Tips and travel advice for travelling in Cambodia

Before you visit Cambodia, make sure that you have the latest travel advice and information. Cambodia is a relatively easy and safe place to travel, so long as you prepare before your trip. Our Cambodia travel essentials will give you tips and advice you need to make your trip run more smoothly.

Travel advice and tips for visiting Cambodia

If your next adventure leads you to Cambodia, you've landed in the perfect spot. Here you’ll find our curated collection of insights from local travel experts covering everything from safety precautions to navigating transportation, budgeting tips, and even essential packing advice. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, we've got you covered to ensure your journey through Cambodia is as smooth as possible.

Ka Chanh waterfall of Ratanakiri in Cambodia.A suspension bridge is built over the jungle © MUTO KOJI/Shutterstock

Ka Chanh waterfall of Ratanakiri in Cambodia © MUTO KOJI/Shutterstock

Is Cambodia safe?

In Cambodia, safety is a top concern for travelers, but you'll find that with some street smarts and awareness, you can navigate the country without much worry. Despite its turbulent past, Cambodia has become a generally safe destination. While there are areas where a bit of caution is advisable—like border regions or certain rural spots—you can still plan your travels smartly.

It's important to exercise increased precautions in Phnom Penh, where street crime, particularly phone and bag snatchings, is more common. Thieves, often on motorbikes, target areas where foreigners gather - and they're quick to cut bag straps and snatch belongings. Keep an eye on your surroundings, and keep valuable items like jewellery at home or in the hotel safe.

Another safety tip in Cambodia is to stick to well-trodden paths. Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, and also has significant quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO) lying around.

In all, many find a trip to Cambodia to be a once in a lifetime experience.

For women

For solo women travellers, many find Cambodia to be a safe and welcoming place, though you will want to exercise caution. Most crime tends to be bag theft, though there is always the potential for violent crime. As a precaution, avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. Be cautious of strangers who approach you and offers of transport from unfamiliar sources. Opt for licensed taxis or reputable transportation services instead.

Be cautious of overly friendly strangers, especially if they're offering unsolicited help or deals that seem too good to be true.

Stay vigilant of overly friendly strangers, especially if they offer unsolicited help or deals that seem too good to be true. Organised parties, particularly on Cambodia's islands, can also pose risks of violent crime. Always keep an eye on your drinks and remain cautious in social settings.

That said, many solo women travellers go to Cambodia each year to enjoy the beauty and culture of this Southeast Asian country.

LGBTQ+ in Cambodia

If you're part of the LGBTQ+ community and planning a trip to Cambodia, here's what you need to know. Social attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals in Cambodia are nuanced. While same-sex relationships are legal, same-sex marriage isn't recognized. However, you'll likely find Cambodia to be a generally safe destination with minimal risk of outright discrimination during your travels.

In rural areas or small villages, you may catch a few confused glances but incidents of  violence aren’t likely. Most find attitudes towards trans and gender non-conforming travellers to be relatively relaxed. Keep in mind that public displays of affection are very uncommon in Cambodia, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

You will find vibrant queer scenes in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. These include bars, cafes, hotels, and saunas catering to locals and tourists. Phnom Penh also hosts an annual pride celebration since 2003, typically in May.

For more information on safety in Cambodia in general, see the UK Government’s foreign travel advice page, or the US Department of State Travel Advisory.

An aerial view of M'Pay bay village on Rong Samloem island (Koh Rong), Cambodia © Shutterstock

M'Pay bay village on Rong Samloem island (Koh Rong), Cambodia © Shutterstock

How to get to Cambodia

The major airports in Cambodia are Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) in the capital city, Siem Reap International Airport (REP) near the Angkor Wat temple complex, and Sihanouk International Airport (KOS) in Sihanoukville, a coastal city in the south. The highest prices for flights to Cambodia typically coincide with peak tourist seasons, such as during major holidays or the dry season from November to March.

How to get to Cambodia from the UK and Ireland

Several airlines offer flights from major airports in the UK, such as London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester Airport (MAN), as well as from Dublin Airport (DUB) in Ireland, to the major airports in Cambodia, including Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) and Siem Reap International Airport (REP).

Direct flights are available from some of these airports, while others may require a layover at a connecting airport, often in Southeast Asian hubs like Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur.

How to get to Cambodia from the US and Canada

Flying from the east coast of North America to Cambodia it’s quickest to travel via Europe. Conversely, from the west coast it may well be quicker and cheaper to fly westward via an Asian city such as Seoul or Taipei

Several airlines offer flights from major airports in the US, such as Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), as well as from Canadian airports like Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), to Cambodia.

Coming from somewhere else? See our extended guide on how to get to Cambodia


Railway, Kampot, Cambodia 

How to get around Cambodia

Getting around Cambodia is an adventure in itself, and while renting a car might sound tempting, it's a hassle best avoided. 

Instead, hop on the slowly reviving train system for a scenic trip between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, or jump on one of those colourful "laan tom" buses that crisscross the country, offering cheap and convenient rides to major spots. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous (or impatient), mini-buses zip around too, although be warned, they can get cosy real quick. 

In town, it's all about motos and tuk-tuks – negotiate those fares and you're good to go. Need to cover more ground? Shared taxis are your ticket, although buckle up for some wild rides. 

Uber does not operate in Cambodia, though many locals use a similar app called Grab. You can book local taxis, tuk tuks and even order food with the app. 


Bayon Castle, Cambodia

Is Cambodia expensive?

In Cambodia, you'll find that keeping to a budget is not only feasible but quite easy. The country tends to be incredibly wallet-friendly for most travellers. One notable aspect is its currency usage: while the Cambodian riel is the official currency, U.S. dollars are widely accepted and dispensed easily from local ATMs.

For a daily budget in Cambodia, budget travellers can expect to spend around £30 ($45 USD), which will cover basic accommodation, street food, local transportation, entry fees to attractions, and some miscellaneous expenses. 

Mid-range travellers should budget about £60 ($90 USD) per day, allowing for a private room in a mid-range hotel, meals at casual restaurants, more comfortable transportation options, entry fees to major attractions like Angkor Wat, and some guided tours or additional activities. 

Luxury travellers can enjoy a more lavish experience with a daily budget of £160 ($240 USD), which includes high-end hotels or resorts, fine dining, private transportation or frequent tuk-tuk rides, entry fees to top attractions with guided tours, and additional activities or personal expenses.

A one day pass to Angkor Wat is £29 ($37 USD), and a 3 day pass is £48 ($62 USD). Other temples usually range £4-16 ($5-20 USD) per site. You can add a guided tour typically for  £16-40 ($20-50 USD). 


Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia 

Best time to visit Cambodia

The best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather with lower humidity and little to no rain, making it ideal for exploring the country's temples, beaches, and cities. The peak tourist season falls between November and February, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for sightseeing. March and April are also dry but can be quite hot, especially inland around Angkor Wat.

If you prefer fewer crowds the rainy season, from May to October, sees lush landscapes and fewer tourists, but heavy rains can sometimes disrupt travel plans.

For more information, see our detailed guide to the best time to go to Cambodia.

How many days do you need in Cambodia?

The number of days you'll want to spend in Cambodia really depends on how much time you've got, and whether you plan on visiting other countries while you're in Southeast Asia. 

If you're looking for a whirlwind adventure, seven days to ten days will let you dive into the highlights like Phnom Penh's history, the awe-inspiring Angkor temples, and some beach time in Sihanoukville or laid-back Kampot. 

For those craving a deeper dive or a more relaxed trip, two weeks to three weeks is more ideal. You'll have time to explore everything from the bustling streets of Phnom Penh to remote temple adventures and pristine nature escapes in the Cardamom Mountains. You’ll also have the opportunity to keep your itinerary more open for spontaneity and relaxing.


Sunrise, Angkor Wat

Do you need a visa?

Visas for Cambodia are required by everyone other than nationals of Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. The country offers a visa on arrival option at major entry points like airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Alternatively, travellers can apply for an electronic visa (e-visa) online before their trip.

A single-entry tourist visa obtained on arrival valid for thirty days, including the day of issue, and can be extended once only, for one month.

Travelling to Cambodia with kids

Travelling through Cambodia with kids can be an eye-opening adventure, though it's not for the faint-hearted parent. Many families find it incredibly rewarding, especially with slightly older kids who can handle the quirks of Cambodian culture. 

Cambodians adore children, but be prepared for their affectionate pinches, which might catch you off guard if you're used to Western protectiveness. Public transport is an option, and kids travel free if they share your seat; otherwise, you'll need to pay adult fare. 

Renting a car and driver could be a more comfortable choice, allowing flexibility for food and comfort stops, but note that child car seats aren't typically available. Some hotels offer family rooms, and extra beds can usually be arranged. 

Good news for families visiting Angkor Archaeological Park – kids under 11 get in free with proof of age. If you're travelling with a baby or toddler, you can find supplies like disposable nappies and formula milk in major cities, but it's wise to bring your own stash if you venture into more remote areas.


Koh Rong Island, Cambodia 

Outdoor activities in Cambodia

Cambodia's outdoor scene is blossoming, with a ton of tour operators each offering their own unique adventures. The main appeal of most outdoor activities is the chance to get off the beaten track and out into the countryside for a glimpse of rural Cambodia.

Trekking opportunities

Get ready to lace up your boots and hit the trails because Cambodia's wilderness is not to be missed, whether you prefer a day hike, or a week long trail. Banlung and Sen Monorom are your go-to hubs, with opportunities to walk alongside elephants at the Elephant Valley Project or explore the southern Cardamoms from Chi Phat.

Cycling tours

Hop on a bike and pedal your way through Cambodia's scenic countryside. With flat terrain and endless rural backroads, it's a cyclist's dream. For those craving a bit more adrenaline, why not try your hand at dirt-biking or quad biking? Both are popular activities in this country.

Cyclos in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Cyclos in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Kayaking and boating

Take to the water and explore Cambodia's stunning lakes and rivers. From kayaking adventures on the Mekong to boat trips around floating villages on the Tonle Sap, there's no shortage of aquatic activities to dive into.

Rock climbing

For thrill-seekers looking to conquer new heights, Cambodia offers exciting rock climbing opportunities. Head to Kampot for limestone cliffs that provide the perfect backdrop for climbers of all skill levels. 

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned climber, local operators can arrange guided climbing excursions to scenic spots like Climbodia or Magic Sponge.


Floating village, Cambodia

Travellers with limited mobility

Planning a trip to Cambodia but navigating with limited mobility? Cambodia faces the unfortunate reality of having one of the highest proportions of disabled individuals per capita globally, largely due to factors like landmines and diseases like polio.

That said, there tends to be no special provisions for those with limited mobility, and travelling with Cambodia will present certain challenges.

When booking accommodations, inquire about accessibility features, as elevators are still not ubiquitous in Cambodia. 

Getting around temples can be a problem, as even at relatively lowly pagodas there are flights of steps and entrance curbs to negotiate. The temples at Angkor are particularly difficult, with steps up most entrance pavilions and the central sanctuaries.

However, with assistance, navigating the more accessible parts of these temples is feasible. It’s recommended to book through tour operators that offer customised visits with necessary support for travellers with limited mobility. 

Ready to travel and discover

Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels

Plan my trip ⤍