S&G quick travel guide to: Cambodia

My new husband and I spent our honeymoon in Cambodia.

I want to say that this off-kilter honeymoon choice was intentional, but in fact we’d booked our trip to Cambodia before we decided to get married, so it was entirely by accident that we found ourselves at the Air Asia check-in counter sneakily asking for upgrades ‘because it’s our honeymoon’.

I’ve written posts about all the places we travelled, so if you’re looking to see something of this beautiful country I would recommend checking them out.

Otherwise, here is my general guide for travelling in Cambodia:

  • Cambodia outside its two main cities; Phnom Penh and Siem Reap; is worth seeing. It is grubbier, there isn’t always a lot to do, there is poverty and near-death experiences on the roads. But if you only stick to the touristy areas, you’re only going to see the tourist side of the country.
  • Pay extra to travel comfortably. It’s worth it.
  • There is an electrolyte drink for sale in Cambodia called Royal D and it will be your new best friend. It cures hangovers, dehydration, stomach problems, anything. Buy it!
  • Never accept a first offer of price from tuk-tuk drivers in particular, but don’t argue too long over a dollar.
  • Cambodia is a country with a troubled recent history and as a nation they still face huge economic and social development problems. Do your bit as a tourist and buy from registered charities, support legitimate development groups and give back to the delightful Cambodians you meet. Every little bit helps and for less than a cup of coffee, you can help incite change.
  • If you are interested in helping out locally, why not volunteer for a day or a week at a wildlife reserve or to help build in local villages. Your guidebook would be a good place to start looking for somewhere reputable. We volunteered at the Elephant Valley Project.
  • If you love cycling and a challenge, you can cycle around the country. Buy a good bike with excellent suspension.
  • The airports in Cambodia are surprisingly good, if you can afford to fly.
  • Siem Reap is the most touristy city in Cambodia. You may love that or loathe it but either way it is good place to re-charge, get your washing done, enjoy good food and drink and meet fellow travellers.
  • The Temples of Angkor Wat are amazing and if you have the time, buy a three-day pass. Take camera, good shoes and patience to deal with the busloads of tourists.
  • Phnom Penh is a city with a lot more charm than you might think, particularly if you take advantage of the river life.

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