How To Get Around Cambodia For Cheap
Unlike Thailand or Vietnam, Cambodia’s rail network is old and slow(30 km average). But that also means it’s extremely cheap. A one way ticket from Battenbang to Phnom Penh costs just 3$ (1$ for locals) and takes 14 hours. The best part, Train Surfing is an option!
Busses are the cheapest and most practical means of transport in Cambodia. In order to save money buy your ticket at the main bus station in town rather than through your hotel or an agency. Surprisingly, a number of bus companies offer free wifi on board.
There is a speed from from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. It costs 33$, takes around 6 hour and it’s an adventure in itself.
Mini busses are faster but also more expensive. For the mini bus from Siem Reap to 4 Thousand Islands in Laos costs 27$ but takes just 7 hours. The big bus costs 22$ but takes 13 hours. Despite the price, I definitely recommend the minibus for that journey. You can buy mini bus tickets through your hotel or at a local travel agency.
Like much of Asia, hitchhiking in Cambodia is not common. Although pickup trucks and cars will stop for you, they’ll always want to charge you money. However, if you tell them you’re on a budget, many will give you a smile and a ride anyways. It helps to speak a few words of Khmer.
How To Eat Cheap In Cambodia
- Street Food
The cheapest way to eat in Cambodia is at local street stalls. The cheapest stalls are those a little outside of town or off the main streets. BBQ’d baby birds, Tarantulas (30 cents for 1), Crickets, and good ole chicken/pork on a stick are the cheapest options at under 50 cents.
- Local Restaurants
Hole in the wall family restaurants is another cheap option and my preferred way to eat in Cambodia. Fried noodle, fried rice, Amok curry, and beef Loklak are their specialties and dishes usually cost between 2-3 dollars.
- Western Restaurants
There are countless British, Australian and French owned restaurants in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Although it’s not cheap compared to local food, it’s still a lot cheaper than back home. If you’re in need good western food you won’t be disappointed. One of the best hamburgers I ever had was at The Sun in Siem Reap.
How To Sleep Cheap In Cambodia
- Hostel Dorms (12,000 Rial/3$)
A dorm bed in a hostel can be found as little as 3$ and is by far the cheapest way to sleep in Cambodia.
- Budget Hotels (40,000 Rial/10$)
Most budget hotels cost around 10$ but some can be found for as little as 5$/night. These hotels are relatively comfortable and usually include hot showers, wifi, cable tv and also AC for a bit more.
- Street Hotel (Free!)
You really don’t want to sleep on the street in Cambodia. Not only is it pretty dirty but chances are someone will try to steal your bag. If you do end up sleeping on the street, the safest place to do so is on temple grounds. But if you don’t have a choice, check out How To Sleep On The Street.