Our journey path (as featured in Globe Trekker: Cambodia)
Starting at Phnom Da, Cambodia’s earliest temple ruin, moving south we head to Kampot, at the foot of the Elephant Mountains. From there, we explore the colonial hill station ofBokor. We then travel to Sihanoukville and the islands of the south coast then it’s inland toKompong Speu and the capitol Phnom Penh,before flying east to Senmonorom and the mountains of Mondokiri. After flying back toPhnom Penh, the last leg of our journey takes us up to Lake Tonle Sap to Siem Reap and the fabled city of Angkor.
On the road
The ban has recently been lifted on foreigners travelling by train but the journeys are usually unreliable and long. If you have no set agenda and time on your hands, this cheap form of transport may be the way to go. In light of the tourist abductions over six years ago, it is worth checking with other travellers and with the station employees to ensure your journey will be a safe one.
There are regular buses from Phonm Penh to both Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. The trips will cost you around $2-4USD and $9USD respectively. Most of the way is driven on badly kept dirt roads and over not so sturdy bridges so beware of this before you set out on your journey.
Air travel is the easiest but most expensive way to get around the country. Plane travel is most beneficial if you have the cash and are going to remote places like Mondolkiri since the roads getting there are poor and bandits are rife along these routes. Flights can be booked with local travel agents or through the airlines themselves.
Throughout the city, you can find a few regular metered taxis but much more prevalent are the unmetered kind. Make sure to get your fare quoted upfront if you pick one up off the street or you can have your hotel or travel agent arrange one for you. A car with driver can be hired for around $20-$30 USD per day. The minimum for short trips within the city will be around $2-$3 USD.
Moto (motodups) or motorcycle taxis are the best way to travel around the cities of Cambodia. Get to know your moto driver and use him everyday while you are in town. Moto drivers know the places to go and more importantly the places not to go and it is cheap, safe and reliable. You can expect to pay 10 cents – $1 for a trip in town and $5-$8 USD per day with private driver.
By Susi O’Neill