Cambodia Backpacking Budget – How much money do you need per day?

Cambodia art

This post details the estimated cost of travel in Cambodia. Read on for suggested shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets for the Southeast Asian country. We also have information about what currency to use and sample prices.

backpacking budget Cambodia
Map of Cambodia from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Cambodia Cost of Travel in 2023

Shoestring Backpacker Budget

  • US$25/day | 100,000 Cambodian Riel

Cambodia is no longer merely the destination of foolhardy travellers looking to escape from commercialised Thailand. Like Vietnam, its neighbour to the east, the country is gradually becoming more interested in and better equipped to deal with mainstream tourism and Vietnam and Cambodia tours are becoming more popular which has driven prices up. However for now at least, it still remains something of a paradise for the budget-minded traveller.

This after all is the land of the $2 dorm bed and although they are a little harder to find these days, you shouldn’t ever need to fork out more than $10 for any form of budget accommodation in Cambodia. Buses between the main towns are also very cheap and although there are a few expensive restaurants cropping up, there are still plenty of local cheapies. Hit the local markets and you’ll find plenty of stalls and small restaurants serving local dishes at bargain prices.

Anyone backpacking Cambodia on a low budget, should expect to spend roughly $25 per day, although you will spend considerably more on certain days – most notably at Angkor Wat. This is slightly higher than our suggested Vietnam backpacking budget, but fairly typical when it comes to backpacking costs in Southeast Asia overall. You may even get by on less if you don’t drink and prepare your own food or eat street food but be a bit wary of older articles or guides that suggest $10/day is possible for shoestring travellers as those times have passed.

More Comfortable Cambodia Backpacking Budget

  • US$35/day | 140,000 Cambodian Riel

The one thing that is really expensive in Cambodia is Angkor Wat. It is the country’s pride and joy and to visit it, you now need to pay a hefty $37 for just a single day pass. If you’re only in Cambodia for a week or so and want to see as much as possible including a visit to Angkor Wat, your overall costs will probably work out at more like $35/day than $25/day, certainly if you want to spend two days exploring the ruins.

In general adding a bit more to your Cambodia travel budget, 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. This may help you stay healthy too as eating Khmer street food all the time may not be advisable if you’re not accustomed to it.

Cambodia Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat – the most expensive place to visit in Cambodia.

How much do things cost in Cambodia?

Approximate Price in USD
Bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (4 hours 30 minutes)From $8
Meal in a local restaurant$3-5
Local beer in bar/restaurant$1-1.50
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom $3
Budget private roomFrom $8
Angkor Wat (Day Pass)$37
Travel insurance for backpacking CambodiaDepends on age, length of trip & other factors – Get a quote from Heymondo in less than a minute!

These are a few examples of how much things cost to backpack Cambodia in 2023. With a bit of bargaining, especially during quieter times of the year, you may be able to get even better deals on accommodation. However if you have slightly more funds, it can be worth spending a few extra dollars per night to stay in the best hostels or even fork out for a budget hotel room if you need your own space for a few days and a bit of relative luxury.

These prices are relatively comparable to the cost of travel in Laos, although the expensive Angkor Wat factor alone means travellers often end up with a slightly higher overall Cambodia budget per day. Overall, Cambodia is a bit cheaper than Thailand to travel in, although not by much and it does depend on where you go. Prices in Northern Thailand are relatively similar to those you’ll find in Cambodia.

It’s also worth noting that the cost of a Cambodian visa isn’t taken into account and will be extra to the budgets on this page. This is typically $30 on arrival for 30 days but most ASEAN nationals can enter visa-free.

What is the best currency to take to Cambodia?

Currency – Cambodian Riel & US Dollar

£1 = 5000 Riel | $1.21

€1 = 4400 Riel | $1.07

US$1 = 4100 Riel

The US Dollar is widely used in Cambodia and the best currency to take to the country. Travellers normally pay for most things, including hostels and meals, in Dollars and most tourist/traveller orientated businesses quote prices in Dollars, although many now also highlight the cost in Riels. It is common to pay in Dollars and receive change in Riels which you can use for buying smaller items. ATM’s are plentiful in the main cities and tourist towns and dispense dollars.

This Cambodia backpacking budget and the exchange rates on this page were last updated in February 2023.

Cambodia Backpacking Budget – How much money do you need per day?

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