A trip to Cambodia takes careful planning. Which obviously begs the question of how much time should you spend in Cambodia?
There’s a lot to see in this beautiful Southeast Asian kingdom (yes, that’s right, it’s a kingdom). This country may not be as high on some traveler’s bucket list as others but it boasts beaches, jungles, and of course, temples that you won’t want to miss out on.
Cambodia, fortunately, is quite small compared to its neighbors making navigation that little bit simpler. Yet, to properly answer the question of how much time you should spend in Cambodia, this article looks at how tourists can get their travel plans sorted for a trip to the nation.
How Many Days Do You Need to Visit Cambodia?
The amount of time you should spend in the country will depend on your Cambodia itinerary. If you’re just visiting one destination in the kingdom (such as Siam Reap) you won’t need more than 2-4 days. If however, you’re looking for more of an adventure you could easily spend weeks here.
For a whistlestop visit encompassing all the main sites found in Cambodia such as Phnom Penh, Battambang, Sihanoukville, and Siam Reap, you should plan an itinerary of at least 10 days. However, for a more relaxed rate of pace when traveling around the country you may find 2 weeks a bit more comfortable.
Is Cambodia Worth Visiting?
Cambodia is one of the most underrated destinations in Southeast Asia. While tourists often favor Thailand or Vietnam, Cambodia’s country’s fascinating history and stunning natural landscape are well worth a visit.
The country is also perfect for a traveler on a shoestring budget. Food is delicious and usually costs under a dollar a dish. Accommodation is often under $10 a night and transportation either by bus, taxi or tuk-tuk will only cost you a few dollars at a time.
What to Do in Cambodia
There’s a lot to see and do in Cambodia. The country is a great place to visit whether you’re looking to explore exotic landscapes or to relax and unwind. In the following sections, you’ll find out exactly why you should spend some time getting to know Cambodia.
Explore its Many Temples
Cambodia’s ancient temples are easily the biggest draw for tourists. The country is home to famous Angkor Wat and over 1000 other historical sites.
These imposing monuments dating back to the time of the Angkor empire. This was between the 1st-century to around the 14th-century capture everything a budding explorer would want to enjoy on a visit to Southeast Asia.
With their Tomb Raideresque architecture and jungle locations (some of the Tomb Raider films were in fact filmed on location around Angkor), you can really get a feeling of rediscovering a long-lost civilization.
Yet, if you’re visiting temples remember to dress respectfully. For example, the dress code for Angkor Wat requires visitors to cover their arms and shoulders (so no strapless tops or armless vests).
This is also the case if you visit a War or royal palace. The ones open to visitors. If you don’t dress appropriately you may be refused entry.
Relax at the Beach
A lot of people don’t realize it but Cambodia can be a great place to enjoy sun, sea, and sandy beaches. Sihanoukville offers tourists an exceptional chance to enjoy the country’s coastline.
Away from the hustle and bustle of busier cities like Siam Reap and Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville (named after former king Sihanouk) is a fantastic place to enjoy a dip in the Gulf of Thailand. There are also white sand beaches, islands to explore, and plenty of excursions such as diving and snorkeling to try out.
Get Acquainted with Cambodia’s Culture and National History
The history and culture of Cambodia are fascinating, yet complicated. It is a nation that has experienced extreme highs and lows over the decades. There are plenty of reminders of this to be found around the country.
Cities such as Phnom Pehn and Battambang offer a glimpse into what makes Cambodia Cambodia. There is an abundance of day trips around these areas where tourists can explore the bittersweet national history and learn more about local art and customs.
How Long Does it Take to Visit Siam Reap?
If you’re just hopping across the border from Thailand to visit Siam Reap you won’t need as long in Cambodia as those who want to explore everything. Nevertheless, you’ll still want to stay for more than a couple of days ideally.
The temples of Angkor make up the largest religious monument in the world. They cover an area of over 1.5 million m². It’s huge and you won’t possibly have time to see absolutely all of it.
However, those who want to get the most out of their visit as possible should consider spending around 3-4 days in Siam Reap. This will give you plenty of time to leisurely enjoy the most popular temples whilst squeezing in a few hidden gems. Just ask your tuk-tuk driver or tour guide for some of their local knowledge on this.
3-4 days in Siam Reap will also give you enough time to explore the markets and many many bars in town if you need a break from temples. After all, you’re still on vacation.
A trip to Cambodia deserves at least a few days. However, for a real glimpse into everything the country has to offer, 1-2 weeks will really allow you to get to really get to know the land and its culture.