1 Month Cambodia Itinerary: Where to Go and What to See
Spending one month in Cambodia is the perfect amount of time to see the entire country at a relaxed pace and experience its less touristy areas. This one-month itinerary is designed to take full advantage of Cambodia’s 30-day tourist visa and minimizes the amount of doubling back you do.
Day 1 – 3: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is chaotic. But if you can conquer Phnom Penh, everywhere else in Cambodia is gonna be a breeze.
The Khmer Rouge genocide is an incredibly sad but important part of Cambodian history, and it’s crazy that it ended as recently as 1979. There are two reminders of the genocide in Phnom Penh: the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields.
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum started as a school, but it was turned into a prison during the Khmer Rouge. Depending on where you’re staying, you can likely walk there. Alternatively, order a tuk tuk through the Pass or Grab apps. It’s $10 USD for a ticket and audio guide. I highly recommend getting the audio guide, since there’s not much written information throughout the museum.
The museum is a harrowing reminder of what happened there. You’ll see photos of prisoners and walk through the buildings and cells where many people were tortured and died.
After the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, you’ll need to take a tuk tuk to the Killing Fields since it’s outside of the city center. Admission and audio guide are $6 USD. There are many killing fields across Cambodia, but Choeung Ek is the most well-known. The memorial building in the center is striking, filled with the skulls and bones of adults and children who died there.
Note that there is a dress code for the Killing Fields, although it’s not enforced. To show respect, it’s recommended to cover your shoulders and knees.
After a heavy day of learning about the Khmer Rouge genocide, your second day is going to be filled with magnificent architecture and art.
Phnom Penh became Cambodia’s capital in 1865, and construction of the Royal Palace started in 1866. The King of Cambodia lives here, so parts of the palace aren’t open to the public. Enjoy the beautiful, grand architecture and take in the Silver Pagoda, which is on the southside of the complex.
The National Museum is a short walk from the Royal Palace. Tickets are $10 USD, and audio guides are available for $5 USD. Because the placards provide little explanation, I would recommend getting an audio guide if you’re interested in learning more.
Although it’s a small museum, it’s packed with Khmer sculptures, statues, pottery, and other relics from the past. There’s a beautiful courtyard in the middle, where you can feed the fish, rest your legs, and grab a bite to eat. I recommend getting lunch at the Museum Café, which is right outside the museum but inside the walled complex. It has beautiful outdoor seating and serves up delicious Cambodian food at a good price. I had a great beef lok lak there.
From the National Museum, head toward the water. Walk along Preah Sisowath Quay, which hugs the Tonle Sap River. If you head south, you’ll see where the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River meet. You’ll also come across some small parks, like Wat Botum Park. These parks come alive in the evenings, when the weather’s cool enough to go for a run, exercise, and play sports. You’ll also come across Independence Monument, which celebrates Cambodia’s independence from France. If you head north, you’ll reach the Phnom Penh Night Market and Wat Phnom Daun Penh.
There are lots of cafés, restaurants, and bars that line Sisowath Quay, so sit down, have a drink, and relax. You can also pop into one of the many convenience stores along the road to grab some drinks and snacks. Then, enjoy the sunset from the river.
Your last day in Phnom Penh is for seeing the markets, relaxing, and eating. Central Market and Russian Market are two of the most popular to visit, but they’re not the only ones or the most authentic. To see where locals shop, head to the Old Market (Phsar Chas), Orussey Market, or Boeung Keng Kang Market.
Then, choose your own adventure for the rest of the day. You can get inspiration from my list of the best things to do in Phnom Penh.
Day 4 – 6: Kratié
You’re going to leave the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh for the small town of Kratié. This is just the beginning of a few days where you’ll see some of the best nature that Cambodia has and have experiences that most travelers in Cambodia overlook.
It’s a five to six-hour journey from Phnom Penh to Kratié. Since you won’t have a full day in Kratié, just take it easy. If you take the first van out of Phnom Penh that day, you’ll get into Kratié just in time for a late lunch. Walk around town, have a nap, and take in the amazing sunset along the Mekong River. In my one month in Cambodia, the sunsets in Kratié were by far the best.
The main draw of Kratié is the endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin. There’s less than 90 of them left. To see them, I recommend booking a kayaking tour over taking the motor boat. For the kayaking tour, you’ll need to book it in advance and choose between a few different options: a full-day tour, a half-day morning tour, or a half-day afternoon tour.
I did a half-day morning tour with Dolphin Kayaking Adventure. It’s owned and operated by Lucky, who is a local guide. He’s friendly, knowledgeable, and incredibly responsive on WhatsApp.
Spend your day spotting Irrawaddy dolphins – either via a kayaking tour or by taking the motor boat from Kampi.
Koh Trong is an island just off Kratié and you can make it a half or full-day trip. It’s a short 10 to 15-minute boat ride from the pier and costs 1,000 riel per person. The boat leaves roughly every 30 minutes, although there’s no set schedule.
Once you’re on the island, you’ve got a few modes of transportation to choose from. There’s a 7 km loop around the island, with an optional 3 km that you can add on. You can walk it, rent a bike for $2 USD, rent a motorbike for $5 USD, or take a horse or ox-drawn cart.
Day 7 – 9: Mondulkiri
From Kratié, it takes about four hours to get to the city that’s the jumping off point for Mondulkiri – Sen Monorom. Vans can’t be booked online (only the vans running from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri can be booked online), so you’ll need to book through your guesthouse in Kratié.
If you get into Sen Monorom in the afternoon, it’s enough time to rent a motorbike and see some of the waterfalls that Mondulkiri is known for. The closest waterfall, Sen Monorom Waterfall, is just 5 km from town.
Because the wilderness of Mondulkiri is best experienced with a guide, take this time to book your activities for the next two days: trekking and visiting an elephant sanctuary. You can either book the two activities separately or companies like Elephant Valley Project and Mondulkiri Project offer packages that combine both and include one night of accommodation. Just make sure you choose an ethical elephant sanctuary.
Get ready for an adventurous day exploring the beautiful forests, waterfalls, caves, and wildlife of Mondulkiri. Soak it all in, since this is some of the best nature that Cambodia has to offer.
Your date with the elephants awaits today. Seeing and interacting with elephants is a special experience that you’ll never forget.
Day 10 – 14: Siem Reap
It’s a long journey from Mondulkiri to Siem Reap, so take it chill today. Siem Reap is a lovely town to simply walk around in. Wander along the river, visit the various night markets, and grab a drink on Pub Street.
Before you visit Angkor Wat, take a day to visit the Angkor National Museum and see the temples that are in Siem Reap’s city center. Regardless of whether you decide to visit Angkor Wat with a guide (I recommend going with a guide), the Angkor National Museum provides you with a lot of history and context for what you’ll be seeing in Angkor Wat. Tickets are $12 USD and audio guides are $5 USD. Because the museum has plenty of written descriptions and placards in Khmer and English and a few videos scattered throughout, it’s not necessary to get an audio guide.
After the museum, there are three temples in Siem Reap that you can easily walk to: Wat Bo, Wat Damnak, and Wat Preah Prom Rath. Depending on when you go, you might see monks cleaning the temple grounds or chanting. While these aren’t the most ornate or impressive temples, walking into them feels like you’re stepping into the everyday lives of these monks.
Before the day ends, book your sunrise Angkor Wat tour for tomorrow and buy your pass online so you can skip the in-person ticket line. Get the one-day pass, which allows you to enter the Angkor Wat complex twice within five days.
You’ve got an early morning today, but it’s worth it. You’ll see sunrise at Angkor Wat (hopefully it’s not cloudy), explore some of the complex’s most stunning temples, and learn about its history. By the end of the tour, you’ll probably be fading, so take it easy for the rest of the day.
You should also decide how you want to explore Angkor Wat tomorrow. Some people join a sunset tour that brings you to different temples than the sunrise tour. You can also do this on your own – either by hiring a tuk tuk or getting a motorbike or bicycle.
Continue to explore Angkor Wat today and catch sunset there. The most popular spot for sunset is Phnom Bakheng, which is located on top of a hill. It’s open until 7 PM, so climb to the top of the temple and settle in for sunset.
There’s still quite a bit left to see and do in Siem Reap for your last day there. The Cambodia Landmine Museum is 25 km from Siem Reap, so it’s best to hire a tuk tuk and combine it with a few other stops. It’s $5 USD for the Landmine Museum and you can access their audio guide with your phone.
To build upon what you learned at the Landmine Museum, visit the APOPO Visitor Center. APOPO is a non-profit organization that trains and works with rats to detect landmines (and even tuberculosis). Take a tour at their visitor center to learn how they do it and see a live demonstration.
The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is on the way to the Landmine Museum. Although small, the butterflies are beautiful and the guides working there are knowledgeable.
End your time in Siem Reap with an evening at the circus. The Phare Circus blends music, circus, theater, and dance to tell Cambodian stories while also providing Cambodians with a path out of poverty. It’s best to get there an hour early so you can enjoy the street food and pre-show entertainment.
Day 15 – 17: Battambang
From Siem Reap, it’s a three to four hour van ride to Battambang. Battambang is one of the most populated cities in Cambodia and feels more authentic because it hasn’t been developed as for tourism as Siem Reap. There’s just enough things to see that make it worth a three-day trip, but I wouldn’t spend more than that.
Your first day in Battambang is a great opportunity to stroll the city. There’s a nice paved path along the Sankae River, with lots of food vendors along the way, so you can stop and grab a bite to eat or drink. Wander through the Central Market, where you’ll not only find food stalls, but also jewelers, beauticians, and hair stylists.
You should also figure out how you want to see Battambang’s top attractions tomorrow. You can knock out all of them in one day:
The best way to do this is by booking a full-day tour that brings you to all the sights, includes a tour guide, and introduces you to some of the food that Battambang is known to produce. I did a full-day tour with Pomme Tour. It was $30 USD and included water and all three meals. Our guide, Tony, was a great source of information and did a great job of taking care of us for the day. Aside from showing us the major attractions, he also brought us to local families that made rice paper, rice wine, and rice noodles. He explained how these things were made and we even got to taste them.
If you want to do it yourself, you can rent a motorbike tomorrow and see the sights on your own. The downside of this is you won’t have the explanations that a tour guide provides and you’ll miss out on seeing how the local products are made.
You’ve got a jam-packed day full of sights – either with a guided tour or seeing them on your own. Enjoy and don’t worry, you’ll have a less busy day tomorrow.
Choose your own adventure for your last day in Battambang.
Visit temples and pagodas
While you hit up the highlights yesterday, there’s some sights you can easily access on your own via bicycle, motorbike, or tuk tuk:
Explore the art scene
There’s also a small art community in Battambang. Take a look at these art galleries in town and meet the artists behind them:
Take a cooking class
Battambang is known for its cooking classes, and you can’t go wrong with any of these highly-rated ones:
- Nary Kitchen
- Coconut Lyly (they also have a restaurant that’s good)
- Lily’s Secret Garden
- Smokin’ Pot
Day 18 – 21: Kampot
Today’s a long travel day. There’s no direct van from Battambang to Kampot, so you’ll need to transfer in Phnom Penh. It’s seven hours from Battambang to Phnom Penh, and then three hours from Phnom Penh to Kampot.
Because Kampot is a small town with less traffic and situated on the Praek Tuek Chhu River, it’s a relaxing place to walk around and enjoy the sunset along the river. There’s a large expat community too. So if you want to switch up what you’ve been eating, you can find a large variety of cuisines here, including Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Portuguese.
You’ll find a bit of everything, and even the unexpected, in Bokor National Park: stunning viewpoints, playful monkeys, ornate temples, beautiful waterfalls, and buildings that have seen better days. Explore Bokor with a guide if you want to have the historical context behind what you see. Otherwise, it’s very easy to go on your own. There’s one main road that brings you up and down the mountain that the park is located on. While the road is windy, it’s paved – just keep an eye out for the monkeys who often hang out on the road.
Rent a bike and explore the countryside immediately outside of Kampot. You’ll come across rice and salt fields, temples, friendly children, and an Arab community. You can set off on your own and see where your wheels take you, or you can go with a guide.
I took a six-hour bike tour with Jason, an expat from Canada who’s been living in Kampot since the pandemic. As a lover of history and cultures, he’s full of knowledge. I learned so much more about Cambodian culture and really enjoyed our lunch, where he took us to a local family to have Cambodian home cooking.
Kampot is known for its pepper, so visiting a pepper farm is a must-do before you leave. There are two major pepper farms in the area that offer free tours and tastings: BoTree Farm and La Plantation. Both are family-run businesses that are committed to producing the finest and sustainable pepper. While you can’t go wrong with visiting either of them, I recommend BoTree Farm since it’s run by a Scottish-Khmer family and is a smaller operation, They’re also the only one to receive the Guild of Fine Food’s maximum three stars for dried pepper.
Most Kampot pepper gets sold to Michelin restaurants, but you can pick some up for a very reasonable price when you’re here. And be sure to get lunch while you’re at the pepper farm.
You can also slow down in Kampot with a yoga class. Monkey Republic, Simple Things, and Yoga Barn all offer yoga classes. You can usually drop-in for around $6 USD, but check their website or swing by to confirm details.
Another option for your last day is kayak or paddleboard down the Praek Tuek Chhu River. Champa Lodge is a popular place to get rentals.
Day 22 – 24: Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem
To get to the islands, it’s a three hour van ride to Sihanoukville. From there, you’ll take a 45-minute ferry to Koh Rong. They run somewhat frequently, but it’s better to get to Sihanoukville as early as possible because ferries run more frequently during the first half of the day. The last ferry departs at 5 PM.
While every day on Koh Rong is a beach day, you’re going to hit up a few beaches around the island today: Lonely Beach, Long Set Beach, and Sok San Beach. You can walk to the more remote beaches, rent a motorbike, or even rent a kayak.
Koh Rong Sanloem, the smaller island of the two, is only a 15-minute ferry ride from Koh Rong. You can easily fill an entire day here:
- Go snorkeling or scuba diving
- Trek to the Old Lighthouse
- Enjoy Lazy Beach and/or Sunset Beach
- Take a dip in Freedom Waterfall
Day 25 – 27: Kep
While you can do Kep as a day trip from Kampot, it is worth staying for a few nights in order to fully see all that Kep has to offer.
Once you get to Kep, head to the Crab Market for some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever have. As the name suggests, you’ll find fresh crab, as well as shrimp, squid, fish, and other seafood. Pick out what you want, get it cooked right in front of you, and enjoy!
Spend the first half of the day (before it gets too hot) hiking through Kep National Park. You don’t need a guide since the trails are well-worn and marked. There’s a $1 USD entrance fee.
Once you’ve got your fill of the forest, head down to Kep Beach. You’ve seen better beaches in Cambodia, but Kep Beach is conveniently located, attracts more locals, and is very quiet during the weekday.
Koh Tonsay, or Rabbit Island, is just 20 minutes from Kep. Unfortunately, there aren’t any rabbits on the island, but there are hidden beaches. If you’re itching for something to do, you can trek around the entire island in about two hours. But with not much going on on the island, Koh Tonsay is really about doing nothing, so enjoy it. And when you’ve gotten tired of that, you’re just a short boat ride back to Kep.
Day 28 – 29: Return to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap
It’s time to make your way to your final destination in Cambodia, wherever it may be. Most will depart from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. If you decided to follow this itinerary exactly, you’ve got two days at the end that can either be spent chilling in the city you’re leaving from or you can add on an additional day to any of the places above. If you decide to spend more time in one of those locations, my favorite places to post up were Kampot and Siem Reap. They’re easy to walk around and have a bunch of restaurants, cafés, and stores.
Day 30: Depart Cambodia
It’s time to say lee hi (goodbye) to Cambodia. Within 30 days, you’ve covered the entire country and experienced some of the less-traveled places that provide a more authentic look into Cambodian life.
Whether you stick to this itinerary or use it for inspiration, I hope you have a wonderful time exploring this beautiful country of friendly, welcoming people.
More resources for traveling Cambodia
- Cambodia Travel Guide: Planning and What to Know
- How to Solo Travel Cambodia and Stay Safe
- How to Take Tuk Tuks in Cambodia Like a Pro