Packing List for Cambodia Tour

Cambodia is a hot country. You'll want light cloths and closed toed sandals. In a pinch you can buy shirts that sell for $60 in the U.S for $7-9 in Cambodia so don't over pack.

We don't advocate bringing everything listed here. Choose the items that fit with your travel style and needs.


Bring up to five short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts or blouses, the thinner the better, in a cotton/polyester blend. Shirts with long sleeves that roll up easily can double as short-sleeved. Look for a pattern or blended fabrics that show a minimum of wrinkles and dirt. Synthetic-blend fabrics (such as Coolmax or microfiber) often dry overnight.

Bring two pairs: one lightweight cotton and another super-lightweight pair. Jeans can be too hot for Cambodia (and are slow to dry). Many travelers like lightweight convertible pants/shorts with zip-off legs. While not especially stylish, they're functional in Cambodia, where you can use them to cover up inside Wats while still beating the heat outside. Button-down wallet pockets or zipper pockets are safest. Bring a swimming outfit. We will have at least one hotel with a pool for a few nights and it will be warm.

Bring five sets (lighter dries quicker). Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried.

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes with good traction. Sturdy closed toed sandles are a must such as Keens or simular brands. For a second pair,low-profile tennis shoes with a good tread are fine, Mephisto, Ecco, and Rieker, look dressier and more European than sneakers, but are still comfortable. Flip-flops are handy if you'll be taking showers or swimming in a pool. Whichever shoes you bring, make sure they are well broken in before you leave home.

Bring a tie or scarf. For instant respectability, bring anything lightweight that can break the monotony and make you look snazzy.

To use public pools, you'll need a swimsuit (men can't just wear shorts)

Bring Comfy streetwear - such as shorts, leggings, T-shirts, tank tops, yoga pants, and other lightweight athletic gear - can be used as pajamas, post-dinner loungewear, and a modest cover-up to get you to the bathroom down the hall.

Documents, Money, and Travel Info

Cambodia uses dollars as well as Khmer money, the Reil. They do not accept torn or worn bills. Most of the places we travell will have cash machines but will charge a $4 fee plus exhange rate if your bankcard doesn't provide free overseas exchange. Bring your preferred mix of a debit card, a credit card, and a fair amount of US cash (in clean $20 bills).

Bring your passport; plane tickets; driver's license; and any other useful cards Photocopies and a couple of passport-type photos can help you get replacements more quickly if the originals are lost or stolen. In your luggage, pack a record of all reservations especially air reservations. (Print out your hotel confirmation emails if the you are continuing on after this tour). Bring any necessary contact info for your highly recommended health or travel insurance.

Pack the travel info or guidebooks you'll want (or download it into your ereader). I like to rip out appropriate chapters from guidebooks and staple them together

Small notepad and pen. A tiny notepad in your back pocket or day pack is a great organizer, reminder, and communication aid.

An empty book to be filled with the experiences of your trip will be your most treasured souvenir. Attach a photocopied calendar page of your itinerary. Use a hardbound type designed to last a lifetime, rather than a floppy spiral notebook. Rick Steves has custom-designed Rick Steves Travel Journals are rugged, simple blank books that come in two sizes. Another great brand, with a cult following among travel writers, is Moleskine.

A lightweight pack is great for carrying your sunglasses, hat, camera, guidebook, and picnic goodies while you leave your large bag at the hotel. Don't use a fanny pack - they're magnets for pickpockets.

Toiletries and Personal Items

Because sinks in many hotels come with meager countertop space, I prefer a kit that can hang on a hook or a towel bar. Before cramming it with every cosmetic item you think you might use, ask yourself what toiletries you can live without for a short time. (But women may want to estimate how many tampons and pads they might need and pack them along. Packing them is easier than having to buy a too-small or too-large box in Cambodia.) For your overseas flight, put all squeeze bottles in sealable plastic baggies, since pressure changes can cause even good bottles to leak. Pack your own bar of soap or small bottle of shampoo if you want to avoid using hotel bathroom "itsy-bitsies" and minimize waste and garbage.

There is no Malaria where we are going but Dengue fever is a slight possibility. In 4 years of getting bit daily Lisa never got it and Michael got it once. But why risk it. It's so easy to put it on in the morning and evening for the few days you are here.

Even if you check your suitcase on the flight, always carry on essential toiletries, including any prescription medications (don't let the time difference trick you into forgetting a dose). Keep medicine in original containers, if possible, with legible prescriptions.

Bring a variety of sizes. In addition to holding your carry-on liquids, they're ideal for packing leftover picnic food, containing wetness, and bagging potential leaks before they happen. The two-gallon jumbo size can be used to pack (and compress) clothing or do laundry. Bring extras for the flight home.

A tiny box of detergent or a plastic squeeze bottle of concentrated, multipurpose, biodegradable liquid soap is handy for laundry. I find hotel shampoo works fine as laundry soap when doing our wash in the sink. For a spot remover, bring a few Shout wipes or a dab of Goop grease remover in a small plastic container.

Rick Steves sells clothline here:Clothesline Hang it up in your hotel room to dry your clothes. The twisted-rubber type needs no clothespins. Or just a thin piece of rope is good too.

You'll find bath towels at all fancy and moderately priced hotels, and most cheap ones. Some people bring a thin hand towel for the occasional need. Washcloths are rare in Cambodia, so you might want to pack a quick-drying microfiber one. Disposable washcloths that pack dry but lather up when wet (such as Olay's 4-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths) are another option; cut them in half to make them last longer.

Clothes age rapidly while traveling. Add a few safety pins and extra buttons.

Stick one of these in your day pack, in case you wind up at a bathroom with no toilet paper.

Make sure you have an alarm to wake yourself up (your smartphone, a little clock, etc.). At budget hotels, wake-up calls are particularly unreliable.

If night noises bother you, you'll love a good set of expandable foam plugs. They're handy for snoozing on trains and flights, too. If we get lucky enough to see a Cambodian wedding we still might want to go to sleep before they do.

These are generally provided but not always so if you can't risk a bad-hair day, bring a travel-friendly one from home.


Note that many of these things are high-ticket items; guard them carefully or consider insuring them.

Your phone from the US likely won't work in Cambodia. The USA is on a different system. But if it works with WIFI you can still use it for email, Skype, and web applications. Your tour guides will have cell phones that work in Cambodia for emergency use. You can purchase a basic phone and minutes in Cambodia starting at $30 with enough minutes to talk locally for hours or back to the U.S for about $.40 cents a minute. I recommend using Skype (pay as your go) or a free online service such as facebook messaging or others. Remember the cell phone you buy in Cambodia won't be usable in the USA.

Take along an extra memory card and battery, and don't forget the charger and a cable for downloading images.

Download apps, ebooks, and music before you leave home.

We don't recommend you lug a laptop around as it is easily damaged or forgotten or stolen. But for some people they can't leave home with it and we understand this.

If you're traveling with a laptop, a flash drive can be handy for backing up files and photos. Cloud services can be difficult to access through the limited wifi at hotels. If you buy a smart phone in Cambodia however you can tether it to your computer. Remember the cell phone you buy in Cambodia won't be usable in the USA.

These are a must for listening to music, tuning in to or simply drowning out whiny kids on the plane.

Bring each device's charger, or look into getting a charger capable of charging multiple devices at once. Cambodia is 220 volts but most modern chargers can handle 110 though 240 volts.

For details on adaptors for Cambodia: Adaptors for Cambodia.

Optional Bring-Alongs

We don't advocate bringing everything listed here. Choose the items that fit with your travel style and needs.

The plastic half-liter mineral water bottles sold throughout Cambodia are reusable and work great. If you bring one from home, make sure it's empty before you go through airport security (fill it at a drinking fountain once you're through).

Handy for reading under the sheets, late-night trips down the hall, exploring in the evening. Tiny-but-powerful LED flashlights - about the size of your little finger - are extremely bright, compact, and lightweight. Camping-type headlamps or even better, the flashlight app on your smart phone will also do the trick.

For scenery or Wat and museum interiors.

(or neck rest). These are great for snoozing in planes, trains, and automobiles. Some travelers also swear by an eye mask for blocking out early-rising or late-setting sun.

A small roll of duct tape can work miracles as a temporary fix - mending a punctured bag, solving an emergency shoe problem, and so on. Conserve space by spooling only as much as you might need (less than a foot) around a short pencil or dowel.

. Use it to lock your backpack zippers shut. Note that if you check your bag on a flight, the lock may be broken to allow the bag to be inspected. Improve the odds of your lock's survival by buying one approved by the Transportation Security Administration - security agents can open the lock with a special master key. Or buy plastic locks or zip-ties to secure zippers - be sure to pack fingernail clippers or TSA-approved scissors so you can open them when you arrive.

Some hotel sinks and tubs have no stoppers. This flat, flexible plastic disc - which works with any size drain - allows you to wash your clothes or take a bath.

A collection of show-and-tell pictures (either digital or paper) is always a great conversation piece with Europeans you meet.