Home of the famous Angkor Wat and a place with a tragic history due to the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is an affordable Southeast Asia country that can be visited with a budget of $35 to $90 a day.
My three-day trip to Cambodia cost a total of $602 USD and it could have easily been closer to $500 had I not splurged on accommodation. In this post, I share:
- 💰 Expected travel costs
- 💡 Budgeting tips
- 💵 How much cash to bring
- ✈️ My trip’s costs by category
- Is Cambodia Expensive?
- How Much Is a Trip?
- About My Trip
- Total Trip Cost: $602
- Do You Need Cash in Cambodia?
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Is Cambodia Expensive To Travel To?
Cambodia is one of the most affordable places to visit in Southeast Asia, which is already a budget-friendly region for most tourists.
Among Cambodia’s top two major cities to visit, Siem Reap is more expensive than the capital city of Phnom Penh. Siem Reap’s primary industry is tourism due to Angkor Wat, the largest temple complex in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which increases the cost of living.
💰 Trip Daily Budget for Countries in Asia
For comparison, I visited these countries in Asia within a year of visiting Cambodia, and here’s how much I spent per day at each one:
*My Cambodia trip could have easily been closer to $85 per day, but I chose to splurge on accommodation.
💰 Trip Daily Budget for Popular Destinations
Here’s how my Cambodia trip cost compares to the costs of other popular destinations I’ve visited:
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||$233|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||$182|
How Much Is a Trip to Cambodia?
Here’s how much money you can expect to spend in Cambodia on a daily basis and during a one-week trip, depending on your travel style.
🎒 Cambodia Trip Cost for Budget Travelers
A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $35 per day or $245 for one week of travel in Cambodia, excluding flights.
Cambodia is already extremely cheap, so there aren’t many meaningful ways to reduce costs. To stay on a small budget, here are some things you can do:
- Accommodation: Stay at a hostel for as cheap as $8 a night in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Booking private rooms in a hostel will increase the price to roughly $12 a night. A budget hotel room is not much more expensive than a hostel at around $15 a night.
- Food: Eat $3 to $5 meals at inexpensive, local restaurants serving Cambodian food. Tourist-focused restaurants will have an upcharge.
- Transportation: Walk and bike as much as possible to get around. Both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are small cities with walkable areas, especially around the city center. You can also negotiate tuk-tuk rides, but those are usually already very cheap.
- Entertainment: The famous Angkor Wat has a $37 entrance fee, but that cost jumps to $50+ with a tour guide. While Angkor Wat’s history is worth a guide, in my opinion, you can skip it if you’re on a tight budget.
- Season: The best time of year to travel to Cambodia to save money is from May to September when it’s the wet season. You’ll receive the best deals on accommodations during these months.
💰 Cambodia Trip Cost for Mid-Range Budget Travelers
A mid-range budget traveler, such as myself, can expect to spend approximately $90 per day or $630 for one week of travel in Cambodia, excluding flights.
I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, but my cost per day is higher because I decided to splurge on accommodation, which I rarely do.
I break down my Cambodia travel expenses by category below.
About My Cambodia Trip
To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my Cambodia trip:
📍 Siem Reap. The top two destinations in Cambodia are Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I visited Siem Reap, which is on average slightly more expensive than Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
🗓️ Three days. Most people visit Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat, so like many others, I didn’t spend more than three days there.
☀️ Low season. I went to Cambodia in November, which is considered the low season.
Cambodia’s high season runs from December to January and coincides with the dry season.
✌️ Two travelers. I traveled with one other person, so I was able to split transportation, accommodation, and food costs.
💰 Mid-range budget. I don’t aim to travel on a budget, but I’m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler and some of these expenses reflect that.
💵 US dollars. All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Cambodia’s local currency, Cambodian Riel. The exchange rate was $1 USD = 4,115 KHR at the time of writing.
Total Cost for a Cambodia Trip: $602
My three-day trip to Cambodia cost a total of $602, including flights.
My trip’s highlights are featured in this three-day Siem Reap itinerary.
💰 Cost Breakdown for Cambodia
Here’s a quick overview of my Cambodia travel expenses by category:
|Category||Cost||% of Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
💵 Daily Budget in Cambodia: $123
My Cambodia trip cost $123 per day, excluding flights.
A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $90 per day in Cambodia. This generally means staying at a $25 per night accommodation in Cambodia, eating at $ to $$ restaurants, paying for tuk-tuk rides, and going on popular tours.
✈️ Flight Cost to Cambodia: $235
I flew from Thailand to Cambodia and my flight costs were:
- $136 from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia
- $99 from Siem Reap to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
There are no direct flights from the United States or Europe to Cambodia, so you will have to stop at another country in Asia to get to Cambodia. Cambodia has two international airports: Siem Reap International Airport and Phnom Penh International Airport.
The most expensive months to fly to Cambodia from the United States are July and August and the cheapest month to fly is November, according to Skyscanner.
🛂 Tourist Visa Cost in Cambodia: $30
You need a tourist visa to travel to Cambodia from the United States.
- A 30-day visiting visa for Cambodia costs $30.
- An eVisa to Cambodia that you can apply for in advance costs $36.
You can get a Cambodia tourist visa upon arrival at the airport and it’s cash-only. They had one ATM with a fairly long line when I visited, so it’s best to have cash on hand.
🏠 Accommodation Cost in Cambodia: $163
My average cost of accommodation in Cambodia was $54 per night.
Accommodations in Siem Reap are extremely cheap despite the influx of tourists. You can find mid-range accommodations in Siem Reap for $25 a night and anything higher is considered a luxury.
I usually book basic accommodations, but I booked my own villa while staying in Siem Reap since I visited during my anniversary. My villa included:
- A private swimming pool in a private backyard
- Full kitchen
- Modern bathroom with a rain shower head
- A private washing machine and dryer
Luxury hotels in Cambodia range from $200 to $1,000 per night. The relatively cheap prices of accommodations in Cambodia make it one of the best places to experience a luxurious stay.
🍜 Food Cost in Cambodia: $49
My average cost of food in Cambodia was $16 per day.
Cheapest Meals in Cambodia
Here are two of the cheapest meals I had in Siem Reap:
|Noodle & drinks||Phare Circus||$3.50|
|Fish amok (Khmer dish)||Madam Moch||$4.50|
Local food in Cambodia is very cheap. You can expect to spend anywhere from $3 to $10 per meal, depending on what kind of restaurant you eat at. You likely won’t be spending more than $15 per meal unless you’re eating at a high-end place. Local beers in Cambodia are usually less than $1.
Most Expensive Meals in Cambodia
Here are three of the most expensive meals I had in Siem Reap:
|Seafood & premium beef||Ox Club||$65|
|Num banh chok (Khmer dish)||POU Restaurant||$13|
Khmer food is delicious and flavorful. If you’re not as familiar with it, you can go on an affordable street food tour to sample different things.
🚙 Transportation Cost in Cambodia: $8
My average cost of transportation in Cambodia was $3 per day.
- The average price of a tuk-tuk ride was $2.60 per ride.
- The cost of a tuk-tuk from the airport to my accommodation five miles away was $6.
Cambodia doesn’t have meaningful public transportation to take advantage of, but one of the best ways to travel between major destinations is by bus. You can take a bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for less than $15.
✨Entertainment Cost in Cambodia: $119
My average cost of activities and tours in Cambodia was $40 per day.
Here are all the activities I paid for in Siem Reap and how much each cost:
|Angkor Wat entrance fee||$37|
|Angkor Wat sunrise tour||$26|
|Full-day countryside bike tour||$38|
|Phare Circus entrance ticket||$18|
One of the most unique and underrated things to do in Siem Reap is biking through the countryside.
Expected Entrance Fees in Cambodia
Tourism is one of Cambodia’s biggest industries, so you’ll find that many of the country’s top attractions, ancient temples, and national parks have entrance fees.
Below are the entrance fees for some of the most popular attractions in Cambodia:
- Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is Cambodia’s most famous temple and has an entrance fee of $37. The fee gives you a one-day pass to Angkor Archaeological Park, which includes famous temples like Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm.
- One notable site that I wasn’t able to visit in Cambodia, but recommend visiting due to its educational significance, is the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (aka the Killing Fields) in Phnom Penh, which has a $6 entrance fee.
- Cambodia has several national parks and the most famous one, Phnom Kulen National Park, has an entrance fee of $20.
Check out great things to do in Siem Reap.
Do You Need Cash in Cambodia?
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Cambodia, so you need to bring cash.
Here are some tips on bringing and using cash in Cambodia:
💵 1. The US dollar is widely accepted in Cambodia.
Both USD and the Cambodian Riel are widely used in Cambodia, so you can withdraw cash in either currency. However, if you use USD, expect to receive change in riel and remember that you may not get a favorable exchange rate.
ATMs are widely available in the tourist areas of Cambodia, but they generally have large bills for USD (e.g., $50 or $100 bills), so I recommend withdrawing in riel instead if you don’t want to carry large bills.
🏧 2. Bring at least $20 worth of cash per day to Cambodia.
If you’re a mid-range budget traveler, you can expect to spend approximately $20 in cash on some days in Cambodia.
Here’s how you can expect to spend your cash in a typical day:
- $10 at a local restaurant that’s likely cash-only
- $5 to $10 to tip drivers, tour guides, or other service providers
- $2 at a juice stand or bar for a drink
💳 3. A few places in Cambodia take credit cards.
Although rare, there are a few instances when you can use your credit card in Cambodia.
Places that take credit cards in Cambodia include Grab app rides, larger hotels, and more touristy restaurants. Otherwise, cash is the norm. I only used my credit card at two restaurants and when I paid for Grab rides using the app.
💵 4. Tipping is not expected in Cambodia, but consider doing it as a tourist.
Tipping is not mandatory nor necessarily expected in Cambodia, but since it is one of the poorest countries in the region, it is always appreciated by service workers.
Food, accommodations, and services are so cheap that a 10% to 15% tip would not significantly impact your wallet, but would make a difference to a local.
💰 5. You need to pay in cash to get a Cambodia visa unless you pay online.
Visitors from the United States need a Cambodia tourist visa. The visa is cash-only if you get it at the airport after you land.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.
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