Cambodia Trip

Mar 8th, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #1  
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Cambodia Trip

Me and 3 friends are planning this journey to Cambodia, with maybe a full day's excursion to the Angkor wat. We have estimated around 4 days in August for our trip, and really are up for any ideas.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how I should construct my itinerary.
Aleckii is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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not sure how interested you are in the ruins and the former civilization, but most feel that 3 full days is a minimum for getting a good viewing of the ruins....they area is huge and each setting is different...

the town itself is not nice really
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Like I have been in Rome, Italy too, just last month. And though people have said we need a bare minimum of 3 days, By end of day 2 I was slightly bored. And the 3rd day, instead I did a short detour to another city.

I'm just saying at my age (21), we look forward to seeing ancient ruins but not to linger in a place too long. I expect by day 2, we would have seen much of Angkor Wat.

I now have 2 options, either to fly in and out of either one of the two choices, Phnom Penh and Siam Reap. And I actually have no idea, wether to visit one of the place, or both?

We are medic students, and we were thinking if we had time, why not visit a hospital there, and volunteer just for a short day.
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Mar 8th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Also, we heard that there is a museum or a memorial about the time during which PolPot ruled over Cambodia. That you could see skeletons and skulls of people who were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime there. Anyone knows where it is located?
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Mar 8th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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The Khmer Rouge memorial you are referring to is near Siem Reap, so if you go there to see Angkor you can do this as well.
Cookiepuss is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Well, I just bought my flight

14th August arriving in Siam Reap at 11.50am, leaving Phnom Penh on the 19th August, 7pm.

I was thinking something along the lines of

14th August Explore the city of Siem Reap

15th August Angkor Wat

16th August Angkor Wat

17th August visit the Khmer Rouge memorial, some temples in the city.

18th August Hopefully we'll take a night bus (don't really know the best transport system in Cambodia), to arrive on Phnom Penh early in the morning. Just visiting in the city

19th August Another day of exploring Phnom Penh. We were actually thinking about visiting some orphanage or some hospital and spending time just offering help (we are all 4th year medical students, you see)


Since I've bought my plane tickets, I don't really think I can do much changes to my plans, but I was just wondering wether:

1. It is comfortable at all to travel by bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh?
2. Should I try to take a half day away to visit some small villages in rural areas? I really like to see life of people living in small towns.
3. Any programmes where we can volunteer to help out, for a day, in Cambodia?
Aleckii is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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The bus from SR to PP is fine, but I don't think there is a night bus. Even if there is, you don't want to be on the roads at night.

There is really nothing much to see in SR itself, it's just a base to see the temples.

Don't know about the killing fields memorial near SR, the one most people visit is outside PP.

Visit talesofasia.com for lots of info on traveling in Cambodia. See www.theplf.org for info on helping with schools near SR.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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I highly recommend a trip out to Tonle Sap Lake!! That was one of the highlights of our trip and it is only about 1/2 day. It is about 30 minutes outside of Siem Reap.

eurotraveller is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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I second the recommendation to the lake. You can see the floating villages, where people live on the water - even their schools, churches, and police stations are on the water!
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Mar 8th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Phnom Penh is much cheaper to fly in and out of than Siem Reap. The Royal Palace there is very interesting, and you would also be interested in the Toul Sleng genocide museum.

As others have mentioned, you can get to Siem Reap by bus or by boat from Phnom Penh.

Don't underestimate Angkor. Yes, you can see the main temples in a day, but there are also many interesting trips you can make from Siem Reap. Tonle Sap has been mentioned. There's also Kbal Spean and Beng Melea, which are very different from Angkor. Kbal Spean is a place of great natural beauty. You can see pictures of it (along with the rest of Angkor) at my photo gallery: http://www.chiengfa.com/gallery2/mai...&g2_itemId=782
MichaelBKK is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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hey, thanks guys!


I really did want to visit Tonle Sap, but hadn't any idea how to orient myself- how to get there, how much time to spend there, what to expect there...

How about the journey from SR to PP? Is it long?

I think I most definitely will pay a visit to the royal palace and Khmer Rouge memorial in PP then.

Thanks for your tips.
Aleckii is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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You have a couple of options for Tonle Sap but I recommend getting a driver that can help you arrange the boat trip on the lake to see the floating villages.

You can hire a guide and driver for about $40 a day and the boat trip costs $10 per person on a big boat you will have all to yourself!

You could probably also take a taxi out there and find a boat to take you out if cost is an issue.

We used Saron and he was great!

He can be contacted at [email protected] and his website is www.sarontours.com.

Saron worked for the UN and he, like many people, lived in a refugee camp. He will stop at an environmental learning center on the lake, which is quite interesting.

This is a must do for anyone traveling to SR!
eurotraveller is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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The best bus is the Mekong Express that leaves PP in the mornings at 7:30, 8:30, and 12:30. It takes around 5hrs over a decent road with one stop. The seats are fairly comfortable, it is a/c and the is a bathroom. Cost $10. Be prepared as the bus station in SR is a dump.

While the bus is good, for 4 persons a taxi would be only slightly more than 4 bus tickets at $40-50 for the whole car. The advantage is that you go from hotel to hotel and if you see something along the way of interest you can stop to explore it.

In PP there is the Tuol Sleng Museum as mentioned and also out of town is Choeung Ek (the killing Fields). Both are well worth a visit
Scotters is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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Hey, thanks so much for your tips! They were exactly what I was looking for.

Is tonle sap exactly the floating village that you met?

My friend's sister and father have just decided to join our trip, so it would be a 6-people trip instead. So would it still be a good idea to hire taxis?

I learned that Cambodian have very exotic delicacies, which includes fried beetles and even grasshoppers. I find this really interesting, and am wondering where can we try out this for ourselves?

I just found out that the tickets for the temples in SR are sold in- 1 day 20usd, 3 days 40 usd or 6 days 60 usd. Since I have only 3 days (and a half) in SR, I was thinking to spend one day making a daytrip to Tonlesap and one day visiting a charity organisation or volunteering in a hospital/orphanage, which leave us one day to visit a few temples. What do you guys think? To me, Cambodia isn't really that far from my hometown and I really can return in the future to fully explore the angkor wat. In one day, what's the best thing I can do?

Which leaves me with 2 days in PP. I will most likely spend these 2 days between the memorial and royal palace. Any other suggestions?

Aleckii is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 05:36 AM
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Those exotic delicacies are what we call "bugs." They are readily available all over the place but if you want them fried you won't have to wander far to find a stand that sells bugs and grubs.

To clarify; Tonle Sap is the lake with floating villages, some are Cambodian and some are Vietnamese. The Vietnamese ones are the very colorful ones.

I think with only three days your plan is a good one. You won't get "templed out" and you will have two other unique experiences.

Since you will only have one day to visit the temples, definitely hire a guide and driver!! They will plan out a day in which your time will be fully maximized and you will see the highlights of the area. I am sure it will be a very full day!

Generally, you will explore for several hours and then, after lunch, the guide will drop you off so "you can rest" and then come pick you up an hour or so later. If you do not require this rest time, just ask that you continue on.

I still recommend Saron as his English is very good and he is extremely knowledgable.

Unless you want to know evey single thing about the images on all of the walls, let him know you just want some basic info so you can move along quickly. That being said, you won't really move along quickly in the heat and it is very hot!

My opinion would be for you to make sure you see Angkok Wat at sunrise. This was one of the most spectacular things I have seen in my lifetime!
eurotraveller is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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I'd recommend sunset at the Bayon, especially if there's a moon. Everyone else will be off watching the sun set behind Angkor Wat, so it should be pretty quiet, and very atmospheric with those huge faces starting to disappear in the dusk. Don't leave it so late you can't see the steps, though!
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Here is a link to one of my photos taken at sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Cheers!
eurotraveller is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Hey thanks, europetraveller. You're a great help.

Yes, I definitely will look Saron up on it. But is Saron only the guide for Tonle Sap, or does he do Angkor Wat as well? Or does he do both?

I think it is a great idea to start the trip in the morning. That way we get an earlier head start to squeeze in more temples in a day's time span, and we start off in the morning when the sun's not too cruel. I'm a Malaysian, so I know how unkind the weather may be in South East Asia.

Thanks, I'm going to contact Sauron pretty soon.
Aleckii is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Aleckii, I have never been there, but my friends have travelled to Cambodia. Here are some photos of places that they have visited.
http://world.50x60.com/world.php?cha...=&lang=2&size=
Besso is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Even with the time you have, do leave a little time in case you want a 2nd day at the temples. There are an awful lot of them and they're not all the same. Angkor Wat (the big one)Bantreay Srei (the best carvings), Preah Khan (my favorite - still "unrestored") are all very different so you could find yourself wanting more.

That said, what I liked best about Cambodia was getting away from the hubs of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. We went to Battambang and to towns that don't really see tourists down the south side of the Tonle Sap and enjoyed it. However, we had more time...
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