Backpacking Cambodia from India was going to be challenging considering the little information available from the Indian perspective. Most blogs I read had the details, but more tuned from a European/American point of view.
The only thing I knew about Cambodia a year back were the majestic temples of Angkor Wat. I had seen a documentary on National Geographic about them. Angkor Wat is also the largest religious monument in the world. The fact that it started as a Hindu temple complex, makes it all the more special. So when the trip to Vietnam was planned, I knew I had to create an itinerary for backpacking Cambodia from India.
We allocated total 4.5 days in Cambodia, 2 in Phnom Penh & 2.5 in Siem Reap. Phnom Penh was selected because it was possible to reach their by bus from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam. If you are short on days, fly directly to Siem Reap.
Cambodia provides E-Visa to Indians and I have written a detailed post with screenshots of how to fill up the form. You can read the Visa Procedure here.
Also beware of the scams along the Vietnam-Cambodia land borders – Read my personal experience about the Border Scams.
Backpacking Cambodia from India – Itinerary
- Day 1 – Take the morning 7:30 AM bus from HCMC to Phnom Penh. Should reach Phnom Penh by 1-2 PM. City orientation walk.
- Day 2 – Phnom Penh Local sightseeing.
- Day 3 – Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Sunset tour of Angkor Wat and some local sightseeing around Pub Street.
- Day 4 – Grand Circuit Tour of Angkor Wat
- Day 5 – Take the flight back to India.
The food culture of Cambodia is not as vibrant as Vietnam, but even then there are plenty of food options which appear to be a cross between Vietnamese & Thai food. Some of the must try dishes:
- Fish/Chicken Amok – Its a Thai curry kind of dish made with coconut curry and veggies. The fish amok is more popular. They make is spicy as per your wishes.
- Green mango salad – Didn’t try, since I am averse to salads, but heard good things about it.
- Khmer Red Curry – Similar to Thai red curry. They make it spicy as per your wishes.
If coming from Vietnam, you will find Cambodia to be much more expensive. A normal meal alone for a single person would cost $5 without drinks.
We stayed in an elegant French villa (converted into a hostel called Envoy Hostel) in Phnom Penh and for Siem Reap we decided to stay at eOCambo Village Resort as it was our last stop on the trip & I was desperate to jump into a swimming pool.
In case you have missed reading the Vietnamese part of the journey, you can catch up on it here – Backpacking Vietnam from India.
|Hotel/Hostel Name with Booking link||Total Cost||Review of the hostel/hotel|
|Envoy Hostel – HostelWorld||24$ for 2 people for 2 nights.||Envoy Hostel|
|eOCambo Village||6000 INR for 2 people 2 nights for a balcony room||Coming soon.|
Activities for Phnom Penh mostly involve entrance to museums and tourist attractions. These are already mentioned in the respective day-wise posts. For Siem Reap, there are 2 main expenses:
- Angkor Wat Tickets – $37 for a single day pass.
- Tuk tuk driver cost – $60 overall for 3 days.
Overall Trip Expenses
The overall trip expenses for this Backpacking Vietnam from India trip were 70-80K INR. This included both Vietnam & Cambodia for a total of 16 days.
- Backpacking Cambodia from India is pretty easy now. You can either start directly in Cambodia or do it in reverse via Vietnam just like we did.
- Unlike Vietnam, USD’s are accepted virtually everywhere in Cambodia. So no need to convert into local currency.
- Overall budget was around 70-80K INR all inclusive for 16 days. Except for staying in hostels we did not cut back on any kind of expenses. We had all kinds of food right from the streets to even a fine dining restaurant.
- All tourists attractions have a high entry price. So this adds to the expenses tremendously.