The article below is a guest post by Fie of Travel Chameleon, one of the BookMeBus Affiliates.
Whenever anyone mentions Cambodia, the first two things that come to mind are Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat, the popular spots for tourists and travelers visiting the Kingdom of Wonder. However, as you get to know the country better, you’ll realize that there’s more to Cambodia besides its’ capital city.
There are 24 provinces in Cambodia that are connected by highways and roads. If you’re like me and plan to visit other parts of Cambodia by bus, then what you’ll need is to read up on the bus schedules, the hotel stay options and figure out things to do when you get there. I prefer this as it’s more stress free and I get to travel with the locals together. The bus would usually stop at a restaurant or a gas station for a quick break before it goes on its way again.
Here are a few places where you can travel to by bus, which is usually the affordable option.
1. Kampong Som (KPS) or known as Sihanoukville
Where is it: South coast of Cambodia.
What is it known for: Premier beaches and islands. Friends have been raving about Sihanoukville, which has beaches like Serendipity, Victory, Otres, White beach, waterfalls, seafood and the island hopping tours to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloeun. It is definitely a beach paradise for those whole the sun and sea.
How to get there: Buses go to Sihanoukville daily via National Road #4 in a 4 hours journey.
Where is it: South coast of Cambodia
What is it known for: Kampot is famous for its black pepper and salt fields, which can be seen just a few minutes away from the town centre. You can also cruise down Kampot River on a boat while waiting for sun to set or rent a motorcycle to Kep which is a beach city just 40 minutes away.
How to get there: Buses go to Kampot daily via National Road #4 in a 3 hours journey.
3. Kampong Cham
Where is it: North of Cambodia
What is it known for: The historical bamboo bridge on the south of Kampong Cham can be found on the south of Kampong Cham. This bridge has been constructed and repaired every year by the locals living here. It is made of solid bamboo structure (100%!) for locals to cross the Mekong River to Koh Paen Island.
How to get there: Buses go to Kampong Cham daily via National Road #7 in a 3-4 hours journey.
Where is it: East of Cambodia.
What is it known for: The journey to the east is longer than the west as the roads there are still in development. This province is known for its live Irrawaddy dolphins, that can be seen in the Mekong River. According to friends, these dolphins are pink in color and lately it has been a challenge to spot them. There’s also the Mekong Discovery Trail, which takes you to village homestays and a chance to spot rare species along the way.
How to get there: Buses to Kratie can be taken from Phnom Penh or Kampong Cham. The journey takes 5 hours (from Phnom Penh) and 3 hours (from Kampong Cham).
Where is it: North east of Cambodia
What is it known for: The province is known for its lush forests, mountains and lakes, all which are hidden beauties of Cambodia. It’s not surprising that they have the Virachey National Park which has jungle trekking tours. There’s also the 700,000 year old volcanic crater lake called Yaklom that is worth exploring.
How to get there: Buses can be taken from Phnom Penh (a one day journey) or Kratie which is closer.