Cambodia, in South East Asia, is a wonderful country for solo travel. Not only is it easy to explore, and fairly inexpensive, but it is also easy to meet other travellers who are often following a similar route. Two to three weeks is ample time to hit the highlights, though, of course, you may find spots in which you want to linger. During your adventures you can see the places of historical interest, relax and party on pretty beaches, sample delicious local specialities, learn about the country’s far from peaceful past, mingle with friendly locals, and discover some of the culture.
How to get to Cambodia
The capital city of Phnom Penh and also Siam Reap both have international airports. It is also possible to enter Cambodia by land from all neighbouring countries – Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
Accommodation in Cambodia
Cambodia has a pretty decent selection of places to stay in all the popular areas. Even in those places that are a little off the main trail you will still find a choice of places to bed down for the night. Cheaper guest houses and hostels are not only good for the wallet, but are also great places to meet fellow travellers. Whether you want to find someone to indulge in a few scoops with, swap tales of adventures, pick up some handy trips, or meet a travel buddy, these are the places to look.
Suggested Places to Visit in Cambodia
In the capital city of Phnom Penh you will be dazzled with contrasts. The sweaty pavements, bloody legacy, and seedy undertones give way to historical charms, modern developments, and a sense of fascination. Prepare to be repulsed, captivated, horrified, amazed, and simultaneously love and hate this intriguing and beguiling city. There are a few colonial buildings, a lively river front, museums, and the stunning Royal Palace. To learn about the country’s horrific past, pay a visit to the Toel Sleng Genocide Museum and the nearby Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. It will be a harrowing discovery, but one that is almost essential to understanding the country.
After chaotic, and at times traumatic, Phnom Penh, drift along the canals to scenic Phnom Da. This journey is dependent upon the time of year, as for six months the area is flooded – check before making any travel plans to avoid disappointment. A temple sits high upon a hill, surrounded by lush green fields, rice paddies, and trees. It is a great place to unwind and reflect.
The nearby towns of Kep and Kampot are well worth quick stops. Kep is a charming seaside village, with whispers from its affluent past. Kampot, sitting alongside the river, is home to magnificent French style colonial buildings and mangroves. Bokur hill station, an abandoned casino, a deserted church, and more are accessible from both towns. Excursions can also be taken to Rabbit Island.
Sihanoukville is a place that never sleeps. Beautiful beaches provide ample opportunities for relaxing and soaking up some sun, and the parties continue into the wee small hours. You will certainly meet lots of other travellers here. Lone adventurers should exercise particular caution though; walking along the beach alone at night is strongly discouraged. There are various lovely islands to visit, including Koh Rong and Bamboo Island.
Ream National Park offers visitors the chance to experience the diverse wildlife of Cambodia.
Battambang is home to some of the country’s best preserved colonial buildings, an unusual bamboo train, and interesting statues. At Tonle Sap you can drift through floating villages. In Siam Reap, pay a visit to the informative and inspirational landmine museum.
And, of course, you cannot visit Cambodia without taking in the magnificent and awesome temples of Angkor. You can choose to spend several days exploring the area, building up to the prime sights, or a single day touring the highlights. The enormous and amazing Angkor Wat is the star of the show, with the wild Ta Phrom and the numerous faces of the Bayon closely following.
At times Cambodia may feel a little overwhelming when on your own, but rest assured, you will see fantastic sights, have wonderful experiences, and create long lasting memories in this fabulous country.