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Cambodia

Where Ancient Mysteries and Vibrant Cultures Unite – A Journey Through the Kingdom of Wonder

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia beckons travelers with a mesmerizing tapestry of ancient wonders, vibrant traditions, and unspoiled natural beauty. This captivating land, often referred to as the “Kingdom of Wonder,” invites explorers to unearth the secrets of its rich history and immerse themselves in a warm and welcoming culture.

From the exquisite flavors of Khmer cuisine to the poignant history of the Khmer Rouge era, from the timeless beauty of floating villages on Tonlé Sap Lake to the bustling markets of Siem Reap, Cambodia weaves together a tale that will captivate your senses and touch your heart.

Top highlights

Explore Angkor Wat
Visit the Floating Villages in Tonlé Sap
The temples around Siam Riep
Enjoy the local markets
Visit Koh Rong
Phenom Penh´s Royal Palace
Tuol Sleng and Killing Camps
Relax in Koh Rong Saloem

Where, What and How?

Accommodation – Cambodia is known for its charming boutique hotels, often set in historical buildings or traditional Khmer-style architecture. These provide a unique and cozy atmosphere for your stay. Cambodia’s coastal areas and islands, such as Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, offer a variety of beachfront resorts, providing a luxurious and tranquil escape.

Food – Amok is Cambodia’s national dish, a creamy coconut-based curry made with fish, chicken, or tofu. It’s flavored with lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, steamed in banana leaves, and served with rice. Khmer red curry is known for its balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It’s typically made with beef, chicken, or vegetables. Lok Lak is a delicious stir-fry dish made with beef (or sometimes chicken or shrimp) and served with a tangy lime and black pepper dipping sauce. A traditional Cambodian breakfast, Bai Sach Chrouk consists of grilled pork served with broken rice, fresh vegetables, and pickled daikon radish.

Transportation – Tuk-tuks are a common and popular mode of transportation in Cambodian cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. These three-wheeled vehicles are a convenient way to navigate through traffic and are especially useful for short trips within the city. They’re open-air and provide a unique and immersive experience. Cambodia has a growing network of intercity buses that connect major cities. Companies like Giant Ibis, Mekong Express, and Cambodia Post VIP Van offer comfortable and reliable services.

  • Some of the beaches, from left to right; Long Beach, Pagoda Beach (Koh Rong) and Sunset Beach (Koh Rong Sanloem).

My itinerary

Day 1-5: We arrived to Siem Reap and at the airport the first was to buy a mobile card for internet and download the app WeGo Taxi. Our TukTuk driver bring us directly to the hotel for just a couple of dollars. We stayed the four nights at Mane Village Suites, and I need to say that is the first 10 that I rate in Booking.com. This hotel is just perfect; the reception, the attentive and friendly staff, the live music, the food…everything!
The first day we arrived quite tired after our adventure in Singapore so we slept a bit, and during night we visited Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm Shrine. Later on, we had some drinks at the busy Pub Street. The day after we started with a good breakfast and then we went to Angkor complex. Our TukTuk driver was waiting for us at the hotel entrance. He was incredible and we decided to stay four days with him. For visiting the temples we chose the 3 days pass, you can find it here (https://www.angkorenterprise.gov.kh/). We began our tour with the main dish, Angkor Wat. An astonishing temple which stands as the biggest religious monument in the world. Later and the day after, we continued with the rest of the temples, visiting more than twenty. Among others the more remarkable were: Ta Prohm (with the iconic tree), Phimeanakas (old Hindu temple), Ta Som (where the roots cover the arc) and Bayon (with the famous Buddha faces). For watching the sunset, we chose the popular spot at Phnom Bakheng, the views were worth the climb to the top.
The third day we went for an organized day trip to Kampong Phluk Floating Village. The town itself was unique and the trip through the mangroves turned very fun (especially because the lady dropped us in another floating bar and our tour boat was gone!). Luckily, a local fisherman took us to the floating restaurant where the rest of the group was waiting for seeing the sunset at the impressive Tonlé Sap. It was definitely an experience that I will never forget. That night we had diner at Sokkhak River Restaurant, very nice decoration and good food.
The last day we decided to go a bit further with our tuktuk friend and visit Banteay Srei. The scale of this temple is much smaller than the rest of Angkor buildings but the details are incredible. After checking every single corner of this place and walking around, we went to Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary. In this place, we were able to interact with the beautiful and gentle Ho-Mie, a huge female Asian elephant. Late in the afternoon, we took the night-bus towards Sihanoukville. It turned out that the bus was far more comfortable than what I expected.
Day 6-8: We arrived at Sihanoukville early in the morning and we immediately took the ferry to Koh Rong were we stayed the first 2 nights at You&Me Resort. The beach (Pagoda) was almost exclusive for us and a sweet swimming-dog from the hotel owner. The second day we went to the west side of the island to Sok Sand Beach and Long Beach, the whitest sand I ever seen.
Day 8-9: The next morning, we moved to the more busy side of the island by Kaoh Touch Beach and we stayed at White Beach Bungalows. Here I felt like I was in a tree house, with the water only five meters away from the door and a hammock hanging in our terrace. During night we enjoy the atmosphere at Tree House Restaurant first and later at the popular That Bar. The day after we chilled in the beach until we took the boat direction Koh Rong Sanloem.
Day 9-11: We landed in one of the corners of Saracen Bay Beach and we walked through the white sand to arrive to our hotel Bamboo Jam. This place gave me the best chill and jam island vibes, with the bungalow at beach front. The next morning we went to Sunset Beach and we stay there snorkeling till the afternoon, then we move to Lazy beach and have some food at the bar there. Afterwards, we went up the hill looking for the Stone Carving and finally we watched the sunset from B-ViC viewpoint, it was amazing. The day after we took the ferry back to Sihanoukville and we almost miss our bus to Phnom Penn, even when I kept two hours of safety gap between the ETA from the ferry and the departing time of the bus! (be aware the islands have their own tempo).
Day 11-14: Once at Phnom Penn we decided to walk to our hotel because we were not tired and was not so far from where the bus drop us. We stayed the three nights at Hotel Emion Phnom Penh, and we did not regret; the views from the sky-pool were amazing! In our second day at the capital we went to Tuol Sleng and for me was the most disturbing place that I ever visited, but a must-see without doubt. During the night we have diner at Akasa Skybar, good service and good views. The day after we visited Choeung Ek, another sad and shocking piece of the Rouge Khmer history. That night we had diner in another terrace The Luna Sky Bar, very elegant place. In our last day at Phnom Penn we visited the Royal Palace, I enjoyed more the gardens than the buildings, because I am not a fanatic of bright colors or golden decoration.

Money Saving Tips

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TukTuk It is the easiest and cheapest way of moving and I really recommend you to pick one driver; ours knew all the secret spots, he did not ask us any tips, he was able to find us in the middle of the crowds, always with cold water to offer…a five stars person!
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WeGo Taxi app The app worked perfectly and avoids you to deal with the “a bit too proactive” drivers outside the airports or hotels.
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Free Angkor The whole complex is open after 5 o’clock for free, so you can try different sunset places.
4
Seasonal trip Remember that South Asia has different seasons as Europe or US, you must go in the dry season from October to April, and always book the flights several months in advance.

 

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