How To: Backpack Cambodia For As Cheap As Possible

Dreaming of exploring the mesmerising temples of Angkor Wat, strolling through bustling markets, and immersing yourself in Cambodia’s rich culture? You don’t need a bottomless wallet to make it happen. With careful planning and a savvy approach, you can experience the wonders of Cambodia while keeping your budget intact. Get ready to embark on a budget-friendly adventure as we share our ultimate guide on how to backpack Cambodia for as cheap as possible.


The visa price as of July 2023 was $36, so factor that in when budgeting – I think this is the priciest visa I have ever paid for! It’s required of you to get one regardless if you’re entering the country via bus or plane. Remember to print out two copies of your visa beforehand. Border officials do not accept a visa from your phone. I travelled from Vietnam to Cambodia via bus and was not aware of this so had to find someone on the border who luckily had a printer. It caused unnecessary stress and panic and I had to pay a fee. You need to print out two copies of your visa, this is because you also need to have a copy of your visa when you leave the country. I travelled from Cambodia into Thailand via bus and also wasn’t aware of this, which again caused a lot of stress.

So remember: print out 2 copies of your visa before entering and leaving the country to avoid paying a fee.


Cambodia offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options. Look for guesthouses, hostels, or homestays that provide clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. I used or Agoda to book accommodation. The best piece of advice I can give you to ensure cheap accommodation and to backpack Cambodia for as cheap as possible, is make sure you book well in advance. Not only do you then have more options, but the price generally is lower the more in advance you book.


Cambodian culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism, and respect for religious traditions and customs is important. Cambodia is home to beautiful and historical temples. As a tourist, you also need to adhere to proper clothing etiquette. That means wearing modest clothing that covers your shoulders, back and knees. I recommend for ladies taking a long airy maxi skirt and t-shirt. For men, take linen or light trousers. It does get extremely hot.

Sometimes outside of temples locals will be selling clothing if you don’t have the required outfit, but you don’t want to pay for this or rely on it.


Traveling within Cambodia doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead of private transportation or costly tours, opt for local transport options. Tuk-tuks, shared taxis, or moto-taxis are common and affordable ways to get around. Negotiate prices upfront and consider using mobile apps like Grab for convenient and reasonably priced rides.

PRO TIP: Be aware, never have your iPhone or valuables visible when riding in a Tuk Tuk as there can be snatchers that will steal your property.


I would always ask local Tuk Tuk drivers how much a daily tour would be to visit the temples. If you’re wanting to visit Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap, to keep costs down I would go with a Tuk Tuk driver rather than tour. During the tour they should take you to the following destinations for 20 USD each:

Angkor Wat

Angkor Thom

Ta Prohm

Going via a Tuk Tuk rather than a tour gives you the added benefit of extra autonomy if you wanted to stop at a temple for longer. A 1-day entry ticket for Angkor Wat is around $37 USD each. It is quite costly but definitely worth the experience. Go at sunset as well for an extra special experience. As we were leaving at dawn the monkeys all came out which was a spectacular sight!


Cambodia is a country where bargaining is part of the culture, especially in markets and street vendors. Practise your negotiation skills to get the best prices for souvenirs, clothing, or even transportation. Be polite but firm and always compare prices before settling on a deal.

Off-Peak Travel

Peak tourist travel times are November-March when there is low rainfall. Travelling during the low season between April-October will ensure costs stay down so you can backpack Cambodia cheap. During these periods, you’re more likely to find discounted accommodation rates, cheaper flights, and fewer crowds at popular attractions. Avoiding major holidays and peak tourist seasons will stretch your budget further and allow you to enjoy a more authentic experience. I visited in May and the weather generally was sunny, and extremely humid. It would downpour in the afternoons for a couple of hours. But I still saw everything I wanted to!

I hope you learnt some helpful tips on how you can backpack Cambodia for as cheap as possible. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to explore Cambodia on a budget.

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