Backpacking in Cambodia

Backpacking in Cambodia is a popular choice among adventure seekers due to the country’s rich history, stunning landscapes, and affordability. An attention-grabbing fact is that Cambodia is home to the largest religious monument in the world – the iconic Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts thousands of backpackers each year, who come to experience its architectural grandeur and immerse themselves in the ancient Khmer civilization.

Cambodia’s backpacking scene has evolved significantly over the years, gaining prominence since the 1990s when the country emerged from a turbulent period of war and conflict. As Cambodia transitioned towards peace and stability, it gradually opened up to tourism, making it a favored destination for backpackers seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience.

An engaging element associated with backpacking in Cambodia is its affordability. Backpackers on a shoestring budget find Cambodia a paradise, where they can explore the country’s hidden gems without breaking the bank. From affordable street food and cheap accommodation options to low-cost transportation, Cambodia offers backpackers the opportunity to make the most of their travel experiences without compromising on quality.

In recent years, Cambodia has witnessed a surge in backpacker tourism, with adventurous travelers drawn to the country’s pristine beaches, vibrant cities, and untouched natural beauty. The allure of backpacking can also be attributed to Cambodia’s friendly and welcoming locals, who are known for their hospitality and willingness to share their culture with visitors.

While backpacking in Cambodia provides an immersive experience of the country’s rich heritage, it is essential for backpackers to be aware of the impact they have on the local communities and environment. Sustainable tourism practices, such as supporting local businesses, respecting cultural traditions, and being mindful of the environment, can contribute to the long-term preservation of Cambodia’s natural and cultural treasures.

Backpacking in Cambodia offers a unique blend of adventure, cultural immersion, and affordability. With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and welcoming locals, it continues to attract backpackers from all corners of the globe seeking an unforgettable travel experience. Whether exploring ancient temple complexes, relaxing on pristine beaches, or indulging in delectable Khmer cuisine, backpackers in Cambodia are sure to find an abundance of extraordinary experiences awaiting them.

Backpacking in Cambodia
Backpacking in Cambodia

What are the advantages of backpacking in Cambodia?

Backpacking in Cambodia is an exciting and adventurous way to explore this beautiful country. It allows travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture, experience stunning natural landscapes, and visit historical sites. From the ancient temples of Angkor Wat to the serene beaches of Sihanoukville, Cambodia offers a multitude of attractions to discover. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the advantages of backpacking in Cambodia, providing detailed insights and tips for a memorable journey.

The Answer to Backpacking in Cambodia

Backpacking in Cambodia is an adventure like no other. This Southeast Asian country is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. From exploring ancient temples to trekking through lush jungles, Cambodia offers a wide range of experiences for backpackers seeking an authentic and immersive journey.

Exploring Ancient Temples

One of the main attractions for backpackers in Cambodia is the world-famous Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a magnificent temple complex that dates back to the 12th century. Exploring the intricate carvings and towering structures of Angkor Wat is a must-do experience. Additionally, there are numerous other temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park that are worth visiting, such as Bayon, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei.

Immersing in Local Culture

Backpacking in Cambodia provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture. From interacting with friendly locals in bustling markets to learning about traditional crafts and customs, Cambodian culture is rich and diverse. Don’t miss the chance to visit the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake, where you can witness the daily lives of the locals and experience their unique way of living.

Adventurous Outdoor Activities

Cambodia offers plenty of exciting outdoor activities for adventurous backpackers. Explore the dense jungles of the Cardamom Mountains and embark on thrilling trekking expeditions. Discover hidden waterfalls, encounter diverse wildlife, and camp under the stars for an unforgettable experience. For water enthusiasts, the coastal areas provide opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat trips to untouched islands.

Sampling Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of backpacking in Cambodia is indulging in its delicious cuisine. Cambodian food is known for its bold flavors and unique combinations. Don’t forget to try the national dish, fish amok, which is a savory fish curry steamed in banana leaves. Other must-try dishes include beef lok lak, banana flower salad, and Khmer barbecue. Street food stalls offer a variety of tasty and affordable options to satisfy any palate.


With its fascinating history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, Cambodia is a backpacker’s paradise. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, immersing yourself in local culture, engaging in adventurous outdoor activities, or sampling mouthwatering cuisine, Cambodia has something for everyone. Embrace the spirit of adventure and experience the wonders of this captivating country.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia welcomed around 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, and the number continues to grow each year.

FAQs About Backpacking in Cambodia

1. Can I get a visa on arrival in Cambodia?

Yes, most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at major entry points in Cambodia, including airports and land border crossings. The visa fee is typically paid in cash and requires a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.

2. How many days should I allocate for backpacking in Cambodia?

It depends on your interests and the places you want to visit. Generally, a minimum of 7-10 days is recommended to explore the highlights such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and the temples of Angkor. However, if you have more time, you can venture off the beaten path to discover lesser-known destinations.

3. What is the best time to go backpacking in Cambodia?

The dry season from November to April is considered the best time for backpacking in Cambodia. The weather is generally sunny, and rainfall is minimal, making it easier to explore various attractions. However, be prepared for high temperatures, especially from March to May.

4. Do I need to be vaccinated before backpacking in Cambodia?

While no vaccinations are legally required to enter Cambodia, it is highly recommended to be up to date on routine vaccinations and consider vaccinations for diseases like Hepatitis A and Typhoid. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic before your trip.

5. Is it safe to travel alone as a backpacker in Cambodia?

Overall, Cambodia is a relatively safe country for backpackers. However, take standard precautions like being aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and keeping your belongings secure. It’s always a good idea to research and follow local advice to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

6. What is the local currency in Cambodia?

The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR), but the US dollar is widely accepted. It’s recommended to carry a mix of Riel and US dollars, especially for smaller transactions and in remote areas where only local currency is accepted.

7. How can I get around Cambodia as a backpacker?

Getting around Cambodia is relatively easy and affordable for backpackers. Buses, minivans, and shared taxis are popular modes of transportation between cities and towns. Within cities, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are commonly used. It’s always wise to negotiate prices in advance to avoid any misunderstandings.

8. What should I pack for backpacking in Cambodia?

When packing for Cambodia, consider lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for the hot and humid climate. Don’t forget essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, a reusable water bottle, and comfortable footwear for temple visits. It’s also advisable to carry a travel adapter for charging your electronics.

9. Are there any cultural customs I should be aware of while backpacking in Cambodia?

Respecting the local customs and traditions is important while visiting Cambodia. Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and religious sites. It’s customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. Additionally, it’s polite to greet locals with a slight bow or a “Sampeah” (pressing hands together in a prayer-like gesture).

10. Can I drink tap water in Cambodia?

No, it is not recommended to drink tap water in Cambodia. Stick to bottled water, which is readily available everywhere. It’s also advisable to avoid ice cubes in drinks from street vendors, and ensure that any fruits or vegetables you consume are properly washed or peeled.


In conclusion, backpacking in Cambodia offers a unique and enriching experience for travelers. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its stunning natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Firstly, the article highlighted the historical significance of Cambodia, including its ancient temples like Angkor Wat, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These temples not only showcase remarkable architecture but also provide insights into Cambodia’s glorious past. Additionally, the article emphasized the importance of supporting sustainable tourism in Cambodia, promoting responsible travel practices to ensure the preservation of its cultural and environmental treasures.

Furthermore, the article discussed the incredible natural beauty of Cambodia, such as its pristine beaches and lush jungles. The picturesque islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem offer a serene escape from the bustling cities, allowing backpackers to relax and immerse themselves in Cambodia’s natural splendor. Moreover, the country’s vibrant street food culture, encompassing everything from delicious noodles to exotic fruits, was highlighted as a must-try experience for adventurous palates.

In conclusion, backpacking in Cambodia not only provides a chance to explore ancient temples and immerse oneself in rich history but also offers opportunities for relaxation on stunning beaches and gastronomic delights. With its unique blend of cultural heritage and natural wonders, Cambodia is truly a backpacker’s paradise.

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