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Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and largest city, while Siem Reap is the home of Cambodia’s iconic wats. Travelers to Cambodia have an opportunity to take advantage of what both cities have to offer.

Travelers can enjoy everything Phnom Penh has to offer from the Royal Palace to historically important memorials such as the killing fields. Then Travelers can hop on a night bus to Siem Reap to tour the wats and perhaps journey out along the Kampong Phluk.

All travelers need is a week, and they can take in all the sights that Cambodia has to offer.

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Day 1: Landing in Phnom Penh

After landing in Phnom Penh, travelers should first find some transportation. For tourists, transportation in Cambodia is quite simple. They just need to enlist one of the many tuk-tuk drivers that will be waiting outside the airport, as well as along many of the go-to destinations. Once a tuk-tuk is acquired, travelers should venture into the city to find their hotel and perhaps some delicious food as well.

Khmer Surin Boutique Guesthouse

The Khmer Surin is an affordable and nice hotel that is found right in the heart of Phnom Penh. The room size and quality are impressive and the dining provided by the hotel is phenomenal. The green curry and pineapple fried rice are a must-try! For travelers to Phnom Penh, This is the hotel they should target!

  • Address - Street 57 House 8EO, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Contact - +855 12 731 909
  • Cost - $
  • Rating - 4.4 Stars
  • Website

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Angkor Wat, Cambodia's "Lost City"

Day 2: The Killing Field Memorial

Visiting the killing fields may not seemingly be the most ideal first stop for travelers to Cambodia. Remaining as a memorial to what was likely Cambodia’s darkest moment in recent history, the killing fields are the home to mass graves, now indents in the earth, the skulls of the fallen, stacked stories high, and other devastating sights. For a small cost, visitors to the fields can have a digitally guided tour that will take them through the tragic history of the Khmer Rouge.

Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic

Located along the river in Phnom Penh, Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic is a classy destination for high-quality Cambodian-style dishes. Visitors to the Titanic should check out their hot pot, a papaya salad, a spicy veggie, shrimp salad, fish cakes, as well as fish amok served in a coconut.

  • Address - St Preah Sisowath Quay, Penh 12202, Cambodia
  • Contact - +855 23 427 209
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - Lobster Hot Pot
  • Social Media

Day 3: The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is an excellent destination for travelers’ third day in Cambodia. Every building here is significant and innately tied to their twin beliefs in Buddhism and Hinduism. They closely adhere to these customs still and require tourists to as well. Most of the photos travelers can take will be of the outside of buildings as photography inside many is prohibited. There is also a dress code to keep, meaning that legs and shoulders will need to be covered. This being said, walking into the silver palace and seeing its wonders is inspiring. The Emerald Buddha is the size of a man's torso and though travelers are not allowed to photograph it, it is a memory that they will keep forever.

Night Buses or Taxis

The Night buses are usually the most cost-efficient way to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Though, renting a taxi for the trip will be far more comfortable. If travelers choose to take a night bus they should be sure to set alarms and bring something that will cancel out the surrounding sound. They get packed and there are no guarantees that the other passengers will be quiet.

  • Crystal Express Night Market Branch, Phnom Penh - #7E0, St.108, Sangkhat Wat Phnom, Cambodia, +855 93 300 500
  • Phnom Penh Sorya Bus - website
  • Mey Hong Transport (Phnom Penh) - website
  • Average Taxi Cost - $65 to $100

Day 4: Kampong Phluk

Along the Tonle Sap river, right before it enters the Tonle Sap Lake, is the village of Kampong Phluk. It's one of Cambodia's floating villages where the villagers live in floating homes and from the bounty of the river. Tourism is also a major industry for them, as they will take you on boat rides and tours of the mangrove forests in search of monkeys birds, and generally enchanting sights. If this is a venture you undertake, be prepared to spend more than the initial ticket price. Tips are expected from your boat drivers and tour guides.

Day 5: Angkor Wat And Cambodia’s Legendary Wats

Visitors to Siem Reap should make sure to wake up well before sunrise, so they can catch Angkor Wat at sunrise. Yes, there will be hundreds of others trying to get the same shot of the sun rising over the amazing structure, but it's worth it. It was built in the 12th Century by carrying large stones out of the mountains using elephants and floating them on bamboo. It's a temple to Buddhism where you must still adhere to their customs to enter.

After Angkor Wat, travelers will have plenty of time to travel around and visit other destinations such as To Phrom and Angkor Thom. They are bastions of the Buddhist faith in Cambodia and travelers shouldn’t miss out on visiting them.

Banana Leaf Restaurant & Bar

Conveniently located in the proximity of the Wats, the Banana Leaf Restaurant & Bar is an ideal destination for escaping a bit of the heat while enjoying some delicious local food. There is an outdoor dining area, but it is likely travelers will want to enjoy the AC inside. They have some delicious chicken curry served in a coconut, fresh spring rolls, seafood soup, and fried noodles. This is definitely a go-to refreshment station!

  • Address - Street No 8, Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia On the Corner, Siem Reap 17259 Cambodia
  • Contact - +855 63 964 813
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - Chicken Curry and Spring Rolls
  • Menu

Day 6: Return Trip to Phnom Penh

Travelers can choose to spend another day out of Siem Reap and take another night bus or taxi back to Phnom Penh, but one option to consider is taking a day trip back to Phnom Penh. The countryside of Cambodia is stunning and hard to appreciate at night. This can be done using one of the many bus services or by taking a taxi. The buses will make the least one stop along the way, but in a taxi, travelers will have much more control over their experience.

  • Avg. Bus Duration - about 6 hours
  • Avg. Ticket Price - $12
  • Approx. Distance - 321 km
  • Bus Companies - Cambotra Express, Mey Hong Transport, Larryta Express
  • Booking Link
  • Average Taxi Cost - $65 to $100

Related: Hanoi: The Best Time To Visit Vietnam's Cultural Capital

Day 7: Last Day in Cambodia

Before departing from Phnom Penh, travelers should try to check out any last-minute destinations they have yet to visit or simply enjoy the food one last time. Either way, travelers should be sure to arrive at the airport with plenty of time!