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PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Just got back from spending nearly a month backpacking in Cambodia and Southern Laos. Had a great time... only encountered 2-3 other Americans. I realize we don't travel well to Southeast Asia unless it's to touristy Thailand. That's fine though; I met and traveled with some amazing people from Europe.

Flew into Phnom Penh via Los Angeles to Shanghai (China Eastern). I was unsure of this airline, but was extremely impressed with the cleanliness and service it provided.

View from my first two nights stay in a hostel:
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My first full day I walked around the city and visited several hotspots including Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum:
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Later I Took a $10 tuk-tuk for 18km outside the city centre to Choeung Ek (killing field):
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I Stayed in Phnom Penh one more night and did a few other spots including Central Market.
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The following morning I Bussed 5 hours from Phnom Penh to Battambang via VIP minivan ($8) next day for 2 nights.
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Once in battambang, I got an awesome tuk-tuk driver who took me 20km outside Battambang to check out Phnom Sampeau, where a beautiful Buddhist temple sits on top of a mountain. Said mountain also is known as the "killing cave" during Khmer Rouge. PLUS, a bat cave that houses over 3 million bats that come out every evening at dusk.
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Cave and bats:
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I also chilled with monks and monkeys:
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The next day I rented a motorbike and visited my first two temples of the trip just outside the city.

Ek Phnom
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Phnom Banan
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And huge statue next to a school:
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Next day I bought a boat ticket through Mekong Express for an 8 hour trip to Siem Reap via Sangker River to Tonle Sap Lake. Saw beautiful floating villages along the way.
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Arrived in Siem Reap for 4 nights. View from my hotel:
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My first night I took to the town and did Pub Street for cheap beer and music, as well a couple night markets.
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My awesome a-ping (tarantula) chef:
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I rented a motorbike for 2 days through my hotel to see the temples. Day 1 I biked 25km north to Banteay Srei and another 15km further northeast to Phnom Kulen National Park.
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Next day I did other temples including:

Angkor Wat at sunrise
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Angkor Thom:
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Ta Prohm (my favorite temple):
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After the 4th night in Siem Reap, I paid $25 for a VIP minivan to Laos to spend a couple of nights on Don Det and Si Phan Don (the 4,000 islands). Stayed in a bungalow riverside in the village...
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Sunrises here were great! Saw a few waterfalls here as well, and basically relaxed for a couple days.
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After two nights, I boated back to the mainland and bussed to Pakse where I spent 4 days motorbiking the Bolaven Plateau (which is known for its waterfalls). By the time I was done with this, I was waterfalled out....

View of Pakse from the Golden Buddha:
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The first of 3 nights motorbiking the Bolaven Plateau, I visited Mr. Vieng’s Coffee Plantation for some awesome organic coffee, fruits, and ants! Same day I stayed in a lovely family guesthouse in Tad Lo Village...
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The next 2 nights were spent motorbiking to cities situated around the Bolaven Plateau... to see even more waterfalls.
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After 4 days of motorbiking, I headed back to Pakse for one night and to bus 12 hours back to Phnom Penh. The bus was overbooked, the wifi was broken, and the A/C stopped working an hour into the journey south.

The border crossing, by the way, isn't the best. Tourists have to pay corrupted fees in order to get your passport back from officials in each country. VOA is $35 for US Citizens, but you end up paying over $40 with the fees the officials place to get you passport back.

Stayed one night in Phnom Penh, woke up and enjoyed free breakfast rooftop with a full 360 view of city.
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After breakfast I hustled around town to get a ride to Sihanoukville. One of the bus operators I tried booking through, with no luck, knew some friends who could take me, so I paid $25 for a 4 hour private van with locals. While I didn't trust the situation, I was eager to get to the coast; so I had a "yolo" moment.
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I spent my last couple days of my trip on Koh Rong Island, off the coast of Sihanoukville. Here, I snorkeled, drank beer, swam with bioluminescent plankton at dark, drank beer, chilled on a beautiful pristine beach, drank beer, watched insane sunsets over the Gulf of Thailand, and smoked some reefer from locals on a 8 hour party boat. Not the wisest move, but I made sure everything was cool.
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On my final morning on Koh Rong, I took the speedboat back to Sihanoukville and then bussed 5 hours to the airport, where the shuttle dropped me off on the main street.

I am now suffering from my 2nd day of jet lag.

This post was edited on 2/25 at 9:22 pm


HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17850 posts
 Online 

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
That looks fricking awesome. Thanks!



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speckledawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Somewhere Salty
Member since Nov 2016
2019 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Looks like an amazing trip. Some great pics in there.


steve123
Member since Jul 2011
768 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Those are fantastic. Looks like a hell of a trip.

How has the winter been at GNP? I've booked my trip there for last week of July. Can't wait.


PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

How has the winter been at GNP? I've booked my trip there for last week of July. Can't wait.


Winter has been brutal. To give a little perspective, I read that Whitefish is the #1 ski resort in the rockies this year in terms of snow accumulation. Too bad I don’t ski

Glacier has been hit really hard as well... We had several blizzards hit the region while I was gone.

This is from two medicine today, near Browning:
Image: https://s9.postimg.org/tcqgowo7z/BD8_A374_D-37_E7-4_A82-_B8_A9-_CF2_FB9_A28885.jpg



I start back in April
This post was edited on 2/25 at 9:10 pm


PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

Looks like an amazing trip. Some great pics in there.


Thanks

It was a good trip... good food, great people, and incredible sights.

I probably snapped 1500 pictures on my trip. Wish I had the patience to upload a few more on here.

Only upon request tho ....
This post was edited on 2/25 at 9:04 pm


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
40692 posts
 Online 

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
That looks awesome, what did it cost you to travel over there for a month?


PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

what did it cost you to travel over there for a month?


I’m a budget backpacker, so it only cost me nearly $900 while there. That includes all food, housing, transportation, sightseeing and gifts.


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Clark W Griswold
LSU Fan
THE USA
Member since Sep 2012
8225 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
You enjoy the massage across the street?


WaltTeevens
Stanford Fan
Santa Barbara, CA
Member since Dec 2013
8390 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Great post. Looks like a good, life-enriching journey!


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MnM
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2011
107 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Great pics! Looks like it was a successful trip. Makes me want to go back to se Asia again. You didn't happen to meet an American named Brian that was wearing a Georgia shirt while you were there?


PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

You enjoy the massage across the street?


Haha, no but my first night in Siem Reap my hotel gave a free massage voucher for guests.


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10
PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

You didn't happen to meet an American named Brian that was wearing a Georgia shirt while you were there?


I didn’t, BUT no kidding I saw a lady with a UGA backpack at the Phnom Penh airport.


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sloopy
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
6426 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Looks like an awesome trip

quote:

I start back in April


I'll be hitting you up later this year as I snagged a room at Many Glacier for the last week of August.



hoopsgalore
Wisconsin Fan
Chicago, IL
Member since Nov 2013
7111 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.


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steve123
Member since Jul 2011
768 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)


That's insane.

I'm looking forward to being there in July though. If okay, I might run a few questions by you before then.


PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

I'll be hitting you up later this year


Sounds good


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PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
quote:

I'm looking forward to being there in July though. If okay, I might run a few questions by you before then.


Bring your rain gear! I am full of answers (I hope).



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Wildcat In Germany
Atlanta United Fan
Metro Atlanta
Member since May 2017
2920 posts

re: My (Shortened) Trip Review: Cambodia and Southern Laos (pic heavy)
Damn! Cambodia and Laos are on my bucket list. Feel free to post more pictures!


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