I can’t believe that it’s over two months since we got back from our trip to Cambodia in Dec/Jan – and (bad blogger) I’ve been meaning to write up my Cambodia photo diary part 2 from the trip for weeks. So here it is! Our trip to Cambodia was probably a little different to most, we weren’t there on a backpacking mission – we were there to visit Ben, Ollie’s brother.
As I mentioned in the photo diary 1 post, he lives on the island of Koh Rong which is around a 2-3 hour boat trip from the coast of the main land (depending on weather…we got some pretty choppy seas on the way out, but smooth as a millpond on the way home – making the difference of over an hour to the journey time…and far less feeling like I was going to need to stick my head over the side of the boat). But as you can imagine, the island is pretty remote and facilities pretty basic. So it was definitely a bit of an adventure to go there! I showed a little picture of George, the gecko that made his home in our beach hut… I have an even better/worse (depending on how much you like geckos) photo below… I never used to have any issues with geckos – always thinking they’re quite sweet. But that was until I met George.
So overall, we were on the island for just over a week, which mainly consisted of lounging on the beach reading during the day. The odd canoe trip or long walk across the island to visit an alternative beach (we went to 5mile/7km beach – it was stunning) and then a few drinks and food in the beach bar at night. We had an amazing New Years eve, drinking all sorts of cocktails and fireworks on the beach – Palm Beach where we stayed is just across the water from the very luxurious Song Saa private island – where they also had a fireworks show. Interestingly, the private island actually has created it’s own ‘time zone’ to allow guests to always dine at sunset – which is actually around 6pm, but because that’s a little early… their timezone makes it at 7pm (far more civilised for dinner) which on NYE meant that their fireworks went off at 11pm ‘our’ time…an hour before the slightly chaotic firework release (but so fun) at the Palm Beach beach bar.
With the facilities on the island being pretty basic, I have to be honest and say that I was pretty much over the moon when we decided to check in to a really nice hotel in Phnom Pehn ahead of the flight back. That shower, and the nights sleep (with no horny geckos screaming in the night) was so good it almost drove me to tears. It’s amazing how good a decent shower feels after a week of cold showers from a pipe through a wall…
In Phnom Phen we stayed at the Intercontinental Phnom Pehn and it was absolutely wonderful. The service was fantastic, our room was gorgeous with stunning views across the city (the various city scape views above are all from the room) and it had a lovely pool where we spent out last day before checking out. Also, we ate in the hotel restaurant and had some of the most amazing asian food I have ever tasted – so delicious. I will remember the amazing shrimp and chilli beef for as long as I live. SO good. The buffet in the morning was also really impressive -with anything from eggs cooked how you want them to a tower of dim sum.
The journey from the island back to the city was interesting too, we decided to save some cash and get the bus (basically because there were no taxis available until later) which only cost $6, not bad for a five hour bus journey. I was sort of dreading it to be honest, which I know makes me sound like some sort of princess – but at that point I just wanted to get to the hotel. But it was actually really decent, air con and comfy seats – it even offered wifi but I couldn’t get mine to connect. They make a stop half way along at a rather questionable roadside food/toilet stop – the food did look really tasty, but after hearing from Ollie about the state of the loos (apparently mess ALL up the wall…) I decided to hold off.
I absolutely loved our trip to Cambodia – it was certainly very different to what I’m used to and it made me appreciate my home comforts. But it was amazing to visit Ben’s home on the island and experience something so different. Plus a week without wifi is extremely refreshing for this
internet addict blogger!
Where We stayed:
When we first arrived in Phnom Pehn we stayed at Hotel Nine – pretty simple, but amazing location and has everything you need.
On Koh Rong we stayed at Palm Beach Resort – don’t let the word resort fool you, it is basic. But very cool to have a hut right on the beach and make sure you say hello to Beast and mini beast if you visit! (you can see a picture of Mini Beast on the photo diary 1). Also, have the chicken rice – greasy, but amazing…even for breakfast (yes really).
On our final night before we left we stayed in the Intercontinental Phnom Pehn – amazing hotel, fairly generic so not one if you really want to get a sense of the country. But faultless on the room/service/food fronts.