Average spent per day: $32.89
Total days in Cambodia: 11
After being in Vietnam for almost a month, Kyle and I had trained ourselves to avoid scams at all costs (not that they happened to us in Vietnam, but we were warned about this happening from other bloggers). We soon learned after being in Cambodia for a few days that the people here were quite different. While we personally never had any issues with the Vietnamese, it was quite obvious that whenever they approached you it was with the aim of selling something. In Cambodia, many individuals gave us a wave just for the pure joy of saying hello. Apart from the temples of Angkor Wat, I would say my second favourite aspect of Cambodia was just the genuine friendliness of everyone. After coming down with food poisoning in Siem Reap and having to go to the doctors, our tuk-tuk driver left it to us as to how much we should pay him for the transport. “You decide,” he said. “Whatever you would like to pay me.” After urging him to tell us how much he would normally charge, he finally told us a number under the regular price. Of course with this type of service, we gave him a tip to say thank you.
When it comes to western-style food in Cambodia, they know how to do it. Out of all the places we’ve traveled so far, Cambodia has comfort food closest to what you can expect in North America. Cambodian food, on the other hand, was not some of my favourite. The curries were decent, but after falling in love with Vietnamese cuisine, there was no one particular dish I craved upon leaving Cambodia.
Like Vietnam, Cambodia has a turbulent past. The most horrific piece of history I learnt while there was in regards to the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s. Over two million people were killed by the Khmer Rouge, and in ways that will haunt anyone with even an inch of sympathy for days. I admire the Cambodians for their ability to overcome this past, and continue to be one of the kindest cultures I’ve ever experienced.
Our daily average ended up being quite cheap at $32.89 for Cambodia, but certain things were more expensive. Food and beer was still cheap in terms of western standards, but not the same as Vietnam. Beer was about $1.50 USD, and most meals averaged between $4-6 (in Vietnam the average varied between $3-5). However, transportation was very cheap as well as accommodation. Check out Kyle’s financial wrap-up for more details on this.
We took buses everywhere between cities, and while they weren’t sleeper buses where you could stretch out (for me at least, Kyle not so much), they were still comfortable. Tuk-tuks are the best way to get around in the cities when sightseeing. Just agree on a price before hopping in.
The Final Verdict
Cambodia is a country of contradictions: one minute you’re walking past children begging in the streets, and the next you’re sitting in a luxurious restaurant snacking on a delicious burger. As long as you’re prepared for this diverse experience, I would highly recommend to put this place on your to-do travel list. Even if you only manage to see Angkor Wat, that’s better than not seeing this country at all!