Visiting Cambodia in 2023? Right here’s what it’s good to know earlier than you go

Cambodia has modified loads since I visited as an lively backpacker 20 years in the past, however what I quickly discover is that not all change is nice

Lately I spent every week in Cambodia the place I visited the tropical southern island of Koh Rong, the laid-back city of Kampot, and the vibing capital of Phnom Penh.

It was my first time again within the Kingdom in 20 years.

Naturally, a lot has modified since I used to be a 20-something backpacker in search of out the perfect price range experiences my greenback might purchase.

Quite a lot of issues have modified since then – some for the higher, however sadly, some for the more severe

Whereas I’m nonetheless a budget-conscious traveller, today I’m extra constructed for consolation, therefore, the choice to fly into Sihanoukville from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis at appreciable expense in comparison with different choices like “bussing” it by way of Phnom Penh.

Sihanoukville is the leaping off level to the gorgeous islands only a 30-minute speedboat trip offshore within the Gulf of Thailand.

Koh Rong is maybe the best-known of the islands dotted alongside the shoreline, and that is the place my journey actually started.

A spotlight is the western aspect of the island the place a 5 kilometre stretch of white sand seaside and turquoise waters awaits. Within the video under, you’ll get to see simply how lovely it’s.

I stayed on the island at Treehouse Bungalows excessive up within the treetops and never too removed from the principle ferry terminal, making it a handy place to remain.

After three sun-kissed days spent getting about by motorcycle, swimming and beachcombing alongside stretches of remoted seaside with nobody else in sight, I set foot again on the mainland for the two-hour rail journey east to Kampot.

Beneath French-colonial rule within the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, Kampot was Cambodia’s most vital seaport earlier than the institution of Sihanoukville across the time the French left within the Nineteen Fifties.

As of late it’s well-known for its pepper and French-colonial structure, which is behind the city’s push for UNESCO World Heritage itemizing.

I stayed on the enjoyable Bamboo Bungalows on the banks of the gorgeous Praek Tuek Chhu River simply a few kilometres exterior the city centre not removed from the “Previous Bridge” constructed by the French and that survived Cambodia’s darkest interval underneath Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime.

My ultimate vacation spot earlier than flying dwelling to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis was the capital Phnom Penh.

As I discussed earlier, I’d visited right here twenty years in the past when journey was extraordinarily difficult and the affect of the Khmer Rouge was nonetheless uncooked.

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Quite a lot of issues have modified since then – some for the higher, however sadly, some for the more severe. Watch the video under for extra particulars.

One factor that’s a must-visit in Phnom Penh is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the positioning the place shut to twenty,000 Cambodians had been tortured and executed throughout Pol Pot’s reign of terror that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Whereas profoundly unhappy, the museum is well-curated and organised in such a manner that even should you don’t pay additional for the audio information (US$5), you don’t miss out on the vital facets of what passed off right here.

After a morning go to to the museum, the pool at Plantation City Resort & Spa was the perfect place for some quiet introspection and reflection on the expertise.

The resort is ideally situated close by the Royal Palace making it a superb base to discover the town on-foot.

For extra in-depth element of my expertise travelling in Cambodia in 2023, watch the video under.

As common, should you’d like to achieve out, make sure you remark under, or go to my YouTube channel and remark there.

WATCH: My sincere opinion of what it’s prefer to journey to Cambodia in 2023

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The Bureau covers tales of curiosity to individuals dwelling and travelling in Southeast Asia. We’re all the time on the look out for attention-grabbing tales and issues. Observe us on Fb at @thebureauasia & Instagram at @thebureauasia

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