Travel Tips: The Best Cambodia Guidebook is FREE

Last Updated on August 22, 2012 by Christine Kaaloa

SiemReap guide

Siem Reap Guide

That’s right. The BEST guidebook in Cambodia is FREE!

At my guesthouse, I picked up the Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and didn’t know how valuable that magazine was at the time. Eventually, I found it to be the all-around the best guide for travelers to Siem Reap and Cambodia.  It was better than my heavy guidebook and had every piece of information I needed to plan my itinerary or know how to get around.

What does it cover?

A lot!

At first, I thought it was just going to be a directory or services, but it’s all neatly laid out and organized so that you can find what you want without having to dig so hard. It covers nightlife, hotels, restaurants, shopping, tour operators, historical facts about Angkor Wat, Tonle Sap and other sights in and around Siem Reap. But that’s not the beauty of it…

It has up-to-date bus times/schedules, price ranges and websites of hotels, colored maps of the city and it’s periphery, banking information, post office times, shipping information and basically, every essential phone number, estimated cost, admission fees and hours of operation. And more…

cambodia guides canby

Apologies for the bad photos. They’re taken with my iPodTouch in bad lighting.

How do you get to Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep?

It’s in here.

Want to volunteer or know of NGOs  and charitable causes where you can make a difference?

The guidebook’s got it.

What about overland border crossing advice and how to get in/out through Thailand, Vietnam, Laos?

They’ll even show you how to do it yourself , where to avoid scams and how much to expect to pay each leg of the way!

What is the history of Khmer dance and where can you see it performed?

Yup, it’s in there.

Get into an emergency and need a hospital or to contact your embassy?

Uh-huh, you’ve got options.

Want to know how much you should look to pay if you hire a motordop, tuk tuk, taxi and get recommended businesses to call?

You’ll know the going rate of things and it’s even got names of recommended taxi hires.

Suggestions on tour operators or specialty tours (4 WD, ATV, motorcycle, etc…) you can take?

Names, phone numbers, websites and short descriptions of what each operator handles… what more do you need?

Basically, this book is gold.


Are there other city guides?

Yes.  The guides are published by Canby Publications, whom I referred often to in my post about Phnom Penh, especially for their maps.  They publish free guides for Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville too. However, if you’re looking for guides to other places like Kep or Battambang, you can check their website. It’s very well informed.


Where do you pick them up?

Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure. I picked them up at my guesthouse and they’re supposedly at select locations. I suspect you might find them at hostels, tourist restaurants and pubs or clubs or you can email,  shoot them a line on Twitter @Canby_Cambodia or find them on Facebook.


How good is it in comparison to other country guide books?

So far, it’s the best I’ve seen.

A large part of my frustration with regular guidebooks is that their facts aren’t always current. From the time they’re written to the time they’ve been published, much time has gone by and prices are out of date. Also, with developing countries, budget hotels and guesthouses are sometimes limited to a small handful that have been tried and some lack contact or website information.

How much do I think you’ll like this?…

This book’s so thorough and loaded with essential information, that:

… it’ll make you wish you had it before entering Cambodia,… so you could plan your itinerary!
… it’ll make you want to throw away your paper-weight of a Lonely Planet!
…. if you don’t like it, I’ll personally give you your money back!

But wait, it’s FREE!


Have you ever discovered a country visitor’s guide to be better than a regular guidebook? If so, did they offer that was so unique? 

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19 Comments. Leave new

  • Angkor Wat. One of my dream destinations.

  • Hey…I couldn’t reply to your comment, so I had to write a new one. Oh, I hope you get it. Anyway, my friend is getting married in Thailand, so I figure I should take this opportunity to travel Asia. I’m planning on going to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. I have no clue where I’m going, so I’m so grateful for you blog. I feel like I should see the city and the country side. Girl, I need some major help. LOL. I guess that why I feel like I need to buy some travel books. I’ve heard of the Rough Guide series. I’m going to check them out. If that doesn’t work, I’ll check out the Lonely Planet. Thanks!

    • @Jen: Got it. That sounds like a perfect incentive to do the Southeast Asia tour. You won’t regret it. I love it and could keep going back. Thailand and Vietnam seem like the biggest that you may want to afford a chunk of time for traveling…. well, I guess all the countries would be ideal, the longer you can stay. Your U.S. dollar will really stretch too… it’ll spoil you. Definitely see both, city and country as obviously, the rural setting is much different. The reason I also got the Rough Guides, … it was an all-in-one. It got me around a lot.

      Cambodia, obviously pick up one of these guides in the cities I mentioned (or check the site if you want to pre-plan) and Our Lady Expatriate mentioned a couple more. If you ever want to meet for coffee, give me a shoutout. I’ll be in Hawaii for a few months more until I figure my nxt launch.

  • Reckon you’re spot on the money, lady! I’m such a big fan of the Pocket Guides like “Drinking and Dining in Phnom Penh” and “Out and About in Phnom Penh”. I love that they’re updated every 3 months, have clear addresses for each place, and you can’t beat free! If anyone is visiting Phnom Penh and looking for these little mini-books full of ideas, I’ve had the best luck in the touristy restaurants and guest houses near the riverside – but don’t get the wrong impression: expats use them, too!
    Great post – so glad to know there’s guides for cities other than Phnom Penh! Cheers 🙂

    • @Our Dear Lady Expatriate: Thanks for sharing those other guides. I didn’t know about them but I suspect they might be found in the cafes and nightlife types of places where expats and tourists go. I’ve been surprised how Cambodia is so well documented. It’s the most organized I’ve found any country to be in that regard!

  • Simply a great find. I remember when guesthouses in many places used to give away free guides like this. I guess it’s all moved online now. Shame, as it’s still not as accessible as a book in your hand. (note if you are reading this in 5 years time take a look at the date on this post – things have changed)

  • I need to remember this for next summer! I hope I can find it…I’m pretty good at picking up free publication everywhere I go. It’s a habit. Did I tell you I was going to travel Asia for a month? I can’t find any good tour books. Is there any suggestion of books I can pick up at Amazon?

    • @Jen: Oooh, when are you going? I took a Rough Guides Southeast Asia on a Budget. It worked fine for me. It’s always a toss up between that and Lonely Planet. Depending on the country, you can generally buy these guidebooks used or pirated when you’re in SEAsia. It’s usually around 1/2-2/3 the regular cost.