I believe I was expecting too much from Cambodia; I was expecting to have my mind blown. Not by UXOs of course, but I expected only superlatives. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it was not ALL THAT I was hoping for. It could have been the food, as we noticed countries have a deeper impact on us if the food is good. The first week we spent in the crab capital and unfortunately a portion of crab was a bit too pricey for us (although it was still pretty damn cheap). For this reason we had difficulties to find something that was not supper processed fried 'meat' balls. With some effort we did end up finding a decent place to eat.
We did not indulge on the famous islands as the high season just started and accommodation prices spiked up to 50$ per night, which meant we had to skip that too. But we did enjoy the many motorbike rentals we took to explore small local villages in plenty on different areas in Cambodia.
For tours, we tried to be a bit creative instead of just agreeing to take a prearranged tours. Too many times in the past the tours were not what we wanted regarding the itinerary. The tours would rush through the main activity or sight, just to end up in yet another souvenir shop for hour or more is not our thing. For this reason we drove ourselves to the Irrawaddy dolphin bay so on our way we were able to explore nearby villages. Once we got there we tried to lower our boat price to join some Austrians that got there with tuk tuk. As they were not keen on having two people joining in their guide helped us getting our own private boat for the same price as for a group boat. We loved it. Saving money and being on our own, was more than we hoped for. In Siem Reap we met another couple from Canada, with whom we decided to share our tuk tuk, halving our price. It turned up to be a good idea as they had similar requests as us (doing the drive around Angkor in an opposite way than usual).
On the other hand we were splurging every time we saw our friends we met in Vietnam (who were traveling in the same direction). Going for drinks, celebrating new years, having more drinks and some food. But it was fun and it was worth every penny.
In total we spent 23 days in Cambodia days and a bit more money than we planned. We travelled on mixed and midrange budgets which is what we were estimating anyway.
Our estimated budget was 14.00 GBP per person per day and if we would not be splurging around Christmas and New Years I believe we could get it on the spot.
COST PER STAY
Sum per person including visa
Estimated total cost: 345.80 GBP
Actual cost: 394.40 GBP
Off budget: - 48.60 GBP
COST PER DAY (per person)
Estimated per day: 14.00 GBP (+ visa 23.80 GBP per person for the whole stay) MIXED BUDGET
Actual cost: 17.15 GBP (includes visa cost) MIXED BUDGET