Tips to Travel Cambodia on the Cheap

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      How to Save Money and travel Cambodia on the Cheap

      Cambodia is already ridiculously cheap to travel, and this is just one of the reasons why it’s such a great country. The people are friendly and welcoming and there is a distinct lack of rules, which for me means more fun. But for now, here are a few cool ways to travel Cambodia on the cheap.

      READ: If you’re doing the border from Thailand into Cambodia and want to avoid being scammed. Read this article.

      How to Do Angkor Wat on the Cheap

      Hire Bicycles. Bikes are $1 per day and Angkor Wat is relatively close to the centre of Siem Reap. If you were a regular cyclist it would be easy-peasy. But maybe a little tiring if you haven’t cycled much. I would recommend do not do this option if the weather is ridiculously hot or raining.

      Bargain hard for your tuk tuk, but not too hard. And then share the tuk tuk with other hostel-goers you find in the common area. The night before we wanted to do the Angkor temples we walked the streets getting the best possible prices from all the drivers, telling the price of the last one to encourage the next to beat it. We were also getting a gage of their personalities, as we wanted an entertaining guide. We found one who was a great fit and cheap price and locked him in. The next day he didn’t turn up and we had to take a random guy. He did pass on a message to us that morning that he’d gotten a better price with some other tourists. Fair enough, that’s the game. We just got played well that time!

      BYO lunch to the temples (but don’t let the ants in!). We got our tuk tuk driver to take us to a “good but cheap” place to buy some food to take into the park. You can eat your lunch at in the shade of your tuk tuk or at any of the restaurants if you buy a drink, and that’s what we did. It saved us paying the expensive temple prices and we still got a nice seat in the shade.

      Buy the 3 day pass for the price of 2 days. One day really isn’t enough, two is good, but three is great. You may like to use the 3rd day for an extra sunrise or sunset if the other 2 days weren’t good, or use it to head to some of the farther away, more obscure temples.

      Eat Cheap in Cambodia

      Don’t eat western food! It’s far too expensive, and the local food is absolutely DELICIOUS anyway!!!

      When eating at local places don’t buy a drink. Drink the delicious tea they give you with ice for free!

      Eat at the pork bread roll street food stalls. It shouldn’t cost you more than 2000 kip ($50c) and it’s uber-tasty

      $1 soup stalls are your friend. These limey, chickeney bowels of goodness are just too good.

      Lok Lak – marinated strips of beef with rice and cucumber – was my absolute favourite Cambodian dish. You could get it as cheap as $3 in local restaurants around Cambodia.

      Accommodation de Budget

      Look around for the cheaper locally run places. They aren’t going to have the backpacker vibe, but they have a local vibe, and they are always cheaper.

      Negotiate for a cheaper price for a long-term stay. It doesn’t really matter how long (it could be a week) they will sometimes be happy to give a discount if you ask.

      Head to a meditation and yoga retreat for a detox at all-inclusive prices. A lot of people will head to a yoga and meditation retreat at some point in their trip in Cambodia for a number of reasons; they are cheap at around $23 USD per day (especially since they are all-inclusive), travellers may need a detox after all the heavy drinking in Cambodia, or because other places on the trail such as Vietnam are less likely to have them.

      READ: All you need to know when backpacking Cambodia

      Transport so Low

      Sometimes taxis are cheaper than buses if you have two or more people. For example, from the Thailand border to Siem Reap it was only $8 USD for a taxi each or it was going to be a $5 bus that we would need to wait three hours for. If you can rustle up a full taxi, it’s almost always cheaper than the tourist buses.

      Haggle for all tuk tuks. If you have no idea about what the price should be, ask how many kilometres away it is, and pay no more than 50c per kilometre. Another good trick is the pay a third of the asking price.

      NOTE: Be wary of the vans though as they go FAST on very narrow roads and it’s terrifying!

      Our Tuk Tuk driver sleeps in his vehicle for Backpacking Cambodia Itinerary

      How much did I spend?

      Lets do the math! I was in Cambodia for three months in total.  feel I’m now an expert on the subject of; travel Cambodia on the cheap. I spent one week and a yoga retreat, a month working in Siem Reap and the rest of the time I travelled around. I purposefully picked an expensive day to itemise, just to show that even the expensive days in Cambodia are still quite cheap!

      Daily Cost of Cambodia Budget Breakdown:
      PLACEDaily Average in USD
      Siem Reap$23.57
      Phnom Penh$21.62
      Koh Rong$15.33
      Kampot & Kep$33.83
      TOTAL Daily Average$24.74
      Example of Itemised Expenses (One Day Sightseeing in Siem Reap):
      ExpenseCost in USD
      Angkor Temples 3 Day pass ($40 ÷ 3)$13.30
      2 Day Tuk Tuk Tour with three people (28 ÷ 2 ÷ 3)$4.60
      Buffet Breakfast at Hostel$2
      Takeaway street food lunch (we brought this into the park from Siem Reap and left in the tuk tuk until lunch)$2
      Drink at Angkor Restaurant. Young coconut.$1
      Margaritas and Tacos at Viva Mexican$2.50
      Coconut Curry Dinner at Karos$3
      TOTAL Daily Expenses$28.40
      Location Info

      Country: Cambodia
      Language: Khmer
      Currency: 2 Currencies – USD and Cambodian Riel (KHR, ៛)
      $1 USD = ៛4, 000
      I was here: September & December 2013

      Got some tips on how to save money while travelling? Add them in the comments below 🙂

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      Categories: Cambodia, Cheap Travel
      Crystal Egan

      Passionate baby goat cuddler and part-time adventurer, Crystal can often be found doing headstands on the edges of cliffs, taking photos of abandoned buildings or sleeping on deserted islands with dangerous criminals. She has too many awesome stories and helpful tips to keep them all to herself so follow along and in return she will bring you inspiring pictures, travel videos and a whole load of fun!