Are you thinking about exploring Cambodia? Perfect choice! Cambodia is an amazing country with a rich history and a lot of unique things to do. For your convenience, we’ve made a detailed 2-week Cambodia itinerary that will make your next trip unforgettable. We cover everything from the temples of Angkor Wat, to the secluded white beaches of Koh Rong.
THINGS TO DO IN SIEM REAP
EXPLORE THE ANGKOR WAT COMPLEX
Of course, visiting the Angkor Wat complex will be on everyone’s itinerary. And with good reasons too. It is the world largest temple complex, with a size of an entire city. That’s why a lot of people take 2 or more full days to explore the whole complex. In our opinion, a 2-day tour, with one time the sunrise, is sufficient to see the most important and most beautiful temples. To get the most out of the experience, we suggest getting a certified guide that will bring you around in his tuk-tuk.
VISIT THE FLOATING VILLAGES
The floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake are another reason to visit Siem Reap. During monsoon, the river expands exponentially. So a lot of people need to build their houses on high stilts, sometimes even until 10 meters high. The people of these small villages live in an entirely other way, because they live off the lake. It’s a whole different community with schools, hospitals, and shops on the water. You can easily book a tour in town or you can go by the help of a tuk tuk driver.
Travel Tip: Try to fix a trip to Kampong Khleang! It’s the furthest of all, but also the most pleasant village!
TAKE A FOOD TOUR
After a day at the temples, it’s time to indulge yourself in the flavors of Cambodia by doing a food tour in Siem Reap. Explore the markets and taste the local Khmer cuisine. And yes, this includes weird dishes like fried crickets and a lot of beer!
STROLL THROUGH THE NIGHT MARKETS
Downtown Siem Reap, you’ll find multiple night markets like the Angkor Night Market, Siem Reap Night Market, Art Center Night Market, … These night markets are all purely for the tourists, where all the small souvenir shops are lined after each other. But it’s absolutely something to do at least once, even if you don’t want to find some real bargains.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to haggle to get the best price!
END UP IN PUB STREET
End your night in Pub Street, the nightlife street where all the bars and restaurants are located for those who want to have a good night out. The drinks are cheap, music is loud, and the street is full of crazy, drunk backpackers.
WHERE TO STAY?
During our stay in Siem Reap, we stayed at the 288 Boutique Villa, a beautiful villa close to all the popular sights in town. After a long day at the temples, the swimming pool is really refreshing (believe us, you’ll be sweating).
THINGS TO DO IN BATTAMBANG
TAKE A BIKE RIDE THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE
Here you’ll feel that the vibes will be very different from large cities like Siem Reap & Phnom Penh. Rent a bicycle and explore the countryside, where time seems to have stopped. Locals here live a more slow-paced life. A bike ride along the river up north will show you the real Cambodia with its friendly smiles and hospitality. You can drive all the way to Ek Phnom temple and stop at a crocodile farm along the way.
RIDE THE BAMBOO TRAIN
The bamboo train is the most touristic thing in Battambang. This rickety ‘train’ (which is actually a steel frame with a small tractor engine) makes a return journey through the countryside of Battambang on a 7km old train track. It’s a unique experience, but as with any tourist attraction in Asia, beware of the scams.
VISIT THE KILLING CAVES
Cambodia has a dark past with all the massacres that are done by the Khmer Rouge. And The Killing Caves of Phnom Sampeau are an excellent example of showing the tragedy of those times. To get to the killing caves, you need to take multiple stairways up the mountain. On the way, you pass by wats, beautiful lookout points and a few monkeys. The mountain and caves are stunning, apart from the collected human remains that remind us of the past. Stay until dusk, to see hundreds of bats exiting the cave.
WHERE TO STAY?
We loved the Ramchang Guesthouse! It’s a bit out of the center, but not far at all if you’re taking one of the free bikes. The staff was wonderful and accommodating. There’s even a small pool, immediately when you walk out of your room. That’s convenient, isn’t it?
Photo by Clay Gilliland
THINGS TO DO IN PHNOM PENH
TRADITIONAL KHMER DANCE SHOW
No visit to Cambodia is complete without attending a traditional Khmer dance show. The most well-known one is at the National Museum where you can enjoy a range of performances that let you discover the Cambodian culture. Just head over to the National Museum around 6 PM and buy your ticket beforehand to save yourself a seat or skip the line and book a ticket online here. Some restaurants in town offer these performances too, during dinner.
KILLING FIELDS & S-21
Learn about the tragic past of Cambodia during Pol Pot’s regime and find out which cruelties have happened with thousands of innocent people in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S-21). Combine this with a visit to one of Cambodia’s most-known killing field, Choeung Ek, to truly see and feel the tragedy that happened there. A lot of people leave the place speechless.
TAKE A BEER TOUR AROUND KINGDOM BREWERIES
At Kingdom Breweries, you can now do a guided tour around the brewery where you can see how they make and bottle the beer, and even get the opportunity of doing free tastings! Who would ever say no to that? Guided tours are done daily from 1PM-5PM from Monday to Friday. Just arrive a bit before the start of the tour to secure your place. Let’s get smashed!
WHERE TO STAY?
Feliz Hostel is a very clean hostel/hotel. The staff is super friendly and does everything to make you feel at home. There’s a nice rooftop restaurant and bar with a great view over the city. The rooms are very nice and spacious. And there’s a really good Japanese tapas bar right next to the hostel!
THINGS TO DO ON KOH RONG
HIKE TO LONG BEACH
You can get to Long Beach with a boat taxi, but also by doing a short and fun hike through the jungle. Start at the Skybar on Koh Touch (where the ferries arrive on Koh Rong) and start following the small path. After 45 minutes of walking through the jungle and descending a few rocks, you arrive at the end of Long Beach. Enjoy a day at the beach or hike further to Sok San Village.
SNORKELING TRIP AROUND THE ISLAND
Most visitors go snorkeling or diving at least once. The reefs are considered one of the best in the Gulf of Thailand. Try to fix a snorkel tour with a local or book a day trip at Koh Tuich for not more than $10.
SWIM WITH BIOLUMINESCENT PLANKTON
These little creatures start to glow a tiny blue light when a movement is made in the sea. Try to find a good dark spot close to the beach. Long Beach is usually a good place because there are no lights or people. Spotting the plankton from above the water is difficult. To see them, you need to go at least 1 meter deep into the water, preferably with a snorkel.
RENT A KAYAK
Rent a kayak and go around the island to explore the mangroves and hidden beaches. Places like The Rising Sun Guesthouse rent out kayaks for a day or per hour. Get on the water and enjoy the peace.
WHERE TO STAY?
When you’re on an island, everything is always a little bit more expensive than on the mainland. But at Sambath Sakseth Bungalows you probably get the most value for money you can get on Koh Rong. Beautifully, spacious rooms with a balcony and hammock. It’s a bit further than the main strip of Koh Rong, which is good if you want to have a good night sleep! You’re surrounded by jungle, so it’s possible that a friendly gecko comes to say hello when you’re chilling on your balcony. One big plus: the WiFi works very good!
THINGS TO DO ON OTRES
RELAX ON THE BEACH
Otres Beach has everything to offer what you need! Laid-back vibes, beautiful crystal clear waters with amazing sunsets, good food, and cheap drinks. Sit back in one of the lounge chairs that you find all over the beach with a fresh cocktail in your hand and enjoy!
GET A MANICURE/PEDICURE
Manicuuuure, pedicuuure?! It’s impossible not to hear this if you’re chilling on the beach of Otres. As everywhere in Asia, the beach vendors can also be found here. Apart from selling sunglasses, bracelets, and skewers, some of them offer a manicure, pedicure or massage on the beach. A politely “No thank you” will make them move on, but if you’re interested, you can get all the work done for a minimal amount of money.
ENJOY THE ATMOSPHERE AT OTRES MARKET
Each Saturday, a crafts & food market, organized by local expats, is held at The Barn in the heart of Otres village. Here you’ll find a couple of stalls that sell clothes, local crafts but most of them sell all kinds of world food. Try some local cuisine, oven baked pizza, Indian food, Turkish kebabs, cakes, … The main activities are the several live music acts and the DJ that starts the party after midnight.
WHERE TO STAY?
When at Otres, we stayed in two places. When we arrived, we stayed at Golden River Bungalow, which is right at the end of Otres 2 but close to some good beachside restaurants. We loved to sit at the river when we had enough of the beach. During our second time, we slept at Relax Bungalows. This was really convenient because this way, we had to chance to see Otres 1 and 2. At Relax Bungalows, we loved to take a dip into the outdoor pool after a day at the beach.
THINGS TO DO IN KAMPOT
TAKE A TUK TUK TO THE PEPPER- & SALT FIELDS
Get yourself a tuk tuk driver in Kampot and ask him to drive you to La Plantation, a famous Kampot pepper farm a bit outside of town. Here you’ll learn everything about the process of making this amazingly delicious pepper in a free tour around the pepper plantation. On the way back to town, you go along a dirt road that passes through the salt fields, where you might be lucky to see the workers collect the salt at the end of the day.
EXPLORE KEP OR RABBIT ISLAND
One day is more than enough to explore Kep. Take the Crab Shuttle in Kampot, who will take you to the port of Kep on a fun boat trip. Once in Kep, you can spend your day by going to the crab market, renting a bike and take a ride around town or hike the national park. If you rather prefer spending a day at the beach, just get off at Rabbit Island with the Crab Shuttle and enjoy your day there. The Crab Shuttle takes you back to Kampot in the late afternoon so you can benefit from the sunset on the boat.
EAT THE KAMPOT PEPPER CRAB
When you’re in this part of Cambodia, it’s almost mandatory to taste a freshly caught Kampot Pepper Crab! Eat them fresh at one of the shacks at the crab market in Kep or at the beachfront restaurants on Rabbit Island. It’s still one of the best dishes we’ve had during our whole trip.
TAKE A BIKE RIDE TO BOKOR MOUNTAIN
Rent a scooter and head off to the Bokor Mountain. Most travelers go there for the abandoned Bokor Hill Station, where you can find an old abandoned casino, a little church and the Popokvil waterfall. It is said that there are still living wild tigers and elephants in these mountains, although there isn’t really proof of it. The road towards it is awesome to do by bike, with its endless hairpin bends along the route. Don’t forget to stop often to take pictures of the beautiful vistas of Kampot.
WHERE TO STAY?
In Kampot, we stayed at the cozy little family owned guesthouse Bandini’s. It’s run by a friendly young couple from France. The rooms are nice, the food delicious and they offer free bicycles! They even have a small bookstore/exchange on-site.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN CAMBODIA?
You have the possibility to book all your transportation quick and easy online with Book Me Bus. This will ease your whole trip a lot more, instead of running around town, finding the best rates at tour agencies.
Do you want help with a customized Cambodia itinerary or want to use our travel experience? Let us plan your next unforgettable trip. We provide you with all the information you need, take care of your bookings and add a detailed itinerary.
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