If you’re planning your travels to a country it is sometimes hard to decide where to begin and what to see. I therefore wrote down my travel itinerary in Cambodia. Maybe it can help you to map out your way through the land of the Khmer 🙂
Our first stop was Siem Reap. Siem Reap is your base when planning a visit to Cambodia’s biggest pride: Angkor Wat. But there is much more to do in Siem Reap, which you can read all about in my blog Cambodia – Siem Reap. After exploring Siem Reap for a couple of days I went to a Yoga Retreat. When I came back from this four-day retreat I was completely zen which was the perfect state be in whilst exploring the gorgeous temples of Angkor Wat. If you’d like to read more about Angkor Wat you can do so here and if you’d like to read more on how to avoid the crowds, then have a look at my guestblog for Wander-lust.nl here.
Recommended time for staying in Siem Reap: 4 days/3 nights.
We then traveled from Siem Reap to Battambang. Battambang is Cambodia’s second biggest city, but once you arrive in this friendly place you definitely wouldn’t say so. Battambang is a lot more quiet than for instance Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and the locals are super friendly. You can book a bus which takes you to Battambang in about 5 hours. While you’re in Battambang you can rent a tuk-tuk which will bring you to all the highlights of the area, like a hilarious ride on the bamboo train or a visit to the bat and killing caves.
Recommended time for staying in Battambang: 3 days/2 nights
After Battambang it was time travel southbound. We went on a loooooong bus ride from Battambang via Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. We left at 7 in the morning and arrived in Sihanoukville at night fall. The next day we soon discovered that Sihanoukville is far from the authentic Cambodia. There’s beach bars everywhere, all run by westerners and the beach is just overly crowded and well, ugly. Every two meters you’re approached by backpackers inviting you to “their awesome bar” that night, with long happy hours and free shots. Unfortunately you have to go to Sihanoukville to take the ferry to Koh Rong, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend anyone going here. I haven’t been to Otres Beach so maybe that particular area in Sihanoukville is worth visiting, but from what I have seen Sihanoukville is the Cambodian version of Salou or Magaluf.
Recommended time for staying in Sihanoukville: none – run while you still can! Otherwise just 1 night.
From Sihanoukville we took the one hour ferry ride to Koh Rong. If you always read my blogs you know I developed a love/hate relationship with this particular island (more here). Koh Rong is beautiful but many tourists don’t get to experience it to the fullest because they fall ill. If you are keen on visiting this island anyway then I would suggest also going to Koh Rong Samloem. I haven’t been there myself but from what I heard it’s also a little paradise.
Recommended time for staying in Koh Rong: 3 days/2 nights
When you take the ferry back to Sihanoukville you can book a minivan to Kampot which will take you there in under three hours. I felt like coming home in Kampot. French influences are clearly seen everywhere, there’s a couple of great lunchrooms with goooood coffee and the best way to get around is what makes every Dutchies heart beat faster: by bike. Unfortunately I spent most of my days in bed because I was still sick, but there’s plenty to do around Kampot like visiting the Secret Lake, going rock climbing and just exploring this town on your bicycle.
Recommended time for staying in Kampot: 4 days/3 nights
Phnom Penh was our last stop and might well be one of my least favorite cities in Southeast Asia. The atmosphere is grim, you have to be very aware not to get robbed all the time and it is just an ugly city. But two of Cambodia’s most important war memorials are here: the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Prison – an absolute MUST visit when you go to Cambodia. I’ve been to Phnom Penh a year ago (read my blog here ) so this time I only spent a couple of hours in this place.
Recommended time for staying in Phnom Penh: 3 days/2 nights
I hope this will help you on your way planning your trip to this amazing country. Please be aware that the above is only based on my own personal opinions and that there might be loads of other travelers out there who do have soft spot for places like Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville. Any questions are welcome in the comments. Happy travels! 🙂