Cambodia has so many amazing things to offer and we can only give the warmest recommendations to travel here. Many backpackers have planned to travel to the country from home. If you have not planned backpacking in Cambodia, you will certainly not regret adding this country to your list.

There are many things to keep in mind when arriving in a new country. It can all seem a bit chaotic with a lot of people, scooters speeding past and an overview that is not just going to start with. Fear not. We ourselves have been in the same situation when we first arrived in Cambodia after a flight from Thailand. To help you get the most out of your backpacking trip in Cambodia, we have gathered the best tips and information.

Monk sweeps the street in front of his home in Cambodia.

Transportation in Cambodia

Transportation in Cambodia is one of the more manageable in Southeast Asia – not to think that there is not a jumble of scooters, tuktuks and buses, it is there, but for us it has to be one of the places where finding a means of transport , has been an easier process.

The most widely used mode of transportation in the country is motorcycles. Motorcycles are motorcycle taxis – and with a motorcycle, these are not the large sizes we often see here at home, but the size is reminiscent of a scooter. Traveling by moto is often easiest if the distances are relatively short. This way you can enter through the narrower streets and alleys.

The most widely used mode of transportation in the country is motorcycles.  Backpacking in Cambodia
Motorcycle taxi in Cambodia

If you have just arrived in the country and have all your backpacking equipment with you, we recommend that you hop on a taxi. Be sure to agree a price with the driver before you drive. Cambodians do not usually cheat with the price, but it can never hurt to be on the safe side.

If you are going on a longer trip in wonderful Cambodia, where the distance is too long for Moto and too expensive by taxi, you can kindly hop on the local bus. The local bus can also be an experience in itself, as many locals also use the bus as their daily means of transportation. 

A good idea is to ask the locals for advice when it comes to the bus. The small and spontaneous bus trips can be difficult to plan from home, as times and stops can change quickly. The locals know the routes, and can often come up with recommendations for things to see that you had not thought of from home.

When is the weather best for backpacking in Cambodia?

You need to adjust to a warm climate when traveling to Cambodia. The climate averages the same temperature throughout the country at 27 degrees.

The best time to travel to Cambodia is in the months of December through May. These are the months when the temperature is between 30-35 degrees, which is at the high end of the scale, and also these months where there is the least precipitation in the barn. The monsoon rains come to Cambodia in the months of June to October, where it is September and October that are particularly rainy.

The culture of Cambodia

Cambodia, like much of Southeast Asia, has a proud and ancient culture and faith. 90% of the population are Buddhists and you therefore want the big and small beautiful and mighty temples in all the cities of the country. Some parts of the temples are often plated with gold as a symbol of wisdom.

When you travel to a new country, especially one with a different culture than the Danish one, there will always be some cultural differences you should be aware of. It will be difficult for a tourist to behave just like the natives who have lived all their lives in Cambodian culture. However, there are still a few cultural things that for a tourist, are also necessary to adhere to.

Monks on their way to prayer.  Temperle is an indispensable attraction in Colombia
Monks on their way to the temple in the iconic orange robes

Five tips for culture when backpacking in Cambodia

We have listed the most important things below that are good to keep in mind when traveling around Cambodia.

  • Always make sure to greet the oldest people first
  • You greet by giving a buck with your head and palms together in front of your chest. Cambodians greet women with the phrase “Lok Srey” followed by the first name, and men with “Lok” followed by first name.
  • Always bring a small greeting if you are invited to food at the locals. This can be home stays or other gatherings
  • The color white is a sign of grief
  • Be sure to show respect for the people and culture as a tourist, as disrespect is taken very seriously in Cambodia

In general, the Cambodian people are a very collectivist people, seeing great appreciation for unity, respect and compassion. You will therefore also experience that the mood in the country is high and the curiosity as well. The natives can easily show great curiosity towards people from the Nordic countries, due to the tall and bright appearance. Therefore, do not feel embarrassed or insecure if they look and smile at you on the street when you are backpacking in Cambodia – as this is just a sign of curiosity and respect for other people.

The food culture of Cambodia

Spices on the market in Colombia.  Attractions in Colombia
Cambodia is also known for their many spices. Especially their banana flowers.

Like the other Southeast Asian countries, co-culture also fills a large electricity from traveling here. However, Cambodian cuisine is not as well known as the country’s neighbors Vietnam and Thailand adorn the culinary scene with world-renowned dishes.

But the food in Cambodia is certainly also a taste experience passed for UG. The two main ingredients in the kitchen are rice and fresh fish. These ingredients date all the way back to the country’s ancient history, as the country is self-sufficient in both things. There are over 1500 different rice varieties in Cambodia!

Due to the country’s previous affiliation with France, there are French elements that are used extensively to this day. Here you can put your teeth into one of the country’s specialties, nom pang – a baguette with fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a lot of spices. If you are not into fish, this can be replaced with chicken.

Our three favorite eats in Cambodia

  • Amok

Amok is one of the oldest dishes in Cambodia, and consists of fish, coconut milk, curry and rice. The dish is eaten by the locals as a snack or a snack if there is no room for the big thing. The dish is served in a bamboo leaf, and can therefore be enjoyed both to-stay and to-go.

If you are not the big fish eater, however, we can recommend the dish anyway, as the taste of coconut and light green curry makes the matter of fish less present.

  • Bai sach chrouk

A dish consisting of something as simple as grilled pork served with rice. The rice is hard to get around in most dishes in the country. The meat is grilled in a special marinade, which with a combination of the strong, sour and sweet possesses the ability to not eat anything for your dish, other than just the rice you get from the start. If you wish, you can add a little lime juice, as this simply increases the taste of the meat’s marinade.

  • Num banh chok

Num banh chok is a noodle dish that is often eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack in Cambodia. The dish consists of noodles, freshly grown vegetables and yellow curry. The noodle dish has a twist of coconut that gives a sweet liquid that, together with the fresh spices on top, gives a complete taste experience.