In my last trip to Cambodia for 10 days in August 2014, I managed to visit four cities in a span of that 10 days: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Kampot.
This trip was a reprieve from an internship stint earlier. Initially, Cambodia wasn’t a place I had considered visiting. What won me over was the cheap budget air flights from Singapore – only SGD 79 for a return ticket!
With the 4 cities I’d visited, we covered a whole spectrum of Cambodia from urban to rural, beach escapes to cultural experiences.
This trip has exposed me to both the nice and the ugly of Cambodia, which on hindsight, was a solid itinerary to get a holistic view of the country!
With my enriching and fun experience, here are 10 reasons on why you should visit Cambodia while you’re young, before age takes the daredevil out of you.
- 11 reasons why you should visit Cambodia while you’re young
- 1. Meet different types of people from all walks of life.
- 2. Experience the real hospitality from countryside men.
- 3. Conquer your fear of heights by climbing this 45-degree-steep flight of stairs at a temple.
- 4. Stay in a tree house right on the beach.
- 5. Sleep in an overnight bus.
- 6. Go on an adventure with via ferrata, rock climbing, abseiling and caving.
- 7. Find beauty in the common sights.
- 8. Embark on astonishingly affordable and scenic road trips.
- 9. Stare in wonder at the abundant history of Cambodia.
- 10. Experience a purple sunrise.
- 11. Take advantage of the incredibly cheap prices.
11 reasons why you should visit Cambodia while you’re young
1. Meet different types of people from all walks of life.
Throughout my trip, whether it is commuting from one place to another or in the hostel I stayed, I got the chance to meet travellers from all walks of life – a professional writer, a diver, volunteers from Peace Corps and UN, backpackers from all over the world and… even monkeys!
It is one of the allures of travel that I still look forward to whenever I travel.
2. Experience the real hospitality from countryside men.
This tuk tuk driver standing in the middle of a salt field in Kampot, Cambodia, very generously tried his best, through broken English, to showcase his beautiful hometown, even though we only hired him to get us from one destination to another.
3. Conquer your fear of heights by climbing this 45-degree-steep flight of stairs at a temple.
Siem Reap, is a mecca for temples, so of course temple-hopping must be on your agenda when you’re visiting this bustling city.
Occasionally, you’ll encounter stairs as steep as this, but don’t let that deter you – the view from the top is always mesmerizing, and often, it rewards you with a sense of accomplishment.
4. Stay in a tree house right on the beach.
If the idea of staying in a unique accommodation appeals to you, you can’t give this treehouse a miss.
You’ll be living on stilts and have access to basic amenities that a tree house has to offer.
On the other hand, you’ll be listening to the crashing of waves as you fall asleep, be awakened by the sound of crickets in the morning air, and open your window to a sunrise view from the comfort of your room.
Up til this day, it is an experience I often relive and recount to people asking for recommendations when in Cambodia.
5. Sleep in an overnight bus.
While sleeping on a moving bus may not appeal to you, it’s the best way if you’re travelling around on a budget. Not only do you get to stay on a night’s accommodation, you save time moving from one place to another!
Only Giant Ibis operates overnight bus trips between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
6. Go on an adventure with via ferrata, rock climbing, abseiling and caving.
We were able to rock climb, abseil, go on a via ferrata and do some caving on some limestone rocks within half a day thanks to David from Climbodia.
He was very hospitable during the whole tour, offering to visit us at our accommodation the day before to finalise our tour. We were glad that he speaks fluent English (he’s from Belgium) – as much as Cambodia is increasingly open to tourism, it still is a challenge to find tourism operators fluent in English.
If you’d like to add such an outdoor workout to your trip, this is a good option. You’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Kampot’s less trodden path.
7. Find beauty in the common sights.
These lush green padi fields are a common sight when you’re cruising in the countryside. The contrast of the green against the sunny, cloudy skies provide the perfect landscape to capture.
8. Embark on astonishingly affordable and scenic road trips.
Renting a motorbike or a bicycle is easy in Cambodia. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost more than USD10 for a full day rental.
9. Stare in wonder at the abundant history of Cambodia.
One of the best places to experience the history and culture is at the site of the famous movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The actual location is at the Ta Prohm temple, located in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap.
10. Experience a purple sunrise.
This picture was taken as is – without any edits. It is actually the atmospheric air that causes the discolouration of the sunrise, hence the colour of a purple sunrise.
11. Take advantage of the incredibly cheap prices.
You can rent a motorbike for $10 or a bicycle for $5 for the whole day.
Accommodation can go as low as $5 for a guesthouse, and $45 for a 4-star hotel in the city per night. Return fight tickets cost $79 when I flew there with budget airline Scoot.
That’s reason enough to visit Cambodia when you’re young and cash-strapped: Cambodia is affordable!
Read other posts about Cambodia:
- What to Do, See and Where to Stay in Kampot, Sihanoukville & Koh Rong, Cambodia
- 10 Best Countries to Visit for People On A Budget
Read other posts about Student Travel:
- Torn By Decisions? My Advice for 20-Somethings, Through My Life’s Lessons
- Why Studying A Semester Abroad Will Help Your Job Hunt
- A Letter to Outbound Exchange Students
- 10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier.
- Prevent Pickpockets and Travel Worry-Free with These 10 Easy Tips