Cambodia is perhaps best known for having one of the greatest and one of the saddest tourism sights in Asia. The Angkor Wat temple complex needs a few days to fully appreciate, while the Killing Fields are a dark and macabre reminder of humanity’s unerring ability to do one another harm under malignant circumstances. Phnom Penh itself is not without its interest and these three major sights can easily be covered in a shorter Cambodia tour. But there is so much more to experience in Cambodia for travellers and a longer tour will help to unlock pockets of the country that you might not automatically consider when putting together your own itinerary.
Tours of Cambodia from Phnom Penh vary wildly in price, duration, itinerary and experience, which makes choosing the right one for you a tricky proposition. Quality and reliability are also somewhat inconsistent, which is why we’ve put together this list of the best five Cambodia tours, taking into account all of the above considerations, as well as the reviews of previous travellers. While there are shorter tours in here, longer, more comprehensive tours are also included for a fuller Cambodia experience.
FROM: $454/per person
Combining excellent value for money and good flexibility, this tour from Phnom Penh includes the bonus of being private, so that it’s tailored just to the needs of you and your party. See the Silver Pagoda and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in the Cambodian capital city, before flying to Siem Reap and using it as a base to explore Angkor Wat and village life around Tonle Sap lake. Three nights’ accommodation, your local guides, three breakfasts and two lunches are included in the price, as is the one-way airfare to Siem Reap. Entry fees to Angkor Wat are not included, however. This tour is ideal especially for first-timers in Cambodia.
From $707/ per person
If you’d like to explore the country a little deeper, then you might consider this ten-day tour starting in Phnom Penh that is rich in varied experiences. Get out to the Cambodian coast and go kayaking and snorkelling in Kampot, take a tuk-tuk tour through the bustling city streets of Phnom Penh, see a pepper plantation and take a cooking course, and see the floating villages around Siem Reap. As with all tours, an indispensable aspect of the itinerary is Angkor Wat, which is where the tour ends. Nine nights’ accommodation and most meals are included, as are entry fees to all of the activities and museums listed. This tour departs daily, as do all others on this list unless specified.
From $1,015/ per person
Taking things yet a step further, this excellent 14-day tour manages to pack even more experiences into the itinerary. One of the big improvements of this extended itinerary is the exploration of Cambodia’s wilder side, with a chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin during a Mekong River boat trip from Kratié and, at the right time of year, the bioluminescence in the seas around Koh Rong island. This tour also includes more time at the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat, with guided tours provided. Not all meals are included in this tour, although all accommodation, transport and entry fees are. For those not moving on elsewhere when the tour ends, the itinerary handily starts and ends in Phnom Penh.
From $398/ per person
For travellers who’d prefer to handle their own accommodation bookings and let somebody else take care of the other logistics, there’s a good-value option out there. With airport transfers and a guided trip to, and around, many of the major Phnom Penh and Siem Reap sights included, you are then able to choose your own hotel to suit your needs. Highlights of the trip include Wat Thmey (Killing Fields), a traditional market, the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, and Angkor Wat. There’s also a chance to take a sunset cruise on the Mekong River. This tour differs also in that it starts in Siem Reap and ends in Phnom Penh.
From $975/ per person
There are many ways to get to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh, but none quite so novel as this Mekong River cruise. Running just once a week on a Tuesday, this tour reveals the Cambodia that has developed alongside the country’s main waterway. Regular stops along the course include excursions to nearby points of interest, including Udong Mountain, Tonle Sap lake and the floating village of Chhnok Tru. The tour ends in Siem Reap after more time exploring the natural beauty of Tonle Sap lake. Accommodation is in cabins on the boat, which have their own bathroom and WiFi. Breakfast and lunch are also provided on board.