Everything you need to know about packing for a trip to Cambodia


Dubbed as the Kingdom of Wonder, Cambodia presents an enticing prospect for solo travelers. From the ancient marvels of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the bustling craft markets and delectable street food of Phnom Penh, this tropical paradise beckons with opportunities for escapades.

Compared to its neighboring tourist hubs of Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia offers a more off-the-beaten-path experience in Southeast Asia. Despite its less-trodden status, the country is rapidly evolving, blending deep-rooted Khmer traditions with vibrant city life, luxurious accommodations, and idyllic beach retreats like Sihanoukville and Koh Rong island.

A solo journey to Cambodia would be incomplete without bearing witness to its poignant history, epitomized by sites like the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, relics of the country’s devastating civil war (1967-1975). Yet, amidst these somber reminders, the nation’s rich cultural tapestry unfolds, showcasing a labyrinth of ancient Buddhist and Hindu ruins such as Preah Vihear Temple and the enchanting 12th-century structures of Angkor Thom and the jungle-draped Ta Prohm, made famous by the film Tomb Raider. And not to forget the modern-day pleasures of cruising the Mekong River and indulging in rooftop revelries in Phnom Penh.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience in Cambodia, where every moment is infused with intrigue and discovery.




Passport, visa, flight tickets, insurance, local currency cash, credit/debit cards medication (including any prescription, or allergy medications), important numbers, luggage: compact suitcase or backpack and day pack and tips for guides.

Camera, other electronics and chargers, travel adaptor if needed, toiletries, including high SPF suncream, and refillable water bottle (provided by Soca Islands).

Lightweight tops: long-sleeved and tees, shorts, loose-fitting trousers, linen trousers, activewear for hiking, swimwear, sunhat and sunglasses, a light waterproof jacket/poncho, warmer layers for the evenings (when applicable), long tops/skirts/trousers for temple visits, comfortable trainers/sneakers with good tread, and sandals/flip-flops.

Useful extras
Prepaid SIM card (available on landing), an RFID blocking holder for credit/debit cards, long-haul flight heroes: eye mask, neck pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, Cambodia travel apps, compact travel towel, and handheld fan.


What to Pack for Cambodia – Essentials


Regardless of your point of origin, ensure you possess a valid passport for the entirety of your time in Cambodia, plus an additional six months beyond. Safeguard yourself against potential loss by storing a photo of your passport’s inside ID page on your phone and via email. Consider bringing a passport holder as well; it provides a convenient way to organise your essential documents in one secure location, minimizing the need for multiple items to track.

Cambodia Visas
The requirement for a visa to enter Cambodia varies based on nationality. Citizens from some countries can presently enjoy short visits (usually up to 15 days) without a visa. For citizens from other countries, like the Trinidad and Tobago, an option is to apply online in advance for a single-entry e-Visa, typically valid for 30 days.

Flight Tickets
Be sure to have a hard copy of your flight tickets alongside the digital version on your phone to guarantee coverage, no matter what.

Travel Insurance for Cambodia
Ensure you have valid travel insurance for the entirety of your visit to Cambodia, encompassing coverage for loss/thefts, medical emergencies, and cancellations. Many insurers will email your coverage details for safekeeping. Additionally, save your insurer’s contact number on your phone for prompt assistance if required.

Currency and Cash in Cambodia
The official currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian riel (KHR), available in denominations of 100,000 riel (approximately 25 US dollars), 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Exchange services are provided at official exchange counters, identifiable by clear signage, and at banks. Additionally, select hotels and tourist agencies offer currency exchange services for major currencies into Cambodian riel. US dollars are widely accepted in larger establishments such as hotels, shops, and restaurants. It is advisable to withdraw cash upon arrival in Cambodia and maintain a supply for convenience and emergencies. Card payment and ATM facilities may be limited in certain areas, and having cash readily available enhances the enjoyment of local experiences like street food and market stalls.

Credit and Debit Cards
ATMs typically restrict the withdrawal per transaction from US$250 – US$2000, most common being US$500. Unfortunately, there are no ATMs in Cambodia which are fee-free for foreign card holders, except one bank which does not charge fees for a limited specific type of foreign cards.

Medication for Cambodia
To prepare for potential medical needs during your Cambodia trip, assemble a personalised mini medical kit. Include essentials such as painkillers, DEET-based insect repellent, anti-itch ointment, antihistamines, plasters/bandages, and diarrhea treatment like Imodium. Consult with a healthcare professional about malaria tablets, especially if traveling to rural highland areas. Arrange any necessary vaccinations at least six weeks before departure. Don’t forget to bring along any prescription medications, with prescriptions for each. If you have a medical condition or allergy requiring attention, carry a doctor’s letter detailing the condition and treatment needed. Maintain good health practices while traveling by monitoring food and water consumption, protecting yourself from sun exposure, and preventing insect bites. Remember that tap water is not safe to drink anywhere in Cambodia.

Important Numbers in Cambodia
In Cambodia, dial 117 for police assistance, 118 for fire services, and 119 for an ambulance. For emergency medical response in English, call 999. Your embassy can also provide assistance during emergencies. Be sure to have toll-free international numbers for your credit/debit card and mobile phone providers for cancellation from abroad. Additionally, store contact details for your local embassy in Cambodia, as well as for your insurance and flight providers. These preparations can be crucial in unforeseen situations.

Luggage for Cambodia
Pack a day bag suitable for hiking and other excursions, in addition to a compact suitcase or backpack. The day bag should have sufficient space for your daily necessities, including a water bottle and camera. Opt for a soft-sided bag for the larger luggage to ensure easy accommodation in transfer vehicles, buses, and trains throughout Cambodia.


What to Pack for Cambodia- Accessories


Travel Adapters and Chargers for Cambodia
In Cambodia, plugs generally follow Type A standards, characterized by two flat vertical prongs. Moreover, Type C and Type F plugs, outfitted with two round pins, are commonly used. Travelers originating from countries like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand will need adapters to suit these differences. However, individuals from North America and the Caribbean may find their plugs fitting without the necessity of adapters.

Toiletries for Cambodia
Essential toiletries for your trip include deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand gel. Additionally, pack personal items like a hairbrush and razors. Opt for hydrating spray, moisturizer, and eco-friendly bamboo cleansing cloths for added comfort. Given Cambodia’s tropical climate, prioritize high SPF sunscreen and lip balm with SPF to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Refillable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle will be useful throughout your trip, from the plane journey to city excursions and beyond.


What to Pack for Cambodia – Clothing

Guidelines for Dressing in Cambodia Vary Depending on the Season and Location.


Dry Season Wear
Opt for loose, breathable attire during the summer months. T-shirts, cotton trousers or shorts, and thin long-sleeved tops are ideal. Lighter colors help combat the heat, along with linen trousers. Protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses and a sunhat. Sandals or flip-flops are essential for beach outings, and a light waterproof jacket can come in handy for sudden downpours during the monsoon season.

Outdoor Activities
For hiking and other outdoor pursuits, prioritize light, breathable materials. Cotton t-shirts and lightweight long-sleeved tops are suitable, along with trousers to ward off mosquitoes. Sturdy trekking shoes with good traction are preferable to hiking boots for most trails.

Temple Visits
Cambodian men and women generally dress quite modestly, and this is especially true if you’re planning to visit a temple. You’ll need to cover your shoulders and knees, so long trousers and long skirts work well. Large colourful scarves and sarongs are popular for temple visits and they can easily be bought in Cambodia. You will also need to take your shoes off, so you might want to have a pair of socks in your bag to avoid bare feet.

City Exploration
For exploring urban areas, opt for light, loose clothing and comfortable footwear. Dressier attire may be suitable for evenings out, while warmer layers are advisable for cooler temperatures, especially in northern regions or air-conditioned environments.

Cultural Considerations
Cambodia is a conservative country, so avoid clothing that is too revealing. Beachwear is acceptable in coastal resorts, but elsewhere, opt for modest attire.

Clothing Summary
Pack lightweight tops, activewear, swimwear, a light waterproof jacket, warmer layers, modest clothing for temple visits, linen trousers, an evening outfit, comfortable trainers or sneakers, and sandals or flip-flops. Adjust your attire based on the season, location, and cultural norms, ensuring comfort and respectfulness during your time in Cambodia.


What to Pack for Cambodia – Extras


Prepaid SIM Card for Phone Data
Upon arrival in Cambodia, you can conveniently purchase SIM cards with internet packages from kiosks located at the international airport in Cambodia. They are also readily available in phone shops across various cities and towns, although sorting it out at the airport is generally more convenient. Typically priced around USD $10 US, you can acquire a month’s worth of unlimited data. Many bloggers recommend networks like Metfone for their extensive coverage across Cambodia.

Cambodia Travel Apps
Several apps can enhance your travel experience in Cambodia:

  • Google Translate: These language apps aid communication by translating signs and phrases. Google Translate’s camera function instantly translates text.
  • Grab: Similar to Uber, Grab provides fast and convenient transportation options, including GrabAbike for moto taxis, ensuring seamless travel throughout Southeast Asia.
  • XE Exchange: Simplify currency conversions with XE Exchange, which helps you understand Cambodian riel prices and exchange rates, facilitating financial transactions with ease.
  • Google Maps and TripAdvisor: Utilise these essential apps for navigation and access to reviews, ensuring you make the most of your Cambodia adventure.
  • Angkor Guide: Specifically designed for exploring the Angkor Archaeological Park, offering detailed information about temples, maps, and tour itineraries.
  • PassApp: Another popular ride-hailing app in Cambodia, offering options for tuk-tuks, taxis, and other forms of transportation.
  • SmartGuide Cambodia: Offers offline maps, audio guides, and useful information about popular tourist destinations in Cambodia.
  • CamboTicket: Allows you to book bus tickets and transportation services for travel within Cambodia, as well as to neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam.
  • HappyCow: A vegan and vegetarian restaurant guide, helping you find plant-based dining options in Cambodia’s cities.


Other Cambodia Information


The Climate in Cambodia
Cambodia generally experiences a tropical climate characterised by distinct wet and dry seasons. The weather can vary depending on the region and the time of year. During the dry season, which typically runs from November to April, Cambodia enjoys sunny weather with low humidity. Temperatures can range from pleasantly warm to hot, with averages around 25-35°C (77-95°F). This period is considered the peak tourist season due to the favorable weather conditions. The wet season, from May to October, brings heavy rainfall and high humidity. Temperatures remain warm, but frequent downpours can occur, particularly in the afternoons and evenings. The wet season is also characterised by lush green landscapes and fewer crowds, making it an alternative option for travelers seeking lower prices and a quieter experience.

Tipping in Cambodia
Tipping is appreciated but not obligatory in Cambodia. In restaurants and bars, a 10% service charge is customary but discretionary. Some establishments may include this charge automatically, so it’s advisable to review your bill to avoid duplicate payments.

If you’re on a Soca Islands trip, tipping your Tour Guide and Driver USD $5 – $10 per day is mandatory.

Many Soca Islanders opt to contribute to a collective fund at the trip’s onset, allowing the Tour Leader to distribute tips to restaurant staff, drivers, and additional guides.