cost to travel cambodia budget breakdown backpacking

This guide shares the cost of travel to Cambodia in 2022, including important information about money, average costs and a budget breakdown.

If you’re curious about how much to budget for a trip to Cambodia, you’re in the right place! The lure of ancient temples and dreamy tropical beaches have made Cambodia a popular destination in South East Asia. Much like neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand, you’ll find great bang for your buck in a trip to Cambodia (especially when compared to travel in North America and Europe).

Whether you’re planning a budget vacation or visiting Cambodia as part of your backpacking trip around Asia, this guide will give you an idea of what you can expect to spend during your trip.

cost of travelling cambodia budget backpacking 2022

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Things to know about money in Cambodia

Before we get into the cost of travelling in Cambodia, there are some things that are essential to know about money in Cambodia.

Currency in Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the few countries in the world that uses dual currency; both the local riel and the US dollar are legal tender. The two currencies are used interchangeably, so you might pay for something with dollars and get riels back in change. Typically dollars are used to pay for higher-value items, while riel is used for cheaper items.

The exchange rate between the riel and the dollar doesn’t fluctuate much, so locals typically convert 4,000KHR = $1.

Taking cash out of the ATM in Cambodia

Most businesses only operate in cash so, unless you are booking things like hotels and transport online, you will need to make sure you have plenty of it.

The majority of ATMs in Cambodia issue USD. While it varies based on the ATM, we were able to take $400 out at once, which is a great option if you don’t already have cash dollars and want to limit ATM withdrawal fees. On average the fee was $5 per withdrawal.

ATM withdrawal fee 💰 $5

Always check your notes in Cambodia: If there is a mark or slight tear locals will refuse to accept the damaged notes (even if the damage is barely noticeable). This only applies to dollar notes and is because the banks don’t accept damaged bills and charge a fee to exchange them for new ones.

Visa cost for Cambodia

If you hold an ASEAN passport then you can visit Cambodia on a free visa waiver. For other countries, you will need to either apply for an e-visa or get a visa on arrival. Both these options cost you $30.

Visa 💰 $30

To visit Cambodia in 2022, you don’t need a PCR or rapid test if you are vaccinated so you will only need to pay for a visa to get into Cambodia.

For more information on how to apply for an e-visa or visa on arrival, as well as a breakdown of the COVID entry requirements, check out this post.

Phone SIM for Cambodia

Mobile SIM packages are budget-friendly and a great way to stay connected during your trip to Cambodia. Typically, SIM card prices are inflated at the airport and border crossings so I suggest waiting and heading to a store in the city instead.

There are a few different companies that offer tourist SIMs, but we chose to go with Cellcard 4U. Their tourist SIM card bundles start at $6, but we opted to get their highest plan which was $10 for 18GB and valid for 1 month. It costs $1 for the physical SIM card so don’t forget to factor that in when you pick your bundle.

SIM card 💰 $7 – 11 depending on the data package

Cost of laundry in Cambodia

If you’re backpacking, then you’ll most likely be needing to do laundry during your travels in Cambodia. We did laundry multiple times during our month in Cambodia, and on average you can expect to pay between $1 – 2 per kg. We did find it cheaper to do in smaller towns like Battambang and Kampot.

Laundry 💰 $1 – 2 per kg

cost of travelling cambodia budget backpacking 2022

Cost of Travelling Cambodia on a Budget

Now we know some of the start-up costs for travelling to Cambodia, let’s get into the average cost of transport, accommodation, food and activities.

Cost of Getting to Cambodia

Unlike nearby Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, Cambodia is not an international travel hub. This means international flights often cost more than flying into neighbouring countries and then travelling into Cambodia overland or via regional airlines like Air Asia, VietJet and Cambodia Angkor Air.

Bangkok to Cambodia flights 💰 $45+
Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia flights 💰 $100+
Kuala Lumpur to Cambodia flights 💰 $30+

To travel overland from Bangkok in Thailand, or Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, you can find and book bus tickets via Cambotickets*.

Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap 💰 $34+
Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh 💰 $30+

Cost of Transport in Cambodia

If you’re short on time, you can fly between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, but you should expect to pay upwards of $100 for internal flights.

The easiest and most affordable way to travel around Cambodia is by bus. The buses themselves are pretty comfortable, but the roads can be a bit hectic and bumpy. You can often book buses through your accommodation, or you can book online via transport search engines, like Baolau* and Camboticket*, which compare all the travel options to find the best one for you.

These are some of the average overland transport costs in Cambodia in 2022:

Bus from Phnom Penh to Kampot 💰 $9
Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap 💰 $13
Bus from Phnom Penh to Battambang 💰 $13.50
Bus from Battambang to Siem Reap 💰 $9

Ferry from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong 💰 $14 single or $25 open return

cost of travel in cambodia getting around transport

Getting around destinations in Cambodia

In most places, tuk-tuks are the most convenient way to get around. While you can hail cheap rides on the side of the street, I recommend using one of the ride-hailing apps like Grab or Pass App to get set prices and reliable drivers.

In some destinations, like Kampot and Battambang, you’ll find it convenient to rent a motorbike as many of the things to see and do are outside of the city. If your accommodation doesn’t offer rentals, you can do a quick search on Google Maps to find motorbike rentals near you.

Motorbike rental 💰 $5+ per day

If you don’t know how to drive, you can rent tuk-tuks for the day for around $15. You can either do this through Grab, or you can ask local drivers on the street and negotiate a rate for the day.

Tuk-tuk rental 💰 $15 per day

Cost of Accommodation in Cambodia

As with other destinations in South East Asia, you can find lots of great budget-friendly accommodation options across Cambodia. Staying in hostels and homestays will keep the cost of travel to Cambodia low.

Hostel bed 💰 $5/night
Local hotels and guesthouses 💰 $5 – 15/night
Midrange hotels 💰 $30-50/night

Typically you don’t need to worry about pre-booking accommodation in Cambodia as there are plenty of budget-friendly places that you can stay with short notice, however, I do suggest booking in advance for the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem as accommodation is slightly more expensive and there are fewer options.

We found that Kampot and Battambang were the cheapest places to stay in Cambodia, but double-check before picking your accommodation as many don’t have air conditioning (hence the significantly cheaper price).

cost of travelling cambodia accommodation hotel hostel budget

Accommodation for budget travellers in Cambodia

Of course, there are lots of great budget-friendly places to stay across Cambodia, but here are some recommendations based on the places we stayed during our trip to Cambodia.

➡️ For hostels, check out Karma Traders in Kampot*, Nest Beach Club in Koh Rong*, The Place Hostel in Battambang*, Onederz in Siem Reap*, and also Onederz in Phnom Penh*. All these hostels have a social vibe and modern facilities, including restaurants and both private and dorm room options.

➡️ For guesthouses, check out  KampongBay Makeng II Guesthouse in Kampot*, and Blue Diamond Guesthouse in Battambang*.

➡️ We didn’t really splurge on accommodation during our travels in Cambodia, but we did stay at the beautiful Eden Ecovillage Resort in Kampot*. It was a blissful escape from the bustle of town, and we really enjoyed slowing down and embracing the sleepy riverside life at Eden.

Cost of Food in Cambodia

Eating on a budget is no challenge in Cambodia thanks to a great street food scene, where you can find meals for as little as $1.50. There are also lots of local restaurants, which are easy to find around the backpacker areas, where you can find dishes averaging $3 to $7.

Street food 💰 $1 – 3
Budget restaurants 💰 $2 – 7
Drinks (coffee, smoothies, beer) 💰 $1 – 3
Cocktails 💰 $5+

cost of food in cambodia budget breakdown travelling 2022

Eat at a social enterprise

If your budget affords it, support a great cause by eating at one of the social enterprise cafes or restaurants in Cambodia. These restaurants fund education programs and provide jobs for underprivileged locals.

📍 Epic Arts Café in Kampot
📍 Footprints Cafe in Siem Reap
Sister Srey Cafe in Siem Reap
Haven in Siem Reap
New Hope Restaurant in Siem Reap

Cost of Activities in Cambodia

There is a good mixture of free and ticketed things to do in Cambodia. To save listing everything, here are some of the most costly activities that I recommend fitting into your budget:

Killing Fields 💰 $3 entrance, plus $3 for a guide and $10 return in a tuk-tuk
S21 Prison 💰
$5 plus $3 for an audio guide
Royal Palace of Cambodia 💰 $10
Waterpark in Kampot 💰 $5
Boat tour around Koh Rong 💰 $15
Battambang bamboo train 💰
Phare Circus 💰 $10
Angkor Wat 💰 $37 for 1 day/ $62 for 3 days plus $15 a day for a tuk-tuk

Tickets for Angkor Wat are going to be the biggest expense in terms of activities, but as a wonder of the world, you can’t skip seeing these iconic temples!

cost of things to do in Cambodia travelling

Things to do in Cambodia

Check out these more detailed posts for things to do, and the cost, during your travels in Cambodia:

✍️ 10 Best Things to do in Phnom Penh
✍️ Top 10 Things to do in Kampot
✍️ 10 Things to do on Koh Rong
✍️ How to Spend 1 Day in Battambang
✍️ 3 Day Itinerary for Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Budget Breakdown for Cambodia

My average daily budget while travelling in Cambodia was $28. This covered everything from accommodation, transport, food & activities as we travelled around the country for 4 weeks. Of course, there were some days that were cheaper, and some that were more expensive but it evened out in the end.

Miscellaneous 💰 $63

I spent a total of $51 on my visa, SIM card and ATM fees (I did 2 transactions during my trip). I also estimate that I spent around $12 on laundry during my trip.

Transport 💰 $81.50

This covers all the buses and boats that I booked to travel around Cambodia. I know I could have saved a little more money on this portion, had we not returned to Phnom Penh from Koh Rong and instead travelled directly to Battambang (but we had some things we wanted to do in Phnom Penh).

Getting around 💰 $31

This is an estimate of how much we spent on getting around using tuk-tuks and taxis. We tried to walk as much as possible so the biggest expense here was getting to our accommodation later in the evenings. Note, that we were always sharing the price of taxis and tuk-tuks between multiple people so this is my portion of the rides.

Accommodation 💰 $126.50

We spent a lot of our trip to Cambodia switching between homestays and dorm rooms, which helped us to keep the costs really low. Again, this is my portion of the rooms which were split as a couple, so if you’re travelling solo and choosing to stay in private rooms then I would budget more than this.

Activities 💰 $129

This includes all the motorbikes we hired to get around in Kampot and Koh Rong, and the tuk-tuks we hired for the day in Battambang and Siem Reap. It also includes the transport to the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh as this was an essential cost to visit the site.

Food 💰 $10-12 day

I didn’t keep exact track of what we spent on food each day but based on the numbers I can estimate I spent between $10 – 12 a day on food.

I’m not big on breakfast so this mostly covers lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks throughout the day. I didn’t drink alcohol during my time in Cambodia, so if you plan on drinking I would budget more than this.

Now you know how much it costs to travel Cambodia on a budget! By travelling overland, staying in homestays and hostels, and eating street food, you can really stretch your money so you can experience everything the country has to offer!

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cost to travel cambodia budget breakdown backpacking

Planning a Trip to Cambodia

For more information on planning a trip to Cambodia, be sure to check out my Complete Cambodia Travel Guide which includes everything you need to know for travelling around the country and all my local travel guides.

✍️ How to Visit Cambodia as a Tourist in 2022
✍️ 3 Week Itinerary for Cambodia (coming soon)

Meet Frances; Scottish lass turned Vietnam expat, and creator of this space. She can be found sippin’ ice tea’s and writing about her adventures from her sunny base of Saigon, Vietnam’s southern metropolis. All with a healthy side of researching her next road trip. With 5 years of living, travelling and scooting around Asia under her belt – let Frances be your guide to travelling the region.

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