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Cambodia is a beautiful country and over the past five years tourism has been expanding massively. More and more people venture out to explore Cambodia’s dark past in the killing fields of Phnom Penh or to explore the splendor that is Angkor Wat.
What to Pack for Cambodia
Written by: Tammy Lowe
When packing for a trip to Cambodia it is important to bear in mind that it will be hot or super hot, no matter what time of the year you go. There are also various activities that can be done from jungle trekking, to beach bumming or city hopping, so try and pack according to the activities you will be doing.
The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!
Idyllic country life in Cambodia
For the City
Generally speaking Cambodians dress fairly casually even in the bigger cities such as Phnom Penh or Battambang.
If you wear trainers or hiking boots your feet will get really hot and sweaty.
For sightseeing trips wear material that is airy and breathy. When I lived in Phnom Penh I would usually wear wide tank tops, flowing chiffon blouses, linen trousers or beach dresses during the day and also when I went out at night. I tried to avoid going out in the midday sun, but if I had to I would usually cover my skin with long sleeved clothes. But that is just me as I am super pale.
Use packing cubes to help you organize and even compress your belongings to maximize your space.
For the Jungle
Cambodia has got some great jungles to explore in Mondulkiri in the North East, as well as in Koh Kong in the South West. If you are visiting the jungle in the rainy season be sure to bring some hiking boots and leech socks with you.
The leech socks will protect you from leeches of course, but will also protect your boots from getting too muddy and wet.
Malaria can be contracted everywhere apart from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but Dengue Fever can be contracted everywhere in Cambodia, so it’s best to protect yourself and also consider bringing some anti malarial tablets with you.
For a more detailed list of what to wear in jungles you can also refer to my jungle packing list.
Tammy covered up during a jungle hike
For the Beach
If you are coming overland from Thailand, Koh Kong will usually be your first stop. On top of jungles, there are also some lovely beaches and islands in that area.
The most famous beach town is Sihanoukville in the south of the country though. It has some absolutely stunning and deserted islands off shore.
A swimsuit or bikini is a must for sunbathing and swimming in the lovely warm waters. Around the island of Koh Rong there is also some excellent diving and snorkeling available, so if you don’t want to rent your snorkeling or diving gear make sure you bring it with you.
If you are not sunbathing you can wear a beach dress or sarong on top of your bikini (a sarong can also double up as a beach towel).
The stunning island of Koh Rong
As mentioned above Cambodia is very hot all year round. Between March and June is the hottest time and you need to make sure to carry enough water with you at all times to stay hydrated.
I like camelpak bottles, as you don’t need to unscrew them and it makes it really easy to drink out of them. Plus they won’t spill any water.
Believe me, the sun in Cambodia is brutal and I have lost count of the amount of tourists who collapsed in front of me due to heat exhaustion, because they didn’t cover their head or drank enough water.
On top of the anti malarial pills I mentioned above a lot of people suffer from Delhi belly or Montezuma’s revenge due to some bad hygiene practices at street food stalls or due to untreated water.
In case that happens bring some anti diarrhea tablets and rehydration sachets with you. You really don’t want to be running to the pharmacy if you are dealing with an upset stomach.
Make sure you don’t drink the tap water and if you do use iodine drops to purify the water. They are also great to disinfect leech bites by the way. If you don’t like the taste of Iodine you can also bring some chlorine tablets with you.
Even if you ensure you protect yourself from mosquitoes with long sleeves or repellent they will always find the one tiny part of your body that isn’t covered. If you scratch the bites they get even more itchy and can also get infected.
The magic cure used by all locals is Tiger Balm. You can buy it very cheaply all over the continent, and Cambodia is no exception. Just cover the bite with Tiger Balm and it will stop itching immediately.
I hope you find this list useful. If you think there is another must-have item to bring to Cambodia let us know in the comment section below.
What are your must have items in your Cambodia Packing List?
For more Southeast Asia packing list ideas, please read:
- What to Wear in Singapore: Vacation Tips from Local Fashion Blogger
- Thailand Packing List – Beaches and Islands
- The Ultimate Backpacking Southeast Asia Packing List
- Bali Style: What to Wear in Bali
Suggested Travel Resources:
I love these awesome tips in what to wear in Cambodia brought to us by Tammy. Please share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Tammy is a travel blogger and adventure junkie. She has endured the Everest Base Camp trek, abseiled down a skyscraper, cycled down the world’s most dangerous road, and trekked through the mosquito infested Amazon jungle. You can follow her adventures on her blog Tammy & Chris on the move or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.