The perfect itinerary for 2 weeks in Cambodia
Are you going on a trip to Cambodia soon? You can easily visit the highlights of Cambodia in 2-3 weeks. Including the capital Phnom Phen, Koh Rong Samloen, and of course Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. During our tour through Cambodia, we also explore the countryside in the Kampot area.
Cambodia is usually combined with Thailand, Laos, and/or Vietnam.
We start from Siem Reap and end in Kampot. We first travel to Thailand, then Cambodia, and then cross the border at Kep / Ha Tien to explore Vietnam. From Bangkok, there are many connections by bus to Siem Reap. If you prefer not to travel overland, you can also book a cheap flight ticket to Siem Reap.
Day 1-5: Siem Reap
Angkor Wat is undoubtedly the most famous sight in Cambodia. Because who hasn’t heard about these fantastic Khmer temples with Angkor Wat as the main temple?
Angkor was the former capital of the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat itself is the main temple, but you will also find many other temples including the famous jungle temple, Ta Phrom, and the temple with the faces (Wat Bayon).
You can choose to buy a one-day pass or a three-day pass. If you are visiting Angkor Wat for the first time, we recommend the latter. Then you can plan everything more easily and you don’t have to drive like crazy back and forth between all these temples.
The most important temples are Angkor Wat (the main temple), Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, and the Bayon Temple. You also have access to many smaller temples. Recently you can also go to the Banteay Srei Temple with this ticket. It is located a little further from the other temple complexes (1 hour).
What you should not miss is the sunrise at Angkor Wat, a magical moment. But one that you will not experience alone. The temple is exceptionally open from 5 am.
You can explore the temples in different ways. You can rent a bicycle (take the heat into account), which will take you to the temples along smaller paths. Or you can hire a tuk-tuk for a full day (expect €20).
Sometimes you also see tourists driving a scooter, but according to our latest information you are not insured for this in Cambodia. We have not seen it, but the police would sometimes fine you for this (especially if you are not wearing a helmet).
It is best to buy tickets in advance online on the official Angkor Wat website.
Countryside Cycling Tour Siem Reap – Lotus Farm
You should explore the countryside around Siem Reap during your tour of Cambodia. We recommend that you rent electric bicycles from, for example, Angkor Cycling Tour.
It is better to leave as early as possible to avoid the heat. We had set a few points in advance on Google Maps that we drove past. The first fun and especially interesting stop is the Lotus Farm. After a cup of Lotus tea, you can take a short tour there (€5).
You will receive an explanation about the lotus flower and what it can be used for. This organization employs 150 people in the Siem Reap area. You can buy the lotus products in their shop.
You can have lunch in one of the lotus restaurants on the side of the road. We ended up here by chance. You can choose your hut and rest in the hammocks. Be sure to try the local Khmer dishes such as the fish amok.
Later you can explore the southern side of Siem Reap via the small roads. Would you rather have a guide with you? Then take a look here. They also offer various tours at Angkor Cycling Tour.
This organization was originally founded by a Belgian and focuses on training rats to detect land mines. Indeed…
Recently you can now go to the Siem Reap APOPO visitor center for a guided tour. The money for your entrance is used to sponsor this organization. It is best that you arrange a time in advance by email.
During the tour, the operation of the organization is explained and you can also see the rats at work live. Afterward, you can take a picture with one of these heroes.
TIP: Right opposite APOPO there is a cafe in the Siem Reap Botanical Garden. Ideal for grabbing a coffee after your visit to APOPO.
Do you still have some time left during your stay in Siem Reap? Then you can also visit the war museum of Siem Reap. In the evening you can always catch a performance by Phare, the Cambodian Circus. This circus is a social organization to combat poverty. Worth a visit.
We have written a complete article about what to do in Siem Reap.
Our favorite restaurants in Siem Reap
In the evening you can go to Pub Street, a bit too noisy for us, but you will find the Red Piano Bar (Belgian owner). Ideal for the Belgians among us who are homesick for a tasty Duvel or Vol au vent…
Another wonderful place to eat is the Try Me restaurant. You will find delicious Khmer dishes and tasty sandwiches. Do you suddenly feel like having Mexican food for some inexplicable reason? Then definitely go to the Viva Mexico restaurant.
Don’t feel like going to a restaurant? Then there is the night market where you can get just about anything. It is located just next to the river.
Sleeping in Siem Reap
We stayed at Java Wooden Villas during our tour of Cambodia in Siem Reap. We had two separate rooms, with a view of the pool and the beautiful sunset. In the morning you can choose delicious noodles, rice or eggs.
You can find all other hotels and resorts in Siem Reap on this page. We enjoyed being able to dive into the pool after visiting all the temples.
Day 6-7: Phnom Phen
There are several ways to travel to Phnom Phen. You can travel to the capital of Cambodia by bus, private transport, or by boat. The last option is undoubtedly the most beautiful but also the most expensive. You then sail via the floating villages and the huge Tonlé Sap lake to Phnom Phen.
Phnom Phen is a city with different faces and is currently under construction (with many investments from China). Phnom Phen can seem very chaotic to you but don’t worry. You can go anywhere by tuk-tuk or Grab.
Tuol Sleng prison
Everyone undoubtedly knows the terrible history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge, which, led by Pol Pot, killed 2 million Cambodians in the late 1970s.
The Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Phen was a torture prison where many Cambodians were captured and murdered. There is now a museum in the prison with many photos and testimonies of this terrible period.
There are only a handful of people who survived this prison, some can be found on the grounds and have written a book. On Netflix, you also have the film “First they killed my father” which tells the moving story of this period. More information about the Tuol Sleng prison can be found here.
The Killing Fields
Many Cambodians were killed and buried here. You can visit this place individually or with a tour. The Killing Fields are located just outside the center of Phnom Phen. It is best to take a guide who can tell you more about this horrible place.
The Royal Palace
You will find this beautiful Royal palace on the banks of the Mekong River since 1866. This is also still the residence of the King of Cambodia. In addition to the Royal Palace, you will also find the Silver Pagoda.
The entrance fee is €10, also take the dress code into account. Shoulders and knees have to be covered.
Sunset Cruise at the Riverside
From the Riverside Quay, you can take one of the many boats that sail up the Mekong. This only takes 1 hour (5€) but if you take the boat just before sunset it is worth it. You usually also get a free drink on board.
From the Mekong, you have a beautiful view of the skyline of Phnom Phen. You also get a glimpse of the other side where a small village is located. You will also see some houseboats along the way.
Restaurants in Phnom Phen
One of our favorite restaurants in Phnom Phen is the Hummus House. We liked it so much that we went for dinner two nights in a row. This is a Lebanese restaurant with delicious hummus, of course, but also other dishes such as wraps, sweet potatoes, and salads.
You can also eat at the Nightmarket, not far from the Riverside. We do recommend that you avoid the Riverside and adjacent streets at night. Things can get a bit rough in this area during the late hours.
Spend the night in Phnom Phen
We stayed at Villa Papillon in Phnom Phen during our tour through Cambodia. You have a large family room for €30 per night (including breakfast). The somewhat eccentric Kathy will undoubtedly have all kinds of things to tell you about Phnom Phen and what you can expect there.
Not far from Villa Papillon, you have the Mad Monkey Hostel. Ideal for backpackers looking for company around the pool.
Day 8-11: Koh Rong Samloem
After busy Phnom Phen it is time to visit the most beautiful beaches in Cambodia. You can find them on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. You can easily reach these islands via Sihanoukville by ferry (1h15). From Phnom Phen, you can count on 3 hours (along a brand new road) by bus. You will be dropped in Sihanoukville at some point.
The tuk-tuks are waiting for you there to take you to the port. Negotiate the price or order a Grab if you don’t feel like it. Tickets for the bus from Phnom Phen can be found here.
Tickets for the ferry to Koh Rong Samloen can be found here. There are several departures per day. In the port itself, there is a 7-eleven where you can do some shopping. You can also eat something in one of the restaurants. There is also an ATM (there isn’t one on Koh Rong Samloem)
Koh Rong is the largest and most touristic island. That’s why we chose to go to Koh Rong Samloen, the little brother that is just next door and ‘for the time being’ spared from mass tourism. We say provisional because major roads are already being constructed through the jungle in preparation for a mega-resort that will be built in the coming years.
Lazy Beach – Koh Rong Samloem
On Koh Rong Samloen you have two different beaches where you can stay. Most resorts on Koh Rong Samloem can be found on Sandy Beach. Here are also most restaurants and two mini supermarkets.
We stayed here at Sol Beach Resort, lovely bungalows on the water. And if you’re lucky there might be a bungalow available right on the sea. We had a tree villa on the third row. The rooms are spacious, there is a refrigerator, air conditioning, etc…
A little further you have Sara Resort. You also have a swimming pool, although you don’t need it in these tropical waters.
The beach is perfect for kids. No waves that are too big and the beach slopes gently.
On the west side of the island, you will find Lazy Beach. This beach was voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can spend the night here at the Lazy Beach Resort, the only resort on this beach. There is a large restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal and the sunset.
To go from one side of the island to the other you can use their taxi service. This is a tractor with a trailer, so hold on tight for a wild ride.
Snorkeling – plankton – M’Pai Village
One of the fun tours you can do is a tour of about 4 hours. Then you first go snorkeling and fishing, then to M’Pai Village for the sunset and then swim among the luminous plankton.
We did this tour via Sol Beach Resort and paid €80 for 1 boat (with 2 families). Ultimately you rent the entire boat and the number of people is not important. They provide snorkeling gear and water for you.
We especially liked the M’Pai village. There is a cozy atmosphere and you can enjoy the sunset in one of the many cafes. You have DragonFly and Bar Bokbowie, among others.
On the way back, the skipper will look for some dark places where you can swim among the luminous plankton. Keep in mind that the plankton will light up slightly less during the full moon.
You can also take a day trip to the neighboring island of Koh Rong. This is the largest and most touristic island. But there are some beautiful beaches such as 4K Beach, Palm Beach, and Long Beach.
Day 12-14: Kampot
Our last stop in Cambodia is Kampot. The nice thing is that you can take the train from Sihanoukville to Kampot (3 hours). And from Kampot, you can easily cross the border into Vietnam. Or you can travel back towards Phnom Phen / Bangkok.
If you book a stay in Kampot, look for the resorts in the area surrounding the Green Cathedral. This is a small river next to the bigger Preaek Tuek Chhu river. We stayed at Retro Kampot Guesthouse, just next to the small river. The nice thing is that you can use the kayaks for free to go on the river. Allow 1 hour to complete the entire loop. Try to do this around sunset because it is beautiful on the big river.
Temple Cave – Salt Fields – Pepper Farm – Crab Market (Kep)
Kampot is known, among other things, for the Kampot pepper. You can visit these farms and receive an explanation of how such a farm works. We did this during a full-day tour with a tuk-tuk (€35). First, you stop at the temple cave where there is a temple that is older than Angkor Wat.
Then you continue to one of the pepper plantations (La Plantation) and the salt flats around Kep. You can then finish in one of the restaurants in Kep. We can recommend the Magic Crab restaurant. You can also choose to visit the salt flats at sunset, for example.
Spend the night in Kampot
In addition to the super cozy Retro Kampot Guesthouse (with delicious cuisine), you also have The Square Kampot closer to the center. This is one of the newer hotels in Kampot. The old center in Kampot is also worth a visit, but we consciously chose to stay away from the center.
Do you feel like ending your tour in Cambodia with a bang? Then take a look at the Castle Bayview Resort and Spa, the prices are insane but still…
So, this was our Cambodia itinerary for the perfect two-week tour. You can of course choose to visit Angkor Wat for just 1 day and stay on the beach a little longer. Battambang is also a nice place to stay.
The best time to travel to Cambodia
January and February are the driest months in Cambodia but also the warmest. The rainy season in Cambodia runs from June to October. From mid-October to March is the best time to visit Cambodia.
The advantage of the rainy season from mid-June to mid-October is that there are more fruits, the landscape is greener and there is plenty of water, waterfalls, and rivers. The temperature is around 25°.