If you want to really see much of what Cambodia has to offer, a month long exploration of the country will allow you ample time to see the most interesting destinations in the country. As with all travel in Cambodia, there's a fair amount of bus or boat travel involved, but with a month there's also enough down time to rest your sore bum.
We've designed this trip as a circuit that loops around the country so you can start it in any number of locations and it also fits in well with those who are planning on continuing on to Laos, Thailand or Vietnam through one of the overland crossings.
Both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have international airports, so some will be starting the trip in one of those two spots, though those entering Cambodia overland will have a range of options.
The suggested minimum time for a trip like this is around three weeks, though four weeks or more would be better.
1) Arrive overland from Thailand at Ko Kong (beaches, island, waterfalls)
2) Ko Kong -> Sihanoukville (beaches, islands, waterfalls, backpacker scene)
3) Sihanoukville -> Kampot (riverside town, national park, pepper)
4) Kampot -> Kep (beaches, island)
5) Kep -> Phnom Penh (capital city, Khmer Rouge history, colonial architecture, scenic riverside setting)
6) Phnom Penh -> Battambang (temples, silk villages, river-trips)
7) Battambang -> Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
8) Siem Reap -> Phnom Penh
9) Phnom Penh -> Kompong Cham (Temples, river trips)
10) Kompong Cham -> Sen Monorom (Elephant rides, trekking, remote location)
11) Sen Monorom -> Kratie (Irrawaddy Dolphins)
12) Kratie -> Stung Treng (Riverside town, gateway to Laos)
13) Stung Treng -> Ban Lung (Remote location, trekking, national park)
One day: fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Two day: Fly from Ban Lung to Phnom Penh
One day: Break the Ko Kong to Sihanoukville trip with a stop at Ko Sdach -- a very little-visited island with access to great beaches
One day: Head out from Kep for an overnight stay on Ko Tonsay -- a great back-to-basics island
Two days: Strike north from Siem Reap to the Khmer Rouge hideout of Anlong Veng -- a destination unique in Cambodia
Two days: Escape the tourist hordes at Sihanoukville and head to Ko Russei -- for a day or two as a beach bum
View Cambodia one month in a larger map
To help you work out how you'll get around, we've listed the trip durations for the various forms of transport available. Note that with the exception of flight times, these are average trip times, so no hate mail if you take the slow train.
|CAMBODIA: One month adventure|
|Ko Kong||Ko Sdach||-||-||-||3:00|
|Siem Reap||Phnom Penh||1:00||5:00||-||6:00-8:00|
|Phnom Penh||Kompong Cham||-||4:00||-||-|
|Kompong Cham||Sen Monorom||-||7:00-10:00||-||-|
|Stung Treng||Ban Lung||-||3:00-4:00||-||-|
Where to go, how long to stay there, where to go next, east or west, north or south? How long have you got? How long do you need? Itinerary planning can be almost as maddening as it is fun and here are some outlines to help you get started. Remember, don't over plan!
Burma lends itself to a short fast trip with frequent flights thrown in or a longer, slower trip where you don't leave the ground. There isn't much of a middle ground. Ground transport remains relatively slow, so be wary about trying to fit too much in.
Roughly apple-shaped, you'd think Cambodia would be ideal for circular routes, but the road network isn't really laid out that way. This means you'll most likely find yourself through some towns more than once, so work them into your plans.
How long have you got? That's not long enough. Really. You'd need a few lifetimes to do this sprawling archipelago justice. Be wary of trying to cover too much ground - the going in Indonesia can be slow.
North or south or both? Laos is relatively small and transport is getting better and better. Those visiting multiple countries can pass through here a few times making for some interesting trips.
The peninsula is easy, with affordable buses, trains and planes and relatively short distances. Sabah and Sarawak are also relatively easy to get around.The vast majority of visitors stick to the peninsula but Borneo is well worth the time and money to reach.
So much to see, so much to do. Thailand boasts some of the better public transport in the region so getting around can be fast and affordable. If time is limited, stick to one part of the country.
Long and thin, Vietnam looks straightforward, but the going is slow and the distances getting from A to B can really bite into a tight trip plan. If you're not on an open-ended trip, plan carefully.
This is where itinerary planning really becomes fun. Be sure to check up on our visa, border crossing and visa sections to make sure you're not trying to do the impossible. Also, remember you're planning a holiday -- not a military expedition.