Southeast Asia is one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world, but it’s difficult to find the time and money to explore it in its entirety. Here are our top 5 reasons why Cambodia should be at the top of your bucket list. Make sure you read to the end to find out what budget adventure tours to Cambodia you could get your hands on in 2019!
Everybody knows that places like Thailand are incredibly cheap, but did you know the same goes for Cambodia too! Accommodation, transportation and food are all extremely affordable, so it’s easy to explore the country without leaving a huge hole in your pocket. As street food is so delicious and well made, you can save lots of money by grabbing a bite to eat at a food market rather than eating at a more westernise and expensive sit-down restaurant. Tuk-tuks can be found everywhere in Cambodia, so as long as you agree on a price with your driver before climbing aboard, they can be a very cheap method of transportation. As Cambodia is such a budget-friendly country, you can put the money you have saved towards exciting and adventurous activities, like scuba diving in Kong Rong!
You might not realise it, but you probably recognise more famous sites in Cambodia than you realise. Remember that temple in Tomb Raider or Indian Jones? That’s Angkor Wat, one of the largest ancient temple complexes in the world! Watching the sunrise over the ancient ruins is a once in a lifetime experience and offers some spectacular photo opportunities. Once inside the grounds, the relationship between the manmade structures and nature taking over is completely unique. Visiting popular sites like this will probably be the most expensive thing you come across when visiting Cambodia, however, if you join one of the many budget adventure tours on offer (like ours) the entry fee is covered in the overall cost.
We’ve all heard about the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui and Phuket, but many parts of Southeast Asia have become overly touristy. A lot of people are completely unaware that Cambodia has a collection of islands situated off of its coastline at the sound of the country. The second largest and arguably the most beautiful is Koh Rong. With long, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, it wouldn’t take long to fall in love with the island. And that’s not even the best part. You don’t need to stay in an upmarket, expensive resort to find accommodations meters from the beach, there are numerous hostels available with direct access to the beach, which is perfect if you’re sticking to a budget.
Aside from Cambodia’s beautiful ancient sites and idyllic beaches, the country also has a very important history and a relatively recent one at that. A visit to Cambodia is incomplete without learning about the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge, the communist party that took control of the country from 1975 to 1979. We know that holidays are about relaxing and enjoying yourself, but we believe it’s important to learn about the countries you visit, to really appreciate the culture you are experiencing. This is especially important for a country like Cambodia, whose current population will have most likely had relatives that were killed during the Khmer Rouge. The S21 Prison and Killing Fields of Choeung Uk, located in Phnom Penh, are a must-see to fully understand the country’s dark history, and get a sense of how far it has come since.
Despite still feeling the effects in everyday life of the country’s tumultuous history, Cambodia’s population is well known for being one of the friendliest in the world. Anyone who has visited the country can agree on the fact that Cambodians are the most gentle natured and kindhearted people they’ve met. If you find yourself looking confused or in a sticky situation, you can be sure that the locals around you will be more than willing to help you out, and always with a smile on their faces! Cambodian people are very humble, but they also very proud. Saving ‘face’ is an important concept, so if you do find yourself getting frustrated at a situation or a local, be sure to stay calm and not raise your voice. Getting angry shows a loss of ‘face’ and can cause embarrassment for both yourself and the person you are talking to!
Ready to explore the wonders of Cambodia yourself? Take a look at our 20-day budget backpacking tour of Vietnam and Cambodia or to explore Cambodia’s neighbouring countries, check out our 31-day Southeast Asia Loop! Or drop us a message in the chat box below to find out more.
Published 10th December 2018