10 January – 31 January 21 days
Places visited: Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong Samloem, Otres, Battambang, Siem Reap
Most favourite place:
Charlie: For me, the favourite has to be Koh Long Samloem for its sheer beauty and peaceful atmosphere. The island doesn’t have roads or vehicles, limited electricity in the day, white sand and blue seas. Jungle hikes take you through the islands winding paths to other beaches with another character and atmosphere. Beautiful! A close second would have to be our day in Battambang!
Lisa: Koh Rong Samloem was just so beautiful! It was so nice to find an island that was still so quiet with minimal accommodation, no roads and some of the clearest water I’ve seen!
Least favourite place:
Charlie: We spent a night in Sihanoukville whilst making our way through to Koh Rong Samloem. Sihanoukville has to be my least favourite as its just one big, dirty party town over-run with tourists looking for a cheap drink. We moved on the next day.
Lisa: Kep was my least favourite but luckily it was only a day trip we did there. For me, it just didn’t have a lot going for it other than the crab market.
Most favourite dish:
Charlie: Lok Lak! Its a stir-fried chilli dish with rice and a fried egg on top. Put a fried egg on anything and i’ll probably eat it. I think i liked it so much because its similar to a lot of the Thai stir fry dishes i love.
Lisa: I liked the Khmer curry. It wasn’t spicy enough for me but the flavours were nice and I could usually get it with tofu.
Charlie: My best experience is tough to choose. Meeting the locals and having them tell us their stories of the tragedy that they went through was amazing and touching, so i would have to say that meeting Bou Meng and Phi Lay – our tuk tuk driver in Battambang was the best thing to come out of our visit. Although waking up and looking out to the sea in Koh Rong Samloem was pretty special.
Lisa: Meeting Bou Meng, the survivor from S-21. It was a heartbreaking but really touching experience at the same time. One I definitely won’t forget.
Charlie: Same as Below.
Lisa: I booked us a hotel in Sihanoukville that practically didn’t exist where it was supposed to. We walked about 40 minutes with all our bags to the most dodgy looking area to not find our hotel anywhere. We then had to go back to the main town and find something else. Luckily Agoda refunded our money and apologised but it was still pretty annoying.
Something you will miss:
Charlie: I’ll miss the kind nature of the people in Cambodia and the constant learning we took from them about their experiences over the last 4 decades.
Lisa: The people we met were amazing, not just travellers but we were lucky to meet some really amazing locals who told us very personal stories about their life and struggles.
Something you won’t miss:
Charlie: We shared one bus with a dude and his bag of chickens and another where someone brought a bag of warm dead fish and stuffed it under my seat. it was funny, but i won’t miss that smell!
Lisa: The bus journeys. Everything always took 2 hours longer than what they would say and there were so many stops added to pick up locals, a lot of whom had their market shopping with them. We had dead fish and live chickens on one of our buses although now we find it quite funny. Mostly it was just the wrong timings that annoyed us the most.