Thank you (once again) for the lovely response on my articles on Cambodia. Fortunately, I am not done yet. There is so much that we don’t know about this beautiful country, and I want to do my best to share whatever it is that I know, with you. Really hoping to inspire you to see this beautiful country for yourself. For details on itineraries and cost, check this out. 

All of you who are wondering what to do in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Koh Rong, here’s a guide based on my experiences.

SIEM REAP

When in Siem Reap, a visit to Angkor Wat is a must (duh) This is probably the only well known part of Cambodia, so you will find it filled with tourists. But what no one will tell you is how huge the place is, and how you cannot possibly finish the full tour in a day. I’d suggest you take 2 days at least (costs of all packages are mentioned in this blog post.)

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Did you know the complex of Angkor along with it's many temples is bigger than present day Paris? Which is why I suggest you take the 2 or 3 day pass to see what Angkor Wat has to offer. Unless you're up for an intense cardio session around Siem Reap🤷🤭 #ShotOnPixel . . . . #Dumbbellsanddrama #cambodia #siemreap #asiatravel @tripotocommunity #southeastasia #digitalnomad #blogger @goop @cntraveler @cntravellerindia #bloggersofinstagram #travelwriter #cambodiatour @travelandleisure @girlsthatwander #culturetrip #stayandwander #traveltagged #wanderlustmagazine #cntravel #traveldeeper #travelstoke #mytinyatlas #youmustsee #beautifuldestinations #goopgo #girlsthatwander #besttravelpictures #coupleswhotravel #TeamPixel #angkor #angkorwat

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Onto the last one 🤭 Writing a blog post on what to do in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. I have just about ended a few projects and I'm left with time to do what I love to do the most- write and share stories! I'm so excited to be sharing this one with you❤️ Stay tuned! . . . . . . . . . #Dumbbellsanddrama #cambodia #phnompenh #siemreap #asiatravel @tripotocommunity #southeastasia #digitalnomad #blogger @goop @cntraveler @cntravellerindia #bloggersofinstagram #travelwriter #cambodiatour @travelandleisure @girlsthatwander #culturetrip #stayandwander #traveltagged #wanderlustmagazine #cntravel #traveldeeper #travelstoke #mytinyatlas #youmustsee #beautifuldestinations #goopgo #girlsthatwander #besttravelpictures #coupleswhotravel #TeamPixel #angkor #angkorwat

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Tuk-tuk drivers will charge you 15USD for a mini tour of the Angkor Complex which will take you to the 5 main temples. You don’t have any other choice but to take a tuktuk because it might get difficult to cycle all that distance in one day, and if you want to walk, you might not find a tuktuk that is not engaged. Haggle and you might get the price down.

I’d suggest you crack a deal with one tuktuk driver who agrees to take you to the temples over 2 (or 3 days) in a lower cost.

If you wish to explore further, you can take a day trip to the Floating Village too.

Start your evening with a tour of the Night Market. If you’re Indian, you won’t have much to be excited about thanks to our local bazaars and Fashion Streets all around. But it’s worth checking out; the colorful markets have the most excited tourist reactions.

During the night, head to Pub Street- probably the only area buzzing with tourists till late in the night. Pub Street is an absolute pleasure to be on, even if you do not like parties and drinking. The music is under control and not too loud, the bars are super fun to be at and there is a lot of happy, positive energy in the air as you see tourists from all over the world bonding over drinks and food. Speaking of which, you can have a full fledged meal (with drinks) for two under 15 USD! True story.

Do try the “fried ice cream” that is sold at the street stalls around the pubs. Nothing new to us Indians, but the taste will surprise you. We had the chocolate banana ice cream and were genuinely surprised to find real banana pieces mixed with the ice cream that ended up tasting so fresh.

Recommended – Angkor What?, a pub that is right at the beginning of Pub Street. The cocktails are super potent, there are community tables that allow you to make new friends and strangely, there is no food on this menu! They know what they want- a happy, drunk family. Friendly staff, super fun vibe, and I fell in love with the rustic décor so much so that I ended up clicking some super random pictures from every angle possible.

PHONM PENH

To be honest, there isn’t much to do here except for the usual touristy things that you could Google. I wasn’t too interested in checking out the history museums, so we left those out. We stayed right next to the Royal Palace so we ended up taking a small tour. What really interested us, and what we spent a day doing, was exploring the military and political history of Cambodia. We visited the Killing Fields, a 45min tuktuk ride away (haggle to get a good rate!) On the way back, we stopped at the Genocide Museum to read more about the genocide that changed the face of Cambodia. Did you know around 1-3 million people died when Pol Pot, the dictator, decided to “revamp the society in this country? The genocide happened as recent as the 1970s, and seeing the remains of the uniforms and clothes of the people, and wounds on their skulls, fresh as if they happened just yesterday, left us overwhelmed with emotion. In fact, I saw so many people exiting the gates wiping away tears as they deposited their audiobooks to exit the grounds.

You might want to try a boat cruise in the evening- it lasts for about an hour, and is a fun way to see the city skyline.

The Russian Market and Central Market came highly recommended, but once again, if you’re used to shopping centers and wholesale markets and fashion streets, nothing here will surprise you.

Evenings were spent by the riverside, walking, doing a few pull ups at the open gym, and drinking cocktails. I didn’t find too many clubs, maybe we went during the off season?

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Now that I can do a pull up I will obviously take every opportunity to show off the fact that I can. Sorry not sorry still trying to get over the fact that I built all the strength in the last few months💪So imagine my excitement on seeing a pair of parallel bars in an open gym at Phnom Penh🤪 I told you working out on vacation is always fun🧜‍♀️ . . . . . . . . . #Dumbbellsanddrama #cambodia #phnompenh #asiatravel #travels @tripotocommunity #southeastasia #digitalnomad #blogger @goop @cntraveler @cntravellerindia #bloggersofinstagram #travelwriter #cambodiatour @travelandleisure @girlsthatwander #culturetrip #stayandwander #traveltagged #wanderlustmagazine #cntravel #traveldeeper #travelstoke #mytinyatlas #youmustsee #beautifuldestinations #goopgo #girlsthatwander #besttravelpictures #workoutonthego #workoutonvacation #coupleswhoworkout #pullups

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Check out the Night Market, but once again it isn’t much if you’re used to street-side shopping in India’s shopping hubs. But it’s a great way to see the local way of life.

Recommendation –  Malis for great Khmer cuisine (fine dine, but worth it.) Another find was the “happy pizza” which some of my very awesome Instagram followers pointed me to. I stayed away, but I’m sure some of you would like to try it. Let it surprise you, and I guarantee it will leave you pretty….relaxed.

SIHANOUKVILLE

While we stayed here for only one day, I could safely recommend Otres Beach as the area to stay at. We found a beautiful hotel – Oasis in Otres- and made friends with a great family from Syria. We spent the day at the beach, cycling around, and eating a dinner of kebabs and naan bread while bonding over stories of the war in Syria.

We later headed to Woody’s, a fun bar where we saw so many lone tourists sharing drinks and travel stories, and later heading to a karaoke night that promised to go on till the wee hours of the morning. We had to unfortunately decline the invitation because of an early morning travel plan, but we did stay back to enjoy the best pasta (even better than the one we had in Italy) prepared by the Chef at Woody’s.

KOH RONG

The only way to get to Koh Rong is via boat. Check with your hostel/resort for the boat transfer facility. If they do not have any, local ferries shall help you out.

At the island there isn’t much to do other than enjoy island life sipping pina coladas and eating fried noodles by the beach, sun-bathing and lounging on the sunbeds reading all day. If you like adventures, please trek to the Sok San Waterfall! You can also try our hand at snorkeling, kayaking and diving.

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It looked like the rain was slowing down, so we decided to have a little adventure on our Adventure Island☺️ Instead of taking the taxi on the concrete road, we decided to walk down the beach, through a village and up a trail that lead to the Sok San Waterfall (hello bugs, hello mosquitoes, hello exotic creepy crawlies, hello slush!) Of course the rain never slowed down, but we continued with this little getaway into the jungles on the island. Proud to report that this little island did live up to it's special name❤️🌴 . . . . . #Dumbbellsanddrama #cambodia #asiatravel #travelling #travels #southeastasia #digitalnomad #blogger #bloggersofinstagram #travelwriter #blogs #traveltales #coupleswhoworkout #coupleswhotravel #actioncamsindia #beautifulcambodia @beautifulcambodia #beautifulseasia #cambodiatrip #cambodiatour #vacaymodeon #sihanoukville #kohrong #bloggerlife #islands #island #islandlife #waterfall #soksan #trek #nature

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We were stuck in a storm, so most of the lazing around on the beach turned into enjoying hot coffee from our kitchenette in the bungalow at the beach. Not complaining though :)

 

Hope this gave you a fair idea of what to do when in Cambodia. The best time to visit would be between November- March, but we went in July (off season) and loved what the place had to offer.

I am done with sharing  all the details you’d need to plan a trip to this beautiful country, but there are a bunch of stories I want to share,  experiences that impacted us strongly. They involve  closely seeing how war has changed lives, being denied a visa and almost being sent back to Cambodia at Kuala Lumpur airport and reaching back home without our luggage. Stay tuned.

Author

High on love, life and sugar, I consider myself a typical Taurean, and am currently on my journey to achieve culinary nirvana. Hailing from an Army background, I've lived all over the country, but consider Pune to be my hometown. An MBA in Marketing, I find the power of expressing with words liberating. Hence the blog. Enjoy!

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