1 Week in Cambodia- A Suggested Itinerary
Cambodia is fast becoming a popular travel destination. Five, ten years ago going to Cambodia would seem like travelling off the beaten track and now its the logical addition to any South East Asia trip. The Angkor Wat is what I think attracts most travelers. Its what initially attracted me, excited by the thought of wandering through the ancient temples as if I was discovering them for the first time. But as I quickly found out, Cambodia has much more to offer than ancient temples, in fact they weren't even the highlight of my trip. Cambodia has a rich history that will bring you to tears and think about human behaviour and the beaches and jungle will make you marvel in nature. I will go into detail into each city in future posts but here is my one week itinerary to Cambodia that will cover temples, culture, history and beaches.
Day 1: Fly into Siem Reap, settle into your hotel (for us this included a cooling swim and happy hour cocktails by the pool!) before checking out the night market. The stalls that line the street sell everything from souvenirs to clothes to knock off designer watches. You'll have plenty of chances to visit markets this week so just take in whats to offer (and maybe sample some of the food items on sale). Its now time to check out Siem Reap's famous Pub Street. The street, as you can guess, is lined with pubs as well as restaurants and a few clubs. The street has a very fun atmosphere, we started the night off playing pick-a-boo with some cute local kids and finished it by dancing until the next day.
|Houses at Kampong Water Village|
Day 2: The day after Pub Street is not the day to do Angkor Wat, instead take the day to visit some of the other attractions Siem Reap has to offer. Spend the morning at Kampong Water Village, about 20kms out of Siem Reap and see drive past the stilt house and into the open water. Then spend the afternoon at the Cultural Village and learn about the different ethnicities and cultures of Cambodia and watch recreations of cultural events such as a Khmer Wedding. Get an early night's sleep because you'll be up early tomorrow to catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat!
Day 3: Angkor Wat day! You'll need an early start (think 4am) if you want to catch the sunrise at a good spot. Dedicate the day to exploring as many temples in the complex as you can, until you settle at a good spot for sunset. You'll be tired and sore by the end of the day so maybe sneak in a relaxing massage before bed!
|Sunset at Otres Beach, Sihanoukville|
Day 4:Fly to Phnom Penh then drive to Sihanoukville and spend the day relaxing on the beach and swimming in the warm waters. If you are a partier, hit the town or enjoy sunset on the beach followed by a delicious dinner and chilled drinks on the sand.
Day 5: Day trip to the beautiful island, Koh Rong, and walk on the beach and through the jungles exploring the photogenic paradise. Take a sleeper bus back to Phnom Penh.
Day 6: Today is about palaces and shopping. Pay the Russian Market a visit in the morning shop up a storm before visiting the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh (open between 8am-11am and then 2pm-5pm). The palace has a strict dress code so make sure you are dressed appropriately (covered shoulders and legs).
Day 7: Use you last day in Cambodia to learn about the countries heartbreaking (recent!) history of genocide at the Killings Fields and S21 prison. The horrors are shared in hopes something like that will never happen again.