How Many Days Do You Need in Cambodia?

How long you spend in Cambodia will depend mainly on your timeframe. While some travelers might skim the surface on a 5-day trip (usually as part of a larger Southeast Asia tour), others can spend three weeks or more exploring the Cambodia’s centuries-old history and eclectic culture.
South Gate, Angkor Watt. Photo: Paul Szewczyk | Unsplash

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Let’s look at what you can do in Cambodia in one week, two weeks, and three weeks.

1 Week

The Angkor Watt Temple Complex is famous for its 5 lotus-shaped towers. Photo: Anne Nicole | Unsplash

One week in Cambodia is just enough time to see the two key highlights, Siem Reap and Phnom Pen.

Explore Siem Reap with its stunning temples, Angkor archaeological park, and incredible food scene.

Then it’s off to the capital of Phnom Pen, which was once a central point for French Colonialists and the Khmer Empire. Known as the ‘Pearl of Asia,’ the city boasts gorgeous French architecture. Here visitors can explore the stunning royal palace and learn about the country’s darker history at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

2 Weeks

Sprawling Phnom Pen, Cambodia’s largest city. Photo: Paul Szewczyk | Unsplash

With two weeks available, travelers can get more of a feel for Cambodia, soaking up some of the smaller, more idyllic villages. As well as seeing the main sites of Siem Reap and Phnom Pen, spend a day or two exploring the town of Kampot in Southern Cambodia. The village is excellent for cycling and characterized by verdant green paddy fields and rivers.

Visitors can also explore the town of Sihanoukville if they’re looking for a tropical getaway. Once there, visit the nearby islands of Koh Rong Samloem and Koh Rong if you’re looking to relax in a seaside paradise.

Travelers might also want to spend some time in the countryside. Stop by Battambang for some rural charm and the Kapong Cham and Kratie villages near the Mekong River.

3 Weeks

Explore Koh Rhong island, famous for its coral reefs and sandy coves. Photo: Aaron Bradford | Flickr

Three weeks is ample time to explore Cambodia and get a feel for its diverse landscape, culture, and history. Once you’ve explored Siem Reap, Phnom Pen, and a few charming rural villages and seaside towns, you can add the coastal town of Kep to your list. Here you can indulge in local seafood (including the best crab in Southeast Asia!), visit the Kep National Park, and pop into Sothy’s Pepper Farm.

Once you’ve visited all the places mentioned above, you can spend your last week island hopping. Explore Koh Tang for incredible marine life and diving opportunities and Song Saa for parties galore, beach chills, relaxation retreats, and an abundance of nature.

Three weeks is the perfect time to soak up the rich history, visit the significant attractions, explore some smaller towns, and revel in island life.

The Takeaway

The longer you spend in Cambodia, the more you’ll be able to see and do. However, if you only have a few days to spare, the main sites are worth visiting. If you’re adding Cambodia to a larger Southeast Asia adventure, Seim Reap and Phnom Pen will give you a great taste of the country’s incredible ruins, fascinating history, and delectable cuisine.

If you’ve traveled to Cambodia, we would love to hear your highlights!


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