When it comes to visiting Cambodia to fully experience what the country has to offer one has to work through a Cambodia itinerary for 7 Days covering 3 of the popular cities. Steeped in Khmer history, cultures and friendly people too.
The fact that the country is super cheap is a bonus too. Below I will take you through how to spend 1 week in Cambodia, covering everything from exploring the Angkor Wat park and the beautiful temples in Siem Reap that you need to visit. Then there are things to do in Siem Reap beyond temples which I have covered in more detail on the blog but will reference in this itinerary for Cambodia.
So if you are looking for how to plan a trip to Cambodia, this is the post for you! You are not only getting a Phnom Penh and Siem Reap itinerary but also a quick stop in sihanoukville too.
Cambodia is such an amazing country with plenty to offer in terms of adventures, relaxation and exploring. If you want to explore on a budget, Cambodia allows that in spades, if you have a budget with no major limitations, there is also luxury too. You can have an adventure-packed week in Cambodia for not a lot of money.
How much you spend in Cambodia really depends on your budget, your style of travel as well as how long your trip is but to give you an idea of accommodation costs in Cambodia.
I have also covered best places to stay in Siem Reap which details hostel accommodation which can be as low as $5 for a bed a night as well as mid-range and luxury hotels which can be upwards of $100 night. Have a look at that post for additional details. So just what can you do in Cambodia? Well, let’s get into that, shall we?
- 1 How To Get To Cambodia For Your 7 Day Trip
- 2 Cambodia Itinerary For 7 Days
- 3 How To Get Around
- 4 Sample Budget for Cambodia For One Week
- 5 Things To Know When Visiting Cambodia
- 6 What To Wear In Cambodia
- 7 Can You Do A Day Trip From Siem Reap To Phnom Penh?
- 8 What Is The Best Way To Travel From Siem Reap To Phnom Penh?
- 9 How Many Days Do I Need In Cambodia?
- 10 How Many Days In Siem Reap Is Sufficient?
How To Get To Cambodia For Your 7 Day Trip
Before we get stuck into Cambodia suggested itinerary, there are many ways to get to Cambodia. During this trip, we had travelled around Asia and had been to Beijing and Kuala Lumpur before arriving in Cambodia and then leaving for Thailand. While you are in Asia you also have the option exploring Laos which can be easily done via a Cambodia-Laos van transfer.
Flights to Cambodia: There direct flights arriving from Bangkok to Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Manila, Singapore, Pakse, Nanning, Wuhan, Tianjin, Seoul and Luang Prabang. Airlines like AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cebu Pacific Air, China Eastern Air, Jet Star Asia, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Silk Air, Sky Angkor Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
Many of these airlines offer great rates for flights, I believe we paid no more than £70 for flights 2 one way flights with Air Asia. There are several daily flights with each of these airlines. To book flights I would recommend searching on Expedia which will list most of these if not all. Obviously the more in advance you book the cheaper the flight prices.
Visa For Cambodia: Also not that most people will need a visa for Cambodia, I covered this in a little more detail in my post on things to know when visiting Cambodia. The long and short of it is that if you are an American(USA), coming from Europe including UK(Brexit or not), you will need a visa to visit Cambodia! You can get an e-visa or visa on arrival.
Bring cash for this as you have to pay $30 for the visa, also bring with you a passport photo. Bring two just in case. Especially for those doing long term travel in the region and therefore might want to return again. For tips on the Cambodia visa on arrival click here.
Cambodia Itinerary For 7 Days
Cambodia has 3 main airports but the main hubs are Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, the other is Sihanoukville but is much smaller. The 7-day itinerary for Cambodia starts in Siem Reap for temple running, then moving on from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville which is a well-established beach resort town for relaxation and island hopping. Then from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh.
I have written the Cambodia trip itinerary this way as it makes leaving for another country or another city from Phnom Penh much easier considering the international airport in the city. You can, of course, start the Cambodia itinerary from Phnom Penh then Siem Reap and then leave the relaxation to the end of the trip in Sihanoukville. The all depends on where you are arriving from to start the trip.
Day 1 In Siem Reap
Once you have arrived in Siem Reap, checked in to your hotel and refreshed up, I would strongly advise you to seek help from your hotel or hostel in Siem Reap to help you arrange transportation to go and buy the ticket for the Angkor Wat pass.
There is a one day pass, 3-day pass and 7 day Angkor Wat pass. The prices were around, $20, $65 and I think about $72 respectively. If you arrive in Siem Reap at night like we did, go in the morning and you can start using your tickets immediately.
Day 1, explore Angkor Wat, one of the most important archeological sites in South East Asia. Your 7 days in southeast Asia trip is not complete without a trip to this place. Angkor Archaeological Park contains the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire.
There are beautiful temples with faces of varying sizes and facial expressions. Undoubtedly among the best places to visit in Cambodia. Temples to visit on day one include:
Pro Tip: If you are up for right I would aim to do sunrise at Angkor Wat on this day if you are able to, otherwise do it on day 2 of the Cambodia itinerary. Also note that you can hire a tuk-tuk and driver for about $20 for the day to take you around the temples as some are not close to each other.
Day 1 in Cambodia – Things to do at night
In terms of these to do at night in Cambodia, I would head to Pub Street in the late afternoon to explore the markets, the restaurants, and other entertainment options in Siem Reap.
There are bars, there are clubs, massage parlors where you can get a seriously good massage for $6. I recommend getting a massage, which you will no doubt need after all the walking around and exploring the temples. Then head to Gelato Lab to grab some ice cream and explore the area around Pub Street at leisure.
For additional things to do at night in Siem Reap you can have dinner with an Apsara show, there is also the Cambodian Circus Show, do a private night food tour, cooking class of Khmer food, Angkor Wat Dynasty Show. There are plenty of options for cool tours you can do in the evening in Siem Reap.
Day 2 In Siem Reap
For day two, providing you took my advice and did sunrise at Angkor Wat the day before, you can skip it today or head to that in the morning. For a day tour, you can venture off to explore the countryside around Siem Reap.
For this, it’s best to get a guide. You can do a bike tour or a scooter tour. There are a couple of options. There are off the beaten path tours to Kampong Khleang, Beng Meala Temple, Kulen Mountain, Kampong Phluk for the Tonle Sap floating villages.
Tonle Sap is a lake with villages on stitled houses. It’s about 30km from Siem Reap. You also have the option of biking rural paths to visit rice fields, local markets, and small villages. For available options for the day trips from Siem Reap click here.
Day 3 In Siem Reap Then Off To Sihanoukville
Day 3 in Siem Reap will be super easy as this is the day you are leaving departing on a flight from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. I recommend flighing as its a lot quicker than taking a bus. Granted it is cheap to get a coach at less than $5 but it will eat at least 8 hours of the valuable time you could be exploring.
Flights from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville are about 1 hour and between £40 and £70. Money well spent in my option. As I have mentioned above there are plenty of flights during the day. There is a morning flight, a late afternoon and late-night flight. Pick one you prefer.
Day 3 I would suggest waking up early and doing another temple run to repeat and see one of the temples you wanted to see again. Otherwise, I suggest maybe heading to Pub Street as there is another less visited but never the less beautiful and more modern compared to Angkorian temples in the park.
This is Wat Preah Prom Rath, its beautiful and located near Pub Street. The temple also has a statue illustrating the journey of Buddha. Well worth a visit and totally different from the other temples.
If you have time, head back to Pub Street and grab another massage for the road and head to the airport.
Pro Tip: Arrange for the tuk-tuk or taxi to take you to the airport. The hotel can easily arrange this for you whether staying at a hostel or a hotel. There are taxis available but I have found that tuk-tuks can wheeze around traffic far better than a car.
Where to stay in Siem Reap – There are plenty of options for where to stay. I have documented these in my post on where to stay in Siem Reap. It also has tips on the best areas to stay in Siem Reap.
Day 4 In Sihanoukville/Koh Rong/Koh Rong Samloem
Having arrived in Sihanoukville the day before. You are rested and ready to explore this southern coastal resort town in Cambodia. If you are after Cambodia beaches and nightlife, this coastal town is definitely worth the stop.
There are stunning beaches and plenty of little islands to check out. For these two days in Sihanoukville, you can choose to enjoy the beaches and relax or you can start the day with lounging on the beach in the morning and then take a quad bike tour to explore the likes of Kbay Chhay waterfall, local lakes, and pagodas in nearby.
There is also the option of a full-day tour around Sihanoukville via boat to explore nearby islands like Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. For additional options for how to spend day 4 in Cambodia, click here. You can easily find day trips that include snorkeling, fishing, lunch and a light breakfast for as little as $15. If you are staying longer you might alway want to include scuba diving in your adventures.
Once you return from the day’s exploring, if you are not too tired there is the option of checking out Otres night market. Its a little of the beaten track and only open on Saturday evenings, should you be visiting on the weekend. The market is organised by expats living in Cambodia and has become quite a popular tourist stop in Sihanoukville.
Day 5 In Sihanoukville Then Off To Phnom Penh
Having spent the day exploring around Sihanoukville you might one to lounge on the beaches near your hotel sipping drinks before you head out to Phnom Penh. Again, book your flights to Phnom Pen in advance as they can be significantly cheaper when booked early. For places to stay in Sihanoukville below are some recommendations.
Day 6 Phnom Penh
Having arrive in Phnom Penh last night and ready to explore, Phnom Penh is a another great city to explore in Cambodia. Plenty to offer in terms of things to do, food options, cafes, and nightlife.
Phnom Penh also has an amazing array of markets to check out such as Psar Kandal near the river, then there is the Russian Market(Psar Toul Tom Pong), which is the centre for handicraft items, stone carvings and world-famous Khmer silk.
Things to do in Phnom Penh on day 6 in Cambodia include a visit to:
- The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda: Built in 1866, a must-see when visiting Phnom Penh. Admission is $3 per person and $2/$5 if you have a camera or video. Open daily from 7.30-11am and 2-5pm.
- The National Museum: Displays more than 5,000 works from 7th-19th century. Tickets are $5 and open from 8am to 5pm.
- Wat Phnom: This place marks the founding on Phnom Penh and was built in 1434 to house sacred Buddist relics. Temple admission is $1 for foreigners.
- Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fielding: If you are emotionally able to handle this I would suggest adding this to your Cambodia itinerary.
- River Cruise: Explore beyond the city limits. There are hour-long and 2 hour cruises around Mekong River. Some also include lunch or dinner.
Things to do at night in Phnom Penh
To experience the nightlife in Phnom Penh head to the Riverside, Street 51, Street 172, Street 278, Hun Sen Park or Street 308. Riverside is the iconic home of the nightlife in Phnom Penh. There is everything from casual to fine dining, cafes and pubs, as well as bars too. If you want a nightlife on the cheap you are in the right places as beers are $1! Sometimes even less.
For a laidback evening out on the town, I would suggest heading to Street 172 with family-run restaurants and bars. This is also where you will find many expats living in Cambodia.
To hang out with locals head to Hun Sen Park. This is where Phnom Penh’s younger crowd chill out.
Day 7 Phnom Penh
Day 2 in Phnom and day 7 in Cambodia, do you you are going to take a little day trip to Oudong Mountain. It’s located about 40km from Phnom Penh. The top of the mountain has 3 ancient stupas. Phnom Oudon was the capital of Cambodia in 1618-1866 a monumental necropolis for past kings of the Khmer Empire and well worth the visit. You also have amazing views from the top with rice fields in the distance.
There you have it, an itinerary for 7 days in Cambodia complete with Phnom Penh. This city is well established so there are plenty of options for where to stay. Below are a couple of options for where to stay in Phnom Penh during your 7 day visit to Cambodia:
- Budget hotels in Phnom Penh: Ny Ka Smy Hotel, Eighty8 Backpackers Hostel, Golden Noura Villa-Pub & Restuarant, RS Guesthouse.
- Mid-range hotels in Phnom Penh: The Bridge Club, Relax Hotel, Billabong Hostel, Lovely Jubbly Villa, Kuch Oudom Hotel.
- Luxury hotels in Phnom Penh: Palace Gate Hotel & Resort, Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Raffles Hotel Le Royal.
How To Get Around
There are all modes of transportation in Cambodia, from bicycles, scooters, 3-wheeled wagons or tuk-tuks, cars, buses, boats, helicopters. The cheapest modes of transportation when getting around say, Siem Reap, are tuk-tuks.
You can rent them with a driver for $20 a day or $2 or $5 for a short journey. If you are travelling between cities there is the coach, boat and flight option. If you are travelling to another city by boat, expect at least 6 hours for the journey. By Coach at least 8 hours and by plane for about 1 hour.
Sample Budget for Cambodia For One Week
- Flights Direct from UK/USA $600+/- (We paid £290 to leave from Budapest)
- Flightsbetween cities $100-150
- Angkor Wat Pass 3 days $62 – (one-day ($37), three-day ($62) and seven-day ($72)
- 3 Day Hotel Budget in Siem Reap/
- Hostel 3 days x $5
- Hotel 3 days x $30
- Luxury 3days x $100
- Daily food budget per day $10 – 40(luxury end)
- Day tours x 1 $40-100
- Entertainment(massages, drinks etc) $15
- Local transportation by tuk-tuk $35
Factoring similar expenses budget for Phnom Penh and Sikoukvill. Estimate budget for Cambodia trip for one week $1500-2000.
You could spend less by doing Cambodia on a budget. That estimate is based on staying in fairly mid-range accommodation at least $30 per night.
Things To Know When Visiting Cambodia
I have shared additional tips in my post on things to know when visiting Cambodia, especially if you are going to be doing a Cambodia itinerary for 7 days. Below are a couple of important things to note.
- Health and vaccinations: As far as vaccinations for Cambodia is concerned, there isn’t a specific mandatory number of vaccines to get but they do advise you to be inoculated against tetanus, polio, typhoid, and hepatitis A and B. If you are doing long term travel they also recommend getting vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and rabies.
- Safety: Travel in Cambodia is relatively safe. As I mentioned in my post on things to know when visiting Cambodia. There are risks to bag snatchings and pickpocketing so just be wary of that don’t carry more cash than you need during the day.
- Climate: This is a tropical country and weather in Cambodia is mostly warm throughout the year so whatever times you decide to do 7 days in Cambodia you will likely have temperatures above 25 degrees. Just note that rain seasons are May- September. Although April and October tend to be so hot with temperatures around 32 degrees and sometimes even 40!
- Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and February.
- Travel Insurance: As I mentioned that there are scams like in most major cities, pickpocketing as well as bag snatchings. Always travel with travel insurance should the unfortunate happen, whether its loss of property or health issues or even flight cancellations.
- Cambodia Scams: Be careful of scams in Cambodia. One such scam is one you can fall victim in a massage parlor. While getting a massage, some workers can take your money. They can take money out and replace it with fake money. This scam is popular in Phnom Pehn. Again don’t carry more than you need. Also, watch where you leave your purse.
What To Wear In Cambodia
I will cover this in more detail but with the wet seasons in Cambodia, make sure you pack good mosquito repellent. Also, while Cambodia might be hot, make sure you pack appropriate clothing for your 7 day trip to Cambodia.
Beware of local customs. If you are visiting temples, yes even the ruins, these are places of worship. Please don’t turn up in shorts. You will not only get stares, rightly so, but you will be disrespecting places of worship as well as going against local customs.
Packing list for Cambodia:
- Mid-length dresses or maxi dress. Not only to respect the temples but the mosquitoes are relentless near the lakes and moats in the temples.
- Sun hat
- walking shoes for women and men
- Short or long-sleeved shirts and t-shirts for men visiting temples.
Can You Do A Day Trip From Siem Reap To Phnom Penh?
The distance from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is 320km and at least 5 hours drive! There is a national bus route 6 going from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. The journey time is about 6 hours for that and it leaves from 6.30am as well as an overnight one.
In my opinion, there is no point doing a day trip when it involves this much travel time. Do an overnight trip or one way. An overnight stay allows explore places to visit between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The quickest way to fly to Phnom Penh, that is the only way you can do a day trip.
You would still have to make sure you take the first flight and the last flight back which leaves around 10pm. When it comes to how to travel from Siem reap to Phnom Penh, there are plenty of options but not many if at all allow for a day trip.
What Is The Best Way To Travel From Siem Reap To Phnom Penh?
You can travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh by bus, boat, taxi, plane and sadly no trains yet. The bus option costs between $5 and $15 and takes 6 hours, the boat option, the ferry from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh costs $35 and takes 6 hours, leaving from Siem Reap ferry port.
The taxi option costs between $60 and $100 and takes at least 5 hours. Cost-effective if you are split costs within a group. The best way by far is by plane. You can easily find flights from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for as little as £35 one way.
How Many Days Do I Need In Cambodia?
This really depends on your plans. If you have say, Cambodia 3 days 2 nights in Cambodia I would suggest only doing one city. So I would suggest only doing Siem Reap. That way you get to see the Angkor Wat temples and experience the entertainment and hospitality of Pub Street.
How Many Days In Siem Reap Is Sufficient?
There are plenty of amazing temples, some of which you will no doubt want to repeat visit as we did. In addition to day trips nearby as well as the markets, entertainment in Pub Street, at a minimum, I would say you need at least 3 days in Siem Reap. This goes for anyone wondering how many days in Angkor Wat you need.
There you have it my Cambodia travel plan for how to spend 7 days in Cambodia. So have you been to Cambodia? What else would you include in this Cambodia itinerary for 7 days in this cool Southeast Asian country?
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