3 Week Cambodia Itinerary
Going to Cambodia? Here is my 3 week Cambodia itinerary. It’s a combination of temple touring (you obviously can’t miss Angkor Wat), cities, smaller towns and a beautiful island beach break. Cambodia has a lot to offer, and if you’re thinking of just flying into Siem Reap to check out Angkor Wat between traveling other countries in the region, I urge you to reconsider and do some research on everything Cambodia has to offer.
Day 1 – 5: Siem Reap (for Angkor Wat)
Fly into Siem Reap from Bangkok (Bangkok Airways flies several times a day, we were brave and chose Cambodia Angkor Air. Aside from being an hour delayed, no complaints). Angkor Wat is impressive enough to warrant a three day pass, which you can use on any three days within a week. I recommend taking a day off in between so you don’t get temple fatigue. There is plenty to do around Siem Reap: go on a boat tour of the markets, visit the landmine museum, take a cooking class or simply bike around the rice fields and nearby villages.
Day 6-8: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a fascinating city, albeit with a sad history. There are plenty of nice little restaurants as well, so you can easily spend two to three days exploring the monuments, wandering the markets or just strolling along the river. In the evenings, I highly recommend trying some of the great eateries the city has to offer. Friends was my favourite, but restaurants like Romdeng and The Lost Room also get raving reviews.
Day 9 – 10: Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville splits travellers into two camps: Those who hate it and those who love it. It’s a bit seedy, and the beaches can be packed. But on the upside, you can spend a nice couple of days just lying on the beach, eating fresh fruit that the vendors will happily serve you right by your lounge chair, and partaking in one of the many barbecues that happen on Serendipity Beach every night.
There are two other key reasons to spend time in Snooky, as the insiders call it: one, the Vietnamese Embassy in Sihanoukville is one of the fastest and cheapest in Asia (and probably worldwide) to get a Vietnam visa if that is your next destination. And two, Sihanoukville is a gateway to the best islands Cambodia has to offer.
Day 11 – 15: Koh Rong Samloem or Koh Rong
From Sihanoukville, head out to the islands of the Koh Rong Archipel. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches and a bit of party, Koh Rong is for you. If you want complete relaxation, head to Koh Rong Samloem, where you’ll find beautiful beaches, millions of crabs, a random herd of water buffalo, but no wifi or 24h electricity.
Life here is basic, but sometimes basic is perfect. There’s nothing more beautiful than taking a long walk on an empty beach. Take a look at my Koh Rong Samloem post for details.
Day 16: Sihanoukville
Because you’ll get back to the mainland from Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem in the evening, you’ll make your life easier by staying in Sihanoukville for another night. After the secluded and quiet islands, it will seem like New York City at rush hour, but all will be good after grabbing a banana pancake and watching the sunset on Serendipity Beach.
Day 16-17: Kampot
Leave the beach to experience this quaint little town on the river. Kampot, famous for its pepper plantations, is a mix of conolial French architecture with Cambodian traditions and, I kid you not, a gigantic durian statue. Luckily they didn’t make it smell authentic.
In Kampot, visit the pepper plantations, try one of the famous Kampot pepper dishes or have some cocktails on the river (try … for a nice dinner & cocktails with a river view). You can also hire a scooter and drive up nearby Bokor Mountain, where you’ll find waterfalls that are popular weekend destinations of the locals, and an abandoned casino that featured heavy fighting during the war. Insider tip: Don’t drive up there with a half empty tank, or even better, a leaky tank (the way we did). Let your hotel or scooter provider explain to you exactly where to fill up your tank on the way up to ensure you make it back without having to walk.
Day 18 – 20: Kep
Back to the beach! Kep was the favourite holiday spot of wealthy Cambodians before the Khmer Rouge era. It was mostly abandoned and mansions and everything inside them was sold off when people fled from the Khmer Rouge. Today, it is slowly being rebuilt and is popular with both Khmers and foreign tourists.
My favourite spot was the Kep crab market, where you can buy fresh crab that’s pulled out of the sea for you and cooked on the spot if you want to eat right there.
Have more time?
If you have more time, you can easily extend this Cambodia itinerary. Between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, you could throw in a stop in Battambang and go on a thrilling ride on the Bamboo railway.
There’s also plenty to do in Phnom Penh to extend your stay there.
If you want more island adventures, you could spend more time in both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem or head to Rabbit Island from Kep.
Any questions about your Cambodia itinerary?
If you need any help with building your itinerary for Cambodia, leave me a comment with your questions and I’ll try to help. Here are also some Cambodia itinerary options from other travel bloggers:
One month in Cambodia by Audrey from That Backpacker
One week in Cambodia by Robert from Leave your daily hell
Cambodia Travel Guide by Nomadic Matt