I'm trying to set up an itinerary for our Cambodia trip in August.Can you give me some advice on which itinerary is the best?
Day 1-2 P.Phen
Day 3-4 Kompong Chhnang
Day 5-6 Battambang
Day 7-8 -9-10 Siem Reap
Day 11-Flight from Siem Reap
Day 1-2 P.Phen
Day 3-4 Kompong Cham
Day 5-6 Kompong Thom
Day 7-8-9-10- Siem Reap
Day 11-Flight from Siem Reap
I'm really confused about if it's better to go K.Chhnang and Battanbang versus K.Cham and K.Thom
Thank you very much
#1 moonflower5 has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 5
Most people opt for option 1 via Battambang. Simply because that is the only town of the 4 that has some more "special" things to do
The other 3 places are very much the same. Pleasant enough as transit places but nothing special. Read some more about these places on the site and then decide.
Ok, thank you very much. But the more I read, the more confused I am ;) All seem to have some special things I find attractive.
I think we will opt for itinerary 1 aswell, but cutting out one of the nights in Kompong Chhang and giving it to P.P or Siem Reap.
#3 moonflower5 has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 5
I am a Cambodian. Visiting Phnom Penh is not a good time if you really want to visit many other places in Cambodia. Phnom Penh is just a city but a smaller city compared to other country. Kampong Chnang is just some simple views like the field and etc.. Battam Bong is just small mountains and the field views too. Kampong Thom is just fields and some small views with small mountains etc.. Kampong Cham is fields too and some very few temples and few mountains. And i highly recommend you to come to Siem Reap . I know very much about Siem Reap there are so many exciting temples in Siem Reap a small happy city and water fall, mountains and many great guest houses ( i think you really wanna try staying in Dream Villa, this guest house is a very good place ) the temples have many choices especially Angkor Wat, you can see a beautiful sunrise view through the Angkor Wat temple. You can see a beautiful sun set or sunrise on Bakeng mountain too there are temples on this mountain too. You can see the floating village of Cambodia and travel by boat through the Tonle Sap Lake.
#5 watchray has been a member since 24/3/2011. Posts: 2
Suggested new itinerary for you:
Fly in to Siem Reap . Plenty other things to do and to discover apart from temples. From Siem Reap to Battambang , stay 2 nights overthere, rent a motorbike and expolre by yourself. From Battambang to Phnom Penh, stay another 2 nights and spend the rest of your holidays at Kampot and Kep. Back to PP and from there to your next destination.
Kampong Thom, Kampong Chnang and Kampong Cham, there is really and almost nothing to see, these are provincial towns only. If you would bring some more time, then you could head to Kratie (very charming small colonial town with the famous river dolphins).
Hope it helps a little bit and doesn't make you too confused.
Thank you for your answer KhmerWays!
We have to start from PP and finish at Siem Reap as we already have the flights. So, I don't know if the itinerary you suggested is feasible.
Kampot sounds very attractive to me, but I don't know if we will have time enough to go there. If we start in PP, and stay there for 2 days, then go from PP to Kampot for 2 more days and then head North, to Battambang , will we need to stay another night in PP or is it feasible to go from Kampot straight to Battambang ?
#7 moonflower5 has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 5
Do I read your post correctly, that you have ten nights to spend in Cambodia? If so, here are some more thoughts on an itinerary (based upon having spent 5 weeks in Cambodia in January and February of this year). Personally, I found Kratie, Kampong Cham and Kep to be interesting, all for different reasons. Yes, provincial towns, but I found that to be part of the interest, if not charm. We spent 3 nights in Battambang . We got there from Kep, on a Phnom Penh Sorya bus. A very long day, which included a lay-over of about 1.5 - 2 hours in PP. We went through Kampong Chhnang on the way to Battambang, but that's all I know about the place.
1. Presumably, the first night is of the day you arrive. Two nights in Phnom Penh = one full day. This I would consider to be a minimum, but you can certainly see the very main sights in one busy day.
2. If you want to go to the ocean, it'll be a half day down to Kep (which is on the coast, while Kampot is inland). Beautiful there, and not a lot of activities (which is why we spent five nights there). A night on Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island) is interesting and pretty quiet. However, given your short time frame, I don't know that you have enough time to spend going down to Kep and getting back.
3. There are some sights near to Kampong Cham, and things of interest in the countryside (rubber plantation, oldest surviving wooden wat, silk weaving village, back country roads). I would recommend Mr. Vannat as a guide around there and can give you his contact info if you want. K. Cham is only two hours or so from PP. It would be feasible to spend a couple of nights there, then go directly to Siem Reap or Battambang.
4. Sights around Kampong Thom are mainly pre- Angkor temples. You may want to forgo this, since you are short on time and will spend 3 - 4 days at Siem Reap.
5. Battambang is a charming little town and there are serveral temples and such in the area. Also, the bamboo railway appears to still be running, and you can take the boat from Battambang to Siem Reap.
6. Four nights at Siem Reap = three days, unless your flight out is very late at night, in which case it would mean four days. You'll need to decide how much of the temples at Angkor and surrounding area you want to see, balanced against the overall trip time you have. Perhaps three days there is quite sufficient for your level of interest. I can also recommend a tuk-tuk driver/guide in SR, but who can't?
So, here's one way to do it, based upon what decisions you make about one town vs. another (based upon ten nights):
1. Two nights in Phnom Penh.
2. Two nights in Kampong Cham.
3. Two nights in Battambang.
4. Three nights in Siem Reap.
The one night left over can be given to which ever of the four stops you decide warrants more time. Or two extra nights, if you actually have eleven nights, or the equivalent thereof.
Whichever way you go, have an enjoyable ride.
Send me a PM if you want more information about the guides I mentioned.
Thank you very much for your reply, and sorry for my late answer.
The ittinerary you proposed sounds quite interesting.
Do you know how long is the ride form Kampong Cham to Battambang?
I would love to go to Kampot but I think we'd better give up the idea of going as it's going to be too short of time...
#9 moonflower5 has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 5
The bus trip from Kampong Cham to Phnom Penh took two and a half hours. From Phnom Penh to Battambang was around 7 hours. We didn't do that in one day, though did something similar (Kep > Phnom Penh > Battambang). Both legs were on the same bus line (Phnom Penh Sorya), which I would recommend for three reasons. 1) It's a decent, reliable bus company. 2) Using the same bus company all the way means not changing bus stations in Phnom Penh. 3) Sorya is a bus line that, while used by foreign travelers, is still mainly a Khmer bus service (and thus, Khmer bus experience).
You'll get one ticket for the Kampong Cham > PP segment and a second ticket for the PP > Battambang segment, with a lay-over in Phnom Penh at the Sorya bus station near Psar Thmei. We were at the Phnom Penh station between busses around an hour and a half or two hours. It was pretty entertaining. The choreography of moving busses in and out of the place is quite the thing to see. Food and water are sold there, and of course there are many, many (mostly Khmer) people waiting there for their bus. Great people watching.
You'll just need to be aware of what bus you are looking for to get to Battambang. The paper signs in the front windows of the busses are not always accurate or informative. After you arrive at the station and get settled somewhere with your things, get out your ticket and show it to one of the men in a Sorya vest, who is directing people onto busses. He, or one of his cohorts, can help you know which bus to get on and when to queue up. Your departing bus likely won't arrive at the station very long before it is supposed to leave. As you will see, they don't have a lot of space there to have busses stacked up for long. They really move them in and move them out pretty rapidly.
A couple of other things about bus travel in Cambodia. The busses (Sorya, at least) do not have toilets on board. They do stop from time to time, so even though I personally am given to rather frequent toilet stops, I didn't find it to be an issue. Meals are included in your bus fare. On longer rides (i.e., Phnom Penh > Battambang), there will probably be two stops. The bus pulls up in front of a building that's really a large open hall with lots of seating within. Generally, off to one side, inside or out, is a line of serving tables, with people doling out typical Khmer food. This is the "included" meal. There also are usually other folks, not associated with the bus company, selling various kinds of food and drink just outside the building.
Given your available time, I think it's good to forego Kampot this time.
Thank you so much for your help!
It's really useful to me!
Only one month left to go...
I think we will have to go back to Cambodia, as there is a lot to see and we will be there too short this time....
Thank you again for your help.
#11 moonflower5 has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 5
Happy to do it. Yes, go again. It's a beautiful country, and much to see everywhere.
BTW, I have to go back to Watchray's post (#5 above): "Phnom Penh is just a city but a smaller city compared to other country." No, it's not as large as Bangkok or Singapore (thank heavens), but it is a fascinating Cambodian city in the midst of huge changes, and more worth seeing than skipping. It provides a good contrast with places like Kampong Cham and Battambang. And those bus stops along the way.