Are you looking for an adventure? Have you ever thought about traveling solo to Cambodia? The land of ancient temples, beautiful beaches, and exotic cultures, Cambodia is a perfect destination for those seeking a unique travel experience.
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or venturing out on your first solo trip, our guide will provide all the information you need to make the most of your time in Cambodia. So pack your bags and get ready to explore one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating countries!
Last updated on: 25-01-2024
How safe is Cambodia for solo travel?
Cambodia is generally considered safe for solo travel. The country holds the 73rd spot on the Global Peace Index. The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.
However, like any destination, it is essential to take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings. Here are some tips to ensure your safety when traveling solo in Cambodia:
- Research and plan ahead: Learn about the country’s culture, customs, and laws before your trip. This will help you avoid potential dangers or misunderstandings.
- Be cautious on the roads: Road accidents are the leading cause of death in Cambodia, and the roads can be dangerous. Be careful when driving or navigating traffic.
- Stay aware of your surroundings: While violent crime against travelers is rare, it is still essential to be vigilant and cautious in unfamiliar environments.
- Purchase travel insurance: For peace of mind, buy travel insurance that covers medical expenses, lost baggage, and other potential issues before your trip.
What is the best time to visit Cambodia for solo travelers?
The best time to visit Cambodia for favorable weather is from December to February, when temperatures are relatively cool and rainfall is minimal. May to September provides a quieter experience.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Crowds: Cambodia can get busy with tourists between November and March, so if you prefer fewer crowds, consider traveling during the shoulder months of May to September. However, be aware that this period includes the wet season, with the most rainfall occurring in August and September.
- Angkor Wat: If you plan to visit the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, November to February is the best time to go.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in Cambodia?
Cambodia is a country rich in culture and tradition, with numerous holidays and festivals celebrated throughout the year. Some of the most important ones include:
- Khmer New Year: Celebrated in April, this three-day festival marks the end of the harvest season and is Cambodia’s most significant holiday.
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony: Held in May, this ancient festival involves oxen being let loose on a variety of crops, and the predictions made by the priests are believed to indicate the success of the next year’s harvest.
- Pchum Ben: This 15-day festival in September is dedicated to honoring the dead and ensuring they do not return to feast upon the living.
- Bon Om Touk (Water Festival): Celebrated in November, this event marks the annual change in the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. It features colorful boat races and attracts millions of Cambodians to Phnom Penh.
- Kampot Readers and Writers Festival: This literary event takes place in November and showcases local and international authors, poets, and performers.
- Visak Bochea Day: This day, which varies depending on the lunar cycle, commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Buddha.
- Meak Bochea Day: Celebrated in February, this day marks the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.
Keep these festivities in mind when determining the appropriate travel date, as this can affect the price of tickets and hotels.
How to meet other solo travelers in Cambodia
Want to connect with fellow solo travelers during your trip to Cambodia? Consider staying in a hostel, a popular choice for meeting other solo travelers from around the world.
Join organized tours or activities, where you can connect with individuals who share a passion for travel.
Are you looking for an easy and safe way to connect with other solo travelers? Then make use of a travel buddy app. With Likeplan, you can search for travel buddies even before your trip, based on your destination and travel dates.
Create your own trips or activities, or join others’ events.
Is Cambodia expensive for solo travelers?
Cambodia is generally considered an affordable destination for solo travelers. You can expect to spend around $20 to $25 per day on a shoestring budget, $25 to $40 per day on a mid-range budget, or $60 to $100 per day on an average traveler’s budget.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs you can expect:
- Accommodation: Budget guesthouses and hostels are widely available, with prices starting from around $10 per night.
- Food: Local food is quite cheap, with street food meals costing around $2 to $3. Restaurants offering Western food options are more expensive but still affordable.
- Activities and entrance fees: Visiting popular attractions like Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields memorial sites come with entrance fees. For example, a one-day Angkor Wat pass costs $37, while a visit to the Killing Fields costs around $20.
What are the best places to visit in Cambodia for solo travelers?
Cambodia has a lot to offer solo travelers. The country has an impressive, sad, history the traces of which can still be clearly seen in Phnom Penh. The country’s history, delicious food and friendly people make it a great destination to meet other solo travelers.
While solo traveling through this Asian country, don’t miss the following five places:
#1 Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, is a must-visit destination for solo travelers seeking a rich blend of history, culture, and modernity. With attractions like the Royal Palace, National Museum, and the infamous Killing Fields, Phnom Penh offers a glimpse into Cambodia’s fascinating past.
If you plan to visit the Killing Fields, make sure not to plan too much in the hours after this. The terrible events that took place here will leave a deep impression on you.
Solo travelers can also immerse themselves in the vibrant local cuisine and nightlife found in the bustling streets of the city. To make the most of their stay, it is recommended for solo travelers to choose a centrally located hotel or hostel to easily access all that Phnom Penh has to offer.
#2 Siem Reap
Siem Reap, a city in Cambodia, is a must-visit destination for solo travelers. One of its main attractions is the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, which showcases the rich history and culture of Cambodia.
In addition to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap offers other popular attractions such as the Angkor Night Market and the Cambodian Landmine Museum. Solo travelers can immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars and clubs to choose from.
Accommodation options range from budget hostels to luxury hotels, catering to solo travelers of all budgets. With its combination of historical sites, cultural experiences, and lively nightlife, Siem Reap is a perfect destination for solo travelers exploring Cambodia.
#3 Koh Rong
Koh Rong, an exquisite island in Cambodia, boasts pristine beaches with crystal clear waters. Travelers can indulge in exciting activities like snorkeling, diving, and trekking.
The island is also known for its vibrant nightlife, offering beach bars and restaurants to unwind after a day of exploration. Accommodation options here cater to all budgets, ranging from budget hostels to luxurious resorts.
Koh Rong’s laid-back atmosphere creates the perfect ambiance for solo travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse range of experiences, Koh Rong is a must-visit destination in Cambodia.
Nestled in northwestern Cambodia, Battambang is a captivating city that offers an unforgettable cultural experience. Its picturesque streets showcase a blend of French colonial architecture and traditional Cambodian art, creating a unique atmosphere.
Exploring the city’s ancient temples and wandering through museums and galleries on foot or by bike is a delightful way to immerse oneself in Battambang’s rich heritage.
For a touch of adventure, hop on a bamboo train ride or venture into the mysterious bat caves. Battambang’s friendly locals welcome solo travelers with open arms, ensuring a memorable and authentic journey.
Sihanoukville, known for its breathtaking turquoise waters and pristine white sand beaches, is a beach paradise that solo travelers must not miss. Explore the vibrant underwater world with activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.
After a day of fun in the sun, indulge in the town’s lively nightlife scene, offering a variety of clubs, bars, and restaurants.
Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Sihanoukville by visiting ancient temples and historical sites.
Don’t forget to try the local cuisine at bustling markets and food stalls. Sihanoukville truly has something for every solo traveler seeking relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration.
What are the best ways to get around in Cambodia?
There are several ways to get around Cambodia, each with its pros and cons. Here are some of the best options:
- Local buses: Buses are a popular and affordable mode of transport for long-distance travel, connecting major towns, cities, and tourist hubs.
- Taxis and tuk-tuks: These are widely available in cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, offering a convenient way to get around.
- Motorcycles: Renting a motorcycle is a popular way to explore Cambodia, providing the freedom to stop when and where you want. However, it’s essential to be an experienced rider and drive carefully.
- Private cars: Renting a private car is the most convenient and flexible way to get around, especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
- Boats: Traveling by boat can be an enjoyable experience, but it can be time-consuming and tiring. Boats run daily along the Mekong River between Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese border at Chau Doc, as well as between Sihanoukville and the nearby islands.
5 Must-try dishes in Cambodia
Cambodia is known for its good food, although it may be less popular than neighboring Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. Cambodian cuisine has a long history and a diverse range of influences, offering a unique blend of flavors and dishes. Some of the key characteristics of Cambodian food include:
- Fish Amok: This popular dish is a steamed coconut fish curry, often considered Cambodia’s national dish. It is made with freshwater fish, coconut milk, and a blended spice paste called kroeung.
- Nom Banh Chok: Also known as Khmer noodles, this dish is a popular breakfast or afternoon snack. It consists of rice noodles topped with a fish-based green curry gravy, fresh vegetables, and herbs.
- Samlor Korkor: This dish is considered the true national dish of Cambodia. It is a type of stir-fried noodle soup made with rice noodles, vegetables, and various meats or seafood.
- Bai Sach Chrouk: This dish consists of marinated pork, usually grilled or barbecued, served with broken or fractured rice and a small bowl of clear chicken broth. It is a popular street food and can be found everywhere, especially in busy areas.
- Kuy Teav: A popular breakfast dish, Kuy Teav is a rice noodle soup with a fragrant broth (beef or pork) and fresh garnishes such as spring onions, coriander, lettuce leaves, and bean sprouts. Pork or fish balls are occasional toppings, while a squeeze of lime and a side of chili are common accompaniments.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.