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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Cambodia

There Is Much More Than “Only” Angkor Wat

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

Monks in Front of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Monks in Front of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Our two trips to Cambodia could not have been more different from each other. In July 2008, during our Round The World Trip, we spent two weeks there. We crossed the border from Laos on foot and checked out mainly Phnom Penh and of course Siem Reap, where we spent one week exploring many Angkor Temples. We finally crossed Tonlé Sap to reach Battambang, from where we headed overland to Thailand.

In December 2014, Gilles accompanied his father on his “Bucket List Trip” through Cambodia for three weeks, going On and Off The Beaten Track. We first spent one week in Siem Reap to see the most famous and the more remote temples of Angkor. Then we did a 10 day loop through the Northwest of Cambodia, where we were the only tourists. The common trip ended with several days in Phnom Penh, before Gilles headed alone to Kampot & Kep on the Coast and finally to Vietnam. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Cambodia

Transport Costs Will Be The Key

Type Of Travel

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap

Our two trips to Cambodia could not have been more different from each other. In July 2008, we were on a Round The World Trip (one year), and therefore on a somewhat tight budget (between Backpacking and Flashpacking). However, since Cambodia was the last country we visited, we treated ourselves to better hotels and hardly ever ate at the markets as we used to do in other countries.

In December 2014, Gilles accompanied his father on his “Bucket List Trip”, which meant a pleasant mid-range type of travel. We rented a car with driver in and around Siem Reap, which significantly increased costs. Naturally, the costs for the trip in 2014 were considerably higher… Continue Reading →

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Cambodia – A Selection Of 44 Pictures

Our two trips to Cambodia could not have been more different from each other: in July 2008, we crossed the border from Laos on foot and checked out mainly Phnom Penh and of course Siem Reap, where we spent one week exploring many Angkor Temples. We finally crossed the Tonlé Sap to Battambang before heading overland to Thailand.  In December 2014, we again spent one week in Siem Reap to see the most famous and the more remote temples of Angkor. We then made a 10 day loop through Northwest Cambodia, where we were mostly the only tourists. We headed then to Phnom Penh, and finally Kampot & Kep on the Coast before heading to Vietnam. Continue Reading →

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The Floating Villages Of Tonlé Sap

A Photo – Essay

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia

Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, a sight itself. But even more striking are the villages around and on the lake.

Approaching Tonlé Sap, we felt propelled back into the Neolithic Age. The small river running along the road towards the lake is lined with dwellings that look like giant spiders. On endlessly long, thin stilts, sit huts made of bamboo mats. Often these walls and roofs were in a disheveled state, some people were able to afford corrugated iron. Those structures looks so fragile you would expect them to crash any minute into the swampy ground deep below. Continue Reading →

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Meeting Two Survivors Of The Khmer Rouges’ Killing Machine

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Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh

A must-visit when in Cambodia is to “Security Office 21” or S21 (Torture Prison) of Tuol Sleng and to the Killing Fields in Choeung Ek, each extremely depressing and haunting experiences. These two places display without filter one of the darkest and most gruesome page of History, the Killing Machine of the Khmer Rouge. Continue Reading →

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Siem Reap On & Off The Beaten Track

Or how to discover (many) Angkor Temples around Siem Reap without the crowd and without straining your budget!

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Angkor Wat from a Hot Air Balloon, Siem Reap

Seldom have we experienced such strong contrasts as in Siem Reap, the hub to visit the stunning Angkor Temples… On the one hand, the city itself and unfortunately the most famous temples like Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Ta Prohm have turned into a congested tourist mess and now represent mass-tourism at its worst. On the other hand, as soon as we headed a bit further afield, we could enjoy beautiful temples almost void of any visitors… Continue Reading →

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Why Is Siem Reap Worth At Least 7 Days?

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Ankor Wat is only one of many temples in Siem Reap, but certainly the most famous temple in an area plastered with religious buildings. A visit to Cambodia is often seen synonymous with a visit to the largest religious building in the world! But there are a lot more other temples in and around Siem Reap than Ankor Wat! Continue Reading →

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Battambang: Killing Caves & Bamboo Train

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Bamboo Train, Battambang

I chose the Hotel Royal and really liked the place and its super friendly staff. It offers the usual services of a backpacker hotel, plus “motordup” service to the few sights around. The “free-lance drivers” hang out in the hotel lobby and patiently go through the limited number of sights with every new arrival, in excellent English by the way. Continue Reading →

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Heidi – Cambodian River Life

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia

Floating Village of Kompong Luong, on the Tonle Sap

The boat trip from Siem Reap to Battambang was definitely one of the highlights of my trip through Cambodia. Ironically, it was the only destination in this country that Gilles and I could not agree on. So I went ahead by myself, while Gilles relaxed a few more days at the Golden Banana Hotel in Siem Reap. Continue Reading →

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Gilles – Swimming Pool Or Battambang?

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Golden Banana Guesthouse, Siem Reap

The original plan was to take a boat to Battambang from Siem Reap before heading to Bangkok. But after a whole week of visiting temples, I grew weary and just wanted to enjoy the most pleasant swimming pool of the Golden Banana Hotel and the greatest luxury there is: just do nothing for a couple of days! This was especially true since I was slowly realizing that I would be back to work in only three weeks… Continue Reading →

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