Best 10-Day Itinerary to Visit Cambodia
Cambodia is a gorgeous country full of beautiful natural scenery and amazing sights to see: Angkor Wat, floating villages, beaches, temples, and more. I had an absolute blast on my trip there and would highly recommend visiting. If you’re planning your own visit to Cambodia, I’ve got you covered with this 10-day itinerary that will help you get the most out of your trip.
If you haven’t read my Ultimate travel guide for Cambodia, I suggest reading that one first, as it will give you a lot of helpful tips.
This is the perfect itinerary for you to see as much as possible without spending too much time in one place. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have more time to spend in Cambodia, just make your stay in every city longer. However, you definitely have to check out the places that I mentioned below.
- 3 Days – Siem Reap
- 2 Days – Phnom Penh
- 3 Days – Kampot & Kep
- 2 Days – Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanloem
- 3 Days – Siem Reap
- 2 Days – Phnom Penh
- 3 Days – Kampot & Kep
- 2 Days – Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanloem
Day 1 – Siem Reap
I arrived in Siem Reap by overnight bus from Bangkok at around 10 o’clock in the morning. The overnight bus is definitely comfortable, and it has great Wi-Fi on board, so if you want to watch a movie or answer some emails, you can do so to your heart’s content. Everyone was provided with a complimentary tuk-tuk ride to their hotel, which was so nice.
After my driver dropped me off at the hostel that I chose, which was Funky Hostel, I went and got a room for two nights. It only cost $4 a night, which is an absolute bargain! I also discussed services with my driver and how much it would cost for him to drive me around to the different sights.
The driver told me that he offered two different routes, a small one and a big one, and each of them was $20. In the end, we agreed to $25 for all the temples that I wanted, and that he would drive me to buy my ticket the day before my visit to Angkor Wat. All in all, I think I got a good deal.
After that, I went to grab lunch at a local restaurant called Khmer Taste Restaurant. The food was not only delicious but also cheap- even better! I highly recommend this place.
In the evening, my driver invited me to see an authentic Cambodian wedding, which was his brother’s. At first, I was scared to go and trust someone I didn’t know, but it turned out to be a truly amazing experience. I never would have gotten to see anything like it if I hadn’t agreed to go, so I’m really glad I did!
I share more in-depth information on my travel adventures in my Instagram stories, so make sure to follow me there.
Ultimately, my advice is to just use this first day to walk around and explore the city without rushing. Siem Reap is a very charming city and well worth an exploration.
Day 2 – Angkor Wat
One of the most stunning places to see in Cambodia is, of course, the world-famous Angkor Wat. This gorgeous temple is an absolute must-see, and no trip to Cambodia is complete without a visit there.
This day was reserved mainly for exploring Angkor Wat. I knew in advance that I would need a lot of time to explore it properly and would be very tired afterward, which is why I didn’t plan anything else for that day.
We started at 4:40 a.m. and I got back to my hostel at 1 p.m., so I was very tired by the end of it and just spent some time relaxing. Remember: the weather in Cambodia can be very hot and humid. I was there at the end of May, a peak time for heat and humidity, which only added to my exhaustion! Because my driver walked everywhere with me and took hundreds of pictures of me, I paid him $30.
For me, tuk-tuk is definitely the best way to get around the complex. First of all, the complex is way bigger than it looks on the map. I didn’t realize how long the distances were until we started driving to the first temple after Angkor Wat. I don’t recommend walking to anyone. Another option you have is renting a car, which will move a little bit faster but not that much faster. Plus, switching between the cold A/C of the car and very hot weather all the time will make you feel even more uncomfortable.
You’ll pay less for a tuk-tuk, and the wind will cool you down a lot. I also saw a lot of people riding bikes, which seems impossible to me, since even just walking is very tiring. I paid my driver $30, even though he only asked for $25 for the whole day and all the temples that I wanted to visit, no matter how many. The reason I gave him more was because he was the kindest person ever, and since I was traveling alone, he walked to every temple with me for 7 hours and took hundreds of amazing pictures of me.
Can you visit Angkor Wat in 1 day?
I can definitely say that you can visit Angkor Wat in 1 day. That’s why below I wrote down a list of all the temples that I was able to see in one day there. So you can decide for yourself if the list is long enough for you. In my opinion, it includes all of the main and most impressive temples of the complex. Of course, it’s huge and you won’t be able to explore every corner and see every detail in one day. However, especially if you’re in Cambodia during the low season and don’t have to wait around for other tourist groups, you’ll be able see a lot.
When you look at the map, you will probably be eager to visit every single temple you can find, but don’t make this mistake. Before you go, choose which temples are the most important ones for you to visit and give yourself more time to explore them. If you’re rushing from one temple to another, you’ll quickly get bored and tired because of the heat and all the walking. The day I visited, I walked 15 km, even though I used a tuk-tuk driver to get to each temple.
Places to visit at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Angkor Wat – for the sunrise
- Phnom Bakheng – temple on top of a hill. Then we went to the east part to escape the crowds since most people go to Angkor Tom after sunrise.
- Ta Prohm – Tomb Raider temple and probably my favorite
- Srah Srang – just a quick stop
- Pre Rup Temple – another beautiful temple which is pretty high
- East Mebon – the temple with elephant sculptures
- Ta Som – another must-see temple, has huge arches with face silhouettes on top
- Neak Pean – a small temple in the middle of an artificial island
- Preah Khan – another must-visit, also has huge trees growing out of it
- Bayon Temple – another crowd favorite with large smiling faces carved into its walls
- Baphuon Temple – you can get to the top of it for a great view
- Terrace of the Elephants – we didn’t stop there, as it was too much for me by that time, but you should still check if it’s something you would like to see
- South Gate of Angkor Tom – on our way home for a quick stop
In the evening, once the weather had cooled off, I went out to see the Angkor Night Market and touristy Pub Street.
Day 3 – Floating Village
On my last day in Siem Reap, I went on a tour to see the floating village located on Tonle Sap Lake. There are around 117 floating villages in Cambodia, but we went to Kampong Phluk because it offers the most authentic experience. It wasn’t the best time to visit the floating villages, since it was the very end of the dry season and there was almost no water there, but still, it was very nice to see how the locals live. I even got to pay a visit to their school.
After we got back, I went to Phsar Samaki Market, which offers an amazing variety of local fruits and vegetables, all for very cheap. I can happily eat fruit all day long, especially when it’s that cheap.
For lunch, I went to a popular place called The Hive. I wouldn’t call it a local place because it has a pretty modern vibe, but it offers many great options, and the food is delicious.
My last activity was going to the Cambodian theater. This was a great experience that I also recommend. You not only get to see a beautiful Khmer dance show but you also get to chow down on an all-you-can-eat meal. It’s a win-win situation!
Then, a shuttle picked me up at 10:30 p.m. so I could catch my bus to Phnom Penh.
Day 4 – Phnom Penh
Our bus didn’t leave on time, which is a usual thing for Southeast Asia; it ended up being delayed by about an hour or more. If you’re trying to get somewhere on time, keep in mind that there may be some delays.
I’m not going to go into details, since I already shared that part of my story on Instagram, but on that bus, my phone got stolen. When I got to Phnom Penh at 6 a.m., I didn’t know where I was or where I needed to go, and I didn’t even remember the name of my hostel.
Luckily, one of the tuk-tuk drivers approached me and asked if I needed a ride. He gave me his phone so I could look up the name of my hostel, but he wanted to charge me $5 for the ride (yes, in Cambodia, $5 for a ride is a lot), so I decided not to go with him. Thanks to the help of another person, I was able to book a tuk-tuk through the Grab app, which I highly recommend. My tuk-tuk ride turned out to be only $1.25.
I chose Billabong Hostel. It’s located near the Central Market, so almost everywhere you want to go, the ride will only cost $1. It’s also clean and it has a pretty good pool if you want just want to cool off and relax.
I checked into my hostel, which was $5 a night, and went to the closest café with fast internet to sort out my phone problem. Of course, it was turned off, Some of my most important pictures never got uploaded to the iCloud and so are now gone forever. Luckily, I was able to buy a second-hand iPhone 6 for $130.
TIP: Bag snatching is a very common crime in Phnom Penh. Even though it’s not the way my phone got stolen, I met a lot of people whose stuff was stolen exactly that way. Remember: just be careful and hold on to your things.
Either way, I had a tour booked for 2 p.m., which I had booked online the previous day, so I decided to still do that.
TIP: I booked this tour for $15 online and it was the cheapest option on all the websites. This tour provides transportation, which is only an AC bus, but you still have to pay for your tickets. My hostel was providing the same tour for only $5, so it might be better to wait to buy your tickets until you get there.
The Khmer Rouge regime is a very dark part of Cambodian history. Lasting from 1975-1979, it claimed the lives of 2 million people. Although this period was brutal, it is worth acknowledging and learning about because it still impacts Cambodia to this day.
Our tour started with visiting the Killing Fields, where thousands of people were brutally killed and buried. We also watched a movie on our way there, which gave us a general overview of what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime.
After that, we continued to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as Prison S21. It’s a former secondary school that was used as a security prison for the torture and execution of innocent people.
The tour finished at 5 p.m. so I still had some time to explore the city. I went to the riverside, also known as Preah Sisowath Quay, and visited the Night Market, as it’s located right on the quay.
Day 5 – Wat Phnom
I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and went to see Wat Phnom, using the Grab app to book myself a tuk-tuk ride.
After that, I took a tuk-tuk to get to Wat Ounalom, which is absolutely gorgeous. Then, I walked to the National Museum and the Royal Palace.
From there, I went and had breakfast in Artillery Café, which was really good. I got a delicious Tropicana Smoothie Bowl. From there, you can book another Grab ride using WiFi and go to Wat Langka if you want to see one more temple.
Then, I got back to my hostel and bought a $9 ticket for the KSE express to get to Kampot. My ticket even included free pickup at noon from my hostel.
The ride took 4 hours and was a little bit bumpy, but bumpy rides are pretty normal for Cambodia.
I went to the river that evening, since the weather was just lovely, and saw some amazing views.
I stayed at Jetzt Hostel since it was right in the center and only cost $5 a night.
For dinner, I went to Ecran Noodles. They make their noodles by hand every day and the location is superb. I got myself noodle soup, which comes with 5 dumplings, so I chose veggie ones. The whole thing turned out to be absolutely delicious. It cost me $2.50 and an extra $1 for a fresh coconut.
I also booked my driver for the next day from the tour agency nearby. I lucked out and found probably the best personal driver in the whole area by chance. He ended up making my whole next day so much better.
Day 6 – Bokor Mountain
Our day started at 5 a.m. because I wanted to see the sunrise from Bokor Mountain, but the tour can technically start whenever you want. We went to Lok Yeay Mao and Bokor Church. I wanted to see the abandoned casino on the top but it was so foggy that we decided to wait and went to Popokvil Waterfall instead. There were no people there at that time of the day, so I enjoyed the peaceful solitude. After experiencing the waterfall, the sky cleared and we went back to the top of the mountain.
We went to Sampov Pram Pagoda and to the Boko Hill Station Hotel & Casino, but it was still very foggy and we couldn’t see any views from above.
By the way, if you’re expecting to see a beautiful abandoned building at the top, unfortunately, it’s not there anymore. The building itself is there but it was painted and made to look like new, which was a huge disappointment for me.
Than we went down the mountain again, stopped to take some pictures with the gorgeous view of Kampot, and then headed to Salt Fields. Kampot is where salt is made for all of Cambodia.
After that, we continued to Phnom Chhngok Cave Temple. We were fortunate enough that no other people were there once we arrived. My driver told me that all the tourists go there around 9-10 a.m. before heading on their countryside tours.
The next stop on our way to Pepper Plantation was the Secret Lake. It’s a great place for a swim but when I was there, it was very dirty because it hadn’t been cleaned.
We visited La Plantation, where they grow organic fruits and different kinds of pepper. It was a great way to learn how peppers are grown and to try some.
Our last stop of the day was Kep, the small beach city near Kampot. We went to the Krab Market first, which is definitely best suited for people who don’t mind strong, fishy smells. This is also the place where you can try the famous Kampot Pepper Crab. Then we went to Kep Beach, which honestly wasn’t very clean, and to Kep National Park to see the sunset.
Rany, my tour guide / driver, drove and walked with me everywhere for 14 hours and answered all my questions. He genuinely wanted to help me and would go wherever I wanted; he was easily the kindest person I’ve ever met in Cambodia.
The tour cost $20 and I can’t recommend Rany enough.
Tip: I suggest not doing the whole tour in only one day, as it can get very tiring. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and reapply sunscreen all the time.
Other things to do in Kampot:
- Ta Da Waterfall
- Wat Angpreyserey
- Vealpuach waterfall
- Omal Waterfall (2 hour hike)
- Fruit Farms & Trying Kampot durian
Day 7 – Koh Rong
My bus came to pick me up at 8 a.m. I bought my ticket from Rany the day before, and the price for a bus to Sihanoukville and a 2-way ferry (Sihanoukville-Koh Rong-Sihaanoukville) was $25. The bus ride took around 3.5 hours and we got dropped off at the pier for our 11 a.m. ferry to Koh Rong Island. Right when we got off, I went to Adventure Adam to book my boat tour for the next day to make sure I could see as much as I could. The tour was $25.
I got myself a ride to my hostel for $5, since prices are a little bit higher for transport here, as there are no normal roads on the island.
I stayed at Malibu Hostel for $5 for my first night. Its location is just the best. It’s located on Long Set Beach or 4K beach, so you can relax and enjoy the amazing beach. Because it was low season when I visited Cambodia and there were almost no people around, it felt like I was on a private island.
Tip: Don’t stay where all the ferries stop, Koh Toch Beach. The water there is dirty and it’s not as relaxing as by the other beaches. However, keep in mind that the food is cheaper here.
Day 8 – Exploring the island
On my second day on the island, I decided to do an Adventure Adam tour. It was the best decision I made. We spent the whole day exploring the island, hopping around different beaches, visiting local villages, snorkeling, playing frisbee, fishing, eating our fish, and having more food after that. Adam is a great person and he can teach you so much about the island, Cambodia, and more since he has traveled a lot. Of course, the highlight of our trip was swimming with glowing plankton at night. You can’t catch it on camera but it was one of the most magical experiences in the world. It was like having thousands of shooting stars around you in the water whenever you moved. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT!
I was supposed to leave the island that day but I loved being there so much, especially since I could eat delicious mangos all the time, that I decided to stay for one more day and just relax.
This is the day I got on a ferry back to Sihanoukville and continued my Southeast Asia trip, to Kampot and, from there, to Vietnam. Of course, this is just my suggestion on how to plan your trip to Cambodia. I had enough time to see and do everything that I wanted to do, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I had an unforgettable time, and if you follow my tips, then you surely will too!
Tip: I suggest you keep your dates open and not book all your bus tickets in advance, as you might like one place more than another and decide to stay there longer. Buying tickets is very easy as there are a lot of different companies and every hostel/hotel will be selling them.