Here are 7 money-saving tips for Cambodia…
Cambodia can be a cheap country to travel to if only you know how to keep the right approach and deal with locals the right way. During my travel, I met a few backpackers who were spending over 50 dollars a day, despite living lavishly. They had no idea where they were bleeding money. The problem was, they were Europeans, travelling in one of the poorest economies in Asia, they could afford to get ripped off, and locals had a chance.
Travelling does not have to be expensive, particularly not if you’re travelling in a country like Cambodia. I travelled in Cambodia for 20 days and spent no more than an average of $10 per day.
What did I do differently?
I followed these 7 money-saving tips…
Money Saving Tips For Cambodia
Using these money-saving hacks, you can travel to Cambodia on a budget.
But before you read these tips, you may also be interested in reading how much it costs to travel to Cambodia. Also, if you are visiting Phnom Penh and Siem Reap here are my:
Now, let’s get started with our first money-saving tip for Cambodia, and that is…
Just like in any other Southeast Asian country, negotiation is common in Cambodia. Expect literally no one telling you the fair price of a product here – particularly those products that are priced at 1 dollar. As a rule of thumb, remember that the first price you’re quoted should come down by at least a third – before you agree upon buying.
Use Happy Hours
I loved how bars and restaurants throughout Cambodia go recklessly and offer 1000 Riel ($0.25) beers during their happy hours. It made the entire everyday drinking business so much easier, and cheaper.
Except for Phnom Penh, where I found the cheapest one for 2000 Riel (still not too bad), the rest of the towns had something on offer for just 1000 Riel. So hit the bar a little early and save yourself big bucks.
I know tuk-tuk rides are fun, but they can consume most of your budget before you even realise. Cambodia is a small country and its towns are tiny, you can pretty much walk or RENT A BICYCLE (for 4000 Riel a day) to save much of the money.
Use a navigation app to avoid walking extra or getting into the trap of tuktuk drivers, every time you ask them for directions.
From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, most of the tourist attractions in the country, including the famous Angkor Wat temples, can be visited on a bicycle. I explored Angkor Wat for three consecutive days, and completed most of the inner, as well as the outer circuit, on a bicycle itself.
So yea, avoiding tuk-tuks remain one of the most useful money-saving tips for travelling in Cambodia.
No Night Buses In Cambodia
Starting in Siem Reap, before heading to Phnom Penh and finally to the coast – I covered most of the spots backpackers tend to frequent, and this took me through long and uneasy bus rides, but never did I travel in a night bus – for two reasons.
One, I was scared to try them, because a lot many people had warned me about getting mugged and losing their valuables soon after they dozed off in one of those buses. And second, because night buses charge almost double of day buses.
Where the basic reason for a traveller to catch a night bus is to save the daylight for some action and as well as the money that they would otherwise lose in accommodation, it doesn’t really work in Cambodia – thanks to their double fares. So, avoid night buses.
Street Food In Cambodia
If you can compromise a little on where you eat, you can save yourself a fortune every day. Where local meals in a restaurant can cost a minimum of 16,000 Riel, on the street it can be availed for under 6000 Riel.
In Phnom Penh you can get a 12-inch Baguette (my favorite breakfast in Cambodia), with a few meat fillers and salad, for under 5000 Riel; a bowl of meat+noodles for 6000 Riel; sodas for 3000 Riel.
Book Accommodation Online
Though offline bookings must be cheaper, given the fact that the hotel is not being charged with any commission by the online company from where you book the accommodation, in Cambodia, it is quite the contrary.
If you show up in a hostel/hotel, without a pre-booking, and ask for a room, it always costs you a dollar or two extra than its original price.
I happened to pay more price a couple of times in Phnom Penh because of this reason, but later I adopted the habit to pre-book my accommodation to save such unnecessary expenses in Cambodia.
Sure getting an eVISA for Cambodia is fairly easier, a Visa on arrival is no hassle either. It took me a maximum of 3 minutes, for completing the Cambodia visa on-arrival process, at the airport, and get my passport stamped.
What’s better is Visa on arrival costs you $30 (paid in dollars), but an eVISA costs you just a little over $65. Though the VISA fee is $35 for eVISA, the payment gateway charges some pathetic hidden fee and makes the overall payment a whopping $65. Avoid it. Please check the official website for the updated visa-on-arrival fee though.
Planning a trip to Cambodia soon? Read Cambodia Travel Guide and learn more about the country
If you have more money-saving tips for Cambodia than what was mentioned in this blog, please share them in the comments below.