I remember about my trips when staying at home too long during the Coronavirus. Yes, those were the awesome old days. Suddenly, Cambodia appears in my mind as a reminder to me that I haven’t traveled back to that country for a long time. Even though it’s a neighbor country to Vietnam, my home country. As a result, I think of a whole Cambodia 7 days itinerary to travel the main areas of the country. Perhaps this is not a time to explore the new lands, but to slowly live life, and enjoy the moments as well as the memories.
If you are thinking of doing the same journey, here’s my itinerary, and I hope it can bring you some ideas.
First – Things to Know Before Traveling to Cambodia
Yes, thorough preparation of stuff, info, and knowledge is always necessary for an enjoyable and less risky trip. So below are things you should put in mind first to take your 7 days itinerary in Cambodia.
The people in Cambodia mainly use Cambodian Riel, code KHR, which has the exchange rate with USD at about 1 USD = 4,065 KHR. Yes, similar to many people in the world, including me, Cambodians love to use USD too. However, be careful when using the $2 note. For some reason, they believe it isn’t good when using that.
Besides that, the locals also accept Vietnamese Dong (VND), especially those who live near the border of the two countries. Hence, if you travel to Cambodia from Vietnam, it isn’t necessary to exchange all the VND you have. You can use it in Cambodia or exchange it later.
Finally, you should better to pay for things in cash. It’s more convenient to use cash than cards.
Food in Cambodia
If you have ever gone to Thailand or Laos, you will Cambodia food’s quite similar. They do have grilled meats, salad, curry, etc. on their local menu. Of course, those foods are really delicious, at least in my taste. I will never forget the grilled pork that I have a chance to try in the area of the Cambodian border. It was so mouth-watering. Anyway, you will find the foods great too, I’m so sure!
On the other hand, you can look for foods from other countries in big cities such as Phnom Penh, Koh Rong, or Siem Reap. From Korean foods, Japanese ones, Vietnamese cuisine to burgers and sandwiches, Cambodia has them all. Hence, don’t worry to be hungry if you couldn’t get familiar with the local cuisine when traveling there. You can easily find the nearby restaurants on Google Maps or Apple Maps.
Oh, by the way, Cambodia beer’s Angkor is one of the best drinks in the country, you shouldn’t forget to try!
What’s Cambodian Language?
It’s Khmer, which is widely used by almost all Cambodians. Alongside this, Chinese and Vietnamese are following due to the number of Vietnamese and Chinese people living in the country. Indeed, I found many locals able to speak Vietnamese, especially those who lived around tourist destinations.
Actually, more and more Cambodians speak English nowadays. That could be understood, English is used widely in the world currently in different industries and aspects. Therefore, don’t worry when coming to the country, people will understand you.
The Cambodia 7 Days Trip Begin
My starting point would be Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), where I’m currently living. From the city, the best idea is to go to Sihanouk Ville via the Vietnam-Cambodia border at Kien Giang province. It’s going to take me a night on the sleeper bus.
On the other hand, if you start from anywhere in the world and want to follow my path, I suggest you find a flight which arrives at Sihanouk International Airport. Ideally, you should come to the place in the morning. Hence, we will all go on the same 7 days itinerary in Cambodia. Let’s go!
Day 1-3 – Enjoying Koh Rong Life
Just a quick brief about the area so you can easily imagine. Koh Rong is the biggest island, which I call the main island, in the archipelago of 5 islands. To illustrate, those include Tiny Koh Tuich, Koh Bong-Po’own, Koh Song-Saa, Koh Koun, and Koh Rong Samloem.
To travel to an island is enjoying all activities and exploring all sights that the island has. In fact, you can choose the type of experience that you prefer. Either living in a vibrant environment with bars and parties among people in Koh Rong Main Island or slowly relaxing in a peaceful and private space of Koh Rong Samloem or the Resorts, it’s belonged to you. They have ships to carry you to the right island and the atmosphere that you want.
On the other hand, surely you can have a choice of experience everything you want. For example, spending a day or two in Koh Rong Main Island to immerse yourself in activities or parties at bars, then the rest at Koh Rong Samloem to relax and recharge your energy for the upcoming journey. Actually, I think it’s a quite good idea. You can always refer to my review of Koh Rong Island to have ideas for planning your days here.
Going to Phnom Penh in the Afternoon of Third Day
There are ships that carry you from Koh Rong Main Island to the harbor of Sihanouk Ville. It’s better to come back to the land in the afternoon so you can get a bus to go to Phnom Penh. The road may take you about 4-5 hours to go to Phnom Penh, depending on traffic at the time. In case you come to the capital sooner, you can evenly explore the city at night. Hence, take your time!
Day 4 – What’s It in Phnom Penh to Do?
Honestly, a big city like Phnom Penh doesn’t have so many interesting things to me. Especially, I’m the type of traveler who loves to follow the landscape, sea, mountain, temple, etc. Wandering around the buildings or the malls just makes my day extra boring.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that Phnom Penh has nothing for you to do. Evenly, it will be less meaningful when traveling to Cambodia on 7 days itinerary but know nothing about its capital city. Therefore, here are the activities that you can take while exploring the city:
- Shopping at Phsar Thmei – the central market.
- Paying a visit to Cambodia’s Royal Palace.
- Enjoying the foods or drinking beer at the bars at Sisowath Quay.
- Learning more about the country at the National Museum of Cambodia or Tuol Sleng.
- Checking-in at the Independence Monument.
- Visiting Wat Ounalom and Wat Phnom.
- Testing your luck at Naga World – Phnom Penh’s Biggest Casino.
Yes, I know that one day in the capital city isn’t enough for you to do all the things I listed above. In my one day in Phnom Penh, I could only go to the Royal Palace and Naga World. Therefore, you should decide carefully on which places you really to visit.
Trust me, there are more attractions that worth your energy to spend than the stuff in Phnom Penh. It’s better to save your budget and time for interesting things coming!
Where to Stay in Phnom Penh?
Airbnb in Phnom Penh has a lot of great choices if you love staying in a homestay. Don’t forget to leverage your Airbnb credit so you might find better deals or even a free stay. On the other hand, Booking.com is a great resource for you to find the best deals on hotels in the capital city.
Day 5 – On the Way Heading to Siem Reap
It’s going to be a long day on the bus, or any transportation to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Of course, you take a flight to quickly arrive at Siem Reap. Nonetheless, traveling by bus or car will be more interesting because you can explore the true Khmer food and see many things along the way. Therefore, in this Cambodia 7 days itinerary, I will suggest a suitable schedule for this movement on land. I will note the rest stops too so you won’t feel too tired on the way.
You can spend your morning at Phnom Penh’s Central Market. I’m sure you will find a good and suitable breakfast there. You just need to be careful with the price from the sellers and see if it’s possible to bargain. Thus, you can skip this place on your fourth day as discovering a local market in the morning will be more interesting.
Rest of the Day
You should firstly stop by Skuon, or Spiderville, which is about 80 km from Phnom Penh. The place’s location is in Cheung Prey District, Kampong Cham province. It’s one of the biggest spider markets in Cambodia. Indeed, it’s the biggest one where you can find not only spider meat but other bug meats, and perhaps your lunch there. Yes, if you are a food lover, or passionate about trying new foods, the place will be your paradise.
The second stop I suggest is Preah Toes Bridge, a witness of the Khmer Rouge war. Coming to the place, you will learn more about the history of the country. Because the bridge was the main connection for supplies on both sides, a lot of battles happened as well as many soldiers had fallen here. Currently, the locals put bowls at the bridge to burn incense. And they use another path to keep the bridge as a monument.
Otherwise, you can find any places that you like to take a short rest. For example, the coffee shops or restaurants around Prey Pros Lake or the monument of Indonesian-Cambodian Friendship. The target is reaching Siem Reap in the day before it’s too late but keeping your energy for the next day and making sure you experience enough in the country. Moreover, you can enjoy one more night in Siem Reap. Hence, again, take your time!
Day 6-7 – Exploring Angkor and Siem Reap
I used to spend 2 days and 2 nights in Siem Reap but I leave the city early on the last day. Thus, I suggest you not to do the same. You need at least two full days to slowly enjoy and experience everything in Siem Reap as well as thoroughly discover Angkor. Both Siem Reap and Angkor are all nice and cool cities, if you know what I mean, so definitely worths your time wandering around and cannot be missed in your Cambodia 7 days itinerary.
Let Discovering Angkor in the Day
A legend that goes along with many historical stories, Angkor is absolutely the destination that you must visit when traveling to Cambodia. Indeed, Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites that’s recorded as a World Heritage Site.
You need to buy Angkor Pass in order to visit the temples in the park. They sell a one-day pass for $37, a three-day pass for $62, and a seven-day one for $72. The regular opening hours are 5:00 am – 6:00 pm. However, not all temples can be accessed with the Angkor Pass, they require separated entrance fees.
The people of Cambodia call it the Angkor Archeological Park, which means there are a lot of temples on the site. That’s why I told you to have at least two full days to visit and take photos of every corner there, hopefully. Also, you can follow the interesting facts about Angkor to deep learning about the place. In specific, the vital temples and towers within Angkor include:
- Angkor Wat
- Angkor Thom
- Baksei Chamkrong
- Banteay Kdei
- Banteay Samré
- Banteay Srei
- Chau Say Tevoda
- Krol Ko
- Lolei (Roluos)
- Neak Pean
- East Mebon and East Baray
- Phnom Bakheng
- Phnom Krom
- Prasat Kravan
- Prasat Suor Prat
- Pre Rup
- Preah Khan
- Preah Ko
- Preah Palilay
- Spean Thma
- Srah Srang
- Ta Prohm
- Ta Som
- Ta Keo
- Elephant Yard
- Terrace Of The Leper King
- West Mebon and
- West Baray
It’s up to you if you want to spend half of Siem Reap’s second day at Tonlé Sap or at Angkor. In fact, you can imagine Tonlé Sap as a Great Lake of Cambodia so mostly you will see water anywhere.
The story is, the lake is the residence of many Vietnamese people who don’t have their real homes or their identities. Most of them hardly live there in generations since the war between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Democratic Kampuchea happened from 1975 to 1978. Therefore, many of the Vietnamese tours usually go there to do the charities as supports for their countryman. Yes, either you love a super vast lake or do charity, you can consider visiting this place.
Enjoying the Vibe of Siem Reap at Night
Yes, the night, which brought to me so much feeling of an ancient city and the old-time, so you do. Indeed, you can find some restaurants or cafes that only use oil lamps or candles to light their space. I don’t know if they do that to save the cost or by any causes. However, they actually do it really well to create the vibe and the mystical of the whole place.
Furthermore, you can go to the foot massage to relax after a long day walking around Angkor. Or you can go to the night market to try the local foods and smoothies. Additionally, Siem Reap has a whole pub street for you to both chilling with the music while enjoying the alcohol and beer. Again, don’t forget the Angkor beer!
Where to Stay in Siem Reap?
I would suggest you the Airbnb option too. Yet, Siem Reap has so many great deals on hotels that I think it’s a significantly better choice than a homestay. And you can easily check and book those hotel deals below:
After the Trip
So you have followed my Cambodia 7 days trip from Koh Rong island to Siem Reap, why not extend your journey longer to Bangkok and Pattaya? If that sounds good to you, I’m sure this 4 days itinerary to Bangkok and Pattaya will help you for a start! Bangkok is just about 6 hours away from Siem Reap.
Otherwise, you can always modify the itinerary to best fit your situation. How about starting from Siem Reap then going to Koh Rong as the last destination? Of course, you can do so. Evenly, you can travel to Vietnam afterward. An Giang province, Vietnam is just about 5 hours driving from Sihanouk via Giang Thanh border. Enjoy your trip!
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