Daily Travel Costs in Cambodia on a Shoestring Budget
US$20 (or less)
Cambodia is paradise for the budget traveller with your money stretching further than it does almost anywhere in the world. This after all is the land of the $2 dorm bed and although they are a little harder to find these days, when you get private rooms going for as little at $4, there’s not really any need to stay in dorms in any case unless you have a fervent desire to sleep in a room full of strangers.
Buses between the main towns are also very cheap and although there are a few expensive restaurants cropping up geared towards an expanding mainstream tourist industry, there are still plenty of real local cheapies. Hit the local markets and you’ll find plenty of stalls and small restaurants serving local dishes at bargain prices.
Our Cambodia backpacking budget of $20 is perhaps a conservative one and there is no reason why you can’t spend $15 or less most days. However the one thing that is expensive in Cambodia is Angkor Wat. It is the country’s pride and joy and to visit it you need to pay a hefty $20 for a day pass and given there is so much to see you might need more than one day there, certainly if you’re a big ruins lover. Therefore you could have a couple of days that are going to be more like $40 which is why $20/day is perhaps more realistic as an overall budget. If you don’t visit Angkor Wat or are in Cambodia for more than a few weeks you can probably get by on less than 20 as the main sites in and around Phnom Penh are all very cheap to visit.
See where Cambodia ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.
More Comfortable Cambodia Backpacker Budget
Adding $5/day will allow you to stay in air-con rooms and perhaps take at least one meal a day in one of the international restaurants which are still good value just not by Cambodian standards. You might read a few articles suggesting Cambodia has got considerably more expensive in recent years but that is simply not the case. It is perhaps not as ridiculously cheap as it once was but it is still great value and $25/day should be more than enough to explore what is a lovely country.
Sample Prices in Cambodia
Bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (6-7 hours) – $6 ($1/hour of travel is typical in Cambodia)
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – $2.50
Large local beer – $1
Dorm bed in Siem Reap – from $3/night
Cheap double or twin room with fan – from $4/night
Entrance to Killing Fields or Museums in Phnom Penh – $2
Day pass for Angkor Wat – $20
Compare this to the cost of travel in Laos.
Currency – Cambodian Riel & US Dollar
£1 = 5850 Riel | $1.44
€1 = 4610 Riel | $1.13
US$1 = 4067 Riel
(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)
The US Dollar is widely used in Cambodia to the point that chances are you will pay for most things including hostels and meals in Dollars and certainly most tourist/traveller orientated businesses quote prices in dollars rather than riels. It is common to pay in dollars and receive change in riels, which are used for buying smaller items.
ATM’s are plentiful in the main tourist towns now and dispense dollars.
Cambodia is one country where it is very important to have good travel insurance. We recommend World Nomads who specialise in backpacking trips and will help in the case of you falling sick or getting injured in a country which has limited healthcare facilities.
Share your Travel Costs!
If you’ve been to Cambodia recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉
This article was published in June 2016
Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for an overview of budget travel in the region.