Cambodia is a beautiful country to visit. But Cambodia is also an impoverished 3rd world country where many families lives on less than $5 US dollars a day. Its a country of extremes.
The best way to enjoy the country is having experienced tour guides to help guide your way through Cambodia.
What are your travel plans? Do you want to surround yourself with other tourists and enjoy the tourist scenes? Or do you prefer to go local and immerse yourself as one of the locals.
Its all a matter of personal preferences. We will cater to your demands.
Kampong Cham, Eco-Resort, Cambodia
Near the footsteps of the Banan hills, the New Bamboo Train whips down besides the mountain side. It has become one of the most sought after attraction in Battambang province. Be sure to go early and avoid weekends, due to long lines. Price of tickets varies for locals and foreigners. At the time locals were charged $2.50 each passenger while foreigners were charged $5 a passenger.
The killing caves of Phnom Sampeau are a Khmer Rouge execution site on Phnom Sampeau, a hill 7 mi (11 km) southwest of Battambang. The Khmer Rougekilled their victims on top of the cave at the rim of a daylight shaft or ceiling hole and then threw the dead body into the cave.There are a number of caves at Phnom Sampeau (Sampeau Hill) that have traditionally served as Buddhist temples.
Situated on the top of the hill, about 22 kilometres to the south of Battambang, Phnom Banan is an Angkor-era mountaintop temple overlooking the countryside and rural villages. The ruin of Phnom Banan, which was originally built in 11th century, is the best preserved of the Khmer temples around Battambang. The temple consists of five towers arranged the the five-pointed form reminiscent of Angkor Wat with the middle being the largest.
It’s something of a spectacle sitting at the foot of Battambang’s Phnom Sampeou, the sun sinking into the horizon as a stream of millions of bats pour from caves and zoom into the sky.
Here’s all you need to know about Cambodia’s bat caves. It’s well worth heading to Phnom Sampeou in the early afternoon and spending some time exploring the site before hitting the bat caves. From the base of the mountain, you can either climb 700 steep steps to the top, or pay one of the moto drivers waiting at the bottom to take you up for $1 – tuk tuks are not allowed.
Battambang is one of the first five localities worldwide that have been selected by the Universal House of Justice for the construction of a local Baha'i House of Worship. The Temple is expected to be completed by late 2017. The placement of the Greatest Name symbol marks an important milestone. The symbol is a calligraphic rendering of the word “Baha,” meaning glory. The vertical line represents the Holy Spirit proceeding from God through His Manifestations to humanity, and the twin stars represent the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
As part of a tuk-tuk tour in the surroundings of Battambang you can visit this interesting Pagoda complex with leaning Buddha, but close by is the river with the famous "swinging bridge". It is a suspension bridge, maybe a bit primitive in Western eyes; the bridge is one and a half motorcycle wide, so you have to press against the railing to let a motorcyclist pass. The bridge really swings when you cross it. At the other side of the river we had the luck to encounter monks in their orange robes in their daily ritual quest of food. Interesting tour stop
The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the King of Cambodia. It has been the residence of the Kings of Cambodia since it was built in the 1860's.
The place was constructed after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh in the mid 19th-century. It meets where the Mekong River and Tone Sap River merges called Chaktomuk. A must visit in Phnom Penh.
The site is a former secondary schoolwhich was used as Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. From 1976 to 1979, an estimated 20,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng (the real number is unknown).In Khmer it means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" Tuol Sleng Tuol Sleng was just one of at least 150 torture and execution centers established by the Khmer Rouge,though other sources put the figure at 196 prison centers.
Wat Phnom (Translation in Khmer) "Mountain Pagoda" is a Budhist temple in Phnom Penh, Cambodia built around 1372. Legend relates that a wealthy widow called Penh (Grandmother Penh, in Khmer) found a large koki tree in the river. Inside the tree she found four bronze statues of the Budha Penh constructed a small shrine on an artificial hill made by the people living in the village to protect the sacred statues. Eventually this became a sacred site and sanctuary where people would make blessings and pray.
Koh Dach or Silk Island in English is just 45 minutes tuk tuk ride from the bustling city of Phnom Penh but feels like eons away. This is an escape from the rush hours of city life into the slow pace of the country side. There you can learn about the country's silk weaving history. Take a dip in the cool waters of the Mekong River. A couple of guest houses has popped up so you can enjoy the simple homestay style of the countryside while only about an hour away from the metropolis of Phnom Penh. Excursion tours on bicycles are available.
An inexpensive and enjoyable boat ride in the sunset hours would be a great way to end the night or start of it. You have a few selections of boats to choose from. They usually don't leave at a certain time unless there are enough guests. (Can't waste petrol if not enough customers). Like always its always cheaper for the locals, some where around 10,00 riels ($2.50 US dollars). For foreigners the price may vary depending on your Khmer language skills. It should not be no more than $5 US dollars for foreigners.
The National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh is Cambodia's largest museum of cultural history and archeological museum. It houses the world's largest collections of Khmer Arts, bronzes, ceramics, and etc. It houses over 14,000 items from prehistoric times. Construction on the building began around 1917 and finish around 1920. Adjacent to the museum is the Royal University of Fine Arts and Dept of Archaeology... working together to preserve the pride and identity of the Cambodian people.
Angkor Wat is an enormous Buddhist temple complex located in northern Cambodia. It was originally built in the first half of the 12th century as a Hindu temple. Spread across more than 400 acres, Angkor Wat is said to be the largest religious monument in the world. Its name, which translates to “temple city” in the Khmer language of the region, references the fact it was built by Emperor Suryavarman II, who ruled the region from 1113 to 1150, as the state temple and political center of his empire. Angkor Wat is the major reason why millions of people visit Cambodia each year.
A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.
The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, it is said that it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed Cambodia’s independence from Java.
Want to get away from the confines of all the tourists around Angkor Wat? Check out Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary located a short distance away from the temples in nearby Battambang Province but the nearest city is Siem Reap. Its a popular area for ecotourism and bird watching. The world famous sanctuary harbours seven species of water birds of global significance: Spot billed Pelican, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Black headed Ibis, Oriental Darter, there is a globally significant population of Grey-headed Fish Eagles and the secretive Masked Finfoot. Over 150 species have been recorded in the reserve.
Siem Reap is the gateway to Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake—Tonle Sap Lake. Surrounded by lush rice fields, lotus flowers, and flooded forests, the lake is an ideal launching point for a visit to traditional Cambodian floating villages.
The floating villages at Tonle Sap have become something of an interest for tourists visiting Siem Reap. The fascination with people who live in floating houses, travel to floating schools and eat at floating restaurants is quite an attraction for the many visitors that come to Cambodia.
As well as the floating villages, there are also stilted villages along the banks of Tonle Sap Lake, where houses and buildings rest on tall, thin stilts that keep the occupants dry during the wet season, with giant ladders to reach the lower levels during the dry season.
Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA) or “The Brightness of the Arts” is a non-profit Cambodian association improving the lives of children, young adults, and their families with art schools, educational programs, and social support since 1994. Phare Ponleu Selpak has a visual and arts school in Battambang, Cambodia. And to showcase the kid's talents, a Circus was opened in Siem Reap.
More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent.
Walking around Pub Street in Siem Reap, one wouldn't know that they were in a foreign land of Cambodia. Half of the people roaming Pub Streets are foreigners and English or other languages are commonly heard of. Cheap beers and great food could be had on the fly.
Pub Street basically start getting huge crowds after 8-9 pm when the sun has settle down and the air is a lot cooler. Siem Reap runs on being a night time city. It's just too hot and humid in the day time to do hard physical activities.
Pub Street is not hard to find, its right smack in the middle of the city with signs all around. Great for party goers and people who wants to enjoy the night life!
Hanchey Eco Retreat Center (HERC) provides a unique opportunity to experience world class retreat facilities infused with Buddhist principles whilst creating social impact through the training and development of youth in Kampong Cham.
As a new social enterprise and hospitality training school, HERC enters a growing global market of wellness travellers and tourists, and immediately stands apart from its South East Asian competitors due to its unique offer to the spiritual and cultural traveller – an immersive Buddhist experience infused in to the very being of the property.
One person's trash is another person's treasure. A heart warming story about a man set out to teach young Khmer's about education and environment. Ouk Vanday built the school in the middle of the National Park out of rubbish due to no existing government schools nearby. Without financial help from anyone, he set out to build the school using discarded items and trash from surounding areas. The students are encourage to recycle and pick up the plastics waste and etc in order for them to attend schooling. With generous donors, the school now has internet and computers to use.
Deep in the northwest of Cambodia, in a sparsely populated area next to Vietnam lies Mondulkiri Province. The Indigenous People Lodge is situated in Sen Monorom. Indigenous people have a long history in Cambodia. Their have their own norms and cultures from those of Khmers.
Its is hard for the elders to keep the younger generations to the old ways due to social media, tourism, and television. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city life and enjoy nature hikes, wild animals, and indigenous way of life.
Song Saaa Private island was set up by Australian couple Rory and Melita Hunter, whose vision was born from a desire to create a sustainable sanctuary of uncompromising luxury in their adopted home of Cambodia.
Their vision was ambitious, made more so because it was the first time a private island had been developed into a resort in Cambodia. They reached out to local villages for advice and assistance, and found ways to help these communities improve their living standards and livelihoods. They also hired expert conservationists from the James Cook University in Australia to advise them on the construction of the resort to safeguard marine life. For example, where they had to build pipes under the sea floor the coral was replanted elsewhere. And now, after a year in operation you can see seahorses in these waters where there were none before.
Located at the foothill of the mountain Phnom Udong, about 40 khm northwest of modern capital Phnom Penh, Oudong was the royal residence in Cambodia for more than 250 years until 1866. Oudong was founded by King Srei Soryapor in 1601 after the abandonment of Longvek. Due to its inland location and growing trade with other foreign dynasties, King Norodom moved the Royal Residence to what is now Phnom Penh.
Oudong was extensively damaged by the Khmer Rouge in 1977. It is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site. Traveling from Phnom Penh to Oudong is relatively easy since its only about a 40 minute bus ride from Phnom Penh. It is a definite visit.
Past the southern end of Ochheuteal Beach, beyond the Phnom Som Nak Sdach (Hill of the King’s Palace) headland, lies stunning Otres Beach, a seemingly infinite strip of casuarinas that gives southern Thailand a run for its money. Although no longer the empty stretch of sand it once was, Otres has cleaner water and is more relaxed than anything in Sihanoukville proper, and is lengthy enough that finding a patch to call your own is not a challenge…just walk south.
A former back packers paradise, Sihanoukville has now catered to the Chinese expats casinos workers and guests. Its still a beautiful place to visit. Sihanoukville is also called Kampong Som in Khmer so don't let the names fool you, its the same place.
Sokha Beach in Sihanoukville is privately owned, making it one of the less crowded beaches on the mainland. It is also one of the cleaner, safer spots to relax and soak up the sun. You will have to pay an entrance fee to spend the day on the beach, or you can stay at the resort located right on the beach itself. If the snorkeling, suntanning and local restaurants aren’t enough, there is a great hike that takes you between Serendipity Beach and Sokha Beach, and it goes right along the coast to offer remarkable views.
Along the coast, and near the Vietnam border, is the island called Koh Thonsáy. In English, this means Rabbit Island. This island is seeing slow development, which means that visitors can expect plenty of seclusion and virtually no crowds. Aside from a handful of local fishing huts, there are only a few bungalows and restaurants catering to tourists. To get to Koh Tonsay, you can take a 20-minute boat ride from Kep. Common ways to enjoy Koh Tonsay include hiking inland, scouting out secluded spots on the beach and taking snorkeling trips.
Koh Rong is an island off Sihanoukville that boasts miles of scenic coastline and pristine beaches. Sok San Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Also known as Long Beach and 7km Beach, thanks to the size, Sok San Beach is accessible by foot or by boat. The television show Survivor was recently filmed on Sok San, which has increased tourism significantly. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful and uncrowded place to enjoy the water or go snorkeling. At night, the phosphorescent water actually sparkles when it is disturbed, which is a spectacular reason to visit after sunset.
Another of the islands just off the coast of Sihanoukville is Koh Rong Samloem. A short boat ride will take you to the island, which is home to Lazy Beach. Beachside bungalows overlook the blue waters and white sandy beaches, and the lush green jungle is just a short walk away. There won’t be any big crowds on Lazy Beach, and you’ll probably be one of a small handful of tourists. Snorkeling is a popular pastime, but so is relaxing on a hammock and enjoying the sea breezes. There is a bar and restaurant located on Lazy Beach so you never have to leave the island for refreshments and delicious cuisine.
In Sihanoukville, there are two neighboring beaches called Serendipity Beach and Ochheuteal Beach. Technically, Serendipity Beach is the rocky outcropping steps from the sand, but both beaches are often called Serendipity. There are nearly two miles of golden sand and a bustling ferry pier at one end. Serendipity Beach Road leads to the beach, and on either side you’ll see a number of amenities like restaurants, bars and even a golf course. This is a spot that is very popular with backpacking tourists, but there are also a number of mid-range and luxury hotels to choose from.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Serendipity and Ochheuteal in Sihanoukville, Otres Beach is a great alternative. It is just south of the more popular coastal spots in Sihanoukville, but it is less crowded, a little quieter and a lot more relaxed. There is a row of bars and accommodation options before you reach a long stretch of beautiful shoreline. Otres Beach is great for soaking up the outdoors, and activities include kayaking and windsurfing. On Saturday nights, Otres Market is the place to be. The market is home to food stall and live music that carries on until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Its never a bad day to go Bar Hopping in Cambodia. The beers are cheap and the women beautiful! What more can you ask for? If your idea of a good time is to sit back and relax and drink a cold one.. we can give you the low down of which bars and clubs to go around Cambodia.
Not all bars are created the same in Cambodia. So before you journey out, make sure you check out our reviews.
The best value in Cambodia must be the full body massages. In the Western countries a full body massage can go upwards of $60 and hour or more! In Cambodia they are usually $5 US dollars an hour plus tips.
If you really want to save money, you can try the Khmer massages going for 10,000 riels or $2.50 US Dollars an hour. A massage does wonders for the body and soul.
Some people travel to Cambodia not to sight see but to gamble. There are a few casinos spread through out the country. Generally the rules are that local Khmers can not gamble in them, but you see that its easily not enforced.
If sitting on the card table or slot machines is your cup of tea, we will give reviews of different casinos through out Cambodia.
Cambodia has definitely have an active night life scene. The population is young a growing disposable income people want to relieve the stress of life.
In comes the night clubs open until the break of dawn. There is no last call for alcohol in Cambodia, only until the business is closed. We will review out the different night club scenes throughout Cambodia for your likings.
If your idea of a good time is getting down and dirty building houses or helping poor Cambodians succeed, then these tours may be for you.
Cambodia is still a very poor country and more than half of the population lives on less than $5 US dollars a day.
We have teamed up with local NGO's and non-profits to get volunteers to help out for a good cause.
We realized that some people who planned to visit Cambodia for a month or so, end up wanting to stay for the rest of their lives here. The cost of living is very low compared to Western countries.
You can really enjoy life here in Cambodia on a meager salary. Cambodia is eager to bring in more investment dollars into the country.
If you think you may want to consider Cambodia a long term home, we have the expertise to help you out.
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