Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Kep - Kampot - Sihanoukville - Koh Rong island
03.11.2014 - 25.11.2014
I will start by my opinion about Cambodia.
It is a nice country with beautiful landscapes but I missed to have communication with Kmers.
We traveled with Tom ' family, but unfortunately his cousins don't speak any English so I couldn't have a good communication with them.
2nd thing is Cambodia is more expensive than Thailand.
The reason is because Thailand has never been in war.
For me, the 2 most important things to see in Cambodia are Siem Reap and the south : Koh Rong island.
We arrived on the 3rd of November by plane.
Tom couldn't get his passport " K" as he doesn't speak Kmer enough.
PP is a big city with too much traffic,if you plan to rent a bike there, be careful it is very dangerous.
You can take a Tuk Tuk or even jump on a moto - taxi.
If you have time you can stay there but to be honest if you don't, you are not gonna miss anything.
It's nice to walk along the river but it is not a Must Do at all.
We ve been there for the water festival with animations on streets;we tried insects and snake for the first time.
Snake is like chicken but with a lot of bones..
If you like shopping,you can go to the Russian Market, but it is not something to see for my opinion, and you have Aeon Mall which is ok but the prices are regular as Europe.
Happy rooftop is a nice rooftop in an hostel straight on the city center.
The Royal palace is one of the main activity of PP.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum ( S21): I didn't want to go there , I have been because Tom and Kat wanted to go
For my point of view it is more interesting to read a book about the history of Kmer Rouges than just go there.
You will only see a prison where only 7 peoples survived, skulls,torture machines,pictures of all this people who died there...
It is not,for my point of view, worth it to see even if it's only $3.
Go buy a book and you will learn so much more than what you could read there.
On the 6th we took the bus to go up to Siem Reap.
Everybody knows the name " Angkor Wat", Siem Reap is the city where you have an access to Angkor.
Count $20 for a day, $40 for 3 days
$15 for a Tuk Tuk who will bring you around temples.
Important information: in some part of temples you have to be covered on your shoulders and have a pant.
The first time we went there,we took a Tuk Tuk and then the 2nd time we ve been with Tom'cousin with a scooter for 4 :P
We have seen some monkeys and even one jumped on the back of my friend lol... Bloody monkeys
What can I say about Angkor.. it is something to see once in your life,the architecture is just so beautiful and when you are realizing that all this foundations are from the Kmers Empire ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor) it is more incredible.
For my point of view,one day is widely enough.
You can chose to spend 2,3 days but the most beautiful temple are at the beginning,then,it is more and more rocks.
Angkor Wat / Bayon / Ta Prohm are the 3 main ones with the latest as a " TOMB RAIDER" reference.
If you are interest about hand made stuff, you can go to visit their workshops below:
- SILK FARM
- SIEM REAP WORKSHOP ( this one is in the city center, and by the way,you can go to the silk farm for free with them)
- KMER CERAMIC CENTRE
Also,you can't rent scooter in SR,only bikes ( $1 a day).
Then Party : yes the parties are freaking cool in PUB STREET
Angkor What and Temple are the 2 mains nightclubs and there are in front of each others.
$8 a bucket, for your information , the alcohol is less expensive in Angkor What than in Temple.
We tried for the first time the Jello Shot syringes... don't try it lol.
Everybody was on the street between this 2 bars, just dancing and having fun and even one small girl threw talc powder around everybody.
I learnt during this night that Kmers eat insect as appetizers lol...tom's cousin bought some and gave it to anybody lol.
X bar is cool as well with live band and nice view on the city,this is where we saw my switzerland friends for the first time since Thailand.
After few search online, the best bar is actually LAUNDRY and TOP BANANA.
I never found Top Banana.. it is in the Mad Monkey hostel, the map on Google is wrong.
Food in SR is ok, just need to know where to go.
We found a good place for 1.5 dollars a meal and it was great.
We had also a nice BBQ in Palm Cafe, they are doing Kmer dishes but also western.
Both places are in the same area.
If you are looking for a room with A/C, my hostel was good : Tom and Jerry : $12 a night,10 min walk from the night market
Then,if you don't mind to have A/C or not, you can find cheap room with fan.
The Night Market is quiet nice and big, you can find some good bargain.
If you like chill in cafe,I advise to go to Blue Pumpkin,you can lie on a sofa with your computer that you can plug in as well.
If you want to try something new : Bugs Cafe lol , we haven't been but I saw the Menu... ithere are meals with insects base lol: spiders,scorpions....
Then,here are others activities that you can do around SR:
- Horse riding
- Zoo Conservation
- Be Volunteer
If you read the reviews about the floating market,you don't have any envy to get there as everybody say it is a rip off.
Yes guys, we are travelling,spending money for alcohol and party,but think that it is only one day in your life to play with kids,to teach them english but for them it's a lot.
Also,spend $10, $15 dollars is actually nothing for us and they can play with games and having fun with.
We were volunteer on a Sunday afternoon where we brought some basics English books and a big plastic balloon.( We didn't know that they will speak English very well lol)
The balloon was destroyed after 10 min haha.
We came back on the Tuesday with a bowling game and we taught English for few hours.
I had the smallest kids,OMG... you can imagine how is to manage a class... ok so imagine now with kids who don't speak my language = everybody did what they wanted to do lol.
You will find also some animals,dogs,cats,puppies,chicken,goose... it was really enjoyable as we love animals :D
Here is the address for this organisation : http://cdochildren.org/, and you can get there only in 5 min by bike from the city.
KEP AND KAMPOT
Kep is nice and if you pass by,you will like it, but at the point to say to you to go there, no.
You have a crabs market where you buy live crabs and they ll cook it for you.
The beach is nice, but as at this moment that I am writing I am on Koh Rong Island.. hum ... Kep is just a beach.. Sihanoukville is better.
Kampot... nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing to do there.
Believe me, Tom' parents told us that but I didn't believe it,so we ve been in the " city" lol, just nothing.
We had a blind massage which was very good but you can get some any where.
We were glad to go to Teuk Chhou Rapids but if you don't have transportation it will be harder.
Tom's father belong a land and just close by it, people are taking oyster from the sea;it looks like more shells then oysters but anyway,we tried them for the dinner !
Then,we went to a temple where Tom's father knows one of the monk.
While we were there,once again, they talked in Cambodian, and this time for ages lol..........
Go to Otres Beach ( $5 a tuk tuk from Sihanoukville) and swim during the night to see Bioluminescent plankton.
There is the perfect place to relax;our hostel was Chez Paou ( French/Cambodian) and it was good.
We paid 15 dollars a night for a bungalow and you are literally on the beach
Koh Rong Samloen and Koh Rong
First,we didn't know if we wanted to take the slow boat or the speed boat as it was the same price : $20.
Slow boat: breakfast in Sihanoukville, 20 min snorkelling (don't expect seeing fishes),lunch in KR Samloen and KR.
Speed boat: 45 min to get to KR.
We decided to take the slow boat to spend at least a night in each island and we could take the return when we wanted.
Koh Rong Samloen is good to relax, there is no shops there;only few guesthouses who serve food as well.
Apparently the other part of the island is very nice.
Koh Rong; waou, I can say this is one of the best beach that I have seen in my life.
It is a good place to relax,also party,go through the jungle to reach Long Beach ... you can spend easily 5-6 days there;that' s what I did.
It takes 45 min to head to LB and for the return,we took a boat for $3 each.
The parties are not crazy as everybody can say but with some alcohol in your blood everybody is dancing even if the music is not good... lol
Also, there are puppies everywhere,maybe 10 or 15 on Ko Rong lol and obviously dogs and cats ( at this moment a cat is just sleeping next to me)
Kat,my friend from Canada,arrived on the 20th to do a part of the trip with us.
I can say it is pretty cool to write on an island :D
Sky Bar has a nice view as you can see below.
The prices are more than correct and the breakfast that I had was very good.
I didn't believe that one day in my life I will miss egg and bacon on toast... come on I am french lol I used to grow up with only sweet food in the morning ...pains au chocolats, bread,cereales ...
To eat :
Hum, guys , sorry but here everything is kinda the same, Tom loves " Mr Runs" but I prefer the restaurant just close by it " THAI FOOD" ( you will see a billboard) or " Nice food II".
Where to sleep :
I had my four nights in "Ponleu Pich" guesthouse. 10 dollars a room for 2 , $13 for 3 people.
It is correct but internet doesn't work properly,they have a lot of problems with electricity...if you are short in a budget it is ok,I think even the cheapest on the island.
I heard the trees houses are cool but too expensive for us : $ 50 dollars a night.
Tomorow, 23th of November we are leaving this wonderful island to take the way of Laos...
Last night in Koh Rong Island : Go to Mango Bar for another experience lol
We took the boat at 3 pm and then got to Sihanoukville ard 5... How funny when you arrive in Sihanoukville and no buses left... you take a cab
As we were 3,it was actually better,we paid 20 each and we got to Phnom penh only in 3 hours ( instead of 4 with the bus)
Tom needed to repair his camera this is the reason why we stayed one more day.
We had a good night in PP with Tom's cousin,have been to Poonton nightclub and Heart of Darkness.
It was not the best club ever but I didn't expect anything abt PP so we had a good time together.
I slept only 1 hour as I needed to catch my bus at 7 AM... hum... not feeling very good :/
Tom decided to stay longer in Cambodia to know more about his origins and maybe do some volunteer jobs.
Next => Trip # Laos