What should I pack for a holiday in Cambodia?

First on your list should be an open mind and a sense of humour. Don't come with too many preconceived ideas about what Cambodia is like, as media and friends' experiences have a habit of distorting reality.

Otherwise, bring as little as possible. Take enough padlocks for every double zipper to stop wandering hands and lock up your sacred belongings, even in your hotel room.

Essentials are a swimming costume, a day pack and a raincoat or umbrella in rainy season. You will only need a couple of changes of clothes as you can get washing done anywhere cheaply. Remember dark clothes do not need to be washed as often, as long as you do not have a BO problem or sweat profusely. Sandals are a good idea as the climate is too hot for boots. These are best bought before arriving.

Bring your own snorkelling gear as what is available locally is very limited and poor. Alternatively put up a notice looking for gear from someone who is leaving. A tent for camping if you are a national park buff is a good idea, as is a compass. You might like to bring compact binoculars too if wildlife is your thing. A good map of Cambodia would be fabulous. If you find one that is actually accurate, please let us know -- we're yet to find one.

Take earplugs for when you're stuck in a noisy room or want to sleep on the bus. Take a mirror for shaving, as often budget places won't have any. String is very handy for hanging up washing. Travel scrabble can be great. Cigarette rolling papers can be difficult to find, except in tourist centres.

A spare pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses plus a copy of your prescription is a good idea. Bring a book you're prepared to swap. A personal music player is great as a huge range of cheap music is available everywhere.

Into the toiletries bag throw sun screen and insect repellent. Mosquito coils are also a good idea. A small pocket size torch will come in handy when the electricity goes out or for investigating caves. Condoms, of course. Passport photos come in handy for visas.

If you plan to travel long distances by motorbike, purchase a good quality helmet, which you can do in Cambodia. Last but not least, pack your stuff in plastic bags to stop them from getting wet, especially when travelling in the rainy season or on boats.
Aside from the above, the following are essential:
Passport with minimum 6-month validity left;
Travel insurance;
Blood donor/type card;
Details of your next of kin;
Prescriptions for any medication you require. Most chemists will sell medicine over the counter without a script, but if you are searched by immigration it's good to be able to show you require what you're carrying; and
A second photo ID other than your passport




More Travelfish FAQs

Please find below some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) people have about travelling to Cambodia. We've tried to answer all the most frequently asked questions, but if you have another query about Cambodia, please try our Travelfish messageboard.

Accommodation

Is a fan room okay, or should I budget for air-con?
Is it possible to rent rooms or dormitories for longer periods of time while travelling in Cambodia?
Should I take my own padlock for the door of my room while travelling in Cambodia?
What should I do if a bag is stolen from my room or dormitory while travelling in Cambodia?
What standard of accommodation can I expect for US$5 in Cambodia?
Why are there so few dormitories in Cambodia?
Why are there so few hostels in Cambodia?

Bargaining

Should I bargain for everything I want to buy in Cambodia?
What is the best way to bargain in Cambodia?
What shouldn't I do when bargaining in Cambodia?

Cost of travelling

How much should I budget per day for a holiday in Cambodia?
What is the bare minimum I could survive on in Cambodia?
What is the best way to spend less money in Cambodia?

Food glorious food

Can I drink the tap water in Cambodia?
How can I avoid MSG in Cambodia?
How do I avoid peanuts in Cambodia?
I have a food allergy -- what should I do when travelling in Cambodia?
Is there good vegetarian food in Cambodia?
Is western food available in Cambodia?

Getting around

Are the ferries in Cambodia safe?
Are the trains in Cambodia safe?
Do the trains run on time?
Is it easy to hitch-hike in Cambodia?
Is it easy to rent a car or motorcycle in Cambodia?
Should I get a tourist minibus in Cambodia?
What is the best way to get around Phnom Penh?
What's the best way to travel around Cambodia -- share-taxi, bus, train or boat?

Getting there and away

How do I get from Cambodian airports into nearby towns?

Help Police!

Can I trust the Khmer police?
What are the chances of being robbed?

Money Madness

Are credit cards accepted in Cambodia?
Are there ATMs in Cambodia?
How can I have money sent to me in Cambodia?
How can I send money out of Cambodia?
Should I bring travellers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Cambodia?
Should I tip in Cambodia?

Packing purgatory

What should I pack for a holiday in Cambodia?
What shouldn't I pack a holiday in Cambodia?

Scams and warnings

I've heard about scams crossing the border between Thailand and Cambodia - what is the real story?
Is it a good idea to buy drugs off a moto or tuk tuk driver?

Security

Can I use drugs in Cambodia?
Is Cambodia a safe place to travel alone to?
Is Cambodia safe?

Staying healthy

Are leeches a problem in Cambodia?
Are legal drugs cheap in Cambodia?
Do I need a prescription in Cambodia?
Do I need malarial medication in Cambodia?
HIV/AIDS in Cambodia
Is heatstroke a problem?
Is medical care cheap in Cambodia?
Is medical care in Cambodia good?
Is rabies a problem in Thailand?
What about dengue haemorrhagic fever in Cambodia?
What about schistosomiasis in Cambodia?
What general food and water precautions should be followed in Cambodia?
What general health advice can you offer for Cambodia?
What should be in a traveller's medical kit for travel in Cambodia?
Will I get diarrhoea in Cambodia?

Technology

Are there many internet cafes in Cambodia?
Can I travel with a laptop in Cambodia?
What is mobile phone coverage like in Cambodia?
What is the voltage in Cambodia?

Things to learn

Where can I learn Khmer?

Vexed by visas?

What are Cambodia's visa requirements?

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