Visiting Cambodia had never been on my shopping list of places to see in South East Asia. Memories of the ‘Killing Fields’ and the murder of some Western backpackers in 1994 were too close for comfort. As for Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s main treasure, I don’t think I’d even heard of it until I found myself looking at the departures board in Hanoi airport a year ago and wondering where Siem Reap was. To cut a long story short we set up this website after travelling through Vietnam then returned to Cambodia and the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam a year later to continue our journey. This Cambodia travel guide provides useful tourist information for first time visitors to this exciting part of the world.
With hindsight I’d suggest that starting your journey in Ho Chi Minh City then travelling through the Mekong Delta before taking a ferry from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh is the most practical travel itinerary with no shortage of options for getting around very cheaply.
To make life interesting we decided to do the trip in reverse. This was a conscious decision as we were well aware that Angkor Wat and the Temples of Angkor were likely to prove to be the highlight of our trip so we chose to see them first.
This was our itinerary:
To get rid of some jetlag we flew from Manchester to Bangkok where we spent two days before taking a Bangkok Airways flight to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the town where everyone stays who is visiting Angkor Wat.
From Siem Reap we took a slow riverboat to Battambang. Next stop was Phnom Penh followed by Sihanoukville on the coast and Kampot, the gateway to the Bokor National Park.
From Kampot we taxied to the Vietnamese border at Phnom Den where we entered Vietnam on foot at a heavily policed crossing in the middle of a rice padi (see Cambodia border crossings).
This might well have been the most adventurous of all our travel experiences, especially when we got into Vietnam and found that the only available transport was two lads with scooters who took us the 30km to Chau Doc.
This and other stories appear at the above links which take you to individual pages about each destination.