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Trip Report Enchanting Cambodia - So much more than just its temples

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Hello fellow travelers,

My husband and I just got back from a 2 week trip to Cambodia and Singapore. We are a couple in our 30s from New York. We spent 9 days in Cambodia and ended our trip with family in Singapore.

We fell in love with Cambodia and its people and hope that our trip report encourages other travelers to travel outside of Siem Reap and see more of what this country has to offer. Cambodia is more than just its temples. It is moving, enchanting and you will leave with memories of places and people who will always be in your heart.

Our itinerary was as follows:
Day 0 – Fly from JFK to REP on Korean Air. Reach Siem Reap late at night
Day 1 – Temples
Day 2 – Temples and a trip out on the Tonle Sap Lake to Kompong Phhluk
Day 3 – Temples (go further out to Banteay Srei), spend the evening in Siem Reap
Day 4 – Morning in Siem Reap, taxi to Battambang in the afternoon
Day 5 – Battambang, explore the countryside, bamboo train
Day 6 – Battambang, cooking class and another trip out to the countryside
Day 7 – Morning bus to Kampong Chhnang, explore the floating villages and Ondong Rossey
Day 8 – Morning bus to Phnom Penh
Day 9 – Phnom Penh
Day 10 – Fly to Singapore on Silk Air

In Siem Reap, we stayed at the Bopha Angkor. Lovely hotel, great breakfasts. We stayed by the pool side, but the pool was closed. We got an internet special rate of $55 pn with the 4th night free, so worked out to about $40 pn.
In Battambang, we stayed at the Star hotel in a suite for $25 pn. Clean, comfortable and great staff.
In Kampong Chhnang, we stayed at the Sokha Guest House for $8 pn. This was a basic room with a fan but no AC. It was very pleasant with the rains, so didn’t need an AC.
In Phnom Penh, we stayed at the Manor House for $48 pn. Lovely hotel, quiet location, nice pool.
All reservations were done via email except for the Sokha guest house, which we booked by calling them from Siem Reap.

Had we more time, we would have loved to add Kampot and Kep to our itinerary.

Two weeks before our trip, typhoon Ketsana struck Cambodia. Even though its impact on Cambodia was negligible compared to the Philippines and Vietnam, it did take a heavy toll in some areas. For several days, parts of Siem Reap were flooded in knee deep water, including our hotel, Bopha Angkor. We were a little concerned about access to our hotel and temples. But, by the time we got there, the only evidence of the flooding was a closed swimming pool and damaged roads. Of course, outside of town and in Kampong Thom province, the damage was severe with houses and crops destroyed.

While we were there, we mostly had blue skies with hot humid days and pleasant evenings. It rained on a few occasions, but it was usually in short very heavy spurts. It never rained for more than 2 hours at a stretch.

Our trip report is actually a photo report – here’s the URL.
http://culturesconnected.smugmug.com/Travel/Cambodia

There are many galleries – one for each day of the trip. We have only completed Days 1 through 4 so far. We are working on the rest of the report and will post an update as other sections are completed. We have tried our best to filter the enormous number of pictures that we took, but there are still many pictures posted. Please feel free to browse or skip as you please. We hope you enjoy!

If you have any questions, let me know, and I’ll do my best to respond. Thanks to everyone on this board who shared their stories of Cambodia that helped us plan our trip.

- Seema

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