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Need help packing for Cambodia? Find out what clothes to wear in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville!
Packing for Cambodia: Clothes to Wear
by Annie Jarvis
Cambodia is an incredibly diverse country to visit, with its dusty towns, bustling cities, stunning cultural sights and breathtaking beaches.
Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are three of the most popular areas for travelers to explore and not to mention some of my favorite places on earth, as each of them is unique.
Take a look at each destination and the items you should consider packing for Cambodia!
Basic Tee | Handpainted Maxi Skirt | Birkenstock Mayari
Home to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a must visit destination for anyone exploring Cambodia. This dusty city has a mixture of culture and nightlife, with the temples of Angkor just a short tuk tuk ride away and the infamous pub street only round the corner.
When visiting the temples (and believe me you need to go) wear clothes that keep your shoulders and knees covered to remain respectful, or carry a light cotton scarf with you to pop on and off your shoulders as needed.
These sights are also really spread out and not to mention huge, so make sure you are wearing something comfortable to walk in.
Here are 13 comfortable walking sandals that don’t sacrifice style!
When packing for Cambodia, make sure to take a pair of secure but easy to remove sandals that can allow you to be on your feet for hours without getting too tired. While sneakers would also be great for lots of walking, sandals mean your feet get plenty of air as well. Packing cubes make the perfect shoe bags to protect your luggage from dirty shoes.
If you’re heading out the evening, don’t forget to check out ‘Pub Street’, which is where tourists go to reward themselves after a long day of experiencing the culture. Full of bars, restaurants and shops, Pub Street is a great way to immerse yourself in a different side of Cambodian culture, and of course have a few drinks.
For this I would recommend covering yourself in insect repellent and putting on a cute dress or top and shorts, as the evening will be just as hot and humid as the day!
For more tips, here’s a packing list for Siem Reap. You can also use the same items to travel to smaller towns such as Kep and Kampot!
Brigitte Bailey Romper | Free People Crop Cargos | Sun Bum Face Stick
As the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is a bustling, metropolitan city that is completely different to Siem Reap. If you’re heading here it is most likely to visit the Killing Fields and the S21 Museum, which will take you back to the days of the Khmer Rouge Regime and give you a history lesson you will never forget.
There is no escaping the sun in Cambodia so make sure you pack a high factor sunblock to keep your skin protected. If you are taking a bag out with you for the day, then throw it in and keep reapplying to save your skin!
These are the 9 daily essentials you need when traveling in Asia!
As with Siem Reap, there is a tone of walking in Phnom Penh, so comfortable trainers or sandals are a must for this destination.
Though I wouldn’t recommend stripping off in Phnom Penh, conservative clothes are not as much of an issue here. When packing for Cambodia, I’d recommend a cute pair of shorts and a t-shirt to keep your shoulders protected from the blistering heat.
For more coverage, take a look at the styles we chose as the best pants for travel!
West Sundown Bikini | Sarong Wrap | Insect Repellent
Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s go to beach destination, and is a great place for traveler to both relax and join in the party.
If you’re heading down to this part of Cambodia then the most important thing to bring is a bathing suit. Whether you’re chilling on the beach or snorkeling in the sea, a bathing suit is a must have item for your travel wardrobe.
Also like the main cities in Cambodia, Sihanoukville can get unbelievably hot so make sure you apply plenty of sunblock to avoid getting burnt.
Cover up your bikini once you’re off the sand!
While this awesome beach destination is full of tourists, it’s also full of mosquitoes who love to come out in the evenings and especially when you’re tucked up in bed.
As carrying a mosquito net takes up way too much room in your backpack, a bottle of decent repellent takes up no room at all and can save you from those horrible bites that you know you’ll spend the day scratching.
Sihanoukville is less conservative than other areas of Cambodia, which means you can be slightly more relaxed with your clothing choices. A nice sarong however never goes a miss on any beach destination, as it’s a great way to cover up your bikini and even doubles up as a towel.
Creating an interchangeable capsule wardrobe is the key to simplified packing!
I wish someone had told me I could buy an entire week’s worth of clothing for less than $20 at the markets in Vietnam and Cambodia. When I realized all but a few of the items I’d packed would be destroyed from sweat, I hit up the local markets for other options.
Lo and behold I found tanks for $2 and pants for $3, and that was without bartering. At prices that low, I recommend buying the majority of your clothing upon arrival. You can even donate it back to the local community at the end of your trip. Packing light doesn’t get much skimpier than that.
What are your tips on packing for Cambodia? Comment and share below!
For more Southeast Asia packing lists, please read:
- What to Pack for Cambodia
- Packing List for Siem Reap
- Thailand Packing List – Beaches and Islands
- The Ultimate Backpacking Southeast Asia Packing List
Suggested Travel Resources:
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can i wear a sleeve less top in phnom penh
Hi Penney, thank you for reaching out. When visiting Phnom Penh, conservative clothes are not as much as an issue here, but if you easily burn then I would recommend wearing a t-shirt to keep your shoulders protected from the blistering heat. For more feedback, I would recommend that you join TFG’s free facebook community and post your question there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelfashiongirls/ It is a fabulous group of helpful female travelers that have the best packing and fashion advice to share. Hope this helps answer your question. Have an amazing trip! ?
“Cute” shorts are not suitable for Cambodia. Yes, you’ll see others wearing them and the same tourists will probably also be wearing tank tops and camisole type tops. Cambodia is a conservative country and its people are far too polite to say anything but shorts and skimpy tops are considered immodest and are deeply offensive to the culture. The best advice is to look at what the locals are wearing and ensure you cover up as much as they do.
should i bring any jacket. is there any posibilities the weather will get colder?
This popped up right before I went to Siem Reap so it was very handy. I have trekking sandals from Merrell that are almost trekked out so I’ll have a look at the Birkenstocks. I’m a bit older than you so I wisely left the bikini and romper at home. Happy travels!
BTW, a scarf isn’t adequate covering for shoulders at Angkor Watt. I had to pop on a tee shirt. That works elsewhere in Southeast Asia, though.
Sounds like an awesome trip Sharon! Thanks for the info!
I love discovering your blog. I now have been converted to minimalist traveler.
Yay 🙂 This is so awesome to hear! I’m glad you’ve found the blog useful!