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Cambodia forum

Cambodia 5 day Itinery advice appreciated!

Posted by squae on 18/10/2009 at 06:03

Hello,

I have 5 days in Cambodia and it would be great to get some advice from people in the know!

I have currently alloted all the time to Ankhor Wat, BUT, I dont think I actually need that much time and hence would like some ideas of day trips etc to other temples and areas from and around siem reap.

Currently the itinery is

Arrive at Phnom Penh at 4.30pm than taxi to Siem Reap arriving at approx. 9.30pm

Day 1 - Ankhor Wat
Day 2 - Ankhor Wat
Day 3 - Ankhor Wat
Day 4 - Ankhor Wat
Day 5 - Siem Reap to Phnom Penh(Mekong Express 8.30am - 2.30pm)

Than depart Phnom Penh at 5.00pm

Thanks for any help in advance !

#1 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by meceo on 18/10/2009 at 08:08

sorry, i can't offer anything! but i am totally interested in the responses you get - as i am in cambodia for 5 days too.

#2 meceo has been a member since 12/10/2009. Posts: 2


Posted by exacto on 18/10/2009 at 09:45

hi again. i haven't heard too many positive reviews about the mekong express, so i'd like to hear what others think about that option for getting back to phnom penh vs. just taking a bus. is the boat something you were really looking forward to doing?

if it were me, i'd probably begin the journey back to phnom penh the morning of day 4 instead of day 5. depending on how much you are really into the ruins, it should still give you plenty of time to enjoy angkor, siem reap, and surrounds, and then give you a bit of time to explore phnom penh too. it's an under-rated destination.

the other advantage of spending the night of day 4 in phnom penh instead of siem reap is that you won't have to sweat out whether or not you'll actually make it to the airport on time for your departing flight. take care.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,650
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Posted by squae on 18/10/2009 at 10:56

Hey exacto,

I just had to go back and check than, the Mekong express, despite the name is a slightly more expensive than average (it has toilets onboard) bus company.

Was looking at the boats but as you said it sounded like most people thought the buses were the way to go.

Will think about returning to Phnom Penh a day earlier, not quite sure how I will go convincing the wife though!

I was interested in particular to any day trips that can be done out of Siem Reap which are recommended.

#4 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by exacto on 18/10/2009 at 23:09

hi squae,

i can only speak to the day trips i've done out of siem reap. one was the trip to banteay srei. i particularly loved the drive out there through the villages and rice fields, while my wife loved the color of the stone and the quality of the relief carvings at the temple itself. recommended.

the other was the trip out to tonlee sap. we went to the nearest village i guess and didn't have a good time at all. it was expensive and felt like a people zoo. but others said they had a pretty good experience visiting some of the villages further afield, and that seeing the lake itself was worth the trip.

there have been quite a few other threads on the message board on these topics too, so have a look around and see if there is any info you can use. regards.

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,650
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Posted by somtam2000 on 19/10/2009 at 07:26 admin

Two great daytrips out of Siem Reap are to Beng Mealea (more ruins) and to Kompong Khleang (floating villages etc) on Tonle Sap.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by French_bulldog65 on 20/10/2009 at 16:18

Hi, to all who'll be there for 5 days.

Been to Siem Reap 3 times and each time, it's 5 days spent. On top of that, i organize the itinerary for my friends and family, and so far, compliments about the plan. 5-day is just nice. Since temple pass comes in 1/3/7 days, i suggest take a 3-day pass since you can have a good balance between temples and other activities.

- Must-Visit temples: Angkor Wat, Ta Promh, Bayon, Preah Khan, Banteay Srei
- Try-not-to-miss-out temples: Ta Keo, Pre Rup, Terrace of Elephants, Phimeanakas

When you are tired of temples (which i do after 3 days), there are some other interesting places.
- Landmine Museum (near Banteay Srei, so again combine this with Kbal Spean tour)
- 45-min easy trekking (children can do it too) to see ancient carvings on river-bed
- West Baray
- Les Artisans D'Angkor (wood-carving workshops etc...)
- Silkworm farms (to see how silk is made)

On both my visits to Siem Reap, i never fail to get Sila, tuk-tuk driver turned friend. He's a wonderful person to get, to make your trip safe and enjoyable. Very honest and sincere guy, speaks decent English and in fact, he's the one who brought me to local markets, passing by villages which make palm sugar, cambodian karaoke-clubs (may look sleazy but trust me, being a lady myself, i have no problem there). He gives me good advice on my travel plans and each time, i go to somewhere new. :)

You can drop me a line for more details about itinerary or tuk tuk.

#7 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by squae on 20/10/2009 at 18:22

Thanks for the posts guys they are really helping, have been working on the itinery, so far :

Arrive at Phnom Penh at 4.30pm than taxi to Siem Reap arriving at approx. 9.30pm

Day 1 - Ta Phrom, Banteay Kdei, Sra Srang
Day 2 - Angkor wat, Ankhow Thom, Preah Khan
Day 3 - Bantreay Srei, Beng Mealea, Kbal Spean
Day 4 - ????,
Day 5 - Siem Reap to Phnom Penh(Mekong Express 8.30am - 2.30pm)

Than depart Phnom Penh at 5.00pm.



Really happy with everything I know 5 straight days of temples sounds like a lot for most but seeing the temples of Angkor was one of the main factors for the holiday.(also the idea for the day trip to Bantreay Srei, Beng Mealea, Kbal Spean looks great and is a definate)

Just trying to work out day 4 now. I was thinking maybe a 4wd trip to a remote location such as Preah Vihear, Koh Ker or Banteay Chmar.

Anyone been to these temples and have a preference, ALSO is it worth it???

Any other remote temple ideas?

#8 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by French_bulldog65 on 20/10/2009 at 21:20

Hi there,

Can't help you on the remote temples though i'm planning so for the next trip. I've seen them on photos and well....like most photos of temples, preah vihear looks mystical.

Your plan seems nice and i'd suggest to add on the following:

* Finish Day 1 at Bayon and then, Phnom Bakheng (near Bayon) for Sunset. Bayon is a must-visit.
* Start Day 2 sunrise at Angkor wat.
* Try to add in Landmine Museum for Day 3 when on the way back to town. It could have been more informative but for US$2/ entry, it's worth it to drop by.

For a tight schedule like yours and the first time in Siem Reap , i think Preah Vihear is not a must. After 3 days of temple tour, why don't you take it easy on Day 4? :)

My suggestion:
* Morning- Markets.
There're lots to see in the markets. I don't mean shopping, but you get to see the local life of Cambodians.
* Afternoon- les Artisans d'Angkor and silkworm farm. It's free entry (up to you to tip the guide assigned there) and you see the locals at the workshop.
otherwise, laze for an hour at any cafe in Siem Reap town. It's laid back... relaxed...and you are on holidays, right?

#9 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by candyman on 20/10/2009 at 23:50

squae-for day 3 when you are planning on going to Bantreay Srei, Beng Mealea, and Kbal Spean, what are your plans to accomplish this? (Are you going on a guided tour, taking a car/tuk-tuk, etc.)

I want to do all three in a day as well but hear it can be a pretty long day. Just curious how you are going to see all three.

Cheers!

#10 candyman has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 20

Posted by squae on 21/10/2009 at 08:43

Candyman,
I was going to get a driver to take me to the 3 sites, I read in the lonely planet that the 3 can be combined in a long day trip, (not sure if thats right but thats where I got the info)



Hey french_bulldog65.

Thanks for the post,

Yep definately going to Bayon, I previously thought that was part of the ankgor thom complex.

I was wondering in regards to watching the sunset FROM Phnom Bakheng, are you actually looking at the Phnom Bakheng temple or at a different temple like Ankgor Wat in the horizon?

In regards to the last day I will probably go to the markets if people say that the 3 remote temples aren't worth a full day trip (Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Banteay Chmar)

So has anyone been to these temples at all?, or have info?

#11 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by French_bulldog65 on 21/10/2009 at 20:40

Hi Squae

For Sunset at Phnom Bakheng, tourists will do a simple 15-min trek to the hilltop where Phnom Bakheng temple is situated. Climb the steps of the temple (narrow, steep steps but i've seen old grannies do it, so should be very fine for youngsters) and you can see the sun setting from the top of the temple. However, since you need to climb down the steps and trek the way back, i suggest you give some time buffer, not when it gets too dark.

#12 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by squae on 23/10/2009 at 15:39

Hey guys,

Thanks for the help especially French_bulldog65 & Somtam2000,

Close top finalising the itinery so far.

Arrive at Phnom Penh at 4.30pm than taxi to Siem Reap arriving at approx. 9.30pm

Day 1 - Sunrise at Angkor wat, Ankhow Thom, Preah Khan
Day 2 - Ta Phrom, Banteay Kdei, Sra Srang & sunset at Phnom Bakheng
Day 3 - Bantreay Srei, Beng Mealea, Kbal Spean
Day 4 - ??? either markets and relax day in Siem Reap OR 4WD tour?
Day 5 - Siem Reap to Phnom Penh(Mekong Express 8.30am - 2.30pm)

Than depart Phnom Penh at 5.00pm

That is the itinery as it stands, it is only the one day which I havent been able to solve yet, does anyone know anything about the following temples Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Banteay Chmar, it is a massively long day, and unless any of them are really really special I would probably be happy to kick back in Siem Reap.

Any advise on this final point would be greatly appreciate to finish out the itinery !!!

#13 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by somtam2000 on 24/10/2009 at 08:17 admin

Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Banteay Chmar would each be separate day trips from Siem Reap -- not possible to do more than one in a day... save them for next trip!

#14 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by squae on 24/10/2009 at 08:31

Hey somtam2000,

I am aware that the 3 temples are individual day trips.

What I am wondering though is if any of these temples are real standouts from the rest of the temples in Siem Reap.

I am looking at POSSIBLY, doing a full day 4WD tour to one of these temples, it would mean no down time in Cambodia, and not seeing the markets, BUT, it would also mean I would get off the most commonly taken routes and see something most people going to Cambodia would not.

Anyway help with this would be hugely appreciated as I have done a lot of research and cant really work it out for myself.

#15 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by somtam2000 on 24/10/2009 at 08:47 admin

Ahh ok, my misunderstanding. I've seen Vihear (from the Thai side), but not the other two, so can't answer you from personal exp, but from what I've heard, and pics I've seen, Banteay Chhmar is pretty special -- and it is off the beaten trail...

#16 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by squae on 24/10/2009 at 09:45

That in a way is what I did and didnt want to hear! hahaha, I think I am going to go for the tour to Chhmar!!!

Cheers Somtam2000

#17 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by mayrolyn on 24/10/2009 at 17:13

would like to seek advise on tuk tuk driver? should i engage a tuk tuk driver for 4 days stay in seam reap?

#18 mayrolyn has been a member since 24/10/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by climbg on 24/10/2009 at 17:47

hi french bulldog,

i read your earlier post and you mentioned a tuk tuk driver turned friend, sila. i would like more information about the guide please, if you don't mind.
also, is it easy enough to get a guide once in siem reap? do they just approach you?

cheers,
climbg

#19 climbg has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by French_bulldog65 on 24/10/2009 at 23:09

Hi mayrolyn

From my own experience and what i've seen and heard, most visitors would normally get a tuk tuk for their entire transport arrangement though some people for one reason or another may prefer not to stick to one guy. Some tourists prefer to get active and cycle to the temples (instead of a tuk tuk) while i've seen some who don't walk even a 200m and prefer a tuk tuk. So it's entirely up to the person.

What are your plans for the 4 days? :)

#20 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by French_bulldog65 on 24/10/2009 at 23:22

Hi climbg

Sila is a tuk tuk friend. A very safe and easy guy but he's not a guide. In all my visits so far, i don't seem to have seen any tuk tuk who's also a temple guide at the same time (though i'd think there are).

Definitely you can get many tuk tuks and guides in Siem Reap and without looking far, they'll approach you.

Sharing my experience on why i recommend Sila is because i've come across many tuk tuks who do a lot of negotiation work on the rates when i make slight changes to routes, and that makes the trip very tiring. With Sila, we give and take so it makes the trip very comfortable for us. And the plus point is his ideas (when we are sick of temples) about stopping by local villages, going into paddy fields... Though he's not a temple guide, to us, he's like a guide who shows us the Khmer part of life. I

If you prefer to find a tuk tuk/ guide when you are there, that's totally fine. Otherwise if you are looking for a tuk tuk and Sila is fine with you, let me know how i can help from here.

#21 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by climbg on 26/10/2009 at 15:53

hi french bulldog,

sila sounds just like what i need. i don't want to be spending my time bargaining all the time and i want to have the flexibility of changing my routes. if he can take me to see other sights in siem reap, that's excellent. what's his rate?

#22 climbg has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by French_bulldog65 on 26/10/2009 at 21:02

Hi Climbg

His rates are the same as most drivers i believe, and that's between US$10-15/ day. That's what i paid 2 years ago and what i still read in websites. For certain days where you go to temples which are out of the main circuit (eg. Banteay Srei temple, Kbal Spean for trekking), they charge more for the distance.

Normally, he'll propose the usual temple tours since that's what most tourists go for. However, if you are tired of temples after 2 intensive days, tell him in advance and he'll give you some suggestions. Otherwise, you can also send an email to tansk_karen@yahoo.com and i'll discuss further with you from there, maybe to share some experience and places you might want to consider.

#23 French_bulldog65 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by travelsalone on 27/10/2009 at 15:46

I would recommend contacting the guide I mentioned in my other Cambodia thread (Resource and Guide)- he is easy going, flexible, and will barter with you. Just another option to gain information. Also, I took the boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, and it was a nice ride, but I can't compare it to the bus.

#24 travelsalone has been a member since 19/3/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 41

Posted by squae on 28/10/2009 at 04:04

After arriving at Phnom Penh at 4.30pm, will it be hard to get a taxi (which wont try rip me off) to Siem Reap , from what I have read I wouldnt arrive at Siem Reap until 9.30pm, and than the taxi driver would have to drive home, thats a pretty late night?

Also how much should I be looking to pay?

Thanks guys!

#25 squae has been a member since 15/10/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/10/2009 at 10:03 admin

squae - I'm not sure you'd be able to get a taxi driver to do that. Driving at night can be a bit hairy and the drivers avoid it when possible. Not sure on cost. Sorry - not much help I know!

#26 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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