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Our route in Cambodia for 3 weeks with all the highlights

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Are you looking for a route for Cambodia? On our travel blog we tell you which places we have traveled to and which hotels we have stayed in.

The most important sight in all of Cambodia and indeed one of the greatest attractions in all of Asia are the world-famous temples of Angkor. For most travelers, they are the reason why they visit Cambodia want to visit. But there are also beautiful and authentic places to discover in Cambodia away from the temple city.

What other stops in Cambodia are worthwhile? Which travel destinations can you leave out on a round trip? What is the ideal route? We have packed all our tips into this blog article so that you can prepare your Cambodia itinerary perfectly.

1. Itinerary through Cambodia: All stops, information & hotel tips Siem Reap / Temples of Angkor Most people start their Cambodia route directly in Siem Reap to marvel at the world-famous temple of Angkor. The gigantic temples are without a doubt the big highlight in Cambodia. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, so to speak, the national treasure of the country. Siem Reap is perfectly connected with the international airport. But you can also enter overland, for example from Thailand, as we did.

For many, Siem Reap remains the only destination in Cambodia. This is a pity! We spent four nights in Siem Reap. We wanted to take the time to explore the temples, but above all to take a look behind the facades of the luxury hotels. In Siem Reap we went to school and rode our bikes a lot. Angkor Wat is breathtaking, no question about it. However, Siem Reap is more than just Angkor Wat.

Our accommodation tip for Siem Reap

Link: Popular Residence Hotel

Info: Nice hotel with pool, which is away from the hustle and bustle. With the free shuttle you are quickly in the center. Very friendly staff and good value for money.

Battambang Battambang is primarily for the Bamboo Train known. The original Bamboo Train was intended as a trade route. In the meantime it has been rebuilt elsewhere and is purely a tourist attraction – a pity! The ride is fun nonetheless. You rush along at an adventurously high speed and let the landscape pass you by. As soon as oncoming traffic approaches, one of the two cars has to be dismantled and reassembled.

Battambang itself is the second largest city in Cambodia after Phnom Penh . Although some streets are very noisy and chaotic, the region around Battambang is very original and definitely worth a visit. If you have time, we therefore recommend a bike tour with Soksabike. Our young guide had a lot to tell and brought us to some local families.

We recommend you to stay two to three nights in Battambang stay. You can find even more information about Battambang in our blog article: Tips for Battambang

Our accommodation tip for Battambang Link: Maisons Wat Kor

Info: Great retreat! The authentic hotel is located in a large garden. The only downside: The hotel is located approx. 10 tuktuk ride outside of the center but close to the Bamboo Train.

Phnom Penh Who of the serenity Battambangs immersed in the hustle and bustle of the capital Phnom Penh, it will initially be difficult to gain something from this city. Do not give up! In Phnom Penh you will be ruthlessly confronted with the history of Cambodia and you will learn a lot about the country.

The cruel past of the Khmer Rouge and the Genocide in Cambodia are nowhere more present than at the Killing Fields (Choeung Ek) and the Tuol Sleng Museum. We don’t know anyone who wasn’t stunned after visiting these two memorials. The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda are also worth seeing. Ultimately, Phnom Penh – as chaotic as it is – is a valuable experience.

We would plan at least three nights. You can find more tips for Phnom Penh in our detailed blog article: Highlights in Phnom Penh

Our accommodation tip for Phnom Penh Link: Aquarius Hotel and Urban Resort
Info: Very stylish hotel with a great roof terrace. A highlight is the rooftop pool with a view over Phnom Penh.

Kep From Phnom Penh leads our itinerary continues to Kep, a small town on the Cambodian coast. In Kep you meet many locals, tourists are rarely seen. Kep is not a beauty in itself, but it is a wonderful place to eat delicious fish with fresh Kampot pepper at sunset by the sea.

Before the civil war, Kep was one of Cambodia’s most important seaside resorts . You shouldn’t expect a picture-perfect beach in Kep , but you can theoretically spend a day at the beach here. However, we recommend that you translate to the nearby island Koh Tonsay, which is approximately 30 minutes with the Boat is accessible.

Kep is well-known for the Crab Market, which is located in the center of town. Right next to the crab market are some restaurants where you can eat fresh fish dishes with a view of the sea. If you like to be involved in the life of the locals, Kep is the right place for you.

We find two to three nights ideal. You can also visit Kep “only” as a day trip from Kampot – we’ll tell you more about that in a moment. You can find our detailed blog article here: Tips for Kampot and Kep

Our accommodation tip for Kep Link: Le Logis de Kep
Info: A small oasis with individual bungalows and a pool. The hotel is not located directly on the beach (and a bit outside), but the absolute idyll really awaits you here.

Kampot (E) The small town of Kampot inspired us from the start. It was probably because of the charming colonial houses that you can find all over the city. Cambodia was under French colonial rule for almost a hundred years. In Kampot you can find some architectural remnants of this period. Most of the buildings are very dilapidated, but that doesn’t detract from the charm of the town.

Kampot itself has no real classic sights. Rather, it is the flair and the cozy ambience, that makes this little town special. We strongly recommend that you rent a bike and explore the area with it. For example, you can reach the famous pepper plantations by bike: the Kampot pepper is one of the best in the world. Our tip: Our favorite place to watch the sunset was the terrace of the restaurant called Rikitikitavi overlooking the river.

We recommend you three nights in Kampot to stay. You can find more recommendations for Kampot in our detailed blog article: Tips for Kampot and Kep

Our accommodation tip for Kampot Link: The Columns
Info: SVery tasteful hotel in colonial style in Center with spacious rooms and great breakfast.

Sihanoukville (F) Sihanoukville is the most famous beach destination of Cambodia. The center of Sihanoukville is a single party mile, that didn’t suit our taste at all. So, to enjoy Sihanoukville, you should find a quiet stretch of beach and skip the souvenir shops.

We enjoyed our time at Otres Beach and there Sihanoukville is better than its reputation. Nevertheless: We didn’t really warm up to Sihanoukville. Next time we would rather translate to Koh Rong and spend a few days at the beach there.

Our accommodation tip for Sihanoukville Link: White Boutique Hotel and Residences

Info: Beautiful and stylish hotel on Otres Beach.

2. Map: Our Cambodia itinerary at a glance So that you can get a better overview of the route, we have included this map marked our itinerary for Cambodia. Cambodia is a rather small country. Although the distances are fortunately reasonable, you have to consider that the road conditions are not the best. Therefore, you usually need longer than you think for a route.

Two short examples: From Siem Reap to Battambang you are about 3 to 4 hours by bus. It takes about 5 to 6 hours from Battambang to Phnom Penh. From Phnom Penh to Kep you need about 3.5 to 4 hours. We will tell you more information about transport in Cambodia in the next chapter.

3. More travel tips for Cambodia: Transport & Co Transport: Getting from A to B in Cambodia The most common way to get around in Cambodia is by bus. All touristically relevant destinations are connected by bus. The level of comfort varies greatly: There are modern, air-conditioned buses as well as ancient, rickety buses.

The more touristy the start or end destination is, the more offers there are and the more modern they are Buses usually. Most of the time we were traveling in large coaches. Sometimes there are also minibuses.

The prices for bus trips in Cambodia are very cheap. So as a rough guide: A ticket for the route from Battambang to Phnom Penh (approx. 6 to 7 hours) costs about 8 to 05 U.S. dollar .

We personally would not
expect the given travel duration percent left. It usually comes about, but bus journeys can sometimes take longer due to road conditions. Breakdowns can also happen. On one of our bus trips, the situation actually arose that the passengers were huge en coach so that the engine starts again.

Tickets for your bus journeys can usually be easily bought on site to the next destination. We often have bus tickets booked through our accommodation the day before, for example – that works very well. If you would like to buy your tickets in advance, you can do so via 12go.asia do.

Cambodia Travel Guide For Southeast Asia, we are always happy to recommend the travel guides by Stefan Loose, as they are well researched. The one about Cambodia is in September 2018 published in the new edition. You won’t go wrong with this travel guide and you are well prepared.

You can buy the travel guide here: Stefan Loose travel guide Cambodia (September edition 2018)

The best time to travel to Cambodia The dry season is the most popular travel time to Cambodia: Between November and March the temperatures are pleasant and comparatively little rain falls in Cambodia. From March it gets significantly hotter and the so-called hot dry season starts. In April the thermometer can go up to 40 Climbing degrees – in view of the high temperatures, sightseeing is naturally quite exhausting.

Important to know: around Christmas and New Year’s there are a lot of tourists on the road. We would personally try to avoid this period – not least because the prices for hotels usually rise.

The rainy season begins in May/June, peaking in October. Rainy season means that you have to expect more rain showers. The climate is relatively unpredictable: it is often sunny all day before a heavy downpour in the afternoon. But there can also be continuous rain for days. In general, you have to take into account when planning that you may have to postpone one or the other visit during the rainy season due to the rain.

Arrival in Cambodia Option 1: By plane to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh The most convenient way to travel to Cambodia is by plane. The two largest airports are in the capital Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap. Both airports are connected to international destinations, including priority destinations in Southeast Asia or Asia (Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong etc.). However, there are no direct flights from Europe to Cambodia.

From the airport, we would personally organize transport via the accommodation. If this is not possible or is disproportionately expensive, you can find taxis at both airports that will take you to the hotel.

Option 2: By land from Bangkok or Koh Chang to Siem Reap It’s a bit more adventurous on your own enter Cambodia by land. We did this across the Thai-Cambodian border in Aranyaprathet/Poipet. Caution: Here you really have to be careful not to get ripped off, especially just before the border.

1. Route: To Aranyaprathet (Thailand)

First you have to go to Aranyaprathet, the last major town in Thailand, which is about 6 kilometers from the Cambodian border: From Bangkok there are numerous buses every day to Aranyaprathet (duration approx. 4 to 5 hours, approx. 200 baht). Alternatively, you can also take the train: From the Hualamphong Train Station in Bangkok, there are two trains a day to Aranyaprathet (duration approx. 5 hours, approx. 50 baht).

We ourselves traveled from Koh Chang to Cambodia. We designed the trip from Koh Chang to Siem Reap as follows: 7: 30 Shared taxi to the ferry (60 Baht per person) – 8: 30 o’clock ferry (80 Baht per person) – 9: 10 Shared taxi to Trat bus station (50 Baht per person) – 12: 15 PM Bus to Sa Kaeo (205 Baht per person) – 12: 30 o’clock Bus to Aranyaprathet (40 Baht per person).

2. Route: Border crossing to Poipet (Cambodia)

Now comes the somewhat tedious part, namely the border crossing. From Aranyaprathet you must get to the border (distance: approx. 6 kilometers) and on this route the risk of falling into the hands of scammers is relatively high – we speak from personal experience.

Take a tuktuk (80 Baht) or take a shared taxi. Important: If they try to take you to a small hut or similar in front of the border (“Cambodian Consulate”), then politely but firmly refuse and say that you already have a visa. The reason: They will try to sell you an overpriced visa for Cambodia.

You can only get your visa for Cambodia after (!) you have left Thailand. You will then easily receive a Visa on Arrival for a fee of 30 U.S. dollar. You should also have a passport photo with you – if not, it costs extra. During our second border crossing here, we ourselves had the experience of a “nice” border official who only gave us our passport for a small bribe of 100 Baht returned. So you see: One should be prepared for everything.

3. Route from Poipet to Siem Reap

Once you have entered Cambodia, you “only” have to get to Siem Reap. You should decline the transport offers that are offered to you immediately after crossing the border. Again, you are still in the middle of the “cheater” zone. It’s best if you walk down the street. A Taxi to Siem Reap should be approximately 30 cost US dollars (duration 2.5 hours).

From Poipet you can also take the bus to Siem Reap. However, the trip here costs about 9 US dollars per person and is therefore not a really cheap alternative to a taxi. Apparently there is a cheaper connection to Siem Reap once a day (5 US dollars), but probably already at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Visa for Cambodia You need a visa to enter the country. With this tourist visa you can days in Cambodia, where you can once for more 30 days can be extended. An extension is only possible in Phnom Penh.

The visa currently costs (as of February 2018) 30 US dollars. You have three options to get your visa:

Visa on Arrival (i.e. directly upon arrival at the airport/land route)E-Visa (excl $6 processing fee)Embassy (e.g. in Berlin) We personally believe that it is still the easiest (and cheapest) to obtain the visa upon arrival. This is especially true if you arrive by plane. If you come overland, the risk of being ripped off is slightly higher. But even there, a visa on arrival is not a problem.

For the visa on arrival, you simply fill out a form, hand in your passport photo and passport, and a short time later you will have your visa stuck in your passport.

Important: You should therefore have a passport photo with you. You need this for each of the three visa types. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

4. More blog articles from Cambodia to prepare your trip Phnom Penh: Our Highlights & Tips Kampot & Kep: Our TipsBattambang: Our Travel Guide 5. Our conclusion about Cambodia Cambodia blew us away: in a positive as well as in a negative sense. Cambodia’s history is unbelievable. Words cannot describe what terrible things happened during the Khmer Rouge rule. Our time in Phnom Penh in particular really gave us food for thought in this regard.

A trip to Cambodia is an adventure, not a relaxing vacation – that much is certain. If you are planning a Cambodia tour, you should have the urge to experience something. And we promise: You will experience a lot!

Cambodia is incredibly authentic. It is the people who give the country its very special charm. Yes, Cambodia inspired us, made us think. So we can’t help but advise you: Go there! Visit this country! You will not regret it.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you already been to this fascinating country and do you have any other tips for Cambodia travel itineraries? We look forward to your comments with your experiences!