Trekking through Cambodia with Victoria and Jeremy Rodriguez (DJ Chupacabras)
Where to stay, drink, eat, shop and explore in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Koh Rong in Cambodia.
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
# 28, street 184 Phnom Penh, Cambodia +855(0) 23 21 51 51
The Plantation is an urban resort and spa located in a preserved colonial house built in 1937 that’s right next to the Royal Palace and National Museum. Lots of curtained cabana’s set around one of two large swimming pools and surrounded by lush tropical plants.
Highlights includes a sweet, friendly and extremely attentive staff who set up one of the poolside cabanas with tea lights running up the steps and all around for Jeremy’s birthday. They also surprised us when a handful of staff sprang out from behind the tropical plants with a candlelit cake singing “Happy Birthday!” They also served the best hotel breakfast we’ve ever had with fresh tropical juices, salad & fruit bar, various breads, tropical jams and pastries. All the usual western breakfast spread, including a chef set up outside to make eggs and omelettes to order.
Foreign Correspondents Club
363 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cool, historical open air bar and restaurant spanning 3 floors located on the riverfront. Go for happy hour between 5-7pm for 2 for 1 cocktails.
Island Soup & Grill Seafood
36E Street 184, Phnom Penh 12206, Cambodia
Try the Buffalo Jerky! Also killer thai curries.
Loved the Russian Market and Central Market (pick up Kampot Pepper, regarded as one of the finest peppers in the world—it really is delicious), and if you’re into getting something custom made, Cambodia has great shoe and bag craftsmen and women!
# 52C, Street 240, (opposite 240 Hotel), Phnom Penh, Cambodia +(855)(0)23-224713
A.N.D. supports disabled and disadvantaged, but highly trained artisans who produce beautiful products showcasing Cambodian skills and materials. I bought an amazing kimono reworked from vintage 70’s fabric.
#180, Norodom Blvd. (Wat Than pagoda), Phnom Penh, Cambodia +(855)(0)23-216321
Products include contemporary handbags made by land mine and polio victims.
From Phnom Penh, we took a 6 hour bus ride to the coast and stayed in a beach front bungalow in Otres 2, the quieter and less developed neighboring town of Otres.
Banana Beach Bungalow
Otres Beach II, Krong Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia +855 12 207 632
VERY basic accommodation, just a bed, a fan and a mosquito net, but it was amazing to stay just feet from the sea and go to sleep and wake up with the gentle sound of the water lapping.
Get an hour long massage on the beach for $6.
KOH RONG, CAMBODIA
Koh Tuich Village, Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
From Sihanoukville, we took a 2 hour journey on speedboat to Koh Rong which has some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen. The island is 75% undeveloped with just a scattering of beach bungalows on the southeastern and northeastern sides. The center is dense jungle and there are no roads and no cars.
We stayed in a thatched roof treehouse, one of six which had just been completed toward the end of 2014. Very basic once again, a bit like a camping experience but you can’t beat the amazing views of the sea and mountains and magical sunrises. Its easy to wake up early when theres no AC! The electricity runs off generators and the bungalows were cut off between 2-7am. The air was thick and stifling. As beautiful as it was, I’m not sure I could have done any more than two nights high up in the jungle. We saw lots of new accommodation going up so I’m sure it won’t be long before many places have all the mod cons. And as such it was nice to have experienced Koh Rong before all that happens.
Paradise Beach is literally just that. We decided to try and get there on foot. A one hour hike through the jungle with red arrows pointing the way. We were told “If you come to a fork, always take a left.” About 2.5 hours later we’d picked up a couple from Munich and a French guy and we were still going round in circles. When we finally saw the water I realized how high up we were. Final hurdle was climbing down a 300 ft dry waterfall. Do not wear flip flops!
Once you’ve experienced the jungle trek, it’s totally worth paying a fisherman in a boat $5 to get you there and back!
After Koh Rong, it was back to Sihanoukville for one night and then a 12 hour journey to Bangkok and changing buses at the border and dealing with the craziness of border control between Cambodia and Thailand. We got E-Visas online before we left the US. This was a plus in avoiding locals trying to ‘help/scam’ you. Many will try and coax you to VIP customs windows for a $5-20 bribe. Unless there are huge lines, its not really worth it.
Be ready for an extremely cosy minivan trip. Drivers don’t leave until every seat is taken.