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Travels through Southeast Asia

30 Days in Cambodia...Hardly enough time

CAMBODIA | Thursday, 9 February 2017 | Views [639] | Comments [2]

1 month in Cambodia was not enough. Really 1 month in any country is not enough time to truly see all of the country and get to know it's people and culture but often that's all the time we give if were lucky.

Itinerary:
Phnom Pehn 4 days
Battambang 3 days
Siem Reap 5 days
Phnom Pehn 1 day
Chambok 3 days
Sihanoukville 2 days
M'pai Bay @ Koh Rong Sanloem 7 days
Kampot 2 days

We started in Phnom Penh to visit a friend who has been teaching English there for the last 6 months. This city was busy. I thought the driving in Thailand and India was crazy but this gave me a new appreciation for our Tuk Tuk driver. I didn't even want to cross the roads while walking because there are motorbikes, cars and tuk tuks going in every direction you feel like your playing the game frogger. We spent 4 days here exploring the city and the history. First we went to the palace but the Singapore government was in town so all the main sites were closed for the day so we opted to take a tuk tuk around the city to see the highlights. His name was Jerry and he was hilarious, he took us to Wat Phnom, Diamond Island market the delta, Independence monument, Wat Botum Park and dropped us off at a very nice place for lunch next to the genocide museum. We intended to go inside but we would've only had an hour and we wanted to give ourselves more time to understand Cambodias history.

The next day Brett took off from work and we took a tour with Jerry again to the Silk Island to see how they make silk scarves, of course we bought a few and had a very enjoyable day. On our 3rd day we decided to go to the Killing Fields. It was the most depressing stop on our trip but it is fundamental in truly understanding what the Cambodians have been through only 40 years ago. I wont go into detail but you should look it up. We spent our last day planning the rest of our month in Cambodia.

Next we went north to the small town of Battambang. It was a nice change of pace from the bustling city of Phnom Pehn. You can cross the streets with ease and there aren't tuk tuks on every corner trying to get your business. The first night we went to the circus which is more like a cirque de solei put on my highschool students. They were amazing and you could see they really enjoyed what they were doing. The next day we went on an all day tour with Savet where we rode bikes through his village as we learned about the way his family lives, then we took the bamboo train which as exillerating but it takes you to a tourist shopping area and then back to the beginning, I would opt to take one that actually took you somewhere next time. We then went around town to see how they make rice paper, bamboo sticky rice (sooo good), dried bananas, fish sauce (gross), silk scarves, and rice wine (we bought 4 bottles for $4). Then we headed back to his house where his fiance cooked the most amazing meal (my favorite from our 4 months of travels). Then we went to the killing caves (again very depressing) and watched thousands of bats come out of the cave at sunset. It was a very long but worthwhile tour! The next day we were so pooped we just wandered around town. We were going to take the 8 hour boat ride from Battambang to Siem Reap but opted to take the 3 hour bus on Savets recommendation. The water is low this time of year and often times they have to push the boat to move it along.

Siem Reap was as amazing as everyone says it is. We decided to do the 3 day pass for $40 which is neccesary if you want to really see anything. We took a tuk tuk all 3 days as riding bikes would've been very exhausting and it kept us in the shade between temples. The town it's self is very touristy and has a feel of Koh San Road in Thailand, loud music and beer specials. We did some shopping in town but mostly stayed on the outskirts. If you ever go you must go to the Fresh Fruit Factory where they make the most amazing ice cream I've ever had. Also, Pages Cafe for breakfast that's also a library and I had a great yoga class at Peace Cafe.

We then headed back to Phnom Pehn for one night to regoup before heading to a village call Chambok where Bretts fiance had been living for the past 6 months where they had a traditional Khmer wedding. It was a bizarre and fascinating experience to be a part of. The festivities began not long after we arrived around noon. They were playing very loud Khmer music while getting everything situated. Jordan and I bought a soccer ball for the kids so we played with them until we could help out. There was as much food, beer, music and dancing as your heart desired but no sleep. We went to bed around midnight the first night and they started the blarring music back up at 4 am to start another full day of ceremonies again. I can't recommend staying at an ecovillage highly enough. It was the most amazing experience as everyone is so friendly and helpful and they just want to see you have a good time. They offered us free room and food anytime we want to come back and visit!

Sadly we had to leave but we headed south to the ocean, spent 3 days in Sihanookville getting our Vietnam visas and then went to Koh Rong Sanloem were I could've stayed forever! It was by chance we stayed here as we have been trying to keep our accomodations around $10 and this was the only reasonable place we could find. We only booked it for one night thinking we could find something else but we ended up loving it and staying here the entire time. We stayed right on the beach and next to the padi dive shop so we decided to get our open water certs. and it was a wonderful place to get it done. We saw sting rays, barracudas, sea horse, and an array of other fish. I watched the sunrise over the ocean every morning from bed and our house had french press coffee and tacos, it was heaven!

For our last destination we stopped in Kampot for a relaxing stay on the river. We didn't do much here but we managed to have the most amazing homemade italian food at a random street restaurant called Ciero. You would probably just pass it by if you didn't know what you were looking for. He turns away customers he doesn't want and only has two large picnic tables with a sign that reads you may have to wait 1.5 hours for your food. So worth the wait!

I never really looked into traveling Cambodia but I'm so glad I did. The people are so kind and happy there is so much to see. Luckily we left a bag at Bretts so we will have to stop in again before heading home. Maybe we will get to see more of the east side of the country next time.

Up next Vietnam....

Tags: 30 day itinerary cambodia, angkor wat, eco village, islands, scuba diving

 

Comments

1

Do you also post photos here?
What is the name of the place you stayed on the island with the tacos?

  Brett Feb 9, 2017 3:46 PM

2

Yes you can post pictures but I'm having trouble uploading them from my kindle. I found tacos at M'pai Bay at the Beach House

  Angela Feb 9, 2017 7:46 PM

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