Cambodia stole our hearts in the space of just 10 days from the beauty of the landscape and islands in the country to the smiles of the people and their recent dark history. I have no doubt that Cambodia will soon be one of the new hot spots to travel in South East Asia and overtake popularity from its surrounding big brother neighbours.
Intro travel's new Cambodia Intro allowed us to experience the four main places in the country all in which had such differing reasons to fall in love with Cambodia. You have the islands of Koh Rong which are pretty much untouched, with white sanded beaches and turquoise blue clear waters then the hustle and bustles of the country's capital Phnom Penh that holds Cambodia's dark history then to possibly one of, if not the most famous temple in the world, Angkor Wat.
Follow our day to day experience for a more detailed version of our Cambodia Intro trip!
- Check In
- Meet your group
- Evening Meal and drinks
We landed in Phnom Penh where we were greeted at the airport by our fabulous team leaders, Alan and Matt. We headed straight to our hotel, where we checked into our room, caught up on a few zzzz's and then we met the rest of the group in the evening for a meal and some drinks at a local restaurant. Safe to say the group got on like a house on fire and I knew the upcoming adventure would be one to remember!
- Tuk Tuk Tour
- S21 Prison
- Killing Fields
- Night out in Phnom Penh
We met our 20 new travelling buddies downstairs for breakfast before heading out on an epic tuk tuk tour around the crazy streets of Phnom Penh! Traveling in a Tuk tuk is by far the best way to explore the city, there is so much to take in from the smiles of the locals driving next to you to the local markets, the different smells, temples and so much more!
After we finished the tuk tuk tour around the streets of Phnom Penh we made our way over to the S21 prison to learn all about the unfortunate horrible past of Cambodia. Even though it is a dark subject we felt it is very important to learn about the previous events to understand just how much the country has been through and as a nation has pulled through to become the happiest country we have ever visited!
Visiting the S21 prison was a very moving experience. Intro travel provided us with a local tour guide which allowed us to understand the history from a local perspective.
After leaning all about the S21 prison we headed over to the Killing fields. As a group we were taken back by the country's tragic past, we learnt so much from the tours and knew we would be able to relate with the country a lot more for the rest of our trip.
To lighten the day, that evening we all headed back to the hotel before heading to a wonderful dinner at a roof top restaurant! Finishing the evening at a local street bar which was so much fun, we had our own Bar attender who made cocktails by request, smiles all round for the team.
To learn & understand more about the Khmer Rouge before you go, I highly recommend watching 'First they killed my father on Netflix. A film directed by Angelina Jolie, which tells the story of the Cambodian genocide through the eyes of young girl. The book is also a great read.
'First they killed my father'
- Recovery Breakfast from the night before
- Travel to Kampot
- Amazing local vegetarian Lunch
- Kayaking River tour in the mangroves
- Evening meal in Kampot
Again another fabulous breakfast was served before we jumped on the coach and took a road trip South to Kampot! As soon as we arrived I got a very good feeling about this place situated on the river side! The rooms at the hotel were amazing, massive double beds for couples, large single beds for others and in fact 2 girls landed a room with 2 double beds! WINNING!
Once we dropped our bags off we set off to a lovely River side family run restaurant, they cooked up an absolute storm for us which was completely vegetarian. I think it certainly took some of the "meat eaters" by surprise how appetising vegetarian food can be, certainly did for us. The family then provided us with the kayaks so we could experience how the locals navigate the river.
- Experience the local markets
- A traditional Khmer Cooking Class
- Pepper plantation Tour
- Sunset River Cruise
We ventured out early doors to the local markets to source ingredients for our Khmer cooking class later that day. Safe to say that the markets were quite the experience, lots of different smells different foods, different ways in which the locals prepare and buy their food.
After purchasing the ingredients next stop was a rather unique spice plantation where we learnt how to cook some of Cambodia’s authentic meals using the ingredients we brought.
Such an amazing experience learning about the Khmer way of cooking, to top it off the food was super tasty! Once filling our bellies we were taken on a tour of the spice plantation which was so interesting to learn about how important Pepper can be in food and in your life for health reasons!
That evening we went on a sunset cruise which was stunning. We all sat on the top deck, cruised down the river taking in the incredible Kampot landscapes with a beer in hand.
An evening that we will not forget!
- Travel to Koh Rong
- Catching those rays and exploring the beaches
- Evening meal and few chilled drinks
BEACH TIME! Today was the day we set off to the beautiful islands of Koh Rong! A short ferry ride from Sihanoukville to the island. As soon as we arrived you could tell from everyone in the group's faces that It defiantly did not disappoint. Instantly falling in love with the crystal white sands, chilled beach bars and turquoise blue waters.
The traditional beach bungalows that we were staying in were a short 5min walk from the pier and our bags were taken to the accommodation by boat which was luxury.
Once checking in we had the afternoon to either relax in the sun on the beach (with the golden retrievers) or go and explore the other beaches on the island.
The rooms at the Beach bungalows were amazing, very traditional wooden huts that were right on the beach front. We can certainly say we got the real Khmer Traditional experience. We loved them!
- Snorkel Trip
- Deep Sea Fishing
- BBQ on the boat
- Sunset on Long Beach (one of the best beaches we've ever been to)
- Night out on Koh Rong
Another beautiful day on the most stunning island! The sun was shining and the group was taken out on our very own long tail boat to some of the best snorkel spots around the islands. First stop was at a tiny island that you can see from the shore line, some of the group backflipping into the water, some chilling on the front of the boat catching the sun, we were all in HEAVEN! The second stop was just off the opposite island of Koh Rong Sanloem, amazing snorkelling!
We arrived at Long Beach after learning how to deep sea fish (which was so much fun) and spent the rest of the time chilled on the whitest sands we have ever seen, played beach volley ball, and finished the day with the most perfect sunset. Absolute paradise!
- Khmer Massage
- Get to experience the Night bus
We had an amazing traditional Khmer full body massage on the beach, so calming listening to the waves in the background. And then it was time to leave this incredible island, we all said goodbye, got back on the ferry and headed back to the mainland. Arriving back in Sihanoukville, we all went out for an amazing meal which was a mixture of Cambodian and Western. So much good food, the night bus was the perfect recipe to chill, relax and travel. Such a good experience, having your own compartment/bed for the 10hour drive ahead.
- Arrive in Siem Reap
- Visit the people of the floating villages
- Sunset and drinks on the boat
We arrived in Siem Reap after spending the night on the bus, it was our very own sleepover on wheels!
We all really enjoyed the night bus experience! It was super comfy and we had a great night sleep, travelling whist sleeping is the best combo!
We arrived in Siem Reap early doors around 6.00am, we then checked in to the coolest hostel and chilled around the pool for the morning!
That afternoon we ventured out to the rural areas and discovered the floating villages, from the moment we arrived we were genuinely taken back. It was so authentic, we were the only tourists there. It moved us all as a group to see how one community work together to live their lives, We even had the opportunity to go into a couple of the houses and meet the families. It was a very humbling experience.
- Sunrise at Ankor Wat
- Farewell dinner
An early start for us all as we jumped into our tuk tuks and set off in convoy to watch the sunrise at the world famous Angkor Wat. After the sun had risen a local guide joined us and explained all the fascinating history about the ancient wonder of the world. We also had our own private tours around the surrounding temples including Ta Prohm, where Tomb Raider was filmed and Bayon.
That night we had the most beautiful farewell dinner before finishing the trip with an awesome night out on the famous pub street, the Khao San road of Cambodia. It was an epic day from start to finish, we couldn't of asked for a better way to end the most incredible trip.
The day had arrived where we had to say goodbye to our new travel buddies. We had the best 10 days in Cambodia and we cant wait to return!
Thanks to Intro Travel for creating the most organised, fun and unique tour to help us experience the best of Cambodia. WE WILL BE BACK!
"IT'S NOT GOODBYE, IT'S SEE YOU LATER"