7 Days in Cambodia Itinerary
When you’ve got a week in Cambodia, you can see the country’s top sights and some of its less visited areas. You’ll visit the famous Angkor Wat, learn about the Khmer Rouge genocide, and experience the Cambodian countryside. To help you plan your travels, here’s a complete 7-day Cambodia itinerary.
Day 1 – 2: Siem Reap
Start your trip by arriving in Siem Reap. It’s one of the largest cities in Cambodia, and it’s well developed for tourism due to being the home of Angkor Wat. There are lovely restaurants and cafés, vibrant nightlife, and plenty of markets for souvenir shopping.
Siem Reap is a fantastic city to walk around, with sidewalks in good condition. Take your first day easy. But if you want to do something, the Angkor National Museum provides a thorough introduction to Angkor Wat. You can also visit some temples in the city center: Wat Bo, Wat Damnak, and Wat Preah Prom Rath. The Cambodia Landmine Museum and APOPO Visitor Center are two stops where you can learn about why Cambodia has so many landmines and how they detect and remove them.
Today is all about temple hopping in Angkor Wat. Get up early to watch the sun rise from Angkor Wat. Despite dragging yourself out of bed at an obscene hour, it’s worth it – as long as the sky is pretty clear. And if sunrise ends up being covered by clouds, at least you’re able to see the temples with fewer tourists around.
I recommend doing a guided sunrise tour of Angkor Wat so you can learn about the most famous temples in the religious complex. Then, explore Angkor Wat on your own in the afternoon and end with catching sunset there.
Day 3 – 4: Phnom Penh
You’re traveling from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh today. Depending on your mode of transportation, it can take between one and six hours. After a full day of Angkor Wat though, having a travel day gives you some time to relax and recuperate.
Unlike Siem Reap, Phnom Penh is not a city you want to walk around in. Sidewalks are either non-existent, uneven and littered with cracks, or taken over by parked motorbikes. But there are some areas that are more pleasant for strolling along. Head to Wat Botum Park or the riverside of Preah Sisowath Quay for uninterrupted walks and to see local life in the evening.
The Khmer Rouge is a significant, yet sad, part of Cambodian history. Phnom Penh has two important relics of the Khmer Rouge: the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. Both sites teach visitors about the Khmer Rouge – what it is and the horrific acts committed. You can do them in any order. Just be prepared for a pretty somber day.
If you’d like to see more of the city before you leave, take a look at my list of the 32 best things to do in Phnom Penh.
Day 5 – 6: Kampot
Kampot is a short three-hour ride from Phnom Penh and feels entirely different from where you’ve been so far. It’s a small city with little traffic and quick access to nature.
One of the must-dos in Kampot is visiting a pepper farm. BoTree Farm and La Plantation are two farms that grow the famous Kampot peppercorn used by Michelin-star restaurants. Both farms have shops in town. Walk up to one and let them know you’re interested in taking a tour. They’ll arrange a tuk tuk to take you to their farm for a fair price. The tour is free, which includes a tasting of their peppercorn and other products. I recommend also getting lunch while you’re there. Their chefs whip up some tasty dishes using their peppercorn.
After returning to Kampot, head to the Praek Tuek Chhu River for sunset.
In the 1920s, Bokor National Park was developed by the French as a summer retreat. After it was abandoned during the Indochina War in the 1940s, the Khmer Rouge took it over. Now it’s a protected ASEAN Heritage Park where you can get a great view of Kampot. Either rent a motorbike and drive through the park or join a guided tour. Be careful if you’re driving, since monkeys roam free in the park.
There’s lots to see in the park and sights are clearly marked. Take half a day to visit the Black Palace, Lok Yeay Mao statue, Wat Sampov Pram, Bokor Palace Hotel, the Old Catholic Church of Bokor Mountain, and Popokvil Waterfall.
If you want to relax for the rest of the day, take a seat in a café or drop into a yoga class. And if you want to keep the adventure going, kayak down the river or bike around the fields right outside of town.
Day 7: Return to Phnom Penh
Your week in Cambodia has come to an end, sadly. Even if you’re not ready to leave, it’s time to make your way back to Phnom Penh. If you’re flying out the same day, make sure you leave a large buffer between your expected arrival time in Phnom Penh and your flight. I rarely had delays when traveling throughout Cambodia via bus or van, but you want to be prepared in case the vehicle breaks down or there’s a lot of traffic.
In these seven days, you’ve experienced a small sampling of Cambodia. You’ve seen the highlights that everyone comes to Cambodia for. You’ve also seen some of the less visited, but equally as special, parts.
I hope this short trip inspires you to come back to Cambodia. Trust me, there’s much more to discover in this small country. So much that you could spend a month here next time!