We’ve lived in Cambodia for a year and are so lucky to have had so many friends and family visit us during our time here. With that said, we’ve been personal tour guides more than a few times now.
The biggest thing we should mention right off the bat here is that this itinerary does not include Siem Reap. This is for two reasons:
- Many people fly into Phnom Penh
- We believe Siem Reap is a whole different trip, and you will likely need more than one week to see it.
That said, we have added 5 days onto the end of this article to represent your time in SR. If you’re planning on going, find our Siem Reap guide here.
So here it is, our suggested one week travel itinerary starting in Phnom Penh.
Day 1: Phnom Penh
You’ve just arrived in the capital city and there is so much that you could do.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Visit the Royal Palace
- Take a walk along the riverside
- Visit Wat Phnom
- Get some goodies at the local markets – Central Market, Russian Market (see our guide to the markets here)
- Visit the night market
- Grab a beer near the riverside / independence monument
- Take a walk to Wat Botum and watch the locals dance after sunset
- Go see a traditional dancing show at the museum
Day 2: Koh Rong
How to get there: You can take a bus or private taxi to Sihanoukville. A private taxi is $55 for the entire car, so if you have a group of 4 people you will pay only $13.75 each for a much more comfortable ride. If you are looking for a taxi, join the Facebook group Taxi Share Cambodia.
For the sake of this itinerary, we took an overnight taxi on Day 1 so we could arrive in Sihanoukville by the morning.
We then took the first ferry sailing to Koh Rong and spent the entire day at the beach.
Day 3: Koh Rong
Wake up in your beachy bungalow and prepare for the day.
Here are a list of things you can do in Koh Rong:
- Explore the different beaches. Do not stay at one beach! There are so many beautiful beaches to see such as: Long Beach, Palm Beach, Lonely Beach, White Beach, Lazy Beach…. the list goes on…
Note: You can hire water taxis to get between beaches for $5
Tip: Walk the trail from Koh Toch to Long Beach – the trek is amazing
- Snorkeling or diving
- Ziplining at High Point Adventure Park
- Go on a boat trip to Koh Rong Samloem
- Get a tattoo at one of the great tattoo shops
- Have a cocktail and relax on the beach in a swing or hammock
We went snorkeling with the luminescent plankton at night – although we don’t necessarily recommend it. Although it was sort of cool, the waters in Koh Rong are sadly very polluted the further out you get into the ocean, and swimming with rubbish in the dark isn’t all that appealing.
Don’t leave home without travel insurance. Trust us, we never do. You can get a quote with World Nomads right here.
Day 4: Kampot
How to get there: Catch a ferry back to Sihanoukville. From there, take a bus or hire a private taxi for $45 if you have enough people to fill the car.
Kampot is not only our favourite place in Cambodia, but one of our favourite places in the entire world. This sleepy french-colonial town is the ultimate place to relax. At the same time, there are so many things to see. The laid-back lifestyle in this river town is unbeatable. We don’t suggest missing out on this place!
Since you’ll be arriving in the afternoon, you will have half a day to explore the old town, get some delicious food and hit the night market once it gets dark.
If you get there early enough, you can do one or two of the things we suggest to do on Day 5.
We checked in to our bungalow and hung out by the river.
Day 5: Kampot
Our favourite thing about Kampot is that there’s so much to do, but it’s so relaxed that you won’t necessarily feel pressured to do all of it.
Here are some of the things you can do in Kampot:
- Visit the pepper plantations and/or salt fields
- Take a tour up Bokor Mountain to see the buddha statue, abandoned casino, and remarkable views
- Rent a kayak and go for a ride along the river
- Take the day trip to Rabbit Island
- Hop in a taxi or tuk tuk and go to Kep to see the beaches
- Try the highly regarded Kampot river crab with fresh pepper
- Up for some adventure? Visit Arcadia and go down the steep water slide
Taxi back to PP: We wanted two more days back in Phnom Penh so we left this evening around 8pm. You could skip the next day and stay an extra day in Kampot, but there is still more to see back around PP. A private taxi is $45.00 from Kampot to PP.
Day 6: Phnom Penh / Takeo Province
Start the day off in Phnom Penh. Get some breakfast then prepare for your half-day trip to Phnom Chisor.
How to get to Phnom Chisor: You could rent a motorbike and drive there yourself, but the dirt road close to Phnom Chisor is long and bumpy. If you do this, make sure your motorbike is in great shape. Only take this route if you are experienced on a motorbike. Regardless, we recommend just renting a tuk tuk. That way, you can snack and hang out along the way, and you won’t miss any of the views of local Cambodian living.
Phnom Chisor is a 133m tall hill in Takeo Province. On top of the hill, you will find an ancient temple built in the 11th century, part of the Angkor Wat family.
After you’re done taking in the beauty and history of Phnom Chisor, head back to Phnom Penh for an ice cold beer near the riverside.
Day 7: Phnom Penh
It’s your last day in Phnom Penh and this is when we recommend visiting Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields.
Visiting the Killing Fields/Tuol Sleng is very heavy and very emotional. You will learn so much about the horrifying events that took place during the Khmer Rouge. This is such an important part of your visit to Cambodia.
We specifically put this on the last day of the itinerary as we took a few days to recover from visiting these very somber places. We were so emotionally affected that, personally, we wouldn’t be able to jump up in the morning and go ziplining two days after experiencing this.
That said, some people may disagree with us. Some people may say that you should visit the Killing Fields/Tuol Sleng on your first day so that you have a full grasp on what happened in Cambodia before travelling to the different provinces.
Whatever you decide will be the right choice for you.
We absolutely love Cambodia and we are so excited for you to visit the Kingdom of Wonder. As always, if you have any questions – please feel free to contact us.