- Dodie Smith
Travel costs in Cambodia are not high, although it is possible to spend a great deal of money if you desire. Hotel costs are on the high side for the region - the plethora of 4* and 5* hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap charge international rates - but most local goods and services are cheap by developed world standards.
For staying at a comfortable 4* hotel, a couple should expect to pay approximately $120-150 per person, per day for a customised private tour. This figure will vary according to accommodation and touring options, and will be lower for larger groups (and higher for a lone traveler).
There is a huge range of luxury hotels in Siem Reap, and an equally large number of guest houses. It is possible to pay a few dollars for a room with a fan, or pay over a thousand dollars a night for luxury hotel service of true international standard.
The number of hotels in all price and comfort ranges means that competition can be fierce, especially in low season, and that comfortable guesthouse accommodation might cost $15-30, 3* hotel $40-80, rising to 5* at $150-500+. It is extremely unusual for hotel booking sites to offer inclusive rates below our contract rates.
Getting around is very easy, and cheap: long distance travel by bus is easy to arrange, and generally very comfortable. For flexibility, taxis are still reasonable, although of variable quality. Transport around towns is generally by moto (paying a motorbike driver for a lift - typically less than $1 for a short trip in the day), or tuk-tuk (a motor-bike/trailer combination or 3 wheeler, capable of carrying up to 4 passengers) - hiring for an extended period, even several days, can be very reasonable ($15 for a tuk-tuk for a day, or from $2 for a short trip).
For touring, and long distance road travel, ABOUTAsia uses private, insured and inspected vehicles as standard, although we often recommend flying between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville. Tuk-tuks are used for some touring days.
The very best restaurants will charge close to international prices, particularly for wine, but very good Asian and Western food is available at $1-5, while draft beer is $0.50-$2, fruit juice and shakes $1-$2 and bottled water is $0.50-1. International sprit brands are reasonably priced, while local spirits (for those brave enough) are very cheap. Ask for our current advice on restaurants when here (things change quickly).
Tipping is not usual in Cambodian culture, so is not necessarily expected in bars and restaurants. Tips are, however, very gratefully received. With the average Cambodian wage being little more than $1-2 a day, tips from tourists can make a real difference, so we do suggest rewarding good service. Typically, we round up a dollar or two depending on the bill. Guides typically receive $5-15 per person, per day, whie drivers typically receive $2-3 per person, per day.
A truly indulgent treatment at one of the nicer spas may cost $50-$150, but it is generally possible to get a very competent foot or back and shoulder massage for a few dollars and up. "Fish Massage" is currently all the rage in Siem Reap - typically $2-$3, often with a drink included - which involves dipping your feet into a paddling pool filled with Garufa fish, that nibble dead skin from your toes! ABOUTAsia has contract rates with local spas - and can arrange on request.
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Peerless service standards and local positioning have made us the tour operator of choice by international luxury travel groups and discerning independent travellers to Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Southeast Asia.