Budget Overview: Cambodia and Wrap Up

We spent 18 days in Cambodia and spent a total of $2.173.00 Aud.  That worked out to $120.72 a day and $20.12 per person.

We visited Siem Reap, Battambang and Phom Penh while in Cambodia and travelled throughout the country by public bus.  We then crossed overland from Phom Penh to Vietnam.  We were lulled into a false sense of security in Cambodia as they use USD for everything.  Dealing with dollars again made everything feel so much cheaper, but in reality it was not.  Thus i think that is why we were over budget in Cambodia.

Transport:

We travelled by public bus throughout Cambodia and it was extremely cheap.  We used Capital Bus company and they had fairly new buses and comfortable chairs.  We even had a a television that showed Cambodia Karaoke on one of our trips.  We paid $4 USD per person to travel from Siem Reap to Battambang and the trip took 3.5 hours.  

The trip from Battambang to Phom Penh took 6 hours and we paid $7 USD per person.  While in Siem Reap our accommodation was located right near Pub street so we were able to walk almost everywhere except for Angkor Wat, so we seldom needed to use tuk tuk’s or taxi’s.  If we did however the prices were extremely cheap with the average day trip costing $15 USD.

In Battambang and Phom Penh our accommodation was also close to town so we walked alot, however when we needed to go on day trisp we would use a tuk tuk.  Cambodia has very reasonable transportation rates and transport was only 15% of our total budget.

Travelling to The Killing Fields

Travelling to The Killing Fields

Accommodation:

In Siem Reap we stayed in the Wat Damnak area which was conveniently located just across the bridge from Pub Street.  We got two rooms as they didn’t have any family rooms. We also had breakfast included in our cost of accommodation which saved us a bit in food.  We paid around $40 USD for our rooms in Siem Reap.

In Battambang we had a family room but it was so small.  We have never had a room this small before and it was a stretch at times.  The beds were 2 doubles and we only just fit.  Luckily we were only staying for 5 nights.  On the plus side though this was our cheapest room so far for accommodation at only $18 USD a night, however I would not sacrifice comfort for cost again as I don’t think it is worth it.

Our last accommodations in Phom Penh was an awesome big family room right near the riverfront.  We paid $36 USD a night for 2 king size beds and the room also had an outdoor balcony area where we were able to dry our washing.  Total paid for 18 nights accommodation was $416 which was 23% of our overall budget.

Room at The Local Riverside Phom Penh with 2 King Size Beds

Room at The Local Riverside Phom Penh with 2 King Size Beds

Food:

Food was a bit hit and miss in Cambodia.  In Siem Reap and Battambang we found some amazing local food and the prices were awesome. (Around $2-3 a dish.)  Our favourites were Amok, Chicken Chilli and Fresh Spring Rolls.  We also found an great local restaurant that served a plate of steak cut into pieces served with raw vegetables and salt and pepper with lime juice.  This was one of my favourite restaurants in Cambodia as I had been craving a steak.  

In Battambang we went to an amazing restaurant called Jan Bai.  The restaurant is funded by an NGO and all the chefs are local young people who are trained by the organisation and employed.  We had a main tasting menu and it was so divine. The kids shared green curry chicken, rice, morning glory and some fries. Rates as one of the top meals of the trip so far.  We visited with another travelling family and the total cost for this meal was $25 USD.  It was also one of the most expensive meals we have had but was worth every penny.

In Phom Penh we had trouble finding good affordable food.  J would eat at the local market but I was not keen to do so here. (I usually am game for street food but these markets were another level)  We ended up paying more for meals in Phom Penh and the food was just so so although we found the best Indian of the trip so far.  We ate at the Indian restaurant a little too often, but it was so good.

We saved a money in Cambodia on lunch as we often self catered.  We found peanut butter and bread and made sandwiches which we accompanied with fresh fruit and yoghurts.  This was a nice change for the kids and meant we could have picnics at the park or other places.

Food was 32% of our total budget.

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Delicious Indian Restaurant we found in Phom Penh.

Activities:

We did quite a few activities in Cambodia including Angkor Wat. We bought the 3 day pass and paid $120 USD for 3, all kids under 12 years old are free.  We also enjoyed a cooking class with a Khmer Chef in Battambang and a visit to a local circus and the Bat Cave and Bamboo Train.

In Phom Penh we visited the Killing Fields and S-21 Toul Sleng Museum.  We also spent lots of time doing free activities like hanging out at local parks near the riverside and exploring streets and markets.  When we get to a new place we love to just walk and get a feel for the place and best of all it’s free. 

Apart for Angkor Wat all of the activities are reasonable priced in Cambodia and we spent 17.5% of our total budget on activities.