Cambodia is becoming a favourite tourist destination for many reasons. It is still one of the cheaper countries in SE Asia and offers everything from colourful wildlife to breathtaking temples.
For sure it deserves more than just two weeks of your time but we understand that sometimes you have to make sacrifices. However, we believe that it is enough to truly enjoy the best things the country has to offer. Our aim is to make your two weeks in Cambodia special!
Get to know Cambodia
We know that traveling is all about adventure but here’s the thing: You should know at least a little about the country you’re traveling to. If you’re too busy (or lazy) to study much we have prepared a few useful facts and tips about Cambodia. The reading will only take a few minutes!
1. You need a visa to enter Cambodia. Fun fact: How much you pay for it depends entirely on the way you enter. Unfortunately, the border police is corrupted and when entering via land you can expect a few scams. A lot has been written about this sad situation. There doesn’t seem to be a solution since the government does not seem to take any steps against it. That been said, prepare to pay around 39-40USD. And yes, pay in US dollars since that’s the currency that causes less hassle.
2. From 1975 to 1979 Cambodia went through a terrible period. We are talking about the reign of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge. Cambodians will probably never forget the terror, cruelty and mass killings. It is an important thing to know and understand. There are several places in Cambodia where you can find out more about what was actually going on there. You will also find them in our post.
3. There are two official currencies: Cambodian Riel and US dollar. Surprisingly, many hotels and restaurants only accept dollars.
4. Driving in Cambodia is … How to say it….Crazy. There are horror stories about terrible road accidents and many people refuse to take night buses. Try to verify the company first before buying tickets. In some parts of Cambodia with less traffic you can also rent a motorbike. However, make sure you have an insurance and always wear a helmet.
5. In general Cambodians are lovely and friendly people. We were lucky and didn’t experience any bad treatment or scams. Anyway, you should be always careful and listen to your guts.
What to do in two weeks in Cambodia?
Now let’s get down to business. Two weeks in Cambodia are not much but don’t worry: You can still make them unfortgettable. Our itinerary includes things that are impossible or hard to find anywhere else in the world. It starts close to the border with Laos since that’s the point where we entered.
Day 1-2 Kratie
We must confess that before visiting Cambodia we had no idea river dolphins exist. They do, and we have a proof. In our opinion it is a truly unique thing to see. They live in certain parts of the Mekong River and they are not so hard to spot. You just have to hire a boat and the boatman will take you to the point where these beautiful animals usually hang.
You can also visit temples around Kratie and even ride to the town Sambour, where you can find the 100 Columns Pagoda. The road is pretty scenic and you will have a possibility to see how locals live.
Day 2-3 Mondulkiri
After Kratie you can take a bus to Sen Monorom in the area of Mondulkiri. It takes around four hours with a short lunch break. If you’re an animal lover and you want to experience something special, then you will for sure enjoy spending a day at an elephant sanctuary. There are more of them and their aim is to offer elephants a decent life without chains.
If you want to know what to expect, we have described our elephant experience in details.
Day 4-5-6 Phnom Penh
Don’t skip the capital city even if you only have two weeks in Cambodia. Phnom Penh is very different from the rest of Cambodia. After the peaceful Kratie and Mondulkiri it might feel a little overwhelming. One one hand, it is a huge and busy city with a lot of smog and bad traffic. On the other hand, it is a perfect place to find out what actually happened during the terror of Khmer Rouge.
There are two places that you can visit but we don’t recommend doing so in one single day. The reason is simple: It is not an easy thing to confront. You can start with Choeung Ek or Killing fields and then chill for the rest of the day. You can also visit some of the temples or the Royal Palace. The second day can be dedicated to the S-21 Prison. Both of them provide headphones with a guided tour in different languages. It is painful but it can serve as a lesson.
Day 7-8 Kampot
Head to the coast for some proper relax. You have absorbed a lot of negative things in Phnom Penh so now it’s time to switch to holiday mode again. Start in Kampot, a laidback coastal town with a lot of dining and entertainment options. Many travelers decide to spend even more time in Kampot. Just walk the streets with traces of the colonial past. The pepper from Kampot is famous all over the world and you can enjoy it in the local dishes.
Another place in the area that we highly recommend is the Bokor Hill Station. Before it is too late. We are big fans of mysterious abandoned places and Bokor made us drool. The whole area is full of abandoned ruined houses but there are two highlights.
- One of them is a spooky Catholic church that could make a perfect setting for a horror movie.
- The second one is an old hotel which is currently being reconstructed and you can only admire it from the outside.
You can either join an organized tour or simply rent a motorbike. It is quite a long ride up the hill but the road is one of the best ones we have seen in SE Asia. Bring some warm clothes as it can get chilly up there. Check the gallery!
Day 9-10 Kep + one of the islands
Another interesting coastal town just a few kilometres from Kampot is Kep. One of the remarkable things to see there is the local crab market. Some of the vendors will also prepare them for you. If you are not convinced to try them at the market, there is a number of restaurants offering various dishes with crab meat.
You can spend some time on one of the beaches in Kep. They might not be the most beautiful in the world but good enough for a few days of relax. Another option is to go to one of the Cambodian islands as they are super near: Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. Just book a ferry and that’s it.
Day 11-12-13-14 Siem Reap
Of course, you cannot leave Cambodia without seeing Angkor Wat! One of the world famous, which almost made it to the World wonders’ list, is situated just a few kms from the town Siem Reap. And the place is huge. Trust us, one day is not enough to see it all. The tickets are quite expensive but it is worth buying the three-day ticket. You can take the small tour on the first day, the big one on the second day and on the third day you can just rent a bike and ride around your favourite temples.
Another activity that you might find interesting in Siem Reap is trying local street food. In Cambodia there is a rule: When it comes to food, nothing gets wasted. You will find literally all animal body parts at the local market. Another rule says that you can eat pretty much anything that walks or flies. Yep, that’s right, we’re talking about insects and worms! It is supposed to be the food of the future, so why not start getting used to it right now?
Did you like our itinerary? Would you add any other places? Let us know in the comments!