Cambodia is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia. It seems everyone is talking about Cambodia’s neighbours, Thailand and Vietnam, but Cambodia itself is often overlooked. If you want an experience rich in culture and history, you should add 7 days in Cambodia to your South East Asia itinerary.
With 7 days in Cambodia, you can experience the rich history, spectacular temples, delicious food, beautiful beaches and islands, friendly locals and lively nightlife.
First of all, if you are planning a trip to Cambodia, this is EVERYTHING you need to know before arriving, from visas to flights, weather, sim cards, accommodation and more. Then it is time to plan your itinerary for Cambodia.
This 7 day Cambodia itinerary that will take you to the best places in Cambodia.
Please note, you can do this Cambodia itinerary in either way. For example, you can start in Siem Reap or Sihanoukville.
Day 1 – 3 – Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
Siem Reap is the heart and soul of Cambodia. Also known as the gateway town of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is home to many other temples and runes boasting rich history and culture from across the nation. Siem Reap is a great walking city filled with many restaurants, cafes, markets and a vibrant nightlife.
Any trip through Cambodia that starts in Siem Reap, will be off to a great start.
After flying into Siem Reap, spend day 1 exploring the township of Siem Reap.
Take a walk along the river, visit temples, relax at a day spa and try delicious traditional Khmer food. You may even wish to take a Cambodian Khmer cooking class. A cooking class is, after all, one of the best cultural experiences you can have in a new destination.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, try these restaurants.
By night, explore the Angkor Night Market and pub street, but don’t stay out too late. An early night is suggested before exploring Angkor Wat on day 2 in Cambodia.
I stayed with Sarai Resort and Spa in Siem Reap and it was incredible, see my full hotel review here.
Day 2 of the Cambodia 7 day itinerary
For your second day in Cambodia, a trip to Angkor Wat is on the cards. Sunrise over Angkor Wat is an unmissable experience. Don’t expect to have it to yourself through. Thousands of traveller’s head to Angkor for sunrise. It’s not surprising why.
Of course, Angkor Wat isn’t the only temple you should visit in the Angkor Wat archaeological site. Other temples worth checking out include Angkor Thom, Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm.
You can purchase a one-day ticket to Angkor Wat for $37USD, a 3-day ticket for $62 USD and a 7-day ticket for $72 USD (Prices as of June 2018).
On night 2 in Siem Reap, visit Phare circus, showcasing talented Cambodian performers in a Cirque du Soleil style performance. Tickets start at $18USD.
Day 3 of the Cambodia 7 day itinerary
For your third day in Cambodia, you may wish to head back to Angkor Wat if you didn’t get to explore enough temples on day one. The temples are HUGE and many travellers feel one day just isn’t enough to experience the full scale of these monuments.
Alternatively, you may wish to explore the countryside of Siem Reap with a bike or ATV, or visit a floating village. Book a tour in Siem Reap here.
On your third night in Cambodia, you should consider an overnight bus ride to get you to your second destination.
See my complete 3 day Siem Reap Itinerary here.
Day 4 – Phnom Penh or Kampot
There are two options for day 4 in Cambodia.
You can head to Phnom Penh, the capital city and home of the infamous killing fields, or you can head down to Kampot for a more, “off the beaten track”, local experience.
Getting from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or Kampot
You have three options for getting from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: Fly, bus or ferry. All great options and dependant on your budget and time.
Flying will be the quickest, but the most expensive option. Flights from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh are frequent and start at $30. If you plan to fly, book in advance for the best price.
If you are on a budget, my suggestion is to take an overnight bus ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or Kampot, helping you save time and money on accommodation. The bus will cost around $15.
Giant Ibis is a bus company with a great reputation. They have reinforced safety precautions, which include having two drivers and strict speed limit enforcement at night. The Giant Ibis bus offers sleeping beds, WIFI and power sockets.
If you choose this option you will leave Siem Reap on night 3 in Cambodia and wake up at your destination, ready to explore on day 4.
You can also take a ferry between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Ferries usually operate only between July and March because during the dry season the water level is too low.
Things to do in Phnom Penh
The Killing Fields and S21 prison are unmissable in Phnom Penh. These cultural sites are such an important part of the country’s history.
Other key attractions include the Phnom Penh Markets, National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which can be found in the complex of the Royal Palace itself. You can also take a day trip to Oudong.
Things to do in Kampot
Kampot is a rural town and offers travellers a local experience in Cambodia. In Kampot, key attractions include Bokor Mountain, kayaking in the green cathedral and relaxing and swimming along the river.
Based on this, I will leave it to you to decide if you go to Phnom Penh or Kampot.
Day 5 – Sihanoukville
On day 5 in Cambodia, head South to Sihanoukville. Many travellers rate the beaches of Sihanoukville but I have to be honest with you, they just didn’t do it for me.
Regardless, you could spend one day and night exploring Sihanoukville for yourself.
Hire a bike for $5 and check out Otres Beach and Independence Beach. These are the main highlights in Sihanoukville.
For vegetarian food, try Daa of Life and Sandan – both amazing.
Getting from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville
This route is a popular one and there are many departure times available. Bus companies to book with include Giant Ibis, Mekong Express or Mey Hong Transport. Expect to pay around $10 for the 6-hour trip.
Alternatively, you could arrange a taxi or fly from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. If you do want to fly, book in advance to get the best price.
Day 6 – Koh Rong
After a night in Sihanoukville, you will take a ferry to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sameleon.
2 nights on the island are recommended so you have at least one full day to unwind and relax in paradise. Things to do in Koh Rong include snorkelling and scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, village tours and relaxing. I stayed with Sok San Beach Resort.
Getting from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong
Most hotels will arrange the ferry to Koh Rong for you. Alternatively, you can arrange a ferry from Sihanoukville pier. A return ferry to Koh Rong generally costs $25.
Day 7 of the 7 day Cambodia Itinerary
For your final day in Cambodia, you can enjoy breakfast on the beach before departing back to the mainland of Cambodia.
An afternoon flight is recommended from Sihanoukville airport. You can either fly back to Siem Reap where you started or can fly home from Sihanoukville.
This 7 day Cambodia Itinerary will take you to the best places in Cambodia. It will be a busy 7 days, but will leave you with a taste of all the country has to offer.
Cambodia 7-day budget guide
If you’re planning a 7 day trip to Cambodia, you’re probably wondering how much you will spend. The cost of travelling around Cambodia depends on how you want to travel.
The cost of staying in a hostel starts at $3-$7 for a dorm bed to $7-$15 private for a private room. For a mid-range hotel, expect to pay $25 – $40 and for luxury, anywhere above that. I recommend using booking.com to search for accommodation.
A meal costs between $3 – $15 depending on where and what you eat. If you are on a budget, eat local food at local restaurants. Western food always costs more. You can get a beer for $1 – $2.
Flights around Cambodia start at $30 and buses are generally around $10 – $20 between major locations. A ferry to Koh Rong costs $25USD return. Bike hire generally costs $5 – 10 USD per day, depending on your location.
Angkor Wat costs $37USD for a one day ticket.
Not including flights to Cambodia, I would expect a 7-day budget to be around $300 for budget travellers and upwards from that depending on how you want to travel.
Book a tour in Cambodia
Get Travel Insurance for Cambodia
I recommend taking out a travel insurance before your trip to Cambodia. I recommend world nomads.
Packing for 7 days in Cambodia
When travelling around South East Asia and Cambodia, I highly recommend packing light. You will be moving often so the less you have with you, the easier it will be to get around.
These are some essentials for Cambodia:
- Sunscreen and a hat – Cambodia is a hot country.
- Insect repellant – mosquitos are very common..
- Swimmers and a sarong – because you will want to swim every time you get a chance.
- A reusable water bottle and coffee cup – Cambodia doesn’t need any more rubbish.
- Summer-appropriate, but conservative clothing.
- A light jacket for nights.
- A portable phone charger.
- A good book for the time you spent in transit.
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Other tips for Cambodia
- Don’t drink the tap water in Cambodia.
- Always carry cash as some destinations such a Koh Rong wont have easy access to an ATM.
- USD and Cambodian Riel are accepted.
- Insect spray is a good item to carry with you.
- Haggling for the best price in markets is common.