Come check out the perfect 2 weeks in Cambodia Itinerary for first-time visitors, hitting up all the top destinations. Let’s talk about the best route, things to do, transportation, accommodation, and more during your time in Cambodia!
Luckily it is not too large, nor too small, you can spend a good 2 weeks in Cambodia and explore the main tourist trail taking you to all the highlights. You may find your Cambodia itinerary to be more or less than this, though in my eyes this is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of what the country has to offer.
Now I have traveled Cambodia twice, basically following the exact same route both times, and that is simply because you cannot fault it.
You will get to experience city living in Phnom Penh, island life in Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, the more quaint side in Kampot and Battambang, and the magnificent Angkor Archeological Park in Siem Reap.
If you are looking at getting off the beaten track and away from other travelers, then I will say it now; this is not the itinerary for you. This is assuming you are visiting Cambodia for the first time and want to see some of the best places it has to offer.
We will keep you on the well-trodden backpacking Cambodia route. Though with a few extra tips and tricks are thrown in to take your adventure to the next level. Though like I said I have done this route twice, and honestly would do it a third time.
Be aware that this itinerary does not start and finish in the same location. Instead, you will be starting in Phnom Penh and finishing in Siem Reap, though it can also easily be done the opposite way as well.
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have international airports so you shouldn’t have an issue flying in, and perhaps if you are coming overland from Vietnam or Thailand, this will also work well for you.
Now, let’s get into this 2 weeks in Cambodia itinerary with all the information you need to know to have the ultimate adventure.
2 Weeks In Cambodia: The Perfect Cambodia Itinerary For First Timers
- Phnom Penh (Day 1 – 2)
- Koh Rong (Day 2 – 4)
- Koh Rong Samloem (Day 4 – 6)
- Kampot (Day 6 – 8)
- Phnom Penh (Day 8 – 9)
- Battambang (Day 9 – 11)
- Siem Reap (Day 11 – 14)
- Extend Your 2 Weeks In Cambodia Itinerary
Phnom Penh (Day 1- 2)
Phnom Penh is a huge city and honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first arrive. Nevertheless, it is well worth spending a couple of days in Phnom Penh during your adventures around Cambodia.
This will give you time to get adjusted to the city, and over any jetlag if you are traveling from further abroad. Though if you happen to simply be coming across from Vietnam, I recommend checking out my post on traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh to find out what to expect.
In my personal opinion, it is actually a must to do this to check out some of the historic sights around the city. If you are not aware, Cambodia has quite an unfortunate past that happened not so long ago in the 1970s.
This includes visiting the Killing Fields and S21 Prison. It is easy enough to find a tuk-tuk driver on the street who will take you to both locations from $14.00 to $20.00. Just be aware you will need to haggle for a cheaper price.
Where To Stay In Phnom Penh
You are spoiled with choices when it comes to choosing where to stay in Phnom Penh. There are countless luxury 5-star resorts, locally run guesthouses, and modern hostels. Though what I have personally had issues with in the past is figuring out where exactly in this city I should be booking my accommodation.
Sure, it’s easy even to look at a map and figure out what is the city and what is not. Though your girl ended up staying in the red-light district during my second trip here.
I honestly have no idea how it happened, but it may have been the super affordable hotel with a rooftop pool. I mean it was okay for one night, but it was certainly a bit seedy venturing out trying to find somewhere for dinner.
Nevertheless, simply make sure to check out reviews and other travelers’ opinions thoroughly. This city is full of budget deals for travelers, some even too good to be true.
Overall I would budget to spend around $7.00 per night on a dorm room or $20.00 per night for a basic private room. Check out my post on the best hostels in Phnom Penh to find the perfect stay for those who are on more of a budget.
A backpacker’s favorite in this city. Dorm rooms start at $7.00.BOOK NOW
Live in luxury for less with prices from $40.00 per night for a double room.BOOK NOW
Excellent value for money with modern pod-style dorms starting from $6.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Enjoy riverside living with the most incredible infinity pool. Rooms start from $80.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Get To Phnom Penh
As I said at the start you can either start or end your itinerary in Phnom Penh, depending on which way you decide to do this itinerary. If you are traveling from your home country straight to Cambodia one of your best options will likely be to catch a flight from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.
These airports are international hubs connecting to many regions around the world and offer direct flights to Phnom Penh. I recommend checking flights on SkyScanner to ensure you find the best price for your journey.
You could also have just finished your Vietnam itinerary and be making your way to Cambodia.
The best way to do this overland is by taking a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. My preferred company servicing this route is the Giant Ibis which caters to tourists and will help you during the border crossing.
Koh Rong (Day 2 – 4)
Don’t stop at Sihanoukville instead head straight to the islands. You either have the choice of traveling to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. Personally, I have always chosen to visit both islands, though I will travel from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong first.
This is because it is the busiest island so boats are always heading in that direction (most of the time), and it is a bit further away so I like to get the longest journey over with first.
One of my favorite spots to chill beachside with clear waters and squeaky sand in the entire world has got to be Koh Rong. No matter where you go you will no doubt discover some of the best beaches on Koh Rong.
Once on the island, you will arrive in the area known as Koh Toch Village. This is where the main town on the island is located and where you can catch a boat to other parts.
The roads here are simply made of dirt paths through the green jungle. You will notice an absence of cars on these roads as most locals travel by motorbike instead.
Seriously there is nothing better to do here than to simply relax beachside so buckle up for a chill time lying on the shoreline.
Where To Stay On Koh Rong
Once again there will be plenty of choices for where to stay on Koh Rong. Though you are just here for two nights so I don’t recommend staying somewhere on the complete other side of the island as a lot of time will be eaten up simply traveling there.
Instead, I advise you to stay on either Sok San Beach or Long Set Beach. Both are beautiful options and have a mixture of hostels, guesthouses, and resorts. This means no matter your budget you should find something to fit.
Also, I don’t recommend staying in the main village of Koh Touch where the boats arrive, but instead, somewhere a 10 or 15-minute walk away. This will still allow you to access all the amenities, but also have some privacy and a quiet beach to relax on.
Enjoy beachfront living in luxury. Rooms here start from $70.00 per night.BOOK NOW
One of the best party places on the island. Dorm rooms here start from $5.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Located on a quieter part of the island. You can find a seaview tent here for $11.00 per night.BOOK NOW
A short walk from an incredible beach and the main town. Rooms here start at $50.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Get To Koh Rong From Phnom Penh
The journey to travel from Phnom Penh to Koh Rong is done in two parts. The first is from Phnom Penh to the coastal city of Sihanoukville from which the ferries depart. The second part is actually catching the ferry from Phnom Penh to Koh Rong.
Be aware you will want to leave Phnom Penh relatively early in the day to ensure you don’t miss the afternoon boats.
Here is a quick overview of the various travel options available to book:
|Minibus||6 hours||from $12.00||Cheapest way to travel|
|Train||6 hours||from $18.00||Scenic ride|
|Private Transfer||4 hours||from $70.00||Super comfortable journey|
|Bus||6.5 hours||from $15.00||More comfortable than a minivan|
|Fly||50 mins||from $70.00||A bit more pricey, but a quick journey|
Though personally I would recommend either taking a minibus or a flight depending on your budget. The distance from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville in Cambodia is approximately 227 kilometers.
I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, and in all honesty, it is a pretty easy and decent drive. The roads are well paved and you will be traveling on the busy highway the majority of the distance.
Once you have arrived in Sihanoukville it is time to make your way to the ferry terminal where the boats depart from. Depending on what beach you decide to stay on will basically determine what time and which boat to go with.
I recommend checking out my article on traveling from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong which breaks down all destinations, prices, times, and more.I recommend booking your journey in advance online with 12.Go Asia.
Koh Rong Samloem (Day 4 – 6)
The smaller sister of Koh Rong is called Koh Rong Samloem, located just 4 kilometers away. Though just because it is smaller doesn’t mean it is any less spectacular.
Ten or so years ago this was definitely the less ventured between Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. Though in more recent years we have seen a huge influx of resorts, hostels, and cheaper accommodation options, bringing with them a new influx of travelers.
The main tourist area of Koh Rong Samloem is called Saracen Bay and this is where the ferry will arrive from Sihanoukville. Be aware there are not actually any roads on Koh Rong Samloem.
Therefore many people choose to stay in Saracen Bay which will just be a short walk from the ferry pier to your accommodation. Though if you are looking for a more secluded experience there are numerous accommodation options that you will need to take another boat or go on a jungle trek to access.
All in all Koh Rong Samloem is an absolute paradise! Seriously you will be amazed by the impressively clear shores, white sand, and calm lapping water. This of course is another one of my favorite spots, with beautiful beaches and a chill atmosphere, and once you arrive you will understand why!
Where To Stay On Koh Rong Samloem
Even though this is a less populated island, you can still find an assortment of restaurants, cafes, and types of accommodations. Whether you want an all-inclusive 5-star resort or a cheap dorm room, you can easily find it here.
It may be surprising but there are actually more hostels here on Koh Rong Samloem than there are on Koh Rong. This includes a lot of large chain hostels that you will also find on the mainland.
Honestly, there is nowhere that I would stay “don’t stay in this location” etc, all the beaches here are pretty good spots to stay at. Though instead, it is a matter of booking somewhere that meets your needs. Whether that may be air conditioning, wifi, a hostel, an onsite restaurant, or a deserted beach.
I have personally stayed at both Sleeping Trees and Sara Resort while staying on Koh Rong Samloem. They both provided different experiences with the latter being more of a luxe option but were equally excellent for what we were requiring at the time.
A glamping-style hotel on an excellent snorkeling beach. Prices from $20.00 per night.BOOK NOW
A popular hostel chain throughout Cambodia. Grab a dorm bed from $10.00 per night.BOOK NOW
My top choice. Rooms start from $36.00 per night with air-con, 24/7 power, and awesome wifi.BOOK NOW
An affordable hostel on the main beach of Saracen Bay. Dorms start from $6.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Get To Koh Rong Samloem From Koh Rong
I know it may be simple enough to get from Koh Rong to Koh Rong Samloem. Though unless you have infinite money to wander down to the pier and ask a fisherman for a ride you will be like me and instead be needing the ferry schedule.
Luckily enough this journey is relatively simple, though there is some information you need to know.
The distance from Koh Rong To Koh Rong Samloem is approximately 6 kilometers. Though this is from Koh Toch, the main beach in Koh Rong, to M’Pai Bay which is a busy local village on Koh Rong Samloem. Most travelers will stay between here, Saracen Bay, and Sunset Beach.
If you are interested in taking the supply boat from Koh Rong To Koh Rong Samloem then there are two separate boats each day. The first one leaves Koh Toch on Koh Rong at 8 a.m., making its way to M’Pai Bay at 830 a.m., EcoSea at 9:15 a.m., and finally Saracen Bay at 10 a.m.
After this, it makes its way back to Koh Rong. The second boat starts at Saracen Bay at 4 pm, then to M’Pai Bay at 5.30 pm, EcoSea at 5.45 pm, and then on to Koh Rong.
Be aware these times can change quite often and there is no way to book this journey online. Instead, you will need to wait until you are on Koh Rong, though best to book your tickets the day before your desired departure date.
For example, the last time I visited Koh Rong the boat actually departed Koh Toch at 1pm which worked perfectly for check out at our previous accommodation and check in at the next place.
Kampot (Day 6 – 8)
Time to slowly reintroduce ourselves back to city life after an incredible few days in the most dreamy islands. Kampot is the perfect spot for this! It is actually a really awesome backpacker hangout which really put it on the map as a must-visit destination.
It also makes the perfect stopover for a few nights in between the journey from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville or vice versa. This city is located alongside the Kampot river, which helps add to the chill atmosphere.Some of the most popular things to do here are:
Pepper Farm Visit: I know it does sound a bit random, but you may be surprised to learn Kampot is well known for its pepper. One popular thing to do here in Kampot is visit La Plantation Pepper Farm.
You will be guided through the black pepper forests as you sample and learn all about the produce. You will need to pay for a tuk-tuk there, though the tours are actually free of charge. Even better is that there is a restaurant on site serving up the freshest dishes.
Cruise On The Kampot River: For a chill evening head down to the river by the old colonial bridge and jump on one of the boats to enjoy a cold drink and some epic views. Watch the sunset dip below the jungle as nightfalls and fireflies fill the sky. This is certainly a unique experience and one I recommend doing while in the city.
Arcadia WaterPark: Also a hostel, this is a popular spot with travelers looking to cool off. Grab a cold beer, have a game of beer pong, and be flung off the giant blob. There is even a floating pontoon with a 3-meter diving board.
Where To Stay In Kampot
Kampot is a relatively small chill place, though you will still be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. There are some really cute riverside lodges, backpacker hostels, and modern hotels.
I know if I were to visit Kampot again I would definitely spend a night or two in one of the riverside bungalows. Seriously there are some awesome eco-friendly spots here so if you are looking for a unique accommodation experience in Cambodia I definitely recommend trying it out in Kampot.
Though we stayed at a small guesthouse a 10 or so-minute walk away from the action of the city. Though it doesn’t seem to still be open, and that is not the worse thing.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have recommended it with barely working air conditioning, even though you pay extra for it, hard as rock beds, and nonexistent wifi. In all honesty, we spent the majority of our time next door at a hostel called The Magic Sponge.
This is a popular backpacker spot that has everything a traveler needs such as a clean place to sleep and freakin delicious huge meals. This spot has a truly homely feel.
You are also able to find a few hostels here that are also waterparks. Think slides, rope swings, tubing, and more. This is a great way to cool off and meet some other travelers.
A homely backpacker hangout with plenty of onsite activities. Prices start from $20.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Another awesome hostel for travelers looking to relax. Hang poolside on a budget with dorms starting from $6.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Enjoy riverside serenity in this cute spot. With prices starting from $25.00 per night you must check this one out!BOOK NOW
Another beautiful riverside spot in unique bamboo cabins. Rooms start from $30.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Get To Kampot From Koh Rong Samloem
Once you are finished relaxing beachside it is time to make your way back to Sihanoukville on the mainland. Luckily tickets are super easy to book online with 12.Go Asia.
There are plenty of boats traveling in this direction throughout the day and Kampot is relatively close to Sihanoukville so there is no need to head off crazy early.
Here is a quick overview of the various methods to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot:
|Train||2.5 hours||from $25.00||Fun and local experience|
|Private Transfer||2 hours||from $40.00||Super comfortable journey|
|Bus||3 hours||from $8.00||More comfortable than a minivan|
Honestly, you are just best off booking a bus for the journey. It is relatively short being only 3 hours long, so you really are not saving any money by doing it visa train or private transfer.
Phnom Penh (Day 8 – 9)
I know, I know, you already went to Phnom Penh so what gives! Well, you are best off staying 1 night here between Kampot and Battambang. Unfortunately, you cannot travel between these destinations directly without stopping in Phnom Penh.
Technically you would be able to do it in one day, setting off on the first bus out in the morning, and taking an afternoon bus from Phnom Penh.
Though doing this you won’t be getting into Battambang until 9.30 pm at the latest. It will be well over a 12-hour travel day, and unfortunately, these parts of Cambodia are notorious for delays and breakdowns. So there is no knowing whether or not you will actually make your connection bus in Phnom Penh to start with.
Better off cutting your losses, book somewhere nice to stay and enjoy big-city living before venturing into the quaint town of Battambang.
How To Get To Phnom Penh from Kampot
Luckily enough it is super easy to travel from Kampot to Phnom Penh. The journey is relatively straightforward forward taking approximately 3 hours. Though as I said above delays are notorious, so no promises on this timing.
The best way to get to Phnom Penh from Kampot is by bus. There are numerous companies servicing this route so you will have no problem finding one to leave at a suitable time that works with your day’s plans.
I can recommend booking this journey with 12.Go Asia. On their site, you will see all the companies available and be able to check out other travelers’ reviews so you know exactly what to expect.
Battambang (Day 9 – 11)
The town of Battambang isn’t super popular with the average traveler backpacking Cambodia route. Also, if I am honest, I saw a video online of the Battambang Bamboo Train and decided I had to go and check it out. Nevertheless, the town also has a lot more to offer as well, so don’t worry.
Some other things to do here include:
Killing Cave: Why not learn about some of the history and venture to the Killing Cave? It is a rather nice walk where you can see monkeys and even swarms of bats during sunset. Though once you reach the caves prepare to learn about the past and the horrors many people suffered.
Kampon Pil Pagoda: Make your way across the long bamboo bridge and to Kampon Pil Pagoda. Have a wander around the grounds and marvel at the impressive golden roof in contrast with the white walls.
Central Market: Right in the center of the town you will find Central Market, also known as Phsar Nath Market. Here is much more of a local market than for tourists. Though it is an interesting walk-through to see the different goods for sale.
Free Walking Tour: An excellent way to discover a new destination is on a free walking tour. It departs from the Central market at 4 pm the hottest part of the day is over. The guide will take you around the central area pointing out French architecture and historical sites. Be aware that even though it is a free tour, if you found it worthwhile it is always appreciated to leave a tip.
Bat Cave: For another unique experience in Battambang head to Phnom Sampeaou Mountain about 12 kilometers outside of the city. A lot of tuk-tuk drivers will know about the location so you won’t have an issue getting there.
What makes it worth visiting is the insane amount of bats that fly out when the sky starts going dark. It is a continuous stream for about 20 minutes, seriously my mind can’t even comprehend how many there must be!
Where To Stay In Battambang?
Honestly, did I fall in love with Battambang as a town and the accommodation on offer? Not particularly. We stayed in a small super cheap guesthouse with a fan room.
Though I am not going to recommend it simply due to the fact that there was a constant stream of bugs that seemingly appeared from nowhere during our stay.
Instead, I advise you to check out a couple of the below options:
An upscale and modern hostel. Enjoy this flashpacker accommodation, from $8.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Budget-friendly accommodation with dorm rooms starting from $5.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Beautiful private rooms from $50.00 per night and an incredible pool.BOOK NOW
A boutique hotel for those who enjoy a luxe life. Rooms start from $100.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Travel To Battambang From Phnom Penh
Once again it is time for the good ol’ bus when it comes to traveling from Phnom Penh to Battambang. Though this will be one of your long travel days, so I recommend bringing along some snacks and downloading a few movies.
The total travel time can be anywhere from 6 hours to over 7 hours depending on how many stops your bus makes and what traffic is like.
Just don’t make the same mistake I did on this route, where I rocked up to a random travel agency and booked whatever without looking into it. Instead, book online through a platform like 12.Go Asia, read reviews and weigh up what company is going to be best for you versus price.
Siem Reap (Day 11- 14)
Finish your 2 weeks in Cambodia itinerary in one of many travelers’ favorite spots in the country, Siem Reap. Personally, it has got to be one of my favorite budget-friendly cities.
This is an awesome place with so much history to explore, delicious spots to try, and plenty of shopping to be done at the numerous markets.
While backpacking Siem Reap you will be amazed at all the incredible things to do here. Though obviously, a highlight for many travelers is the incredible Angkor Archeological Park. The best way to see all of these magnificent temples is by doing a tour.
You either have the option of the small circuit, which takes you to all the well-known temples, or the grand circuit, which visits a lot of the more underrated temples. If you have enough time to spare in your Siem Reap itinerary why not do both?
To give you a lot greater understanding of what you see in front of you, and a greater appreciation for it all a visit to The Angkor National Museum is highly recommended. Here they focus on the collection, preservation, and education of Angkorian artifacts.
While at it also hit up the Cambodia Landmine Museum and APOPO Center. You may find it surprising to learn that Cambodia has nearly the most landmines in the world.
Of course, there is no better way to finish off your day in Siem Reap than visiting Pub Street. Now depending on what type of traveler you are will certainly determine how your night is going to go. Nevertheless, I recommend hitting up some of the local street food stalls before tucking into any $1.00 or 50-cent beers.
Where To Stay In Siem Reap
Siem Reap is a popular destination for travelers of all types so you will find accommodation for all budgets. Whether you are looking for a taste of 5-star luxe, an affordable guesthouse, or a hostel where you can meet other travelers.
My personal favorite place to stay in Siem Reap is called the Royal Crown Hotel & Spa. They have two different pools you can use, a quick 5-minute walk from the Old Market, beautiful rooms, and delicious food options on-site. I actually got quite sick in Siem Reap and we ended up bunkering up here in this hotel for a week.
Though in my eyes, there are two things you need to be aware of when booking accommodation in Siem Reap. The first is I highly HIGHLY recommend booking a room with air conditioning.
Secondly is that there are a heap of power cuts in Siem Reap like A LOT. Therefore depending on where you book, if the power goes out, there goes your air conditioning. Now I don’t mean to sound like a princess, but I have had the power go out here for 24 hours.
Nicer hotels will have generators that will boost into action in a power cut.
A fun and social hostel with a rooftop pool. Prices start from $5.00 per night for a dorm room.BOOK NOW
A chill hostel with a co-working space as well. Prices start from $7.00 per night.BOOK NOW
My top choice. Rooms start from $45.00 per night with two pools and breakfast included.BOOK NOW
A Luxe Hotel with modern rooms and a pool. Prices start from $70.00 per night.BOOK NOW
How To Travel To Siem Reap From BattambangLast bus trip of the journey! Yay! Thankfully to celebrate it being the last one the total travel time between Battambang and Siem Reap will take you approximately 3 to 4 hours. Which compared to some of the other journeys is not too bad. Once again I am going to recommend 12.Go Asia for booking this journey. That way you can check out the reviews of the various companies before deciding to book and you will know what to expect.
Extend Your 2 Weeks In Cambodia Itinerary
Why not stay a little longer while you are here in the country? Make the most out of that 30-day visa and do some more exploring! More popular destinations include:
Kep: Another spot in Cambodia worth visiting if you have time. This is a cute seaside village just 2 kilometers away from Kampot. Make sure to try out the famous Kep Crab! There are also some awesome accommodation spots with cute bungalows overlooking the jungle or river.
Koh Ta Kiev: If you are looking for something off the beaten track with minimal other travel then check out Koh Ta Kiev. This island is equally as stunning as the others, though a lot less built up.
One of the top places to stay here is called Kactus where you can find basic bamboo huts and dorm rooms. You won’t be able to find any super glamorous accommodation here. This spot is like the rest of the islands 20 years ago, with just what you need and nothing more.
International: If you want to get to other neighboring countries from Siem Reap it is super easy to travel to Bangkok. There are plenty of bus connections available. Another option is Pakse in Laos, though bus connections are a lot less common as it is a less frequented route. This one may take a bit more planning.
Though apart from the above I would also recommend staying a few extra days in the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem as well.
Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!
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Want more Cambodia Inspiration? Check out….
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- HOW TO TRAVEL KOH RONG TO KOH RONG SAMLOEM
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- COST TO TRAVEL CAMBODIA
- KOH RONG OR KOH RONG SAMLOEM- WHAT IS THE BEST BEACH GETAWAY
- BEST HOSTELS IN PHNOM PENH
- BEST HOSTELS ON KOH RONG & KOH RONG SAMLOEM
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