Different approach to Cambodia - Worthy Itinerary?
29th August, 2010
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Hello fellow travellers, after reading up about Cambodia (Travelfish, lonely planet) I have put together an Itinerary that I would like some feed back to. Me and my gf are travelling SEA for 2 months roughly from beginning of October till beginning of December and we are going to visit Vietnam and Cambodia (she is doing Vietnam itinerary, I'm doing Cambodia - yikes) Since we are finishing our Vietnam trip in Saigon from where we will travel to Cambodia - Phnom Penh . After looking for various suggested itinerary's there are very few that start from Phnom Penh and basically none that we wanted to cover, so after some looking at the map and thinking we would like to do a good all around trip here is the itinerary I've put together. We have roughly 4 weeks give or take a week and we would like to travel through following places. I would really appreciate if you could give any pointers, whether it is worthy to go to those places and whether this is a do-able itinerary, Im open to any suggestions and suggested changes to itinerary to make this trip more worthwhile. Any must see places I should include on to it that I havent mentioned?
Phnom Penh -> Kampong Cham -> Chhlong -> Kratie -> Stung Treng . This is where it gets tricky, we would ideally like to go from here to Tbaeng Maenchey , but I didnt see any roads that would go there from Stung Treng, so I don't know whether this is even doable or not, what do you think so : Stung Treng -> Tbaeng Maenchey? If not then I suppose we have to travel back down? from Stung Treng -> Kampong Thom and continue to Tbaeng Maenchey, do the national park there and continue to -> Trapang Prasat -> Anlong Veng-> Angor Chum -> Angkor Wat -> Siem Reap -> Batambang -> Koh Kong -> Shianoukville -> Phnom Penh.
#1 Posted: 29/8/2010 - 03:18
That looks like an interesting itinerary and a good mix. I live in Cambodia and here are my comments but I haven't been to all the places you mentioned. In general it looks like a lot of time on buses. Try to see Cambodia's roadnet as a spider (with PP as the center) where you have to backtrack a lot over the same road. And most roads go via Phnom Penh /Kampong Cham.
- Kampong Cham, Chlong, Trapang Prasat, Angkor Chum, Kampong Thom. These places are all more or less similar. Just typical small (with a few exceptions) cambodian towns wihtout any real highlights. I don't know if you listed them as places where you intend to spend the night but you'd probably do well to skip a few if that is the case. After you've seen a few you've seen most. Some other places you mentioned have attractions nearby but the towns are similar so you'll get a good feel for these sort of towns anyway.
- Stung Treng to Tbaeng Meanchey/Preah Vihear. I'm almost certain there is no road directly between the two but I would recommend to visit the forum of www.khmer440.com . This is frequently visited by expats living in Cambodia so they might have the latest information for you. It is not a travelsite and there are definitely more "characters" there but for such specific questions it might work for you.
- National park. The state of cambodian national parks is in general poor. Nothing wrong with the parks themselves but trails, facilities and services are very poor. Preah Vihear temple is off course beautiful.
- If I were you I would do either Tbaeng Maenchey/ Preah Vihear OR Stung Treng/Kratie. The latter you could expand with a loop to Sen Monorom and Banlung. Otherwise you will have a lot of time on buses backtracking routes. Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri have some beautiful nature as well.
- Battambang to Koh Kong won't be easy and this is also a lot of travel. I would say keep this as an optional thing if time and money allows for it. Direct route is over very bad roads and via PP it is also a long ride on buses. Perhaps keep this as an option from Sihanoukville .
- Sihanoukville seems a bit like the odd one out but if it is intended as a place to party at the end of your travels it is a good choice. Otherwise I would recommend Kampot / Kep area as the "unwind" place for you. More scenic & pleasant. Kampot has a (cheap) social evening scene and Kep has a pleasant quiet coastal feel to it.
So in short my recommendation would be:
- 1 week Stung Treng/Kratie region OR Preah Vihear and surroundings and remote temples around Angkor
- 1 week Angkor & Battambang
- 1 week coastal Cambodia
- extra days for Phnom Penh and buffer if you find a place where you'd like to spend a few days longer or that Koh Kong trip.
#2 Posted: 29/8/2010 - 12:08
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