Due to a very extensive cluster of places that worth being visited in Cambodia, seeing most of the country in one week is not realistic, however fast and versatile you prove to be. To visit the most of the important landmarks here, you have two solutions.
1. From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
- Travel to Cambodia by plane and land at the Siem Reap International Airport, located in the north-western part of the country. Spend two full days in the area and visit the Temples of Angkor. There are plenty of attractions in this boom city, but focus on the most significant places. If you’re fast enough, you should be able to leave Siem Reap with the distinct impression that you’ve seen them all.
- Go to Battambang and enjoy the scenic setting of Tonlé Sap. During this stay, you have to visit the Floating Village in the area. Leave after one full day.
- Go South. After a short stop at Kampong Chhnang, keep going until you reach Phnom Penh. Spend three days here. There’s plenty to see and the city is big enough to offer you enough comfort, should you need it. Shoot photos of the Silver Pagoda, eat Khmer food on the Mekong embankment, or rent a bike and see the city from a local perspective.
- Make the last day a full-day visit at the Kirirom National Park, then return to Phnom Penh. This is a good and safe place to leave the country.
2. From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
- Land at Phnom Penh International Airport. Spend two days here. Visit local Theravada Buddhist temples, enjoy exquisite Asian and Cambodian dishes, and see the city.
- Go south and spend one full day on the beaches located near Sihanoukville: secluded places full of life and color.
- Go back to Phnom Penh only to take a flight to Siem Reap. You should be able to reach Siem Reap in the evening time. Check for local flights in Cambodia and for accommodation in Siem Reap in advance, to avoid any inconveniences.
- Spend the fifth day in Siem Reap. See the Ankgor Wat and other superb Cambodian temples in the area.
- Go to Tonlé Sap for one full day. Enjoy the scenery and learn about local customs related to fishing.
- Spend your last day shopping in Siem Reap and leave Cambodia from the Siem Reap International Airport.
Even if such itineraries imply a rather western style of travelling, they are your best shot in terms of efficiency and safety. Neither backpacking, nor hitching will prove in this case good solutions, because you simply don’t have the time to cover the area in a faster and more resourceful manner.
On the other side, if you prefer a more comfortable stay, you can focus on one single location (we suggest at least five of them: Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, and Phnom Penh) and take advantage of a different, more relaxed pace. This would give you the advantage for learning about one piece of Cambodia while depriving you of the privilege to say that you’ve travelled all across the country.
You can get your cambodian visa here: Cambodian visa.