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Utter Newbie wants to visit Cambodia.


DeeMockMark
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I want to go to Cambodia next month just to check it out and as a little Christmas present to myself. I have been living in Chiang Mai for a little over a year and want to do a little traveling and have been thinking about Cambodia. And since this forum opened up i thought I might inquire.

I am thinking of a visit of a few days to no more than a week. Any ideas or suggestions?? Shall I go to Phnom Penh? That's my guess for a first visit. Any suggestions or ideas about travel or hotel accommodations or districts to be in or avoid would be appreciated. Nightlife? Visa? Crime? Just anything. I am really open to info. I will also be doing some homework on the net. I am not locked in to going yet. But it is time I treat myself to a little of something different.

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You probably want to go Phom penh for first visit ... Visa on arrival in PP airport . Bring a passport photo , but not neccesary as u will be charged 1 dollar more for visa if u dont . You can be picked up at airport , by a touk driver ( inexpensive small open vehicle)who speaks english and will take you to guest house of your choice in Riverfront ( popular area for bars small restaurants etc) tripadviser has lots of selection depending on price u are interested in....... Any other ? pm

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If it were me there'd be three choices, Phnom Penn, Sianoukville or Siam Reap. The first is a big city so more expensive than the alternatives, the second is at the beach and pretty laid back, the third is the home of the Ankor temple complex so there's lots to see and do but will involve some exercise.

Having done all three I'd choose Siam Reap, but which ever you choose I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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Yeah I know people will scoff, but get yourself a Lonely Planet guide. Do go. Have a great time! If it isn't raining do take the boat trip in at least one direction to/from Siem Reap.

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Save a page in your passport and get an e-visa for $28,

http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/

It really depends what you want to achieve and what your tastes are.

I had no idea of the splendour of Angkor Wat - that is worth at least half a day or so of your time to sample the wonder of the AW community. Going to cambodia and not visiting AW would be a sin.

That means going to Siem Reap - a delightful tourist town that is totally skewed towards the international tourist. Loads of choice for Western style cuisine and Siem Reap is a welcome break from Thailand in that respect.

Phnom Penh is nothing special for me. Nothing wrong with it, it is a low rise capital city with limited attractions. Pleasant, and if you have any interest in Cambodian history then a visit to the Killing Field and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum aka S21 the former Khmer Rouge security prison.

The suggestion to take a boat on one leg of the route to/from Phnom Penh/Siem Reap is a good idea - about 6 hours or so and don't expect any luxury. It is interesting and the water levels should be fairly high on the Tonle Sap. This on Trip Advisor is less than complimentary:-

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297390-i9163-k4295642-Boat_from_Phnom_Penh_to_Siem_Reap-Siem_Reap_Siem_Reap_Province.html

I love Sihanoukville because I like the sea. I find it refreshing and relaxing sitting in one of the many beach bars/restaurants.

Another factor is whether you are traveling alone or with family.

As said, Google Trip Advisor/Lonely Planet etc to see what appeals. I would certainly sample Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and your first visit.

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If you do Ankor and you want to see the temples, allocate three days for it, to spend less would be criminal.

A personal opinion.

To not visit at all would be criminal.

One day is enough for me - certainly as a "sampler" - although I have done one day on half a dozen occasions.

Later visits can take in the 'lesser' temples, go out to Banteay Saray and perhaps visit Kbal Spean.

There is more to Siem Reap than Angkor Wat - although, I have to say, it is worth going just for AW.

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Here's your itinerary:

Day 1 - Air or bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, stay two nights and see Ankor the following day, option to stay longer if so inclined.

Day 3 - Boat to Phnom Pen, stay PP two nights, spend next day sight seeing - option to extend if required.

Day 5 - Chances are that you've added an extra day in SR or PP and since you only want to spend a week max, it's time to return to BKK by air or bus.

This tour organised by CM Tours Inc, please ensure all cheques are made payable to the same.laugh.png

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Here's your itinerary:

Day 1 - Air or bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, stay two nights and see Ankor the following day, option to stay longer if so inclined.

Day 3 - Boat to Phnom Pen, stay PP two nights, spend next day sight seeing - option to extend if required.

Day 5 - Chances are that you've added an extra day in SR or PP and since you only want to spend a week max, it's time to return to BKK by air or bus.

This tour organised by CM Tours Inc, please ensure all cheques are made payable to the same.laugh.png

A good itinerary.

It is dry season so it might be worth getting the AW ticket in the evening and viewing the sunset - also gives the option of seeing AW at sunrise the following morning.

Unless on a budget, I would fly into PP and take a taxi or shared minibus to SR. You can fly internally if money is no object.

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Jdinasia, Wimbledon, Chiang Mai, Jip99... Thx guys. This is the info I needed. I am leaning toward doing the CM Tours Inc. You guys really opened up the possibilities of a good visit. I can already see going to Sihanoukville too in a later visit. Wim answered the nuts and bolts of a visit to PP. Jip..... e-visa and good general info on SR. Jdinasia.... the boat trip and lonely planet guide. And CM... CM Tours.

I think I will be going by myself. No family. I thought a buddy in Udon might go with but its not a good time for him.

Edited by DeeMockMark
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FLY Chiang Mai to Siem Rep on Air Asia

Visa on arrival is easy an why spend the extra $8?

4 days, buy the 3 day pass for Angkor temple complex ($40) Note you can get in for free after 4:30 for a sunset.

Rent a tuk tuk for $12-15/day to get u around, Pick up the book, "Ancient Angkor" from any of the kids.
LP books are $4-5 each!! so buy all u need

one day for visiting the floating village of Kampong Phluk

Bus to Phnom Penh (5-6 hours) Boat is good for an hour out of SR than very boring and hot for 4 hours an cost 3 times as much

stay in pp till ur flight back to bangkok-CM

Use booking .com for hotels in sr and PP 15-20 will get u a decent gh with air con and wifi

Xmas fills up fast

Look at my photos if ur interested, I lived in Camboida a year an travel 2-3 times/year up there.

http://phuket.zenfolio.com/f865014398

Wouldn't take any advice from anyone that spells the names of places wrong "Ankor" ??

Edited by phuketrichard
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FLY Chiang Mai to Siem Rep on Air Asia

Visa on arrival is easy an why spend the extra $8?

4 days buy the 3 day pass for Angkor ($40) Rent a tuk tuk for $12-15/day to get u around, Pick up the book, "Ancient Angkor" from any of the kids.

LP books are $4-5 each!! so buy all u need

one day for visiting the floating village of Kampong Phluk

Bus to Phnom Penh (5-6 hours) Boat is good for an hour out of SR than very boring and hot for 4 hours an cost 3 times as much

stay in pp till ur flight back to bangkok-CM

Use booking .com for hotels in sr and PP 15-20 will get u a decent gh with air con and wifi

Xmas fills up fast

Look at my photos if ur interested, I lived in Camboida a year an travel 2-3 times/year there.

http://phuket.zenfolio.com/f865014398

Just out of interest, why booking.com ?

I do use them but I have had some great deals with Agoda

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FLY Chiang Mai to Siem Rep on Air Asia

Visa on arrival is easy an why spend the extra $8?

4 days, buy the 3 day pass for Angkor temple complex ($40) Note you can get in for free after 4:30 for a sunset.

Rent a tuk tuk for $12-15/day to get u around, Pick up the book, "Ancient Angkor" from any of the kids.

LP books are $4-5 each!! so buy all u need

one day for visiting the floating village of Kampong Phluk

Bus to Phnom Penh (5-6 hours) Boat is good for an hour out of SR than very boring and hot for 4 hours an cost 3 times as much

stay in pp till ur flight back to bangkok-CM

Use booking .com for hotels in sr and PP 15-20 will get u a decent gh with air con and wifi

Xmas fills up fast

Look at my photos if ur interested, I lived in Camboida a year an travel 2-3 times/year up there.

http://phuket.zenfolio.com/f865014398

Wouldn't take any advice from anyone that spells the names of places wrong "Ankor" ??

Oh dear, the internet spelling, grammar, my d*cks bigger nazi's are upon us and at risk of derailing a well intentioned thread because of spelling/grammar/punctuation errors, hugely sad and totally without need - where do these people come from!.

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booking .com and agoda both use Priceline to fulfill rooms BUT Agoda charges you the price when u book

Booking.com, for 90% of the rooms, You pay when u check in at the hotel NOT up front and can cancel, with no charge, up to 3 days before your stay!!!

Nobody Derailed the thread.

my trip makes more sense than traveling from CM to Bangkok to fly to SR and the boat is very tiresome

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a note about Booking.com. While you get the convenience of not paying the full bill till you arrive, some hotels don't consider the 10% reservation a 'full booking' and will happily give your room to a full paying customer who arrives before you, especially at busy times.

I've used Agoda a few times with no problems, but the added fees/taxes/charges are sometimes a shock.

Another possible option is the flight + hotel combined prices on both Expedia and AirAsiaGo. I've just paid 5,500 baht for a return flight (BKK - PP) and 3 nights in a 3 star hotel in Phnom Penh.

I'm quite pleased with the price, though I'm sure I'm about to be told I've been ripped off! ;-)

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I've just paid 5,500 baht for a return flight (BKK - PP) and 3 nights in a 3 star hotel in Phnom Penh.

I'm quite pleased with the price, though I'm sure I'm about to be told I've been ripped off! ;-)

Nope, not at all, sounds like a pretty good deal you got there!

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some hotels don't consider the 10% reservation a 'full booking'

WHAT;

i have used booking.com for years and NEVER paid a 10% booking feee nor every been turned away.

PLus i worked for agoda, priceline and Accor.

You can get a very good hotel with pool for $25-35 anywhere in Cambodia.

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Here's your itinerary:

Day 1 - Air or bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, stay two nights and see Ankor the following day, option to stay longer if so inclined.

Day 3 - Boat to Phnom Pen, stay PP two nights, spend next day sight seeing - option to extend if required.

Day 5 - Chances are that you've added an extra day in SR or PP and since you only want to spend a week max, it's time to return to BKK by air or bus.

This tour organised by CM Tours Inc, please ensure all cheques are made payable to the same.laugh.png

Thanks a lot from me to for this info. After two years in Thailand I'v had my fill and times up for moving. Knows very little about Cambodia so threads like this is very useful.

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Great thread. I also am starting to get fed up with the crap here in LOS. After 5 years it is getting old and not much looks to change in the future. Maybe Cambodia is a good alternative.

I am wondering what tourists do about money when visiting Cambodia. I have an account with KBank and an ATM card. Would I need to change money here before traveling or use ATM (which I would think is expensive) in Cambodia? Suggestions please.

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I am wondering what tourists do about money when visiting Cambodia. I have an account with KBank and an ATM card. Would I need to change money here before traveling or use ATM (which I would think is expensive) in Cambodia? Suggestions please.

There are plenty of ATM's in the cities, check with your bank to make sure your card will work outside of Thailand.

The de-facto currency in Cambodia is $USD, best to have smaller denomination bills, you will mostly on receive KHR (Cambodian Riel) as change for anything less than $1. Exchange rate is approximately $1 USD = 4000 KHR.

Edited by rarky
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