1. Overview about Cambodia

Cambodia, in Southeast Asia, has a rich history and captivating culture. From Angkor Wat‘s ancient temples to Phnom Penh‘s vibrant capital, it offers a unique mix of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Despite its tumultuous past, Cambodia is developing quickly and becoming a popular destination. Visitors are attracted to its temples, landscapes, cuisine, and the resilience of its people.

2. Important things to know when making Cambodia itinerary

2.1. Which language is spoken in Cambodia?

The official language in Cambodia is Khmer, spoken by the majority of the population. English is also widely spoken, particularly in urban areas and among the younger generation, due to its relevance in tourism, business, and education.

2.2. Which currency is used in Cambodia?

Despite the Riel being the country’s official currency, you’ll frequently be charged in US dollars. You will get a change for Cambodian Riel for amounts less than $1 ($1 = 4000 riel).

2.3. When is the best time to visit Cambodia?

The best time to visit Cambodia is from November to April, offering pleasant weather for temple exploration and outdoor activities. The peak tourist season from November to February can be crowded, so visiting during the off-season is recommended to avoid crowds and high expenses.

3. The Recommended 7-Day Cambodia Itinerary

For first-time visitors to Cambodia, Metta Voyage would like to suggest a 7-day itinerary to explore Cambodia:

3.1. Day 1-2: Kampot and around

Kampot is a charming village in southern Cambodia, making it a great addition to a 7-day itinerary,if you’re traveling from the southern part of Vietnam. Here are some interesting things you can do in Kampot.

3.1.1. Activities Guide In Kampot

Visiting the Epic Arts Café for breakfast

Breakfast or lunch at the Epic Arts Café is a great way to kick off your day. This fantastic café serves amazing meals and employs deaf and handicapped people (working at the cafe).

  • Address: Street 730, Sanath Village Central Territory, Kampot 07000 Campuchia
  • Open Hours: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Phone: +855 92 922 069
  • Price: $0.5 – $5/ dish

3.1.2. Visiting Kep National Park

Kep National Park is a stunning natural reserve located in Cambodia. This picturesque park is renowned for its lush greenery, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking views. It offers visitors a peaceful retreat amidst nature, with opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying the tranquil surroundings.

  • Entrance Fee: $1 for foreigners

Visit the abandoned village of Bokor Hill Station

Bokor Hill Station, a haunting ghost town near Kampot, was built in the 1920s as a Phnom Penh retreat but was abandoned during the 1st Indochina War. It briefly reopened in 1962 with a casino before closing again in 1972 under Khmer Rouge rule. The decaying buildings add to the gloomy atmosphere. Just 40 kilometers from Kampot, a visit to Bokor Hill Station, along with nearby Bokor Lake and Popokvil Waterfalls, can be done in a half or full day.

Transportation Guide around Kampot

In Kampot, you can choose from various transportation options. Renting a bicycle or motorbike is popular for exploring the town and nearby areas. Tuk-tuks are readily available for short trips and tours, while taxis and private car rentals offer convenience for longer distances or larger groups.

3.1.3. Foodie Guide In Kampot

Kampot offers diverse and delicious cuisine, from fresh seafood like crab with Kampot pepper to Khmer specialties like beef lok lak. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy plant-based options, and Kampot’s renowned pepper adds flavor to local recipes. With a wide range of dining choices, including international dishes, Kampot has something to satisfy every palate.

3.1.4. Accommodation Guide in Kampot

Bohemiaz Resort & Spa

This adorable resort features a pool, an amazing view of the mountains, and a number of really comfortable seats and hammocks where guests can unwind and sip drinks.

  • Address: Andong Khmer, Kampot 07000 Cambodia
  • Phone: +855 15 809 005
  • Price: $10 – $15/ night (Based on average price for standard room)

3.2. Day 3: Kampot to Phnom Penh

Traveling from Kampot to Phnom Penh is a straightforward and comfortable journey. The bus is a popular option, offering a quick and affordable ride. The bus ride usually takes around 4-5 hours, with multiple departures throughout the day. Ticket prices range from $7 to $11 per person, depending on the timing of the purchase. 

To secure your ticket, you can buy them online, seek assistance from your hotel, or purchase them directly at the bus terminal (although availability may be limited, so booking in advance is advisable if you have a tight schedule).

3.3. Day 4-5: Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is a vibrant city with 1.5 million residents. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers, it has seen rapid development. Don’t miss the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and Wat Phnom when exploring Phnom Penh.

For a deeper and more thought-provoking experience, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields. These sites shed light on the tragic events of the Khmer Rouge regime, offering a poignant understanding of Cambodia’s history.

3.3.1. Activities Guide In Phnom Penh

Visiting the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, are iconic landmarks. The Royal Palace is an architectural marvel and the residence of the King. Next to it is the Silver Pagoda, known for its floor adorned with silver tiles. Inside, visitors can marvel at precious treasures, including a solid gold life-size Buddha. These sites showcase Cambodia’s grandeur and cultural heritage. 

Please note the strict dress code at the Royal Palace: no skirts or shorts above the knee, and no strap tops or tank tops.

  • Open Hours: 8:00-10:30 AM, 2:00–5:00 PM (4:30 PM on Fridays)
  • Entrance Fee: $10/ person

Visiting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was a former high school turned prison during the Khmer Rouge regime. It stands as a memorial to the atrocities of that time, displaying photographs, artifacts, and prison cells that offer a chilling insight into the suffering endured by the Cambodian people. A visit to this museum is a solemn and significant way to understand Cambodia’s tragic history and honor the victims.

  • Open Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Entrance Fee: $5 – $10/ person (for foreigners)

Visiting Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Being a somber memorial of mass graves from the Khmer Rouge regime, Choeung Ek Killing Fields provides a poignant reminder of the tragic events that took place, allowing visitors to explore, learn, and pay their respects. The site features a memorial stupa adorned with countless skulls, offering a powerful experience that underscores the importance of remembering Cambodia’s history.

  • Open Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Entrance Fee: $6/ person

Foodie Guide In Phnom Penh

In Phnom Penh, visitors can indulge in traditional Khmer dishes such as Amok (a popular fish curry steamed in banana leaves), Lok Lak (stir-fried beef with a tangy sauce), and Bai Sach Chrouk (grilled pork with rice). The city also offers a wide range of international cuisines, including French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai, reflecting its multicultural influences. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, Phnom Penh offers a delightful gastronomic experience for food enthusiasts.

3.3.2. Accommodation Guide In Phnom Penh 

Diamond Palace II

You can stay in Diamond Palace II, which is next to the Royal Palace. The accommodation had complimentary mineral water, a small fridge, tea and coffee making equipment, and a comfy bed.

  • Address: #29EO, St. 178, Preah Ang Makhak Van, Phnom Penh 12206 Cambodia
  • Phone: +855 23 224 169
  • Price: $14/ night (Based on average price for standard room)

3.4. Day 6-7: Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

To travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, you can take a bus or a domestic flight. Buses are a popular and convenient option, with a travel time of around 6 to 7 hours (costs – $11-$17/ person). Alternatively, you can choose to fly, with several daily flights available between the two cities that take around 45 minutes. For a unique experience, you can also consider taking a boat ride along the Tonle Sap River.

3.4.1. Activities Guide In Siem Reap

Visiting Artisans Angkor

Artisans Angkor is an ideal workshop for those interested in locally-made art, including jewelry and silkwear. It aims to generate sustainable employment for rural youth and revive traditional Khmer craftsmanship.

  • Address: Chantiers-Ecoles Stung Thmey, Street, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Phone: +855 63 963 330
  • Open Hours: 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Entrance Fee: Free

Visiting Angkor National Museum

The Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia, exhibits artifacts and multimedia presentations that explore the rich history and cultural importance of the Angkor archaeological site. It offers valuable insights into the ancient Khmer civilization and enhances visitors’ understanding of the magnificent Angkor temples and their stories.

  • Open Hours: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Entrance Fee: $12/ person

Visiting Phnom Bakheng and watching the sunset

Phnom Bakheng, near Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, is a popular sunset spot with stunning views. As one of the oldest temples in the Angkor complex, it offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape. Climbing to the temple’s top allows visitors to witness a captivating sunset over Angkor Archaeological Park. Arriving early is advised due to its popularity.

  • Entrance Fee: $20/ person (the ticket allows access to other temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park)

Exploring Angkor Wat

Being a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site with intricate carvings, towering spires, and a vast temple complex, Angkor Wat showcases the rich history and impressive architecture of the Khmer Empire. Visitors can wander ancient halls, climb for panoramic views, and witness breathtaking sunrises or sunsets. Prepare to be awed by the grandeur and spiritual significance of this iconic landmark.

  • Entrance Fee: 1-day pass: $37/ person

                                    3-day pass (valid for 10 consecutive days): $62/ person

                                    7-day pass (valid for 1 month): $72/ person

3.4.2. Foodie Guide In Siem Reap

Siem Reap’s cuisine is a delightful mix of traditional Khmer dishes and international flavors. From Fish Amok to Lok Lak and Nom Banh Chok, there are plenty of local specialties to savor. Don’t forget to try the unique street food offerings, like fried insects and Khmer barbecue. With a bustling food scene and diverse dining options, Siem Reap has something for everyone, from local eateries to international restaurants serving global cuisines.

3.4.3. Accommodation Guide In Siem Reap 

Hak Boutique Hotel

The Hak Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap provides a relaxing stay with roomy accommodations, plush mattresses, and a cool pool. An Angkor Wat tuk-tuk trip may be arranged by the hotel’s welcoming family, and complimentary bikes are provided for easy local transit that is only a 5-minute ride away.

  • Address: Off Street 52, Wat Chowk, 17252 Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Phone: +855 12 540 336
  • Price: $45/ night (Based on average price for standard room)

4. Conclusion

Cambodia would be a fascinating place for you to explore more about Southeast Asian culture. Above are some notes and a suggested itinerary for a trip to Cambodia. If you do not want to go on your own, you can refer to the Cambodia tour – Best Of Cambodia Holidays from us to indulge in delectable cuisine and learn about the distinctive culture of the locals of this beautiful country. 

Contact us

Website: mettavoyage.com 

Email: [email protected]

Hotline 24/7: +84 989 383 572