I always wanted to travel all of the Southeast Asia region, but I couldn’t do it in a single tour. so far, I’ve been to Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia. and I intend to visit Laos, Philippine, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam as well. Here, I’ll share my experience about Cambodia which I recently toured.
Visa to Cambodia
Officially, Cambodia visa is on arrival for citizens of all countries including Pakistan. Cambodia also has an evisa system online, I used that service and got an evisa in advance before traveling to Cambodia. it costs $36 USD. I was asked many questions by AirAsia staff at Bangkok airport when I was going to Cambodia. I had to show my return ticket, hotel booking and they also asked for invitation letter, which I didn’t have.
so it was not easy as it seems on official websites and on Wikipedia. when I arrived at the airport, and the officer checked my passport, he saw many visas on my passport including US visa then he let me go easily. I’ve written the Cambodia evisa process in a different article.
Airport to My Hotel
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. I arrived there, the airport is not very big. outside the airport, there are official taxis and tuk tuk. the official taxi cost around $12 to city center and the Tuk Tuk will cost around $6. Cambodian currency is called “Riel” and as of February 2018 1 USD is equal to 4015 Cambodian Riel. it takes around 40 minutes from the Airport to city center / downtown Phnom Penh. it can take less if traffic is not jam.
Accommodation, Food & Transport in Phnom Penh
Tuk Tuk is the best transport option in Phnom Penh city. The city is big, but not large. you can even talk to a Tuk Tuk rider for the city tour, and that should not cost more than $20 USD. for a short ride in the city, the Tuk Tuk cost between $1 to $5 depending on your negotiation skills and distance.
Food of all types are available in Phnom Penh. whether you like Arabic Cuisine, Indian Cuisine or Chinese, you’ll find that all in the city center of Phnom Penh. I easily found a few Indian restaurants near River road, and went there for lunch/dinner many times. Lunch/Dinner in an Indian restaurant cost me around $6 to $8 per meal.
Accommodation is very cheap in Phnom Penh. the cheapest I would say in Southeast Asia. I booked room in a guest house which was located in the heart of the city, and that cost me only $8 per night for a private room. I always use Agoda.com for booking hotels/guesthouses online. you should book your hotel near river side, because all the attractions are close to that place including nightlife.
What to see in Phnom Penh?
Phnom Penh is the cultural and financial hub of Cambodia. there are many historical places to visit as well as beautiful small/large markets. Russian Market is one of the popular tourist attractions. Russian market is a little bit far from the city center, but the Tuk Tuk ride will cost $3 one way. that’s a big market with so many products to buy on low price.
There are museums near the city center such as Cambodia National Museum and the grand palace of the king which is located in front of the river in Phnom Penh city center. You can also take a cruise tour in the river which starts at 5pm everyday and cost just $5 USD for an hour tour in the big river.
If you are fond of Buddhist temples then you’ll find many of them in Phnom Penh and temples are called “Pagoda” in local culture. The river side itself is a big attraction with several KM long walking track and beautiful greenery.
One important thing to mention here that USD is used more common than Local Currency Riel. if you take USD with you, that would be much better and hassle free for you.
Overall, it’s a very low-cost budget destination in Southeast Asia near Thailand. I was visiting Thailand so I decided to visit Cambodia as well. and the whole tour didn’t cost me more than $100 USD for two days stay in Phnom Penh.
I have a few travel vlogs on Phnom Penh, Cambodia which you can watch here on YouTube, and you’ll come to know how exactly Phnom Penh in Cambodia looks look.