Cambodia

Having heard questions and advices reaching from “Why Cambodia?” to “Two weeks in Cambodia is more than enough” and having met people who indeed rushed through the country in one week, seeing nothing more than Angkor Wat, the killing fields and the ceiling of their night bus to Vietnam. I disagree. I disagree with any of that. I mean, everybody should follow their own path and if that means fitting four countries in six weeks and not researching beyond the path most travelled, that is up to you. And why Cambodia? Cambodia is rapidly developing and especially the cities could look a whole lot different in another 25 years…

That is not my way though. I am a slow traveller and having spent three full weeks in Cambodia,  I already felt that I was moving too fast. Still used to the slow pace of my gap year two years earlier, I am accustomed to the slow pace of work and travel combined; staying in one place for at least a month, experiencing the true life and making some real friends. This trip was different, rushing from one place to another, not staying anywhere long enough in order to properly breath in the atmosphere of Cambodian rural life.

Itinerary Cambodia
Itinerary Cambodia

Next intercontinental trip, I hope I have the time and resources to work in a country and stay for a three-month minimum. Neverteless, my high-speed visit to Cambodia has left me with memories of the insane waterfalls, carefully hidden away in the jungle; knowledge of the unbelievable violent history of the country that has only taken place less than half a century ago and left many off-road areas impassible, because of leftover landmines!

Angkor Wat is undeniably pretty, but please don’t limit yourself to just that and take your time to have a proper look around, before moving on to Koh Rong to sleep all day and party all night or before your dissapear into another visa office. Find some inspiration in the subpages of this page, research your lonely planet and online, but most of all… speak to people with experience.

At Angkor Wat
At Angkor Wat

Bucketlist Cambodia

Obviously, I have never seen enough of one country, so my bucket list is never empty.

  1. Ratanakiri Province
    Famous for its crater lake and the possibility of dissapearing into the wild for days, Ratanakiri goes hand in hand with my desire for a multiple day trek.

    Crate Lake Yeak Laom (en.wikipedia.org)

     

  2. Battambang
    Not entirely sure what I will find here except for the Bamboo Railway and Bat Cave, but worth a visit according to many. Had to skip this during my first trip due to a lack of time, but luckily it is just as easy to get to from the Thai border as Siem Reap.
  3. Volunteer
    Before going to Cambodia, my intensions were to volunteer somewhere rather than travelling. Unfortunately many so-called voluntourism organisations only see dollar signs, meaning that you’ll pay a fortune without really helping a community or the environment out.Whilst in Cambodia, I met a guy who had a family member who set up an orphanage in Cambodia, on the border with Myanmar (Birma). This small-scale project or another similar one is still on my to-do list as a do-gooder.4. Preah Vihear
    After having visited dozens of temples, all in a short-time span, it is rather easy to get sick of them. Nevertheless, I am positive that I will get over my temple-allergy with time and when that time comes, the harder to reach, but beautifully located hindu Preah Vihear temple is awaiting a visit.From the temple, your views reach far across endless plains. Pretty, no?

    http://www.angkorfocus.com

5. Kampot
The only place on my bucketlist where I’ve already been and fell for the charmes of the city that I said I would not fall for. The entire package of laid-back riverside, beautiful waterfalls and treks to explore, possibilities to get off-road and even a beautiful beach an hour’s drive away. Take me pack to the paradise city.

6. The Islands: (Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem)
Mentioned earlier as a party island, but one with pretty beaches and opportunities for diving, which Cambodia’s mainland coast is not very suitable for. Lack of both time and money made me leave this for another time.

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