Photo: Within the grounds of the Royal Palace.

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Posted by teemosty on 23/12/2011 at 00:31

Hello all...

First of all...what an amazing resource this web site is. Thank you to all who participate in making this so.

Heading to SEA in mid January. Like many...I have struggled with the balance between ...seeing as much as possible and ...preserving the quality of time spent doing so. This trip for me was a bit of a last minute decision. We (gf) had to pull the trigger on airline tickets before the research had hit full swing. We booked round trip tickets to Bangkok...other things have caught my attention since. What had originally caught our eyes about Thailand was the southern islands (I realize there is much much more that Thailand has to offer). The two main objectives that we want to accomplish...(only two weeks)... Experiencing Angkor Wat and spending a nice handful of days experiencing the island life... Not just any island though... Of course the journey to and from and in between both of those destinations will be the icing on top of the cake...I hope.

Rough Draft:

Sunday 1- arrive in Bangkok Monday 12:00am
Monday 2- Sleeeeeep-Recharge-China Town?-Dinner...street food? We can figure that part out...good nights sleep... etc.
Tuesday 3- Head early for Siem Reap (bus)... maybe get lucky and catch our first sunset over Angkor?
(Is the train to the border really that much slower?)
Wednesday 4- Siem Reap/Angkor
Thursday 5- Siem Reap/Angkor
Friday 6- Siem Reap/Angkor
Saturday 7- Siem Reap to Phnom Penh early (by air). PP to Rach Gia to Phu Quoc if possible...if not...overnight in Rach Gia.

(debating between Phu Quoc and Ko Rong...they both have their advantages...leaning towards Phu Quoc)

Sunday 8- Rach Gia -Phu Quoc
Monday 9- Phu Quoc
Tuesday 10- Phu Quoc
Wednesday 11- Phu Quoc
Thursday 12- Depart (by air) Phu Quoc early for BKK via SGN... in BKK by noon? (get it on in Bangkok)
Friday 13- BKK (cry all day about having to leave tomorrow...or...enjoy Bangkok some more)
Saturday 14- Depart BKK early morning.

Please please throw all and any suggestions/critiques my way. Rip me to shreds if you feel you must. I admittedly have pretty much no idea what I am doing. :) The whole day 7/8 transitioning from SEP to PhuQ I am most unsure about. Too much traveling? Too many countries? Hell maybe I should just go back to Thailand from SEP for my island adventure? Only one billion islands to choose from... :/

Actually I should add...Only one of us will be crying on the last two days as I get to stay another week solo. Thinking Chiang Mai? Saigon? My additional week will be a photo study of where ever I go...One city..town...only. Certainly open to suggestions...pretty please with sugar on top. Thank You!

#1 teemosty has been a member since 21/12/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by eastwest on 23/12/2011 at 00:52

Will only comments on Siem Reap to Phu Quoc.

I advise you to go to Kep on day 7. It's a long day and if you take an afternoon (12.30 or 2.30 pm) bus to Kep you'll arrive late afternoon/evening in Kep.
That is a lot easier than trying to get to Rach Gia because you will have to cross the border in time. Doesn't make for a relaxing bus trip if for any reason there is a problem during the trip.
If you stay in Kep, which is very close to the border, you can go the next day in the morning to Ha Tien, grab a ferry and be in Phu Quoc around mid-day.

For the photo study you'll have to be a bit more specific about your interests (architecture, people, scenery) for me to make a recommendation.

#2 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
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Posted by gregmccann1 on 24/12/2011 at 06:24

I think you might want to spend some time in Phnom Penh. Furthermore, with the limited amount of time you have, you might have a bit too much transiting from place to place, which will tire you out. You could go down to the Cardamom Mountains in Koh Kong Province, which is about 5 hours south of PP, or you could also stay on an island in the Mekong River in Kratie province, which would be about 7 hours by bus from PP:
http://www.mekongresponsibletourism.org/wp-content/uploads/kalins-pdf/singles/crdt-dolphins-koh-pdao-preah-cbt.pdf

I haven't been to Phu Couc island but the beaches might not be as spectacular as the guesthouses there purport them to be. And anyway, when you're staying at a resort, which is probably what Phu Couc is largely comprised of, you're kind of insulated from real island life. At the ecotourism homestay on Koh Pdao island in the Mekong, you'd get a real taste of island life.

#3 gregmccann1 has been a member since 28/10/2009. Location: Taiwan. Posts: 183
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Posted by ilovecambodia on 17/1/2012 at 07:17

It sounds like an hectic schedule. Maybe you should try to simplify it a bit. Such a shame Phu Quoc is not accessible from Kep (you can almost reach out and touch it from Bokor Mountain). I loved Phu Quoc but perhaps for simplicity you just look at it from the mainland and instead travel to Sihanoukville and either hop onto one of the closer islands or stay on Otres Beach in a beach bungalow (beware the accommodation on the hill overlooking Otres Beach - awful). Same water, same sand, slightly less hectic schedule. Lots to explore in the area too. .. sorry for late reply but you did say mid January .

#4 ilovecambodia has been a member since 3/6/2009. Posts: 5

Posted by ilovecambodia on 17/1/2012 at 07:17

It sounds like an hectic schedule. Maybe you should try to simplify it a bit. Such a shame Phu Quoc is not accessible from Kep (you can almost reach out and touch it from Bokor Mountain). I loved Phu Quoc but perhaps for simplicity you just look at it from the mainland and instead travel to Sihanoukville and either hop onto one of the closer islands or stay on Otres Beach in a beach bungalow (beware the accommodation on the hill overlooking Otres Beach - awful). Same water, same sand, slightly less hectic schedule. Lots to explore in the area too. .. sorry for late reply but you did say mid January .

#5 ilovecambodia has been a member since 3/6/2009. Posts: 5

Posted by jringsak on 22/1/2012 at 22:40

eastwest makes a very good recommendation about Kep. Phu Quoc is not a long trip from Kep. If you go that route, check on what you need to do to get a Vietnamese visa beforehand. They were allowing visitors from Kampot/Kep to travel over to Ha Tien (and, by some accounts, all the way to Phu Quoc) for a few days without a visa, but not sure if that is still the case.

#6 jringsak has been a member since 7/12/2011. Posts: 9


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