Budget eco barefoot luxe - is that even a thing? It is in Southern Cambodia. Think perfect tropical beaches, eco resorts, overwater bamboo bungalows, dawn yoga and pepper crabs with papaya salad.
- + 60
Asia11 days / November 2019
Highs & Lows
Undeveloped tropical island paradises, eco accommodation, food journeys and cultural discoveries
Everything about Sihanoukville and crazy taxi drivers
This itinerary has to be my favourite trip ever! I curated this adventure for a girls trip and I was keen to create something that was both budget friendly and entirely memorable. This itinerary nailed it!
The focus of this trip was food, beaches, yoga and barefoot budget relaxation with water views. We wanted some adventure, and we wanted to travel sustainably. But most importantly, I wanted this to be a really unique trip. Nearly every night was spent waterfront, and some of the accommodations in this trip are just unforgettable.
So this trip starts and ends in Phnom Penh, and focusses on the Southern coast of Cambodia. On arrival into Phnom Penh, we set off immediately for Kampot and spent 4 days in the region. Think fresh crabs, Kampot peppers and lying on a hammock in a bamboo overwater bungalow watching the best sunsets you'll ever see.
Hard to beat, but then we headed down to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem. Imagine Thai islands 25 years ago before the big resorts moved in, eating fresh seafood on the beach and some of the coolest backpacker bars in the world.
Then back up to Phnom Penh to check out Cambodian city life, more amazing food and some history lessons that will change you forever.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I would have made this trip longer. I'd like to have visited Rabbit Island off the Kep coast, and I'd do another day or two in Phnom Penh. And lets be honest, who wouldn't do more time on a tropical Island? I'd done Siem Reap the year before, but I'd absolutely recommend adding Siem Reap to this itinerary if you're visiting Cambodia for the first time.
Anything go wrong during the trip?
There were major road works on the highway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville during our trip so the road was nothing more than dirt. There is not much in road rules, so the drive down was pretty scary. We opted for a bus on the way back which took longer, but at least we weren't stressed by crazy driving.
How was the food?
The food in Cambodia is amazing. We at so much fresh seafood, but I also suggest trying the local dishes too. Be brave and try street food at local markets.
What tips would you give a friend?
Avoid Sihanoukville. You need to go through to catch a ferry to the islands, but do not book a night there if you can avoid it. It really is the worst city I have ever visited.
Pack light weight clothes, but if you go to Phnom Penh first, you can pick up some fantastic light weight clothes super cheap.
Cambodian transport is a bit of an adventure. The taxis we took from Phnom Penh - Kampot - Sihanoukville were pretty scary rides. They were much faster than the buses, but be warned. Our driver was using 2 mobile phones at one stage, while driving at 100+kms per hour on a dirt highway with no lanes. There are domestic flights available from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, and there is a train that runs a couple of days per week too. Maybe consider these options.
I'd heard Sihanoukville wasn't great, so I did not book accommodation there. But I was surprised at how awful it actually was.
I booked through Agoda.