How Much We Spent Traveling in Cambodia
Andy and I flew to Cambodia after a few days in Singapore with no real plans beyond the first week. We ended up spending two nights in Phnom Penh and 11 nights in Siem Reap. We thought about going somewhere else as well, like Battambang or one of the beaches, but ultimately we decided we needed a change, so we cut our time in Cambodia short. I wrote about how much I spent in Cambodia a few years ago, but I was much better at tracking expenses this time around. Here’s how much we spent traveling in Cambodia.
Cambodia is a reasonably cheap country where your dollar will stretch quite nicely, and since they actually use the US dollar, there isn’t a currency conversion to worry about. They do have their own currency, the riel, but it’s mostly used as change. I’ve listed our expenses in euros and US dollars.
Total Cambodia travel costs
$223 / 163.03€ – accommodation
$56.50 / 41.30€ – transportation
$354.35 / 259.02€ – food and alcohol
$103 / 75.30€ – activities
$53.35 / 38.99€ – miscellaneous
$790.20 / 577.64€ – total
We also spent $131.33 or 96€ on two one-way tickets for our flight from Singapore to Phnom Penh on AirAsia.
Cambodia accommodation costs – $223
This is for 13 nights, two in Phnom Penh and 11 in Siem Reap. Our guesthouse in Phnom Penh cost $18 per night for a double. Then we spent five nights in Siem Reap at Mother Home Guesthouse, where I stayed last time, at $23 per night for a double.
Unfortunately they were booked up after that because of Chinese New Year, so we had to move to another guesthouse down the street. It wasn’t great, but we survived it for six nights at $12 a night for a twin.
We had a private bathroom in each place. This averaged out to $17.15 per night, or $8.58 per person per night. As a reference, the $23 a night place is somewhere I think my mom would be comfortable staying in, but not the others.
Cambodia transportation costs – $56.50
This includes a lot of tuk tuk rides in Siem Reap, most of which cost just $1 with negotiating. Our bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap cost $13 per person, and the ride took about seven hours, not including the delay at the beginning when they had to get us a new bus because the air conditioning was broken. We also paid $9 to have our guesthouse in Phnom Penh send a taxi to pick us up at the airport, which was probably too much but we chose convenience over price that day. This averages out to about $4.35 per day for transportation.
Food and alcohol costs in Cambodia – $354.35
Food, like most things, is cheap in Cambodia. Our stay at Mother Home Guesthouse included breakfast, but the other two places did not. During my first visit to Cambodia, I didn’t know much about the food and I didn’t like most of what I made in the cooking class I took, so I was fine eating chicken fried rice for most meals.
This time around, I wanted to try more things, but we both ended up a bit disappointed by the food. Most things were just too bland, which we were told is how they cook for tourists. We did find a couple of places we were willing to eat at more than once, including a Mexican restaurant that was surprisingly decent. We didn’t drink much alcohol in Cambodia. Our food spending averages out to $27.26 per day, or $13.63 per person per day.
>>Not a meat eater? Check out these vegetarian restaurants in Siem Reap.
Activities costs in Cambodia – $103
Andy and I bought one day passes to see the temples. After that, since I decided I didn’t need to see Angkor Wat again, Andy went on his own a second day. One day passes are $20 per person, or you can get a three day pass for $40. I also included our tuk tuk the day we both went since it was considered more of a tour than transportation. Besides the temples, we also went to Phare, the Cambodia Circus which was incredibly entertaining.
We didn’t do much in Phnom Penh because I was sick, but if you go, I highly recommend visiting the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum to learn more about Cambodia’s recent past.
Miscellaneous expenses in Cambodia – $53.35
This includes $20 each for our tourist visas. I also bought tissues and cough drops since I was sick. Andy got a haircut for the low price of $3. We also did laundry three times for a total of $4.50. Most places will do your laundry for $1 per kilo.
For 13 days traveling in Cambodia, we spent an average of $60.78 per day, or $30.39 per person per day. This does not include our flights into or out of Cambodia. This is one of the cheapest destinations we’ve traveled to, and if you’re truly a budget traveler, you can do it for even less. A bed in a hostel will save you money. In Siem Reap, you can easily walk from most guesthouses to the center of town, which we did often, but even those $1 or $2 tuk tuk rides add up after awhile. There are cheaper food options than some of the places we ate at. But really, just over $30 per person per day is a great deal.
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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
March 3, 2014 @ 10:16 AM
I think you did really well budget-wise. I know many people talk about how cheap Cambodia is and single travelers talk about getting by on less than $20/day, but I really think that’s only possible if you are staying in dorms/extremely grubby accommodation. I went into Cambodia expecting it to be even cheaper than Vietnam but found it to actually be more expensive, and certainly more expensive than I had anticipated. Tony & I managed to make it through on about $55/day, but I can’t honestly think of how we could have done it any cheaper unless we had been willing to really reduce our lodgings (and in many places we were still staying in pretty bare bones places).
March 5, 2014 @ 12:11 PM
Thanks Steph! We have definitely learned we can’t handle those grubby places, so we’re willing to spend a little more for someplace nicer to sleep. We could’ve spent a little less on food if we had skipped the Mexican place and another cafe that serves western food at slightly higher prices, but the overall savings would’ve been minimal. I’m satisfied with how we ended up in Cambodia. I only spent about 6 days in Vietnam in Hanoi a few years ago, but I agree with you on the prices. I was so surprised to have a decent hotel room all to myself for $10 a night there.
March 3, 2014 @ 4:05 PM
Wow definitely an affordable place to travel!
March 5, 2014 @ 12:11 PM
It sure is! Thanks Andi!
March 5, 2014 @ 5:02 PM
Considering the nice room you had in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, $30 is incredible!
March 6, 2014 @ 9:10 PM
Thanks Penelope! Cambodia is definitely a cheap country to travel to.
March 7, 2014 @ 12:56 AM
I was not a big fan of Cambodia food either 🙁
That’s why we actually spent quite a bit on food there – ate at slightly more touristy places. Our daily spend overall was also really high because we moved really fast and only spent a couple days each in PP and SR, so transport + visa + temple passes all cranked up the average.
March 8, 2014 @ 9:46 AM
We ended up eating at some touristy restaurants in Siem Reap too, mostly because we couldn’t bare to eat bland chicken fried rice every meal. But I think even if we ate at some cheaper places for those meals, our overall spending wouldn’t have been much lower. Certainly there are people out there who travel through Cambodia for a lot less, but I’m not sure I’d be happy at that level.
Lauren | JustinPlusLauren
March 10, 2014 @ 1:02 AM
Wow…I knew it was cheaper to travel there, but had no idea it was THAT cheap! You did a really good job budgeting your money! It is definitely an affordable place! It would just be the plane ticket from Canada to get there that would be the main expense for us!
March 10, 2014 @ 2:38 PM
Thanks Lauren! Cambodia is definitely a cheap country. The flight really would be the most expensive piece of the trip, and I don’t think you can get a direct flight from anywhere outside of Asia. From Canada I imagine it might even take 3 flights.
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