are 3 suggestions for you

 – MY HOME- Tropical Garden Villa, 142, Road to Psar Krom, Siem Reap

 – TA SOM Guesthouse & Tour services, 268, National Road Number 6, Siem Reap

 – NARIN Guesthouse, 50 Road Number 125, Phnom Penh


Places to visit in Cambodia


Angkor Wat

Angkor, the ancient temple of more than one thousand years old, is the biggest pride of Cambodian people. Built in Khmer Empire from 5th century to 19th century, the temple still preserves its own values. Angkor system includes famous Angkor Wat temples such as Bayon temple and Ta Prohm temple. Tourists will be amazed at what they can explore here.

Angkor Wat - a destination in Cambodia tour

Angkor Wat – a destination in Cambodia tour


Shihanoukville port city

It is a big port city in Gulf of Thailand. It is also called Kampong Som with blue water beaches and sandy beaches stretching along coconut trees

Shihanoukville impresses tourists with its islands and primitive tropical forests in the North and West.


Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear is a temple located in a mountain cliff of 525 meters high on Dangrek range. It is one of the most beautiful structure of Khmer architecture in 11th century.

Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap is the biggest fresh water lake in South East Asia. It changes every season. In dry season, it has little water and when rain season comes, it becomes larger with many floating villages living nearby.


Silver Temple

It is a part of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace and is considered Cambodia’s treasure with many golden and gemstone  Buddha statues. The most valuable statue is  a crystal Buddha statue and golden Di Lac statue with 9584 diamonds.


Bokor Hill station

The station was constructed by French in 1920s and was abandoned until now. However, it still attract tourists to visit.



It used to be a crowded market located on Mekong river bank. With buildings of French architecture, it attracts a lot of tourists.


Koh Ker

Koh Ker is the capital of Khmer Empire from 928 to 944. During this time, many buildings were constructed. For example, Prasat Thm is a pyramid shaped temple of 30 meters high.


Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei is a temple 25 kilometers far from Angkor system. It is built in 967 from fluorescent sandstones.

In addition to the above mentions travelling spots, you should visit “ Forgotten heaven- Koh Rong” to get the spectacular view of phosphorescent beach. Besides, do not forget to visit Golden Moutain coffee museum.


Cambodian cuisine


Bai sach chrouk

Apparently, it looks like Vietnamese broken rice. It is a popular dish in breakfast in in Cambodia.  Bai sach chrouk includes rice and grilled meat. It is served with chicken soup and a bowl of cucumber mixed with ginger.


Amok fish

It is a typical dish of Cambodian people. It is cooked from jiggery, coconut water and fish sauce. People use snakehead and catfish to make amok fish.

amork fish - a speciality of Cambodia

amork fish – a speciality of Cambodia


Khmer curry

It is not as spicy as that of Thailand. It is usually made from beef, chicken, fish with other ingredients such as peanuts, potato, coconut water, lemongrass and pepper.

It is usually served with bread and in special occasions such as weddings or family parties and religious festivals.


Lap Khmer

It is Khmer beef salad mixed with garlic, lemongrass, pepper, fish sauce and many herbs. It is preferred in Cambodian and usually used in drinking parties of men

Nom banh chok

Nom bạnh chok is a very common dish in Cambodian and it has an English name as Khmer Noodel

Nom banh chok is served with fresh mint leaves, sliced banana flower, cucumber and other herbs. It is eaten in breakfast.

Kdam Chaa

Kdam Chaa, commonly known as fried crab is speciality of coastal towns. Kampot pepper is important ingredient of this dish

If you have chance to visit coastal areas in Cambodia, do not forget to try this dish.


Fried beef with ants

Dishes made from insects are very popular in Cambodia.

You should try fried beef with ants and basil. People choose ants of different types then cook with beef and ginger, garlic, lemongrass. You can eat with rice.


Fried fish

Fried fish is a traditional dish in special occasions in Cambodian.

Additionally, you should try other famous dishes such as roasted spiders, Mi Char fried noodle…

Bellows are some addresses for eating


In Phnom Penh

 – Phsa Reatrey night market and Kanda market in Kisowath Quay

 – Veng Nguon restaurant in Sankat Phsar Kandal 1

 – Kiwi Bakery and Restaurant in Sisowath Boulevard

 – Street malls opposite Naga World Hotel


In Siem Reap

 – Khmer House restaurant in Old Market

 – Soup Dragon restaurant in the middle of Old Market

 – Khmer Kitchen restaurant


Necessary knowledge when backpacking in Cambodian



The unit of currency in Cambodian is Riel, known as KHR. 1000 dong equals to 195,15 KHR and $1 equals to 1,127 KHR. You should use USD when travelling to Cambodian. If you travel by road, you should convert money in border checking point.

You should bring USD with low values for convenience

You can withdraw USD from credit cards.


Mobile system

You can call your friends and families in Vietnam from hotels or you can buy Cambodian Subscriber Identity Module (sim) to call.


Other notes

 – You should make a bargain before buying anywhere and check the goods carefully to avoid fake goods.

 – If you travel alone you can find a tour guide when visiting historical sites and remember to comply with their rules.

 – As it is very hot during the day, you should wear thin clothes, sun protection items and drink enough water

 – For safety, you should put your tickets, passports and valuable items in your room or in receptionist room

 – In case you get lost, ask police for help

 – You should give tips for travelling service


Necessary items for your trip

 – A lot of footwear

 – Coat, hat, umbrella, sun cream

 – Drugs for common diseases such as stomach drugs, headache drugs.


For people who want to book tour to Cambodia and Vietnam, click here: Vietnam Cambodia tours


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