For some reason I have now long forgotten, I kept very serious track of what we spent our money on while we were traveling last year. I had a little notebook and each night I would jot down what we’d spent, how we’d spent it and tally it up for the day.
It served to show us how much things cost in each country, it also helped us visually take note of how much we were spending. Sometimes we thought we’d really gone wild only to look back at the book and see that actually we hadn’t spent much at all. Other times it tallied up far quicker than it was meant to and we were able to take note and reign it back it.
It also means I can write incredibly detailed posts about how much it costs for two people to travel Cambodia!
How Much Does it Cost to Travel Cambodia?
In the 30 days we were in Cambodia, we spent $1,098.85 for two people. That’s just $549.43 per person to live, eat, travel and enjoy Cambodia for an entire month!
Cambodia does have it’s own currency, the Riel, but it is rarely used with tourists. The US dollar is the currency most widely accepted. You can even take it out of ATMs there (but ATM charges can run upwards of $10 per transaction, so beware). The Riel is almost always given as change. Most Cambodians use it as 4 Riel = $1. So if something costs $1.50 and you give them $2, you should get 2 Riel back. There aren’t any US coins in circulation.
How Much Does Food Cost in Cambodia?
Food is incredibly cheap in Cambodia, even in the more touristed areas. In total we spent $320.50 on food. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for two people. That’s $160.25 per person for 30 days. We spent an additional $23 on fruit drinks and cups of tea and coffee.
We tried to eat cheaply, tried to get breakfast included in all of our hotels, but didn’t skimp on the amount that we ate. When we were hungry, we bought fresh fruit juices or fruit from street vendors. Fruit juices were usually only $1 and a bundle of bananas or sliced melon was only 50 cents.
We spent a total of $61.25 on breakfasts while we were there. When we didn’t get breakfast included in our hostel, our go-to choice, which we found all over the country, was an egg (cooked however you want) with a baguette and a coffee. We usually paid $1.50 each for something like this.
We spent a total of $92.50 on Lunch. Lunch usually consisted of a sandwich on a baguette or rice with some cooked meat. They were incredibly cheap. We averaged about $2 each on lunch during our stay.
We spent a total of $156.75 on dinners. By the end of the day we were usually pretty hungry and would order big bowls of curry with a side of rice. There are so many different types of curries and soups available and that was usually what we ate. Cambodians definitely don’t skimp on the vegetables, but if you order something with meat, don’t expect a heaping plateful of it.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Cambodia?
We never booked anything in advance during out thirty days in Cambodia. We found that if we arrived somewhere we were able to get a much better price than those that had booked online. That being said, we were traveling during a quieter time, in early July, so nowhere was booked out. We were able to haggle prices down by telling them that we would stay for three or more days. We never paid more than $10 for a double room and we even paid as little as $5 a night in some places.
In total we spent $261 for 30 days of accommodation. We always stayed in double rooms usually with a private bathroom, balcony and hammock. Like I mentioned above, we tried our best to find places that also included breakfast, but it wasn’t as common in Cambodia as it had been in Vietnam.
How Much Does Beer Cost in Cambodia?
Beer is delightfully cheap in Cambodia (not as cheap as Vietnam, but still pretty damn cheap). We liked to enjoy a beer or two each evening after a long day of sweaty touring and in total we spent $93.75, thats just over $46 per person over 30 days. That includes any type of alcoholic drink. Sometimes we splurged on a few cocktails which could cost up to $3 each. Much more expensive when you consider beer only costs about 50 cents a can.
How Much Does Water Cost in Cambodia?
It can be really frustrating to spend money on water all the time. Not only because it can add up, but also because it’s SO wasteful. If I were to do this trip all over again, I would get these filter water bottles. But alas, we traveled without them and had to spend about 50 cents for 1.5L bottles of water.
A lot of hostels in Cambodia had filtered water tanks that we could refill our bottles with, so we took advantage of that as much as we could. It’s why we only spent a total of $14 on water while we were there.
How Much Does Transportation Cost in Cambodia?
Transportation in Cambodia was relatively inexpensive. We traveled mostly by bus. Some journeys cost as little as $5, others, like our bus from Ratanakiri to Siem Reap, cost us $18 each. Considering it’s a 9 hour bus ride, it didn’t seem that expensive.
We rented motorbikes for around $7 not including fuel. We rented bikes for anywhere between $2 and $3 for the entire day. Tuk-tuks are somewhat expensive, especially around Siem Reap. We paid $20 to hire a tuk-tuk driver to take us around the Angkor Archaeological Park for the day. We heard some people say they paid up to $35 in the high season.
We bought a lot of souvenirs at the Cambodian markets. The Phnom Penh Market is perhaps my favorite market in the whole world. We bought t-shirts for about $2 each and a few paintings when we were at Angkor Wat. There are some great charitable organizations around Siem Reap where we splurged on gifts for family and friends.
Our other big expenses were entries to museums and into Angkor. As they’re mostly for tourists, they were quite expensive – about $10 each for museums and palaces. For our 3 day Angkor Wat pass we paid $40 each. (You can read about our experience at Angkor Wat here).
What Would I Do Differently?
There are so many ways to make this even cheaper. If you didn’t have a beer every night, or if you went to fewer places than we did (see our itinerary here), you would save loads. If you only visited Angkor Wat on a one day ticket you would save yourself $20.
I don’t think I would have done much different. We spent way below what we thought we would (we budgeted $1500 for both of us for the month and didn’t even come close!). We didn’t really scrimp on food – we ate what we wanted when we wanted. Whenever we say a charitable restaurant, we paid the $10 price tag because it was great food for a great cause. We bought lots of souvenirs, we went to all the museums we wanted to.
If I knew we had so much budget left, I probably would have spent less time lounging at the beach and more time renting motorbikes to explore. I might have hired a water taxi while we were in Koh Rong and not worried about how much it would cost to see more of the island.
**Something to Note: Siem Reap is an exception to a lot of this pricing. It was definitely more expensive than the rest of the country and if you plan to visit during the high season (Sept-Jan) then you should definitely book accommodation in advance.