Gap Years, Backpacking & Travelling in Cambodia

Cambodia is a nation that's very much looking to the future, this destination is perhaps best known for stunning temples of Angkor. These ruins are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and somewhere you must visit once in your life. Our Cambodia travel experiences and gap year programs allow you to explore the country like a local, get inspired to visit Cambodia today. 


Cambodia Travel Ideas, Gap Year Programs & Experiences

Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travelling, backpacking or take a gap year in Cambodia.

Cambodia Travel Ideas

Cambodia Travel Guide

Get information, tips, itineraries and inspiration for visiting Cambodia.

  • Capital: Phnom Penh (population 2,900,000 approx)
  • Currency: Khmer Reil (KHR) + US Dollar
  • International Calling Code: +855
  • Area: 182,000 km2
  • Population: 15,000,000 (approx)
  • Language: Khmer + French + English
  • Religion: Majority Buddhism + Christian + Muslim 


Top Reasons to Travel to Cambodia

  • Incredible sights like Angkor Wat
  • Friendly people
  • Some of the tastiest cuisine in Asia 
  • Beautiful beaches and islands on the south coast
  • One of the cheapest destinations in Asia especially compared to Thailand and Vietnam



You can gain a tourist visa on arrival by land and air into Cambodia. This costs $20 and will allow you to stay and travel in Cambodia for up to 30 days. With some border crossing it can be easier to get your visa before arriving, sometimes overcharging and some problems occur. You can extend both a tourist or business visa, you will need to pay a fee to do this though. For just your average trip or holiday the initial 30 day visa should be enough time to see this country.


How to Get to Cambodia

Travellers heading to Cambodia usually arrive at the bustling, sprawling capital, Phnom Penh by air or by crossing a border from Thailand or Vietnam. You could fly into Bangkok and then catch a bus over the border to Siem Reap which take around 5 hours.


Weather & Best Time to Visit

Cambodia is an all year round destination, even in wet season. A popular choice and one we would recommend is to visit during November, December and January when it is warm but there is usually a cooling breeze. Most probably you will visit Cambodia and it will either be hot, or rainy. During May - September you can expect a lot of rain, this is when over 75% of Cambodia's year rain falls. This can make travelling difficult due to the terrible conditions of the roads but you can expect to complete most journeys, just leave extra time in your schedule. Cambodia has a dry and warm season from November to May, expect intense heat and sunny days during March and April so it is best to head to places like Kep and Sihanoukville for the beaches.


Cambodia gap year

Gap Year in Cambodia

Thinking about spending your gap year in Cambodia? Search the best ideas and programs on our directory. Top things to do when on a gap year in Cambodia is to visit Angkor Wat, sample a Khmer curry and relax in Sihanoukville. Siem Riep is a very pleasant place to visit, you can visit local markets or you might want to take a boat trip on the Tonlé Sap river, seeing a local fishermen village and go to a lake instead of pursuing the exploration of the Khmer empire former capital. The temples of Angkor are some of the best ruins to visit in the world and you will be left amazed by the amount of temples and the condition of them. 


Cambodia Travel Tips

  • Budget: You will get value for money, this is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Asia and there are lots of ways to live on a budget and save as much money as possible. You can use US dollars and also the local currency - Reil. You can get around 7,500 Reil to £1 (4,000 Reil is around $1). In Siem Riep and Phnom Penh you can withdraw US dollars which is quite handy. If you are wondering how much money you will need for Cambodia this will depend on what type of experience you are looking for - the more you spend the better level of luxury you will enjoy. You should be able to easily get by on around £10 per day ($15) which includes food and accommodation.
  • Food & Eating Out: Optional extras might cost more for example eating out at an expensive restaurant or joining an excursion. Local transport in Cambodia is quite easy to use and very cheap. Food, like most things in Cambodia is very cheap. If you eat street food we don't think you will spend more than £1 - £2. You can get a good meal in a restaurant for around £2 - £6. Drinking alcohol is likely to be your biggest expenditure, drinks are cheap but it all adds up, sometimes you can end up spending more on drinks than on accommodation. Try to buy fruit and vegetables in local markets, this is where you will get the best deals.
  • Health & Safety: Despite a brutal history Cambodia is one of the safest countries to visit in Asia. Pack sensibly and remember you will have to carry what you take, its always best to pack light and leave space to buy things whilst abroad. Try to think is it worth carrying heavy hair straighteners or lots of pairs of jeans. Sometimes taking a suitcase to Cambodia can be better than a backpack but this comes down to personal preference. You might want to buy a money belt or have shorts or trousers with zip pocket where you can safely keep belongings, carrying everything in a handbag can cause problems like if you lose it or it gets stolen. Some essential items we think you shouldn't depart without include tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, female sanitary products and a phone so you can keep in contact with home. Malaria is a problem is rural areas of the country. Also try to get the phone number and address of your embassy in the destination you are going to be travelling to, keep a copy on you and on your e-mail so if anything happens like losing your passport you can seek help.

View our Asia budget backpacker guide.





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