Should you visit Cambodia or the Philippines?
Cambodia and the Philippines have roughly the same costs associated with travel. But these two countries have a great deal of different sights and attractions to offer visitors. Cambodia, being on the mainland, is not known for its beaches like the Philippines are. Instead, history and culture are Cambodia's main attractions.
Cambodia, famous for the temples at Angkor, is one of the poorest countries in the world. But this small nation is rich in culture, history, and cuisine. Extremely inexpensive for travelers, Cambodia offers an authentic glimpse into a rural and agricultural way of life alongside ancient and recent history.
The Philippines is an island nation known for stunning beaches and beautiful jungles, as well as affordable prices. The colonial history has left an interesting mix of culture, as well as historic landmarks. It's possible to visit colonial churches, typical Southeast Asian rice paddies, deserted islands, and beaches with crystal clear blue waters on a trip to this archipelago of a nation.
Which country is cheaper, the Philippines or Cambodia?
Should I visit Cambodia or the Philippines? This is a popular question for many travelers. By figuring out which country is more expensive, you'll understand where you'll get more bang for your buck. A week in the Philippines can cost you about $406 (per person), while a week in Cambodia may cost you around $345. These differences become even more noticable if you plan to spend a longer time in the country. 10 days, two weeks, or even one month of travel to the Philippines or Cambodia can really add to your travel budget.
Accommodation is often cheaper in Cambodia compared to the Philippines ($18 vs. $21). Budget travelers often stay in cheaper hostels and guest houses, while nicer hotels usually appeal to families and upscale travelers.
Compare hostel, B&B, and guesthouse prices between the Philippines and Cambodia to find the cheapest accommodation here: Philippines hostels and Cambodia hostels.
When comparing food in Cambodia vs. the Philippines they are not just different in cuisine, but also in price. Meal and restaurant costs in Cambodia ($12) are often cheaper than the Philippines ($14).
When is the best time to visit Cambodia and the Philippines?
The Temples of Angkor
Cambodia is generally warm, with a wet season from May to October. While it may rain every day, the rain tends to come in bursts, so travelers need not worry so much about activities being rained out or having their trip ruined. However, sometimes the rains can wash out roads, making transportation difficult or more expensive in some regions. Otherwise, one can visit Cambodia year-round.
The Philippines are the hottest from March to May, and from June to October it can be quite rainy. The coolest months are from November to February, but it is still warm and tropical. Don't let the rainy season scare you away, as the rains are not torrential and it still can rain during other parts of the year.
How much money will I need in Cambodia and the Philippines?
Overall, the Philippines and Cambodia are a very affordable destinations due to the low cost of living, low wages, and significant competition for tourism. In both countries, many local families have opened their doors to create family-run hotels or restaurants, especially in the larger urban areas, leading to an increase in competition. Overall, while the economy is growing as a whole in both nations, these countries must compete against their neighbors for revenue from tourism, leading to low prices. The overall economies of Cambodia and the Philippines are significantly based on agriculture instead of more high-end industries like manufacturing. This has led to higher levels of poverty and lower wages. But the overall service that goes into tourism is growing, and visitors from abroad can experience the friendly nature of these two countries for a very low price.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Cambodia and the Philippines?
Palawan, El Nido, Philippines
The Siem Reap (temples of Angkor) region is by far the most visited, and therefore the most expensive area of Cambodia. These ancient temples are, after all, why you and millions of others are visiting Cambodia. Here, hotel prices are high if you want to travel in luxury. But heavy competition in the budget market leaves plenty of cheaper options for those wishing to stay in a basic room or hostel. The entrance ticket to the temple complex itself is quite hefty, and rises almost every year. Also, expect to pay for some sort of transportation or tour around the complex, as it is too massive to merely walk around in. Plenty of tuk-tuks are available and double as taxis and tour guides if you don't want to pay for a full on tour. If you're really on a budget, rent a bike and expect to get a lot of exercise.
Phnom Penh can also have some higher prices for hotels and food, but is also large enough to support plenty of budget options, too. The same is true for the beach areas.
While the Philippines are overall very inexpensive, the popular beach resort areas tend to be higher in price. These destinations are why visitors come to this beautiful country, after all. Tourists flock to the beach, driving up prices for everything from hotels and hostels to restaurants and activities.
The rural parts of the countryside are much cheaper, especially if you can get away from the areas that are more frequently visited.
As in most countries, the larger cities can be expensive, but budget options are available. Some neighborhoods have higher prices due to high-end luxury accommodations, nightlife, and restaurants. But shop around to find better prices if you're on a budget.
How you can save money when visiting Cambodia and the Philippines?
Use local transportation whenever possible.
Eat where the locals eat. This is not just good for your budget, but the Cambodian cuisine is terrific. It's similar to Thai food, but often less spicy.
While in Cambodia, get off the beaten path. Angkor is amazing and you shouldn't miss it, but there are plenty of other great places in this dynamic country. The beaches, the capital city, and the beautiful countryside are all good options.
Stay with the locally owned hotels or hostels instead of international or national chain hotels. It's cheaper, better for the local economy, and you'll have a more authentic experience, too.
As transportation between the various islands of the Philippines can get expensive with flights and ferries, choose one or two islands and stay put. Hopping around will cost you a good deal more.