Planning a travel to Cambodia
I am not a tourist agency and for this reason I have the duty to give some advices to those who want to plan a trip to Cambodia. Although this country seems small in the map, actually it’s not too small and it has more things than what you can imagine. Actually the official slogan “Kingdom of Wonder” is rather exact. Let us see some advices for your travel to our dear country.
The most important tourist regions are by order the following ones. Notice that I think in someone who plan to come for some days, because if you want to stay for months, we can open another discussion. It means things you have to see if you come for only few days.
- Siem Reap Province… this is the place where the main archeological temples stay… the more noticeable ones (there are temples everywhere). For example, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prum, Banteay Srey… these are the most famous temples. If you come to Cambodia and you don’t see those temples, it is like if you go to Egypt and you don’t see the pyramids. How many days you can stay there: minimum three days if you are in hurry. if you love archeology, you should be minimum one week…
- Phnom Penh… the Royal Capital. It is by now a chaos in traffic, but Phnom Penh is Phnom Penh, a place of history, the center of the Cambodian culture… you find Cambodians from every corner of the country, a busy city and, especially, the object of huge developments. Minimum of days here: 2.
- The coastal provinces… The center of them is Sihanoukville, but you have Kog Kong near the Thai border and Kampot and Kep near the Vietnamese border. Islands, white beaches, beautiful hills with waterfalls, caves… The coastal provinces would be a place to come to relax after you see the temples in Siem Reap. Minimum of days: 2.
That would be a travel of one week. But there are many other places in Cambodia to see:
– Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri provinces: they have hills, indigenous communities and jungle with an interesting fauna and flora.
– Kroche Province with the white dolphins of the Mekong… by the way on danger thanks to the fever to build dams on the Mekong (Laos?).
– Preah Vehear Province and its temple, an old dispute with Thailand… though the situation, it is rather safely to visit the place going by kilometers at the north of Siem Reap and Kompung Thom.
– Kompung Thom and its Sambo Prey Kuk temples… they are so amazing as the Angkorean ones.
And many other places such as mountains, jungles, towns…
How to schedule the flights?
I recommend to schedule the flight like this:
Cambodia has two international airports: Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Both cities are far as 314 kilometers (191 miles). Therefore, schedule your flight arriving in one city and living from the other, for example, arriving to Siem Reap and leaving from Phnom Penh. If you arrive and leave from Phnom Penh, it means you have to travel to Siem Reap by bus and returning to Phnom Penh the same way, so you lost time.
If you come for short visits and you want to go by land to another provinces, it is better to go by vans. Bus companies can be slow. Especially avoid Sorya Bus Company and Bunthan. Mekong Express could be one of the best.