Since beginning my travels in South East Asia back in January I’ve made an effort to track all of my expenses so that I can understand where my money is going and how to make it go farther. Recently I spent 20 days in the beautiful country of Cambodia, exploring the temples of Angkor, feasting on local crab in the seaside town of Kep, and learning loads about the country’s little-known and troubling history. Those 20 days were actually broken into two passes through the country, one more in the north and one in the south, although the only difference that should make in these numbers is in the cost of the visa. Here are some of the highlights of the expenses. All values are in USD since it’s the most common currency used by tourists in Cambodia. Riel are also used but usually just for giving change below $1. If you’re interested in the full breakdown, including conversion into other currencies, there’s a link at the bottom to a spreadsheet with all that and more. I suggest you check it out to get the full story.

A bridge overlooking the water in Kampot, Cambodia

Food and water – $229.69
I found food costs in Cambodia to be very similar to, if not a little more expensive than Thailand. Even so, the difference only comes down to $1-2 per meal. At $11 a day I was definitely not starving and not once did I feel like I had to cook for myself to save some money.

Accommodation – $74.59
Cheap accommodation is really where Cambodia shines. In fact, if you just wanted to stay in one spot for a long time and only spend money on food and shelter you could last a long time in Cambodia on very, very little money. Dorm room accommodations came out to less than $4 a night on average. The cheapest bed that I found was $2 per night. Those rock bottom prices are the norm in Cambodia.

Transport – $93.45
I moved around quite a bit during my timein Cambodia, and sort of did two passes through the country. First was from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to Battambang and on to Thailand. Second was into the south with Kampot to Phnom Penh and on to Vietnam. I was taking standard tourist aircon buses most of the time, with the occasional minibus thrown in there. This cost for that distance is pretty typical by SE Asia standards. Only Thailand tends to be a bit more costly.

Taxi – $37.76
Rarely do I use taxis or tuk tuks while traveling if I don’t need to, but quite a few times in Cambodia I felt that it was necessary. Some of the temples of Angkor are very, very far from Siem Reap and so it makes sense to split the cost of a driver for the day to take you around. Same goes with the killing fields and museums in Phnom Penh.

Rental and Gasoline – $24.14
I had a rental bicycle for a day and a motorcycle for a couple days in Kampot. The day drive up to Bokor Park and over to Kep for fresh crab were a great change from the sleepy town and taking a motorbike is probably cheaper than taking any sort of organized tour or bus.

Visa – $50
I had two visas for two entries into the country. Like I said earlier, the trip through Cambodia was split in half with Thailand taking up about a month of time in the middle. Most people who actually plan their trip properly, unlike me, will only pay $25 for a visa.

Total Cost – $648.60
That’s a cost per day of $32.43. Not bad for the amount of moving around that I did in a short period of time. Like I said, you could station yourself somewhere and live happily for just the cost of food and accommodation, which is about $15 a day. It could be even less if you’re willing to work at a hostel to cover some of these expenses. Kampot seems like a great place to do this.

Cambodia is one of the best budget destinations in the world. Not only is it incredibly inexpensive, but it’s a worthwhile country to visit with fantastic sights, beautiful beaches, and very friendly people.

If you want my full budget breakdown, including costs in Cambodian Riel, USD, CAD, GBP, and EUR, check out this link:
BWSB Cambodia Cost Breakdown – January February March 2014.xlsx

Have you been to Cambodia? How do my expenses compare to yours? Whether you think I’m an overspending flashpacker or an absolute cheapskate let me know in the comments.