Suggestions for Cambodia?

Aug 17th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 976
Suggestions for Cambodia?

OK, I'd love some advice. What would you do with 6 days in Cambodia following a week in Siem Reap, 2 nights in Battambang, and 3 nights in Phnom Penh? (All in December.) On the 7th day we need to get to Ho Chi Minh City for a flight the next day to Palau in the South Pacific. (We will have also spent 3 1/2 weeks touring Vietnam prior to arriving in Siem Reap so we don't feel the urge to spend more time there, though we're open to suggestions.)

To keep the costs down, we nixed flying to Luang Prabang, which I had posted a question about earlier, and want to stay in Cambodia unless that just doesn't make sense at all.

I'm hoping to get some suggestions about somewhere to go after Phnom Penh that would be interesting and give more flavor of the country. Since we'll be spending a couple of weeks on beaches in the South Pacific (and for other reasons), Sihanoukville is probably out. Perhaps Kep and Kampot, but would 6 days in that area be overkill? Any other ideas?
aprillilacs is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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Kep and Kampot are on my short list for Cambodia. Or a road trip (by bus)up to the northeast part of the country. Cambodia lends itself well to slow travel!
lcuy is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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I'd suggest the northeast. Maybe a trip over the border into southern Laos. Look at Travelfish for more information on border crossings. A couple of different ideas from my last trip to Cambodia. Banteay Chhmar is an interesting temple complex near the Thai border. However the road from Sisophon is not good. We did a homestay and it was fine. Very basic but you are helping the local economy and its fairly cheap.

I also did a one hour microlight flight with SkyVenture. This was a brilliant way to see the temples, the Barays and Lake Tonle Sap. Go early in the morning as the light will be better for photography.
silverwool is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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I love that you are spending a week in Siem Reap. There is so much to see and most people stay for only a day or two -- simply not enough time to do it justice in my opinion.
Enjoy your trip!
Approach_Guides is offline  
Aug 19th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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offwego is offline  
Dec 11th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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Thanks so much for all your replies. Ratanakiri really sounded interesting, and we hope to get back to Cambodia someday and include that part of the country. However, we settled on Kep and Kampot instead--seemed like it would be much easier.

Just got back to Phnom Penh from 1 night in Kep and 4 nights in Kampot. We loved the area! In Kep we stayed at Vanna Bungalows, on the hillside overlooking the sea, walking distance to the crab market and in easy reach of a stroll along the seaside road. Not much in Kep (we didn't go to Rabbit Island but it was easily reachable as a day trip) but the ruins of the French houses are very spooky. Fresh crab, prawns, and squid cooked in green pepper sauce at Sunset Restaurant while watching the amazing sunset (next to the crab market) were so delicious. Vanna was rustic but modern--fun to sit on the porch of our cabin and just chill for a while.

Kampot was a great place to spend some time. We stayed 3 nights in a nice big room at the hopping Rikitikitavi right across from the river, then moved (no room at R) to La Java Bleue, a block away, in town, best room we stayed at in Cambodia. The vibe was totally different in town than on the river, even though they were just a block away! Loved both hotels. We did a day trip to Bokor Mountain (the new road up the mountain is complete now--there's just some work being done to finish up guard rails). That is one of the strangest, eeriest places I've ever been, with the ruins of the old hotel and casino, a closed up church and a decrepit temple, as well as lots of other ruined buildings. The strangest (and most disappointing) part is that Bokor National Park is now the site of a huge building project by one of Cambodia's richest men--a big new hotel and casino is being constructed in the mist right near the ruins, and there are apparently plans for golf courses and hundreds of villas that will spread across the mountain--thus the new road.

On another day in Kampot we took an all-day tuk-tuk trip to the surrounding countryside, with visits to a pepper plantation, the salt flats, a fishing village, and, again, the crab market in Kep (this time we at at Kimly). Really fun day. We also did a couple of boat rides on the river at sunset, as well as walking from town the 4 km round trip to the sweet Le Manguiers guest house right on the river.

Really a nice way to spend our final 5 days in Cambodia! I wrote more about the trip in the late November and December entries in my blog, .
aprillilacs is offline  
Dec 12th, 2011, 01:36 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Thanks so much for the update. I've marked your blog and plan to revel not only in the Cambodia travels but the Aeolians and the rest of your world as well!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 12th, 2011, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,151
Guard rails??? What a change! When I went to Bokor (2002) there was no road to speak of, never mind guard rails. Glad to hear the road's been finished, not so sure about the development.
thursdaysd is offline  
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