Travel Budget Cambodia
Cambodia’s recent history gives plenty of cause for sadness, but its people’s smiles are our dearest memory of this beautiful country. This travel budget Cambodia is a breakdown of our expenses while visiting in November, 2011. Overall, it is less skewed than some of our others because we did not redeem any points for flights or hotels during our time here. We traveled by boat, bicycle, tuk tuk, van and bus, and were able to get to a few less-visited spots. There are still many left to explore on a future visit. Posts on Cambodia can be viewed HERE. Our photo gallery from Cambodia is HERE.
Notes that Affect the Numbers
We arrived via an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur, great place to use as a hub in SE Asia. We took a few intercity buses, these are fairly comfortable and should cost between $7 and $9 per person. The most expensive transportation option we chose was the boat from Siem Reap across the Tonle Sap to Battambang. At $40 for both of us, this was worth every penny. Seeing the floating villages and the amazing lifestyle of the people who live on the lake was definitely a highlight.
The bulk of our expenditure was for the Angkor Archeological Park Pass. We opted for the 7 entry pass for $60 each. This allows you to enter the park 7 times within a 30 day period. The one day pass was $20 and the 3 day was $40. We felt like we would spend more than three days exploring the temple complex as well as some additional sites 15-20 miles from the main complex.
Fresh, cheap and local Cambodian cuisine is available everywhere. There are some more upscale, tourist-oriented places, especially in Siem Reap, but street food and small, local shops are even better. Some of our favorites were the popular Fish Amok, some coconut-based curries (not as spicy as the average Thai curry), and pretty much any dish with Holy Basil in the title. $.25 draft beers at happy hour were also a popular choice. We did have one food splurge in Phnom Penh, by eating at The Friends Restaurant. It is part of the Mith Samlanh project (a program of Friends International) that helps benefits Cambodian street children and their families, more money well spent.
With a little bargaining and sweat (walking with your backpack) you can really find some great guesthouse options at backpacker budget prices. We averaged $12 a night for our time in Cambodia and that is for a double ensuite room. That being said, we always tried to remember that when dealing with a family owned guesthouse, the difference of $1 a night made a lot bigger impact on the local economy than on our wallet, so as long as a fair price was offered to begin with, we tended to haggle less than other places.
The “Health” pie slice in the chart above comes from a bad case of the flu/virus/food poisoning T went through requiring several visits to the clinic, shots, a malaria blood test and an overnight IV bag brought back to the hotel and changed by Donny overnight! NOT a fun experience, but considering we were each sick only once during almost a year in Asia/SEA, we feel like we did pretty well.