Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Cambodia, the country of inspiring temples, the friendliest locals, prettiest sights and great food. It's in the heart of South East Asia between Vietnam and Laos and is one of the most beautiful countries I've set eyes on. I was only there for 7 days but wish I had the opportunity to experience its quieter areas and coastline. If you're planning to go to Cambodia, here's everything you need to know before you go.

Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Currency

Currency in Cambodia is more simple than you may think. Pretty much everywhere they'll accept US Dollars and Cambodian Riel. This means, when you're changing up your money, you can bring either with you. I was hesitant on only having Dollars and decided to get Riel too, but there was really no need as both were widely used across the country. Riel is used mostly for small change, for instance, if you're changing up a few dollars.

Angkor Archeological Park


Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Renowned as one of the most popular attractions in Siem Reap, the Angkor Archeological Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Cambodia. As one of the largest religious monuments in the world, it features the Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. The Park was still one of my favourite things I did in Cambodia, however, there are some things to be aware of before you go. The tickets are really expensive with 3 day passes costing $62. Also, it's worth noting, that the temples are located miles apart from each other that you'll need to hire a tuk-tuk driver to take you around or go on a tour. Due to its cost and size, it's important to budget and makes time in your agenda to visit all the temples. For more information, check out my Angkor Archeological Park guide.

Street cons 

Like any new place, street cons are, unfortunately, very much a thing, and something to be wary of. The main one you'll notice in Cambodia is when young children are trying to sell you things which could be anything from bracelets to flowers. If you buy them, you're aiding towards keeping the children out of education. Children are used for selling things as tourists will be more likely to purchase something off them. 

Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Greeting 

There is no shaking of hands or waving in Cambodia, their greeting is sampeah, and there are different ways of carrying out to show respect. The sampeah is achieved by placing both hands like a lotus flower on your chest. The level of where your hands are placed goes up depending on your ranking in society.

Language 

You'll be quite surprised that a lot of Cambodians do speak good English, however, it's worth your while to learn a few phrases that you're able to understand and communicate with the locals in their Khmer language.

Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Dress appropriately

Buddhism dominates in Cambodia so it's important to be respectful, especially when you're visiting the many temples and coming into contact with monks and other religious folks. For instance, ensure you cover up your shoulders and knees and essentially, aren't showing too much skin.

Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia

Directions

Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers can more often than not have no idea where they are going unless it's a renowned tourist sight. For that matter, try and download a Google Map or search the location beforehand to keep them informed.

Visas

Entering Cambodia will require a visa (depending on where you're from of course). I'm British and therefore needed one to get into the country. They're really easy to do - simply buy an Evisa online. The approval process is really quick and you'll usually get the confirmation email in 24 hours - however, it can sometimes take up to 3 days. Simply print it out and have it with you on your arrival to the country.

Everything you need to know before visiting Cambodia


I hope you enjoyed this post. When are you visiting Cambodia?

Thank you for reading <3

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking around South East Asia was one of my favourite adventures to date and I loved every second of it. It allowed me to experience a new culture, venture across 4 different countries, try some of the most delicious food and see plenty of beautiful sights. If you're planning a trip to South East Asia or would love to learn more about my trip, here are a few questions I've been asked.

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

Are there any packing tips you would give in hindsight? And also is there anything you packed that you didn't need? 

I went travelling for 2 months in total so getting the balance right of what to pack was quite tricky. I think I nearly got it right but did end up over packing my tops and flowy trousers as I thought they would come in handy. My main packing tip is to pack versatile clothing that you can use on lots of different occasions and bring more light-weighted items as possible. If you don't think you brought enough clothing, you can easily buy plenty as you're travelling and the same goes with beauty items too. The only thing I would say to overpack on is suncream as it's really expensive in Asia. For more information, check out my packing guide and beauty essentials post.

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia
What's the most important thing to be open-minded about?

This is a really interesting question! I would say the most important thing to be open-minded about the culture, mannerisms, and religion. Buddhism is the main religion in South East Asia that it's important to be respectful in all aspects. When you visit temples, abide by the rules, wear respectful clothing and generally be respectful when others are praying. The same goes for their culture; in Asia covering up, bowing as they say thank you, and having kids running around in a family restaurant is all part of the norm. You'll get used to their culture and absolutely love how chilled and lovely the locals are.

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

What's your favourite place you've been?

It's hard to pinpoint a favourite place as I literally loved every single place but some places stood out more than others. Out of all the places I went to the ones that stood out are Chiang Mai, Koh Lanta, and Koh Tao in Thailand, Siem Reap in Cambodia and Hue and Halong Bay in Vietnam. Each one of those places I loved for different reasons, but overall it was because of the laidback vibe and how I felt at home there. I'd happily go back to all of those places again!

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

What state is your backpack in?

It's a lot dirtier and lighter now!

Favourite photo from the trip?
Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

I took thousands of photos on the trip and there are too many favourite pictures that it was hard to pick. However, I love this one of me and my boyfriend Dan as it shows our love for each other with a beautiful backdrop on our favourite island, Koh Tao.

Would you do it all again?

100%! Now it's a few months on, all I keep thinking about the incredible time I had.

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia

Hardest thing you had to deal with?

I think the hardest thing was definitely being away from home for a long period of time, and also stepping out of my comfort zone. Although by stepping out of my comfort zone, I overcame so many fears and feel amazing for that.

Favourite part of the holiday?

This is a really hard question, each part had so many highlights that it's hard to pinpoint one. My highlights include meeting the elephants in Chiang Mai, island hopping in Thailand, visiting The Angkor Wat in Cambodia and rowing along the Mekong River in Vietnam wearing the traditional hats.

Favourite country you've visited?

It's definitely a tie between Thailand and Vietnam. I was in Thailand for 5 weeks and fell in love with it more every day but with Vietnam, I only felt like I scratched the surface and can't wait to revisit, and explore more.

Q&A: Backpacking around South East Asia


I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any questions about my travels?

Thank you for reading <3


How to prepare for a long-haul flight

Well hello to you my reader chums! Long-haul flights are very much controversial, you either love them or hate them. And whether you have lots of experience or this is your first every long-haul flight, it's important to be prepared. Here are a few of my favourite tips on how to prepare for a long-haul flight.

How to prepare for a long-haul flight

Wear comfortable clothes

If you're going to be sitting in the same position for hours on end then you need to wear something you feel fully comfortable in, whether that's a tracksuit, loose trousers or even your pyjamas - it's your call. It's not about looking stylish, it's about feeling comfortable in what you're wearing.

Stay hydrated

When you're up in the air for a long period of time, naturally you will feel dehydrated physically and your skin also. This is why it's incredibly important to stay hydrated, and that means making use of all the complimentary drinks and bringing a water bottle on board. The same goes with your skin; throughout the flight, you can do a hydrating facemask and, moisturise once or twice so your face won't feel as dry when you land.

Bring an eye mask - and get some rest

Long-haul flights are undoubtedly, long. And with that, you should use a chunk of that time to get some shut-eye. Whether it's a 6 hour or a 14-hour flight, sleep is incredibly important that you don't feel as lethargic when you land, especially if it's an overnight flight. If you struggle with sleeping when flying, then bring an eye mask with you. It'll shut out any light (if it's a day flight), and help limit visual distraction.

How to prepare for a long-haul flight

Keep occupied 

Despite the wide variety of entertainment on long-haul flights including movies, television, and music, it's important to try and keep occupied and not look at the time - otherwise, you'll really be counting down the minutes. Keep yourself occupied in more ways than one from using the inflight entertainment, reading to proactively doing things and moving around.

Pack your hand luggage correctly

When you're packing your hand luggage bag, you want to do it in the easiest way to make things accessible. During the course of the flight, you're not going to want to have your handbag where your foot area is, as you'll want as much legroom as possible. This means, to easily access what you think you need, put all your essentials in a makeup bag, and then you can easily pull it out without rifling through your things.

Walk around every now and then

Long-haul flights are very tiring for the body, even though you're sitting around the entire time. Because of this, you'll want to walk around every now and then to keep your blood pumping around the body and your energy levels up.

Bring your own headphones

To feel a bit more at home on the flight, bring your own headphones for the in-flight entertainment. This will mean you won't have to use the ones given to you.

Layer up 

When you're tired or as it goes long into the flight, you'll start to get a bit chilly or want to feel cosier. Usually, the airline will provide blankets and pillows for your comfort but to be extra comfortable and warm, pack yourself a cosy jumper.

Try and relax

You're up in the air for a long period of time so the best thing to really do is try and relax. This can be by channeling into the movies, listening to a calming app, doing a facemask or blocking everyone out with earplugs and going to sleep.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you been on a long-haul flight before?

Thank you for reading <3


7 day guide to Cambodia

Well hello to you my reader chums! Cambodia was one of those countries I wanted to see and never really thought I'd have the opportunity, but it happened and I still can't believe I've ticked it off my list. Cambodia is a beautiful country and somewhere I wish I spent a lot longer than 7 days. It's packed with a lot of history, some of the world's most incredible temples, friendly locals and delicious cuisine.

7 day guide to Cambodia

If you're planning to visit Cambodia for a week and unsure where to begin, here is what I got up to for 7 days in Cambodia.

2-3 days in Phnom Penh

It's always worth visiting a capital city, as even if they are louder and busier, they're the heart of each country, and Phnom Penh was no different. I was rather surprised when I first landed in Phnom Penh, my first impressions weren't what I expected. It was crazily busy, a bit dirty, and a lot more touristy than expected. Aside from the initial shock, as I explored more, I liked the hustle and bustle of the city.

7 day guide to Cambodia

Phnom Penh is packed with plenty of must-see sights, museums, temples and cool bars. It had a lot more of a party vibe then I expected in the night time, but during the day, despite the busy city atmosphere, there was a cool and addictive vibe to the place. Here are all the things you should get up to in Phnom Penh.

National Museum of Cambodia - If you love history and learning everything about new places, then the first stop should be the National Museum of Cambodia. This museum is a hub for all Cambodia's artifacts and really gives you an insight into the country. I found it really interesting to walk around - and the outside had a beautiful courtyard. After wandering around, you can sit in the gardens and take a moment at peace. The museum cost around $8 each to get in.

7 day guide to Cambodia

The Royal Palace - The Royal Palace was my favourite part of the city, as I can't get over its beauty or the surrounding temples in the complex. The Royal Palace complex had the main building which is the Royal Palace, several temples including the Silver Pagoda and a couple of statues with manicured lawns. If you're going straight from the National Museum, it's a really short walk so it's best to do them on the same day.

7 day guide to Cambodia


7 day guide to Cambodia

Wat Ounalom - Another incredible temple located near the Royal Palace is the Wat Ounalom. It's lovely to walk around and has a huge gold Buddha at the front. This temple is also near the river so after visiting, you could have a lovely stroll along the river and visit the riverside restaurants - which are some lovely places to eat.

Wat Phnom - Wat Phnom is located in the heart of a park where the public and locals alike spend the cooler part of the days strolling around. The temple is sectioned off in the park as you need to pay a small entrance fee before you get in.

Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes - Something I didn't know about Cambodia its history, especially the tragic period of the Khmer Rouge takeover, and what they did to their own people. The Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crime will open your eyes to the pure horror which happened in Cambodia during the 1970s/80s. The $10 entry fee includes an audio guide that explains everything about the history as you walk around the prison, memorial, and museum. It's honestly a heartbreaking and eye-opening experience.

7 day guide to Cambodia


Killing Fields of Choeng Ek - After you've been to the Tuol Sleng Museum, you have to also make a visit to the Killing Fields. They're located several miles away and you will need to take a tuk-tuk there or book a tour, however, the distance is worth it. As you walk around the fields with your tour guide, you'll be shocked by the unbelievable horrors that occurred.

7 day guide to Cambodia

Night food market - Asia is renowned for its night markets and pretty much every city will have one. Phnom Penh was no different and had a very intimate market. The food stalls were pretty much all the same and offer some of Cambodia's most authentic food.

7 day guide to Cambodia

Where to stay

In Phnom Penh, it's great to be in the main part of the city as that way you're pretty much in walking distance from all the sights and don't have to spend too much on transport. I stayed at Rachana Hostel, which was a lovely place in the centre of town, close by to lots of the attractions I've listed and had easy access to restaurants, bars, and the airport.

3-4 days in Siem Reap

I only had the opportunity to see two areas of Cambodia and Siem Reap was my favourite out of the two.  It had a much calmer appeal, the city centre was much prettier, the temples were out of this world and I just loved exploring it even more so every day. Siem Reap is easily accessible from Phom Penh, you can either get a bus which will take around 5 hours or fly there, which is a lot quicker. Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat and has many other things you need to see, and will love.

7 day guide to Cambodia


Angkor Archeological Park - The main draw to Siem Reap for most people is the Angkor Archeological Park, and I can see why as it was my highlight of Cambodia. The park is absolutely huge with the main temple, the Angkor Wat. The Angkor Wat alone is an incredible experience and you can walk around it for an hour or two. For the park, I would say you should take two days trying to see it all, one day doing the first route with half of the temples, and the second day seeing the others. I'd also highly recommend waking up and seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat as it's an experience like no other. You'll be blown away by the temple's history and beauty. Tickets for a 1-day pass is $37, 3-day pass is $62 and a 7-day pass is $72. For more information, check out my full detailed guide to the Angkor Archeological Park.

7 day guide to Cambodia

7 day guide to Cambodia

Browse around the night market - The night market in Siem Reap was one of my favourites in all of South East Asia. It had a unique appeal compared to other markets I've been to with vendors selling unusual handmade items, beauty products and array of different food stalls. It's worth a visit and can make for a lovely browse even if you don't buy anything.

7 day guide to Cambodia


Check out pub street - Pub Street is the equivalent to a pub crawl in Europe and the place to be for a drink or two. It doesn't necessarily have to be a place to get drunk as it's also full of restaurants, street vendors and close by to a hub of other restaurants, shops and massage places. At night, it literally lights up with pretty lanterns and makes for an exciting place to be.

7 day guide to Cambodia

'The Lanes' of Siem Reap - You've heard of the Brighton Lanes, well I've nicknamed a cute little area I came across as 'The Lanes' of Siem Reap. Right near Pub Street, is an area called 'The Alley' and it really reminded me of the Brighton Lanes. They're full of quaint family run restaurants, cute boutique style shops and Instagram worthy places to eat. It leads off through a few roads where you'll just think 'this place is lovely'. It makes for a nice stroll and if you fancy it, a bite to eat.

Royal Gardens - To escape the main hub of Siem Reap, walk over to the Royal Gardens. It's a pretty stretch of green that you can soak up the sunshine and experience a bit of serenity. The Gardens are about a half hour walk from the main part of town, and nearby is mall where you can stop off for a bite to eat.

7 day guide to Cambodia

Where to stay

I stayed at a bit more of a luxurious place in Siem Reap, the Ring Boutique Hotel. It was stunning, and our rooms really did symbolise a ring - as the bed was in a ring shape. All the rooms were lined up next to each other along the pool area, and ours was literally a step from the pool. Our hotel was in a key location, as we were only a 10-minute walk into the main town. 

Where to eat

Chamkur - In 'The Lane' section my boyfriend and I came across the cutest vegetarian restaurant called Chamkur. We both weren't that hungry but shared the Cambodian curry of secrets and it was honestly delicious -and one of the best curries I've tried in Asia.

Aura Greek Kitchen - Even though I was in Asia, I couldn't resist the appeal of Greek food, as it's one of my favourites. The Aura Greek Restaurant didn't let me down and it tasted of traditional Greek food, and I loved it.

Temple Restaurant - The Temple chain was a thing in Siem Reap as there were a restaurant, bar, and supermarket with the same branding. I'd recommend this place if you'd like a big breakfast, brunch or classic English meal.

I hope you enjoyed this guide. Have you visited Cambodia before?

Thank you for reading <3




5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Backpacking Asia

Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking around Asia for 2 months was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had, and I'd love to relive it again. In preparation for my trip, I never had been backpacking before or travelled for that extend of time so I didn't really know what to expect. If you're going to backpack Asia, here are 5 things that you should know before you go on your trip.

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Backpacking Asia

You don't need to pack lots of clothes

When it came to packing for Asia, I wanted to bring lots and lots of clothes as they were supposed to last me for 2 months. However, I soon found, I really didn't need to bring too many clothes with me because as much as I wanted to look cute on my Instagram feed, more clothes meant more weight to carry and I could just rewash everything I brought. Also, going to Asia, you're no short of a clothes market where you can buy the cutest of clothes for only a couple of pounds. That means if you bring a couple of versatile clothing pieces, you can then buy a few items along the way too - and a lot of the stuff you buy will be lightweight.

Asia isn't so different

Asia has a complete cultural difference and has unique sights compared to the UK, but what I mean by it isn't so different is the fact that it's not like Mars. You'll still be able to have fresh water, good food, wifi and see plenty of normal chains like Mcdonalds. Before I went, I thought countries like Cambodia would be quite off the grid, however, a lot of the places are westernised and do speak quite good English. When you go off the beaten path, that's when fewer people will speak English and you won't see many 'western' things.

Always remember, safety first 

In any new country, you go to, you're bound to have your guard up a little and feel unsafe. However, as I travelled through Asia, I felt incredibly safe and at home the entire time. I don't know if it was because of the calm nature of the locals or the lack of dangerous things I witnessed that made me feel that way, but I did. Even at night time, as I walked the streets with my boyfriend, I never felt alarmed or frightened like I have back in the UK.

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Backpacking Asia

Although I did feel safe, it was important to still look after my things and always ensure I had my valuables close to me and made use of safes in hotels to lock away my money/passport. It's also important to be wary of scams as you're travelling and people conning you out of your money. Healthwise you want to keep safe by wearing mosquito repellent, taking digestion tablets and wearing lots of suncream.

Street food isn't scary

When I initially arrived in Thailand and saw my first street food market, I was very worried about buying any and eating it. However, street food is some of the best food I've tried across Asia, it's incredibly authentic and made with fresh ingredients. If you're worried about having a bad belly or getting food poisoning, on the lead up to your trip, take probiotics and digestion support pills as it'll help your gut get used to the bacteria.

Everything is super cheap

If you've read any travel blog or heard about someone's experience in Asia then you'd know literally everything is super cheap. You can buy dinner for the equivalent of a pound, alcohol is ridiculously dirt cheap and you can get a top-notch hotel for nothing compared to what you pay in Europe. The main cost of Asia is literally getting there. Once you've arrived, public transport is so affordable as are activities, food and having fun. Even though things are cheap, I would recommend setting a budget for each day just so you can work within your means and have leftover cash for emergencies - as trust me you may run into a few of them.

I hope you enjoyed this tip style post. When are you planning to go backpacking?

Thank you for reading <3

Backpacking beauty essentials

Well hello to you my reader chums! If you're a regular reader then you'll know in February, I went on my first backpacking adventure to South East Asia with my boyfriend. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved every single minute - and really wish I could go back.

Backpacking beauty essentials

If you're in the situation where you're considering backpacking or you're about to start gathering all your belongings, you've come to the right place. When I was planning what to bring, I read loads of packing guides and tips as I had no clue on what beauty essentials to bring. Here are a couple of things that will come in handy on your trip.

Shampoo and conditioning bars

When it comes to a backpack, the most important thing you'll want to keep in mind is weight. As unlike a suitcase, you'll be carrying it on your back so any weight you can limit is a blessing (trust me). One way to do this is to buy converting to shampoo and conditioner bars, rather than pack usual shampoo bottles. Shampoo and conditioner bars are super lightweight, last a lot longer than normal shampoo bottles and are eco-friendly. A usual shampoo bar can last for up to 60 washes which means if you're travelling for two months, you'll only need to bring one.

Tweezers 

Whilst you're travelling, something that you'll want at hand, or in your makeup bag is tweezers. These are perfect to fix your eyebrows on the road, any loose hairs, and can also come in handy in the weirdest situations.

Makeup cloths

If you're bringing makeup along on your trip then you're going to want to take it off every evening. You can easily bring cotton pads and a makeup remover along, however, to save space and be a little more eco-friendly, a makeup cloth will come in handy. Cloths like the Magnitone wipeout cloth are the perfect solution. They wipe makeup off with just water and after a few uses, you can pop it in the washing machine and use it again.

Suncream/facial suncream

If you're planning to go somewhere hot, suncream is a vital thing. If it's Asia for instance that you're going to then suncream is super expensive whilst you're travelling - and you should buy a few bottles before you fly out. However, with other areas of the world, you can buy it as and when on your trip. For hotter countries, it's really important to also invest in face suncream as you want to protect that skin as well as the skin on the rest of your body.

Backpacking beauty essentials

A good moisturiser

When you're travelling, staying in new hotels and going on lots of public transport, it can really have an effect on your skin. This is why it's important to ensure you moisturise and pack a good moisturiser with you.

Tangle Teezer 

Tangle Teezers are one of those items that everyone needs in their life. No hairbrush has ever matched to a Tangle Teezer, which brushes my hair with ease. The good thing about Tangle Teezers is that you can buy mini versions of them and take them wherever you go.

Multi-use makeup products 

You'll want to minimise how much makeup you bring when packing your backpack. The best way to do this is to pack multi-use products. For instance, a palette that has both a bronzer and highlight or use bronzer as an eye shadow.

Minis or travel bottles

When you're travelling, the best way to transport all your beloved toiletries is by decanting them into travel bottles or buying minis. That way you won't bulk up your toiletry bags with big bottles. And, once they run out, you can easily buy more along the way.

A makeup bag organiser

When you're travelling with a backpack, organisation is key - I cannot stress that enough. Packing cubes became a lifesaver for my clothes and the same goes with beauty bits. I organised it by separating my wash stuff in one bag (like shampoo, razors, makeup remover, etc) and then in the other bag, my makeup and brushes.

I hope you enjoyed this packing guide. Where are you going backpacking?

Thank you for reading <3