A Guide to Cambodia
If you've ever wanted to visit Cambodia, DO IT. It is just one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly, the food is yummier than expected and there's so much to see and do. We spent almost a month travelling through the country, and here's what we got up to.
After getting closer to nature in Laos, Cambodia heralded something new; Phnom Penh, our first big city in a while, Angkor Wat for some serious templing and a chance to go to the beach down at Sihanoukville. We were pretty excited about Cambodia, and it didn't disappoint.
Best Meal Oli: Probably this massive piece of carrot cake in Jars of Clay in Phnom Penh. It was massive, and delicious! Lucy: Battambang -- delicious crisp pork belly buns at Jaan Bai.
Best Place Oli: Sihanoukville. Otres Beach is easily one of my favourite places we've been on the whole trip. Lucy: I loved everywhere to be honest.....hard pushed to pick a fave, but Otres was basically paradise.
Worst Place Oli: I guess it would have to be Kratie. Everywhere else we've been I've really liked. Kratie was a bit on the dull side. Lucy: I agree with Oli! Although Kratie was genuinely nice, it wasn't as epic as the rest of Cambodia. And we had a lot of bugs, rodents and the like in our rooms.......
What we wished we'd known at the start: Oli: That Cambodia is awesome. The people are friendly and the sights aren't bad either! Lucy: I've read and heard a lot about how corrupt Cambodia is and that Phnom Penh is super dangerous -- but honestly, we found it to be dreamy. That's not to say there isn't an issue, clearly it's a big city with problems -- I'm just saying don't be scared off by the scaremongerers!
Best Experience Oli: It sounds weird, but Tuol Sleng and Choung Ek killing fields. It will stay with me for a long time I think. Also, on a different subject, Arsenal won the FA Cup while we were here. Lucy: It's too hard to pick just one! It was amazing getting to understand Cambodia's dark history -- particularly as it's so recent and raw, so I agree with Oli on that.
I also bloody loved jumping off a boat into the BIG OLD OCEAN! Lifelong fear eradication? Tick.
Worst Experience Oli: Probably the buses. They just take so much longer than they should! Lucy: Yeah, the buses were soooo long and they play a heinous mixture of inappropriate movie (Apocalypto at 7am anyone?) and Khmer karaoke classics on full blast.
Books Read Oli: The Thomas Berryman Number - James Patterson Lucy: Guess? Marian Keyes - This Charming Man (I've already read it twice before!)
Lost Oli: I think I may have kept hold of everything I brought with me. Lucy: A bra. Very annoying as I only have one now.
Gained Oli: Some more T-shirts, one of Tin-Tin. Lucy: A gift for my friend Midge.
Most Useless Thing In My Backpack Oli: Still those trousers. Cambodia is up there as the hottest place I've ever been. Lucy: Still haven't used my microfibre towels!
If you come to Cambodia you must try: Oli: Not to drink too many 50cent beers. Sadly, I am guilty of not following my own rules. Lucy: A yummy breakfast of various fried bread things -- some have sesame and taro in, one looks like churros but isn't sweet and one has icing sugar on and an egg inside! Great for long bus journeys.
WHAT WE SPENT
As always, our budget was £40 a day, which is $64. We spent just under $1000 in our 3 weeks, which works out at $49 a day, or £30.50.
Cambodia was on the cheap side (as expected), but the week we spent on the beach increased our spending.
The Bird Man - for all your Tuk Tuk needs in Siem Reap and Angkor
We haven't universally enjoyed a country since India and to be honest, I'd say that Cambodia shares some of the same qualities.
A corrupt government and widespread poverty aside, the people are the friendliest we've met in a long time -- and so smily. Also, the kids are the cutest you will ever see. We are already planning a return in the not so distant future.
We ❤️ Cambodia
L & O x