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Cambodia forum

Cambodia itineary help

Posted by smurfzzz on 15/1/2013 at 01:52

I will be travelling to Siem Riep, Phnom Penh , Sihanoukville and Kratie . Based on my research, it seems i need to travel back to Phnom Penh to get to the other cities, so my plan will be PP -> SR -> PP -> S -> PP -> K -> PP.

1. Is there any way to travel between Siem Riep, Sihanoukville and Kratie without going back to Phnom Penh?

2. I have allocated 2 days for Siem Riep with the following places to visit: Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Phnom Kulen National Park and Kbal Spean. Do you think it is enough?

3. I'm thinking of hiring a driver for all the visit including the night market. Will it be safe for single lady traveller to surge around the area?

4. Does anyone know of tour for the dolphin watching in Kratie?

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Posted by tyler on 15/1/2013 at 11:59

Hey smurfzzz,
1.) I think you end up going back to PP each time unless you wanted to fly. I can't remember which airline it is but I believe there are flights between S'ville and Siem Reap .
2.) It depends on how you like to go about things. I used a 3 day pass at Angkor and was glad I did. I have also met many people who were happy that they only spent about 1/2 day there. So, my advice, is just let it happen. If you are finished with Angkor after a 1/2 day then move on - if not, relax and save one of the other destinations for next time.
3.) Siem Reap is safe for single ladies. The night market is not huge and there are lots of lights and people. Nearby, Pub street is full of other travellers as well. You will only need (depending on where you stay) a tuk tuk to take you there and pick you up later.
4.) I've never been to Kratie :(

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Posted by freiburger on 15/1/2013 at 13:02


my information is slightly outdated but I guess not much changes. PP will be your hub for traveling. But you did not tell us from where you are ariving in Siem Reap . If you want to get a little change you could go by bus from PP to SR and back you could take the speedboat on Tonle Sap. There is a possibility to go from SR to S but you don't wanna take this way. Long and rough, so your best bet is to go back via PP to S.

At Siem Reap you will have to buy a 3 day pass anyway. The drivers usually have a fixed route they are going. Of course you can tell them what to do, but your driver will be really unhappy this way. So maybe you just let him drive :-) Ask him before you pay what he will do on first and second day. I did the 3 day tour but cancelled at the 3rd day around noon. Basically after 2 days in the temples it is enough.

By the way, if you choose your guesthouse whise, you don't need a driver for the night market. The roads are busy with people.

Sorry, never been to Kratie, but as far as I know it depends on the time of year if you see something or not. You can check in your guidebook, should be in all major books.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 15/1/2013 at 19:46 admin

1) No. No roads lead to Phnom Penh.
2) That's a lot in two days, especially with Kulen and Kbal Spean - I'd add another day
3) I don't see a pressing need for a driver for what you're suggesting, but assuming you use a driver that comes recommended, shouldn't be a problem.
4) The dolphin thing is straightforward. You take a tuk tuk, pay your money and a boatman takes you out. Personally I think it is a bit over rated, but that's just me. We've got a couple of blog entries on Kratie, one on things to do and another recommending places to stay -- may be of use.


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Posted by smurfzzz on 15/1/2013 at 20:08

Thanks everyone.

freiburger, My arrival and departure will be via Phnom Penh airport. So based on my itineary, I will spend 1 night in Phnom Penh for rest before heading to Siam Reap. On the way to Sihanoukville , I will stop another night in Phnom Penh as the journey is too long.

somtam2000, I know 2 days is a bit rush for Siam Reap, because I have total of 9 days, factoring the travelling time, I can only afford 2 days unless I give up Sihanoukville (2 days) or Kratie (1 day).
1. Another question about the driver, is it recommended that I book a driver before I arrive or will it be cheaper to get one from the hotel/hostel?

I don't want to spend so many days seeing the temple since most of it are the same, who knows maybe 1 day will be enough.

2. Are the waterfall in the national park and Kbal Chay worth visit? It is more expensive, the car cost 80USD.

3. Based on trip advisor review, Im interested in the horse riding from happy horse ranch. Anyone done that before?

4. I will be travelling over the period of chinese new year. Will people stop working or operations as normal?

5. Is tour guide necessary? Are the ancient ruins very big, meaning I will get lost?

Sorry for so many questions ask, and appreciate all replies.

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Posted by freiburger on 16/1/2013 at 03:16

Seriously, think about giving up something, you are rushing through this way and you miss alot of things on your destinations. Think about Kratie, is it really worth the day? You have a tight schedule, I would lave the fishes alone and get myself a good seafod dinner :-)

1: Doing the 1 day tour, you will only see the main temple like Ankor Wat and the ones close by. I am not sure if you will see Tha Phrom which would be a pitty, imho one of the nicest. I know that you are low on time, but 1 day is really not enough to experience Ankor Archeological Site. Imho you need 2 days to see the temples in the main area. Maybe you could skip Banteay Srey, but the drive there is worth doing too. Canbyhas good resources on this.

2: Never been there but saw alot of waterfalls around asia and only one was worth doing and this one was on a stop from a main attraction more or less by coincidence. Imho most of the waterfalls in SEA are to tourity to enjoy. But cannot speak for these 2, bu you wil loose lots of time for the trip.

3: Never done that, but had my own horse and hated riding horses used in school or for beginners. Think about it.

4: Never experienced one day in asia when things were closed :-) Get a cool place and have a party :-)

5: Basicaly a tour guide is not necessarry, you won't get lost. BUT, walking alone through the ruins you will get in contact with a couple of strange people, fellow torists, people who take care of the temples, contrsuction workers and freelancing touts who will offer their service to you. If you plan to do the trip alone it would be usefull to get a guide, or maybe you find a group of people you can join. The drivers usually stay with their tuktuk. Not necessary to book ahead, everything can be arranged once you arrive.

My tip, read the suggested ittinaries at canby and plan your stay. I had the National Geographic Ankor with me, but this one is too much into arts and less about history.

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Posted by Ova on 18/1/2013 at 01:04

As for your safety concern, Siem Reap is a really safe city. There's a lot of people around and a lot of light.

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Posted by smurfzzz on 18/1/2013 at 02:25

A last question,

1. can i get a prepaid sim card with data plan at phnom penh airport?

2. I don't live in US, so should I change my currency to USD or Riel? Does they accept riel there? Seems like USD is much preferred. If I pay by riel, will it be more expensive?

PS: Im using SGD

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Posted by JaiYen88 on 18/1/2013 at 12:46

You will probably be offered a free sim card as you arrive in PP, I was recently at Siem Reap airport!
There are lots of ATMs all over Cambodia which dispense US$. As you spend your dollars you will receive riel mixed in with your change. Pretty much everywhere accepts the smaller dollar notes, and everywhere accepts riel. Some small shops and stalls might not take your $50 note, which is understandable since they doubtfully make that much profit in a week, so if you are given $100s and $50s by an ATM, just change them to smaller notes in a bank or break them by paying for a meal in one of the bigger restaurants, although it's always better to buy from smaller, locally run places IMO!

Just regarding your itinerary, you really are trying to squeeze in too many places into a short space of time. Travelling isn't too comfortable a lot of the time in Cambodia, so if you spend a large proportion of your time on buses, you're not really going to enjoy yourself as much. I highly recommend visiting Koh Rong, an island off S'ville, instead of spending time in S'ville - it's still very undeveloped, with a few guesthouses and bars/restaurants and white beaches with turquoise water... much nicer than S'ville, in my humble opinion! You can get there easily from S'ville, just look for the signs advertising boat tickets to the island!

One more thing, spend more time in Angkor and Siem Reap than 2 days... and try to steer clear of pub street ;)

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Posted by smurfzzz on 18/1/2013 at 18:11

JaiYen, Thanks for the feedback. I will be going Koh Rong to dive with a dive operator, hence the need to depart from Sihanoukville. Seems like everyone recommend pub street, why will you ask to steer clear?

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Posted by JaiYen88 on 19/1/2013 at 14:29

Oh great, you will love Koh Rong! I highly recommend a small locally owned restaurant there called Nam Nam, which is just where the second pier has been built on the main beach (sadly obscuring their perfect view of the bay). It's the cheapest and best food on the island, and run by a local family rather than the other places which seemed to be mostly run by westerners. Try the mango and sweet sticky rice with Vietnamese coffee for breakfast, oh how I miss that!!

I probably should have said try to escape pub street rather than steer clear... it's fun at first, but for me it's too full of young backpackers getting way too drunk and being obnoxiously loud and drunkenly taking pictures of themselves with the begging children. If you were staying in Siem Reap a bit longer I could recommend a few more interesting places to hang out and meet people but if you're only there for a couple of days pub street should be fine!

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Posted by Rasheeed on 20/1/2013 at 20:44

You can bus from Siem Reap to Kratie, changing busses around Kampong Cham.

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Posted by smurfzzz on 21/1/2013 at 02:03

Based on the website, it says shared taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is about $10 per person, how do I go about doing that?

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Posted by JaiYen88 on 22/1/2013 at 06:37

Just get a bus from PP to SR, you'll pay between $6 and $12 (depending on company and comfort level) and there are lots of them! There's Mekong Express at the expensive end and Paramount Express at the cheap. There's no real need for a share taxi IMO, except when crossing to/from Thailand across the Aran / Poipet border.

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Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 28/1/2013 at 01:11 TF writer

Banks will only change larger dollar bills for smaller bills. You can change money at the money-changers, which are near every market. They have a glass cabinet with notes stuck to the front of it, and will change dollars for reil. If you are eating or shopping in markets, for example, reil is much easier. Also, the smallest dollar bill is $1, which is roughly equivalent to 4000 reil, and some things cost less than a dollar!

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Posted by breatheagain on 29/1/2013 at 21:51

Hi - we are currently in Cambodia - we went to Kratie 2 night, 1 days but wouldnt bother again - long trip on bus 9 hours just to see few dolphins swim around, they do not come near your boat as they are not inquisitive. we were on the boat 1 hr and nothing else to do - food dreadful - would not recommend it if you are short of time. All of Cambodia take us dollars - you will be given change of part dollar in reil so no need to bring any - (4,000 = 1$) - you can then pay part dollar and part reil for things to use it up or as tips. the atm gives u.s dollars.
We went to Angkor Wat for 6 hours -( a one day pass cost 20$) that was enough to see most sights - our tuk tuk driver waited for us - 15$ - plenty of guides on offer in the park to explain things - 90 mins cost 15$ - we used a guide for Angkor Wat but just looked around on our own at the others - our tuk tuk drove us between the sights. We have been to PP, Kratie, SR in a few days we go to Battanbang and down to coast so just ask if you have any more questions. hope this helps - have fun.

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Posted by smurfzzz on 29/1/2013 at 22:28

May I know what is the cost for the car to go Kbal Chay and National Park?

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