Discovering the mesmerizing country of Cambodia
Cambodia23 days / February 2018
Highs & Lows
Interact with the people from the country often. The people are extremely kind hearted.
Make sure to dress appropriately when entering any kind of temple. Cover up, anything else is disrespectful.
The trip started in Siem Reap, the second largest city after the capital, Phnom Penh. The best way to get around in Siem Reap is to simply rent a bike or go in tuk-tuk. The first thing to do is of course visit Angkor Wat with all its impressive temples. I recommend to bring enough water with you, a hat and protection for the sun because the terrain is huge. You can do a sunrise, sunset or full day tour. I split it into two days (sunrise and sunset) since it can be very exhausting to do it all at once. Its also possible to go without booking a tour with a guide but I recommend to do so or you will miss out on a lot of interesting facts. I highly recommend to go to the night market in Siem Reap. It has a certain magical flair, it is not as hot as going to a market during the day and you can try new stuff like snakes, roaches, scorpions or even tarantulas. If you want to get to know even more about the Khmer cuisine, book a food tour. You will go to a market, pick up the fresh ingredients and cook something together mostly somewhere in the countryside. Get a massage afterwards that only costs between 1 - 7 dollars - SO worth it!
Destination number two was Kampot. This dreamy town is by the riverside and a loved destination by all backpackers who need a break to recharge. There is not much traffic in Kampot, so the best way is to go by bike, motorbike or foot. You can swim in the Kampot river, witness the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets from land or on a boat. You should also rent Kayaks or paddle boats to be a little more autonomous in regards to where and at what pace you are going. Kampot is surrounded by countryside, so its best to rent a motorbike or hire a tuk-tuk to take you there. Concrete houses become bamboo shacks and life seems to slow down even more. You will be greeted by water buffalos and salt field workers. Kampot is known for salt and pepper, so you should definitely visit the salt fields and the pepper plantations which are located roughly only 5 km outside of the town. I stayed at Samon Village which are beautiful, rustic bungalows for only 10 dollars a night.
The last destination of the trip was Koh Rong Sanloem. It is located just off the coast of Sihanoukville and offers breathtaking crystal clear water, white beaches and tropical jungle wilderness. The most known beach is Saracen Bay but I decided to go to Sunset Beach and Lazy Beach since it is more isolated and therefore even more peaceful. Accomodations are not as many and not as comfortable if you are traveling on a budget but the scenery and peace of mind you get out of it definitely makes up for that. If you are into diving, this island has beautiful spots to do so and an abundance of delicate miniature eco-systems.
Q & A
How was the food?
Siem Reap: Marum Kampot: Kampot Seafood and Pepper Koh Rong Sanloem: Titanic
What tips would you give a friend?
Do not plan ahead too much. You might be surprised that you will want to stay longer in places you did not originally plan to.
Make sure to negotiate prices of transportation before getting in.