So you’ve got a date with Cambodia, now what?
For how long? 1 week
First Impressions: If you could only do one thing in Cambodia….. Honestly I think the prison is the most memorable and touching experience in Cambodia. If you can only do one thing- you’re going to get a lot more out of learning about the genocide than the temple. But do both.
Will there be a second date? Probably not. I am happy with everything I was able to do there!
Budget: Accommodation- $4-8 per night for dorms; Food- Cambodian food shouldn’t be more than $2-3 and western food will be more expensive, but much more than $7-9 is getting pretty expensive. Local beer – $1
What to bring: Sunscreen, USD, insect repellent, appropriate attire for temples (clothes covering your shoulders and knees)
Safety: Be aware in Phnom Penh. Don’t bring ANYTHING out with you at night (no phones or credit cards etc.) and don’t walk around alone, no matter who you are. Cambodia is an extremely poor country and foreigners can be targets for muggings. Siem Reap is much better, but still be smart.
Visas: Overland– I applied to get an eVisa online. It costs a little extra money but taking care of it ahead of time was worth it for me. Apply here. I had mine back within one business day (but can take up to three). PRINT! They will take it at the border and you do not get it back. The only bummer is that you don’t get a sweet visa sticker, only a stamp. If you choose to get it at the border you shouldn’t have any problems either. Seemed like a quick and easy process. Just make sure not to talk to anyone else who is offering to help you. There is no shortage of scams for confused tourists.
At the airport- Find out information HERE
***Always check beforehand. Information can change so make sure you’re checking yourself for up to date information on Visas, vaccinations, and safety recommendations from your government! US citizens can check HERE***
Hello: សួស្តី (suo-sty) Thank-you– អរគុណ (Ar-kuhn)
What did I miss?
Kampot- Would’ve liked to visit the pepper fields
Sihanoukville- Nice beaches and nightlife
Battambang – Not as touristy but has a bamboo train and a much more local feel.
I wanted to spend more time in Vietnam and therefore skipped these places, but have heard good things.
My favorite part: Learning about the genocide. I knew relatively little when I came here and while it’s devastating I think it’s really important to be aware of.
My takeaway: Cambodia is much more what I pictured a stereotypical third world country to look like. They are still rebuilding from such a massive devastation but it was really interesting to learn about it all and how they’re picking up the pieces. It is an extremely humbling country with really lovely people.