Adventure in Cambodia: 9 highlights from my three-week trip

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Katie Taylor travelled to Cambodia with InsideAsia Tours in November and December 2017, combining her trip with three weeks in Burma. Here, she’s shared some of her highlights from her trip – along with some truly amazing photos. Thanks Katie!

1. The Bayon Faces

The wonderful Bayon temple with all its faces. We visited after the searing heat of the day has calmed down and the crowds have gone. So atmospheric!

Bayon Faces
Bayon Faces
Bayon from afar
Bayon from afar

2. Siem Reap’s countryside

Siem Reap town is fun, with some fantastic restaurants, but we feel the need to escape to countryside. We hire a tuk-tuk and ask the driver to take us on a tour of the surrounding villages. He turns out to be a tour guide in training and is delighted to be able to use us as trial customers! He’ll do well – his enthusiasm is amazing – and he found us some lovely rural scenes.

The Siem Reap countryside
The Siem Reap countryside

3. Preah Vihear

We head north to Preah Vihear, on the Thai border. Peace and tranquillity and breathtaking views in all directions.

Beautiful views at Preah Vihear
Beautiful views at Preah Vihear
Andy with our lovely guide Bunthan – the fount of all knowledge and a firm friend by the end of our week with him.
Andy with our lovely guide Bunthan – the fount of all knowledge and a firm friend by the end of our week with him.

4. Kampong Thom

We reach Kampong Thom and borrow bikes from the hotel to cycle along the Stung Sen river. All the locals want to say hello.

Kampong Thom
Kampong Thom
These boys cross the river for a game of footy with their mates on the other side.
These boys cross the river for a game of footy with their mates on the other side.

5. Driving from Kampong Thom to Kratie

The drive between Kompong Thom and Kratie features lotus fields, Chinese fishing nets and Muslim communities where suddenly the temples are replaced by mosques.

On the way to Kampong Thom
On the way to Kratie
Farmland on the way to Kratie
Farmland on the way to Kratie

6. Koh Trong

Koh Trong island, a haven in the middle of the Mekong river, reached by boat from Katie. The ferry grounds on a sandbank on the way over, and one of the daily commuters casually pushes us off with a pole.

Koh Trong Island
Koh Trong Island

Koh Trong is a car-free, community based island with a vegetable cooperative and all islanders benefitting from tourist income. We spend our days cycling round and soaking up the peace.

Kids on the way to school
Kids on the way to school

 

The kids are fascinated by Andy’s binoculars!
The kids are fascinated by Andy’s binoculars!
A floating Vietnamese village is anchored to the island by cables.
A floating Vietnamese village is anchored to the island by cables.

7. Mondulkiri

On to Mondulkiri province which has a completely different look and feel. It’s cooler and it’s great to see forest stretching as far as the eye can see.

The forests of Mondulkiri
The forests of Mondulkiri

We spend a day crashing through the jungle, following the rescued elephants at the Elephant Valley Project – a real privilege to be able to get so close to them, and to see them being well cared for. Each has its own personal mahout (trainer).

Walking with elephants
Walking with elephants
Elephants bathing
Elephants bathing
Bousra Waterfall, Mondulkiri Province
Bousra Waterfall, Mondulkiri Province

8. Cardamom Mountains

We head west to the beautiful Tatai River in the Cardamom Mountains – total tranquillity, interrupted only by the occasional chug of a local boat passing.

Boats on the Tatai River
Boats on the Tatai River

Boats on the Tatai River

We visit a fishing village on the river and meet the local ladies who are busy shelling shrimps and laying out fish to dry on wooden racks.

Fishing village
Fishing village

9. Koh Rong

Our final stop, Koh Rong Island, is reached by speed ferry from Sihanoukville. The beach is vast and the sand wonderfully pale and soft.

The wonderful white sand of Koh Rong
The wonderful white sand of Koh Rong

The wonderful white sand of Koh Rong

Two local brothers take us on an afternoon snorkelling and fishing trip. The young one is still in his school trousers but that doesn’t stop him diving in and out of the water. They catch about 10 fish to every one of ours!

Fishing trip
Fishing trip

The day is topped off as they barbecue the fish over a wood fire on the beach. It’s delicious. We enjoy it with a can of beer as we sit and watch the sun go down. Bliss!

Sunset

If you’ve been inspired by Katie’s travels, our travel consultants can tailor you a trip just like this – or something completely different. Just get in touch to find out more.

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