I've just been reading through a whole load of posts about a massive amount and gotta say this is an excellent site! I was hoping I could ask some of you experienced travellers for some advice?
My father has recently decided he's missed out on a lot in life by not being very adventurous, something I was more than happy to help out with. As such we are planning three weeks (not long enough I know) to SE asia. My dad has always been very keen to see Angkor Wat and I'd love to explore Cambodia so that has become the focus. Any advice at all would be very much appreciated, we're looking at going over in October time and have been advised to fly into Bangkok then head into Cambodia over land. All thoughts, opinions, advice would be greatly appreciated!
Oh, I am 24 and would like to spend a little time somewhere with a nightlife where I can meet other backpackers but my passion is wildlife and I'd really love to see the incredible countryside the region has to offer, terrestrial and marine.
Thanks for reading!
#1 twsread has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 2
Why do people give the advice that you should fly into Bangkok and go to Siem Reap over land? Siem Reap has an airport. Is there a significant cost difference? Because there is a significant time loss (1 day traveling each way) for a short trip.
3 weeks is a fine amount of time as long as you know you aren't going to see everything. Don't be too ambitious in your planning. Stick to Cambodia (there's much to see here) or maybe add some thailand if you're flying into BKK anyway.
.........You could also fly into Phnom Penh and then fly or get a bus up to Siem Reap . Personally, I love bus travel in Cambodia for everything you get to see out of the window, and the fun of travelling with Khmer people.
For nightlife, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville (beach) have plenty of bars, clubs etc. For wildlife and nature, Ream National Park near Sihanoukville, Kampot/Kep area and Kratie for Irriwaddy dolphin spotting are all good bets.
If you've got the time, you could visit Mondulkiri and get a guide with a motorbike to ride you over to Ratanakiri, which usually involves one night sleeping out in a hammock - definitely an adventure to make up for what your dad feels he's missed out on. Both these places have elephants, waterfalls, ethnic minority tribes and landscapes which are unusual for Cambodia.
If you allow 4 or 5 days for Siem Reap (include a Tonle Sap boat trip as well as the temples) and two or three days for Phnom Penh, that still leaves you two weeks for some more Cambodia. Remember that travel can take a while and is surprisingly tiring, so plan your trip from north to south or vice versa to maximise your visiting time.
The scenery between BK and Siem Reap is nothing to get excited about and yes it is a long haul and maybe a waste of a day. I did it and glad I did but yesterday I flew from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and extremely glad I didn't spend a long day on a bus.
You can always go to Kampong Cham and hit up the nearby rubber tree plantations (although I don't think they are quite as impressive as they once were). Taking a bike ride on Koh Pine is nice if it isn't flooded. A speedboat up the river to one of the Watts is fun and a good way to see some of the river. Phnom Broh/Phnom Shrei has a big tree with a bunch of monkeys--I'd recommend buying a soda, opening it, and watching them do there thing!
Kratie isn't too far from Kampong Cham (will take a few hours, I believe you can take a boat from Kampong Cham but I would check). That's where the Irrawaddy dolphins are spotted the most.
#6 candyman has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 20
Awesome, getting so excited! Thanks a lot for the great advice all, better start writing up an itinerary!
All the best with your travels =)
#7 twsread has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 2