My Cambodian Guide

You can have an unforgettable, cheap vacation in Cambodia very easily, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer we strive for cheap, so most of the things I recommend, will be the best for your buck. Remember that Cambodia is a third world country, and adjust your expectations accordingly. This isn't America, and this isn't even Thailand; Cambodia's still a work in progress. Please try and remember this when you're frustrated in Cambodia. I promise this will happen. Things just never go according to plan, so be flexible and remember you're in a 3rd world country. Don't bring anything you would be heartbroken if it got lost or broken.

Tips for eating in Cambodia: You should try it Khmer food, just to say you did and are still alive. Ordering Bai Cha(fried rice) is always a safe bet. For breakfast ordering Koy-ti-u (rice noodle with broth) is pretty good, or bai sai jrook (rice and pork) people love this for breakfast, the pork is supposed to be really good. People love Lok Lak which is a beef dish with a yummy pepper lime sauce. At rest stops if they have bong mo-an ang (grilled chicken egg) get it. It will be 2-3 eggs on a stick over a grill. They've been seasoned and grilled inside the shell, really yummy.

Never drink the water. Always buy unopened bottled water, always. Unless you're in a good restaurant it's not always a good idea to eat uncooked veggies, especially if your digestion isn't used to Cambodia, same goes for crushed ice.

Tips for time of the year: The high tourist season is usually Dec-March. That's when it's the coolest and it's the dry season so rain rarely ruins your plan. Don't come during this time. It's expensive because it's the high season. I say come in July. It's the middle of the rainy season. I love the rainy season. It rains most days, but only for a half an hour at a time or so. Just bring a poncho with you and keep on going. There are a lot less tourists around this time and it's not as expensive. Also, April is Khmer New Year, so it's a cool time to be in Cambodia, but a lot of businesses take most of the month off, and Cambodians are all traveling, so travel can be sometimes double the normal price.

Also, know Cambodians are the sweetest greatest people on Earth. They will always try and help you and they love to practice their English with you. If you learn any Khmer and speak it to them, they will be so surprised and impressed with you. Treat them nicely for me, as they treated me wonderfully and made me fall in love with them and their country.

Now onto my guides to the biggest cities in Cambodia:

Siem Reap:

Phnom Penh:



And ones I didn't do a whole page on:

Kep: Splurge and stay at The Veranda and swim in their pool and eat their sunday buffett. Do it.

Sihanoukville: I don't love this place. It's where icky tourists go. If you go, I recommend staying on Otres beach, it's more secluded and less of a party place. Do go through here on your way out to Monkey Island.

Svay Sisophon/Serei Saophoan: This was my provincial town so of course I love it. Stay at Botoum Hotel and eat their shakes and their sandwiches. This is a real Khmer town. Nothing too western or fancy, but I love it the same. Go eat at the korean bbq across from the Pyramid Hotel and order Ko Lo Phnom and Bai Cha. It's a really cool way of bbqing meat or fish, and their fried rice is the best I've ever had.

Say Hello to Cambodia and enjoy it for me!

Want more tips? Feel free to e-mail me at

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