Wong, I just enjoyed my trip after 9-10 days spent in Cambodia in April 06. Besides Angkor and Tuol Sleng Museum and site, the most memorable days was those days spent in Mekong islands - mind to tell you, it's very rug with very basic facilities. Dusty and windy road, with lots of people masking and biking is good there. Lots of cows' dropping there and some very old temple with wall paintings...want to see the real 'society' of how poor these people are, pay a short visit there. You'll definitely think many people are wasting our resource in our country...some women are running for silk business, some even take a small boat to other islands to cut the grass and sell it only for Riel500 per packet...fresh and real organic veggies - very big brinjals, cucumbers...Mekong island is nevertheless a poor nation but the land is so fertilized! With under average sanitation awareness, i bet you must be very unforgettable and you would understand what is the ultimate meaning of capitalism and eventhough the people is very poor, they seem satisfied with such state and they are generally very resourceful and knowledgable in plants and on selecting the cooking materials as the life is very tough there!(USD vs Riel is an issue there, economically)
My recent visit ended with the Tuol Sleng and imagine I brought my emotion together with those pictures in my mind heading back to my country! I and my friend, both of us were speechless along the way back and we have a little thoughts of why this country with the most NGOs in the world but still couldn't run away from being one of the ASEAN's richest nation to a poorest nation!
Go to visit the National Museum in PP after visiting those sites in Angkor and you'll get a summary of what myths you have seen in every archaelogical site - what is Ghanasa? Aksara? What forces determine the built of Bayon Temple?
Da vinci code is not only happening in the books and movies, it applies everywhere as well! But honestly to say, I am really pitiful to them and that's only one part in the world's history
I agree with Ska: the Kampot/Kep area is wonderful. I'd go to Sihanoukville if you have time to kill and want to do the beach thing for a few days, but there are better beaches in Thailand, and more interesting places in Cambodia. Kampot is easy to get to from PP. Kep has a small beach but it's not a place where people hang out. Great seafood, however. And about that boat from SR to PP: it's not that scenic and not so comfortable. I think the boat to Battambang is much better for scenery and the "experience." To get to PP from SR hire a car; it's faster thanks to the improved road.
wow... sounds like lots of places to go..
i need to check with my travel partners. nevertheless, thanks for all the info. we might need to re-schedule destination again.. hehehe
Although this might not sound possible as you have quite short time for the country like Cambodia. Ratanakiri is quite different from other parts of the country.
Check more in : www.canbypublications.com and www.yaklom.com/yaklom_hill_lodge.htm
Otherwise, enjoying the temples in Siem Reap, the capital Phnom Penh, and the beaches in the south (Sihanoukville, Kep & Kampot) should fill up all your time.
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 6, 2006 1:48 AM by suwannaphu ]
I did a quick trip in Cambodia as well.. and hit a LOT OF TEMPLES. Everyone has given you some great suggestions! One of my favorite temples however was the Jungle temple. That was quite an awesome site and one not to miss. It's just so different from any of the other temples. I will try to figure out the name of the other temple that I saw (it was from the 12th century) and that too, I thought was just spectacular. The people are very friendly and humble. I think you will like it there. Phom Penh was good, but in such a short time, it's hard.. if you can swing it, see if you can make a side trip to see the killing fields. I wish I had done that when I was there but it'll probably be a full day's tour (they tell me it's about 3 hours out)... may be too long but it's just more temples and museums in the city, so it's that or the beaches (which I'm sure is amazing. Just depends on what you want to experience!
Careful about using ATMs too. I used my credit card there, and though ATMs can be found in most places - my credit card company charged me $10 each time I withdrew cash! I was shocked when I came back and saw my bill. What a waste! Take your debit card or other form, just make sure you don't keep a lot held in your checking acct or have the "safety" guard in case it get's lost.
Outside of the main Angkor park, the jungle temple that the previous poster referred to is probably Beng Mealea. And I agree; it's an incredible place to visit. The road to get there is much improved so it doesn't take as long as it used to take. another interesting temple in the vicinity is Koh Ker. You can combine a visit there with one to Beng Mealea. In the opposite direction, towards Sisophon, is Banteay Chmar. For temple buffs, all these sites are wonderful to visit.
We did consider Ratanakiri but its the other side of cambodia and we might not have enuff time to travel there.
As for the Wats.. the jungle temple.. is it the one that most photos i saw where there is this huge tree grow on top of the temple?
My travel partners and myself, we are trying to slot in kampot.. one of my friend getting very excited with the bamboo train.. and we are trying to figure how can we travel from batambang to sihanouk.
Anyone can confirm tha traveling by boat from siam reap to batambang, we will pass by the floating village? and any recommendation how to travel from batambang to sihanouk?