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Tentative trip planning -Cambodia November

Tentative trip planning -Cambodia November

Feb 3rd, 2010, 10:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
Tentative trip planning -Cambodia November

So, we were talking about where we would like to go in November and Muffin mentioned that he would like to go to Cambodia (which surprised me as i thought we would be going West this year)
Anyway i am tentatively putting a trip together that will incorporate the sights but also some much needed down time (all this depends on international flight prices )

How much time would you advise in PP and SR i was thinking maybe 3 nights in PP and 4 in SR? i do want to see Angkor of course but i am not sure i could do 3 whole days of temples???

I am also looking into whether is would be possible to travel by boat from PP to SR without doing a 3 day cruise (i:e in one day) any ideas?

Be also interested in other options in Cambodia? We will want at least 4 nights beach time to relax (this can be in Cambodia or we would happily go back to Hua hin Thailand), and maybe 2 nights in BKK at the beginning of the trip and 1 or 2 at the end, we will have a total of about 15 nights on the ground.

Open to ideas - sorry if i am being vague!!
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 326
Hi Smeagol -

I was in Cambodia in October and spent 3 1/2 days (4 nights) in SR and 2 days (1 night) in PP. In hindsight, I would have liked another day in SR and a little longer in PP as well. I'm not sure that I'd want 3 full nights in PP though.... I did feel like we saw the majority of what we wanted to see in the two days we had.

A little longer in SR would have opened up a few options - the Tonle Sap lake floating villages, more market time, the balloon ride, sampling a few more restaurants, etc. We spent most of our time at the temples, but also enjoyed trying out a number of massages.

It is possible to travel by boat from PP to Siem Reap. I'm not sure if you're thinking of a luxury boat? I've read that there's a daily boat that takes between 4 - 6 hours, but that it really isn't a great experience. It looks like cfmekong.com has a 1 day trip on their books, but I don't see it on their calendar for November. We took the bus from SR to PP and enjoyed the opportunity to see so much of the countryside from the road.

There have been some other posts here about other destinations in Cambodia that people have enjoyed. I believe that Battambang is one of them. I can try to track down the post that I'm thinking of and bring it to the top for you...
dreaming is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:56 PM
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I did 4 nights in Siem Reap, and could've done one more. I did temples two days, and just wandered around town the third, and one more temple in the afternoon. I would've used the extra day to do the Tonle Sap thing. Go to Kbal Spean... it's a nice hike up through the jungle (not too strenuous) to a waterfall and the riverbed has all these great carvings. It's aways out of town... about 45 minutes via tuk tuk... a nice ride through villages and such. I combined it with Banteay Srei (which is a small temple complex with amazing carvings). BS is right on the way... Kbal Spean is maybe 10 minutes further away. Anyway, it's a non-temple thing to see, and worthwhile.

For chilling out, I went to Kep. Small fishing village, not much going on, and pretty unspoiled. It's really nice, and you can get great seafood at the crab shacks. Kep beach is just ok, but a 20 minute boat ride away is Rabbit Island (Koh Tonsay). Beautiful beaches, and totally unspoiled. I shared the beach with chickens, wild dogs (don't worry, they're nice to indifferent) and a cow. Kep was once the playground for the rich, but the Khmer Rouge bombed the bejeesus out of it. All the bombed out shells of the villas are still there, in this beautiful setting. Weird, in a really good way, and fun to walk around and look at. Also Kampot is a neat town to wander in, just 30 minutes up the road. Email me, if you want... I can share some photos. [email protected].
Jen is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 08:06 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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My two cents:
A minimum of time in PP, maximum in SR, there's plenty to do in between temple tours and SR is SO much more relaxing to hang out than PP. The three day pass can be used any time within 7 days, so that helps dissipate temple fatigue.

If you go to floating village, please do NOT go to Chong Khneas unless you are dong a study on the negative impact of tourism. Kompong Phluuk is a marginally better choice, but if you want to see a fishing village that is absolutely unmolested, email me and I'll be happy to take you or give you the info so someone else can. (But then you can't come on here blabbing it to everyone.)

The boat from PP to SR is unsafe and not all that scenic/pleasant. If you need boat action, please take it SR to Battambang, perhaps one of the loveliest stretches of water around.

Seems Hua Hin vs Cambodian coast is an apples to oranges comparison. Really different. I personally detest Sihanoukville; Kep or Rabbit Island a much better choice in Cambodia. Consider time spent traveling. Cambodian coast a long trip from Siem Reap; you'll blow a whole day getting there unless you're up for the overnight bus. If you're gong there from PP, then it's not bad. 1/2 day.
offwego is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 08:42 PM
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mjslacker is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 10:27 PM
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I wouldn't consider 4 days in Siem Reap too many. The grandeur of the temples is overwhelming and it's nice to be able to re-visit your favorites after you get the lay of the land.

Had we stayed longer than four days we certainly would have made excursions outside of Siem Reap, so maybe alternating days -- three days of temples, two of something else would work.
marmot is online now  
Feb 4th, 2010, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 341
Hi Smeagol,

We were in Cambodia for 9 days in October. We spent 4 nights in Seam Reap (could've spent another day to get to Beng Melea and Kbal Spean), 3 nights in Battambang (we loved the countryside here and also did a cooking class), 1 night in Kampong Chhnang and 2 nights in Phnom Penh (we could've spent another day here as well).

We wanted to take the boat to BB, but it rained hard the day of our trip, so we took a taxi instead. The boat trip is supposed to be lovely, albeit long and in the dry season can take anywhere from 7 to 9 hours.

As Jen mentioned, Kep and Kampot are great options as well, especially if you want beach time. So, as you can see, there's plenty to see and do in Cambodia in 2 weeks.

My trip report, if you are interested, can be accessed from here:
seemaskt is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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You may find you need more time with the temples than you think. I did two and a half days the first time and had to go back! (Read Dawn Rooney's guide to get an idea of what you might want to see). talesofasia.com is a good site for info on travel in Cambodia. There's a bus from PP to SR which would be better than the boat, and PP is defeinitely worth some time..

I enjoyed Battambang, and the "bamboo express" - don't know whether it's still running- and Bokor National Park. My TR is a bit dated but might still be interesting - see http://wilhelmswords.com/asia2002/index.html
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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most say 2 days is sufficient for PP.. i think 4-5 days in SR gives you plenty of time to see the major areas... it really depends on how quickly you get templed out...

i think it is wise to arrange a driver/guide in advance of your arrival.... many feel a guide is not important, but i disagree... they quickly move you through the huge complexes showing you the most important vantage points and items.... otherwise you waste too much time...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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Many thanks to everyone for their responses, i realise i was somewhat vague so the info is tip top. I have got a guide book so i'll have a look thru and come back with more questions.
Lori - if we make it to Cambodia/SR it would be great to catch up with you.(although do you think you can make it to the GTG in BKK on the 23rd???)

Seems like it would be better to do beach from PP then (if we do beach time in Cambodia)
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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Smeagol - you will love Cambodia. We did 5 days in Siem Reap and wish we had had time for PP and other parts of Cambodia. The people are wonderful. Besides the temples, take some time to stroll along the riverside to see how the people live.
But...before you plan any of this - go finish your trip report on Vietnam!!! LOL
dgunbug is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 07:54 PM
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I would suggest that you spend all your time in Cambodia except for the last 3 days in Bangkok. For a beach holiday Kep is nice and relaxing as previously described but Sihanoukville beaches are quite nice also and comparable with Hua Hin. There are two 4 star hotels with their own private beach as well as less expensive digs. If you are up to travelling there other by air, I might suggest the following.

Bangkok 1 night to recoup from flying

Take a taxi from Bangkok to the border at Poipet, about a 3.5hr drive and costing around 3000-3500 baht. Cross the border (it might be advisable to have a visa or e-visa so that there is no hassle about the visa fees) and then get a taxi to Battambang. You may be directed to the new tourist terminal (8kms out of town and $1 to enter) to get a taxi. Takes around 2hrs and cost $35-45

Spend a couple of days here and if the water is high enough take the boat to Siem Reap instead of a taxi or bus. 3 full days in SR should be plenty if you are not really into temples and ruins. Break the temple time up by taking a day to visit a floating village such as Kompong Phluk or Kompong Khleang.

Bus or taxi to Phnom Penh (don’t even consider the boat). 2 days should be enough to see the main sites.

Taxi to Kep via route 2 toTakeo and onward to Kep. This way is the most scenic. Two days of just relaxing and seeing a few sights with a trip to the beach at Rabbit Island. The Veranda Natural Resort, Champey Inn or Beach House are quite nice and reasonably priced. You might be in luck that the road up Bokor mountain outside of Kampot is open but don’t count on it. Used to be one of the highlights of the region until they deceided to improve the road up and build a luxury resort sometime. Make sure to try the pepper crab, the best in the country. Spend 2 days and then head for beaches at Sihanoukville for a couple of days. Or if want, spend all the time in Kep or Sihanoukville if you don’t like moving so often.

Then back to Phnom Penh to catch a late afternoon flight with Air Asia to Bangkok.

This gives you 12 days with an additional 3 days travel time leaving 2 days in Bangkok before flying out
Scotters is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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You can take the bus to Kep as well.
Jen is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'll add: bus from Phnom Penh to Kep was 4 hours. It actually goes to Kampot, but stops in Kep on the way. I was on a "local" bus... I was the only westerner on the bus. Driver didn't speak english, but I still found it pretty obvious where I needed to get off. Worst case scenario, you end up going all the way to Kampot, and get a tuk tuk back to Kep.
Jen is offline  

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