Week in Cambodia

Week in Cambodia Claimed

1 week | Nov 2019 | 2 women | City and Beach

Average Reviews

Trip Overview

City and beach trip to Cambodia

Full Itinerary

Cambodia general notes:

– Dollars are the currency used ! Bring smaller notes for everyday use.

– For temples and the National Palace you need knees and shoulders covered so pack accordingly.

– Tuk Tuk travel in the major cities is very inexpensive (think $1-$2 for a 10 minute ride). But you can download the Grab app ahead of time to get the best pricing. It’s like Uber for Tuk Tuks, as you can see the fare and call the tuk tuk to you, but you aren’t charged via the app – you pay in cash (so no need to enter payment info on the app).

– Bring mosquito stuff to be safe, as well as sunscreen of course


Day 1, Thursday:

Travel day

Finished up a Bhutan trip, arrived in Bangkok and flew to Phnom Penh.Hotel car a no show so grabbed a voucher at the taxi stand for a $15 ride to the hotel. The driver used red lights as ‘suggestions’ and veered the crazy scooter traffic for the half hour ride to the Pavillion Hotel.The Pavillion is terrific – well priced, great feel, two pools, open air bar/restaurant and great location. They arranged our transportation for the following day to the Killing Fields and the genocide museum ($25 ) as well at for the 6 hour ride the following day to the coast ($70).


Day 2, Friday: Phenom Penh

Activities :Killing fields, Genocide museum at Security prison S21,Shopping, Massage

-Good bfast poolside

-Left hotel at 8 with driver to choeung ek genocide center – killing fields – where we did the excellent audio tour . Great to get there early before heat and crowds . Sculls and bones are preserved in stupa..300 killing fields in country, 300 people killed a day at these … all happened 30 years ago while we were alive- 4 years/25% of population killed.

-Driver took us next to tuol sleng genocide museum S21 where we took audio tour . Immersed into experience, pictures of bodies interrogated … head shots of workers and prisoners. Really worth seeing both this and killing fields .Driver dropped us at 240th st – shopping street area.

-Lunch at The Shop and wandered the boutiques on the block. Bought some things made from recycled materials (rice bags etc), a linen dress and a few other things .

-Walked to National Palace – tour guide would have been helpful. Be sure to have knees and arms covered to get entry, or have a scarf to tie around you.

-Got $8 tuk tuk to take us to espadrille shop Amboh across town, wait for us and then back to hotel. Amboh has really nice French style espadrilles made from local fabrics ($25).

-The Pavilion hotel offers complimentary 25 min massage (and a sunset boat ride we didn’t take ) and we upgraded our free 25 min massage to a 45 min massage for $10.

-Took $2 tuk tuk to good Dinner at Romdeng (had reservations) which helps train disadvantaged youths. Free amazing cocktail via hotel voucher.Back to hotel for beer and bed .


Day 3, Saturday – Travel To Koh Rong Samloem Island

Activities:Drive to coast (Sihanoukeille)Ferry to Koh Rong Samleon IslandWalked to hotel on beach and settled into island life

-Car left at 7:39 for 6 hour ride to Sihanoukeille on coast ($70 for private car/driver organized by Pavillion Hotel). Thought we would see countryside on ride but it was a crowded dusty highway the entire way with shops etc in the side and lots of traffic and trucks .

-Stopped for lunch at The Stop which had good options and then went on to the dusty, crowded, dirty and very unappealing town of Sihanoukville (apparently the Chinese came in 2 years ago and bulldozed all the charm out of the previously charming city an is building massive casinos….).

-We had bought GTVC ferry tickets ahead online and after our driver dropped us at Serendipity Pier, the company put us on a 1:30 bus about to leave for our 2pm ferry and drove us to another area where we got on boat for about half hour ride to Orchard pier on Koh Rong Samloem island.

-We had booked our hotel at Bamboo Jam online. We hopped off ferry and walked 100 yards down the white sand beach to our thatched hut paradise. We were looking for something like we had been to in Thailand of the 80s/90s and we found it! The island is a calm paradise with a bit upscale bungalow options ( we had no AC in the room or very hot water in the outside attached but very basic bathroom but loved it none the less – and there is Wi-Fi in the restaurant area) as well as some lower priced ones – but no real ‘hotels’. Lots of backpackers as well as some families and older travelers. It’s a crescent strip of white sand beach with bungalows in the sand and open air restaurants. We loved Bamboo Jam – private hut on the beach, a great little restaurant with a very casual vibe, live soft music at night. Not a party scene at all. Breakfast is delivered on a tray to your ‘doorstep on the sand’ in the morning. It’s about $90/night for 2 people.

-After checking in we walked back to the pier to buy our return ferry tickets ($20).

-We spent the next couple days reading , working , swimming (water is perfect temp, no waves) , having $15 massages and $5 pedicures and great meals in a laid back beautiful place . There are a couple of other beaches you can walk to on the island – Sunset Beach and Lazy Beach. Lazy beach is a 20 minute walk across the island through the jungle and is pristine, with a restaurant and some huts you can rent for $75/night (no wifi). It’s like a beautiful (almost) deserted island at Lazy Beach.If you want high end service and AC it may not be for you, but if you want casual paradise where you never get out of your bathing suit or put shoes on, then it is.


Day 4, Sunday – Island LifeBreakfast delivered to our bungalow seating area. Swam/walked/read/worked / are/massages / read/ listened to live music. All good!


Day 5, Monday – Island Life

Repeat beach day of day before , plus walk through jungle to other side of the island to visit the incredibly beautiful Lazy Beach for 3 hours and to have great lunch at the restaurant there. Other recommended spot is sunset beach, which we didn’t visit.


Day 6, Tuesday – Travel to Siem Reap

Activities :

Ferry to mainland

Plane to Siem Reap

Checked into hotel

Got 3 day temple passSunset at Bakheng temple


-6:45am ferry to the mainland via Buva ferries. Took $20 taxi for hour ride to airport.Flight to Siem ReapPicked up by hotel car (complementary Rolls Royce !) and driven 20 mins to the Viroth hotel which is in a great location, has beautiful pool and rooms and incredible service. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful or kind. Highly recommend it.

-Met our guide (his brother actually…) who took us to get our three day temple pass (can do 1 or 3 day – three day is $62). Took tuk tuk to Bakheng temple for sunset . You climb up the hill and then they let 300 people up to the top for sunset with view over the jungle . Had hired guide via Trip Advisor where we’d had luck in the past but this one was a dud- total huckster . Used him that afternoon for the transport to and from temple but fired him for next day when we found out he’d doubled booked us with another group and wanted us both to pay $70 for the day .

-Dinner at hotel


Day 7, Wednesday – Siem Reap

Activities:

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Bayon temple

Ta Prhom temple

Shopping

Dinner at Sugar PalmCircus


-Met our awesome new guide Senghuat Boun at the hotel at 4:45 and our tuk tuk driver – bother arranges via the hotel. His English was fantastic , his knowledge of the temples incredible and he was so kind and fun – highly recommend him if you go . He was $25 for the ‘small tour’ of the 3 temples plus $10 more to come at sunrise. Plus tuk tuk fee if $10I believe . Guides contact info is : about Cambodiaservices.com, seng_huat855@yahoo.com , tel +855 10 26 99 08

-Went to sunrise at Angkor Wat, had breakfast (hotel had packed for us), to Bayon temple (inside Angie Thom and is the one with faces ) and Ta Prhom temple (tomb raider temple with trees entwined with temple). All were stunning. Lots of people there for sunrise but we had front row view. The sun rises to the side so you don’t get a lot of sun on the front of the temple actually (if you want that photo pop of the temple in full light go midday or sunset) but was so nice to go when it was cool and we were down with the full 5 hour tour by 10:30 ( wasnt a time limit though as he would have taken us to more or spent more time in each as we desired).

-Went by Raffles hotel to see it

-Dropped at Kandal shopping area (small block of Hup Guan street in downtown area that has nice shops and restaurants- Louise Loubatiere store is excellent for clothing and gift and home items – she is from London and has her designed produced locally and also sources and curated other local items . Wandered stores and had massages at Frangipani spa at end of street (more $ than the local street $2 massages but very clean and nice and a legit spa vs the street places).Wandered old town downtown area and old market there which sells anything and everything from produces to housewares to clothes to tourists souvenirs. You can grab your Kapit pepper, prayer beads, wooden items, ‘elephant pants’ or other tourist items there.Walked across river and went to Made in Cambodia market which is more like a formal little shopping area with stalls of locally made things

-Hotel and then dinner at sugar palmTuk tuk ($8 round trip) to 8pm Circus- tickets booked by hotel


Day 9, Thursday – Seim Reap and Travel to Bangkok

Activities

:Half day Bike tour to countryside

Relax and pack

Shopping

Spa

Head to airport and fly to Bangkok


-Grasshopper bike tour 8-12 ($35 per person ) – ride through farmland and villages just outside the city . Just the two of us so ended up being a private tour. Great way to get out and see countryside. Stopped at a market and for photos etc. great chatty guide.

-Hotel time

-Last minute shopping and facial at Frangioani during the heat of the day (wonderful and is really like a massage as well )

-Head to airport – fly to BangkokBus to hotel

Best western amaranth hotel near airport


Day 10, Friday – Travel Day HomeTravel day back home 7am flight

Photos

Author

Time of year

Oct-Dec

Type of Trip

Adventure/Active, Food/Culture/Arts, Urban exploration

Duration

1 week

Who Went

Girls trip

Accommodation Type

Hotel

Budget

$200-$400

Statistics

111 Views
0 Rating
0 Favorite
0 Share