Category Archives: Routes

Things to do in Kampot for 3-day trip

Editor’s note: Below is another article by our favorite traveler, Langda! Check out his recount of his camping experience and suggested things to do in Kampot below.


People say “Work hard and play hard”, and this quote has become one of my favorites. After spending most effort achieving things at work, I rewarded myself with a camping experience at Kampot for 3 days 2 nights along with Small World team and several other new friends. I was inspired by natural and recreational places and activities there and think it would be useful to share my experience of things to do in Kampot, specially to workaholic travelers who are staying in Cambodia and making a plan to escape from Phnom Penh during the weekend. With this article you will learn how to go to Kampot, the things you can do there, and how much budget you should prepare for.

Boat in Trapang Sangke Community
Boat in Trapang Sangke Community

How to go to Kampot from Phnom Penh?

Kampot province is not far from the city. It just takes about 3 hours from Phnom Penh city, which is just a few nap takings to me. We rent a minibus which can put up to 25 people with a professional driver included. The price is about 270$ for our case (3 days and 2 nights). In case, you do not have that much of people, a couple or a group of 5 people, you might consider taking a minivan which is very affordable, between USD 7.00 and 8.00, which you can book online here

This is the mini bus that we rent. And it was taken inside the Wat Sampov Pram.
This is the mini bus that we rent. And it was taken inside the Wat Sampov Pram.

First thing to do in Kampot

Our first place to visit was Bokor mountain, formerly known as French colonial hill station resort then a site of a royal home for summer vacation. You can also reach the top of mountain by motor. Besides getting fresh air and catching cloud (fog) experience on the mountain, there are 5-star hotel and casino, Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, there to enjoy. One of the best spot view you should not miss there is to visit Wat Sampov Pram, five (pram in Khmer) rocks represent the ship (sampov).

The picture of the rocks you will see at first when you enter the temple
The picture of the rocks you will see at first when you enter the temple

From the entrance of the temple, keep walking to the right direction, from there you find a spot which is a bit dangerous there since there is no holder protection when you come close to the top; yet it is worth going there because you are able to see the beauty of the green forest in full HD. There are more things to do in Kampot’s Bokor mountain actually.

kampot bus on bokor mountain beautiful spot
Me in that dangerous but stunning spot I mentioned 🙂

Sleeping in a tent at Kdark La Tente is one of things to do in Kampot

Next, we headed to our booked accommodation, Kdark La Tente, which is one of the best options I would recommend for a camping experience in Kampot, only if you are not a fan of staying at a fancy guesthouse or hotel. It is just 21km from the town. Personally speaking, I think in order best enjoy the trip in such a beautiful paradise like Kampot is to sleep in a tent and experience the following activities wake up and see the beach while brushing your teeth, play football in an open area, catch the shrimp at night, and openly share your impression to the other fellows around the bonfire at midnight. You are allowed to do all of these things at Kdark La Tente, and it costs only USD 5.00 per person per night. The tent itself can stay up to 3 or 4 (4 people for the big one) people. For reservation, I strongly advise you book ahead for such a demanded place via their Facebook page here.

Kampot Kdark La Tente Bon Fire
The tent, bonfire area and me with the ball
One of things to do in Kampot is to sleep in a tente
Shoot from the kitchen angle right after my breakfast

Visiting Mangrove Community is one of the things to do in Kampot

This is probably one of the must do things in Kampot. For day 2, we went to visit Mangrove Lodge called Trapang Sangke Community. From this visit, we have learned how mangrove life is being threatened by deforestation practiced by rich and powerful people according to the chief of the community. And this has affected the life of the fishermen there which forced them to leave their home for Thailand and Vietnam for better living. Thus, this community is created with the purpose of raising awareness of how important mangrove is to both people and underwater life.

Chief community was sharing about mangrove protection
Chief community was sharing about mangrove protection

After the sharing session, we were given a chance to experience growing mangrove by ourselves. To do that, we need to buy young mangrove tree which costs 1$ per tree. Also a boat rental, USD 15.00 including return, is needed to go to a growing area. These are provided by the community.

The boat that is to take us to the planting area
The boat that is to take us to the planting area
One of things to do in Kampot is to plant mangrove trees
Mangrove planting activity

After mangrove planting activities, we crazily threw away dump to one another like in a gun war.

Most exciting place to do in Kampot

After finishing our lunch at the community, we then headed to the Arcadia water park, a place that allow you to best enjoy swimming in Kampot river with the trilled tube and more. These activities should not be missed from your things to do in Kampot. To play those toys, we need to pay USD 5.00 each. Life jacket is provided. And there are 4 different kinds of you-have-the-guts activities such as blob & rope swing, water slide, pontoon and Russian swing. Is there any other things to do in Kampot?

The photo of the 4 thrilled activities in Acardia water park. Source is from TripAdvisor’s users.
The photo of the 4 thrilled activities in Acardia water park. Source is from TripAdvisor’s users.

Experiencing Kayak and Paddle boat in Kampot

This is the most popular to do thing in Kampot that you should not miss. The last but not least of our Day 2 was to see the sunset while kayaking. We visited Bopha Prey Guest House, which is located on the other side of the river (Acardia’s). This is a good place as  starting point for kayaking around the river there. We rent a canoe kayak while some might prefer paddle boat and drive along the river. Each costs USD 5.00/hour. Besides sea foods, this restaurant also serves finger foods at an affordable price. This was the exhausting day for me because of heavily swimming and kayaking.

Bopha Prey Guesthouse
Bopha Prey Guesthouse

Try out Zipline across Kampot River

On the third day, which was the day we have to back to Phnom Penh city, we visited River Park, to enjoy experiencing zip lining across the river. It costs USD 6.00 per person. To be honest, I was not impressed by this because the distance of the line is too short for me to notice the best view of the river.

Kampot River Park Zipline starting point
Kampot River Park’s Zipline starting point

Visiting Kampot Pepper Farm

After that we ended up our trip by visiting Sothy’s pepper farm and having lunch there before leaving Kampot for Phnom Penh. From the farm, we got to see and learn the process from growing, harvesting, and packaging Kampot pepper. During such a hot weather I enjoyed drinking coconut there a lot. Also, the better part is to eat fried crab with Kampot pepper.

The entrance of Sothy’s pepper farm
The entrance of Sothy’s pepper farm
The process of picking different types of pepper (grey, red, black, and white)
The process of picking different types of pepper (grey, red, black, and white)

Finally, I hope you enjoy reading this article and find it useful to make decision on your trip of what to do in Kampot either for your holiday or a quick escape from the Phnom Penh city at your weekend. Stay tuned for our more articles of other things to do in Kampot.

Read more of places you can go after Kampot:

How to NOT ORGANIZE a trip to Siem Reap

Editor’s Note: Here’s a fun take on a trip our traveler, Morgane, took on a first solo trip in Cambodia. Morgane recounts that not all trips to Siem Reap have to be perfectly organized from the get-go. All content and images are from the contributor.


My mother is the best trip organizer I know. Unluckily we cannot say the same thing about me.

It has been a few months since I’m living in Phnom Penh. It is a busy and crowded town and after a few weeks, you just feel you got to go out of it.

The thing is I am really busy working on several projects for work. I ended up booking a guesthouse online and since I had the BookMeBus application on my phone, I just took a bus ticket on it.

As I wanted to arrive there on Friday, I took a night bus with Seila Angkor Express. My friends were telling me I wouldn’t be able to sleep on the bus, but I was positively surprised by the bus and enjoy a nice night on it. They even changed drivers after the first half of the ride.

I arrived at 5AM in the morning and just walked to the nearest market to enjoy the early activities there. After a while and arming myself with some hot bananas, I went to the Riverside and sat there a bit, just watching the sunrise turn the sky into an amazing and colorful show.

Siem Reap view

As I am a coffee lover, I headed towards the first coffee opened, which happened to be Brown Coffee and drank a lovely mocha. The space was great and the staff adorable.

Well, I had a team meeting at 9PM, so I went to The 1961, which is an art gallery and a coworking space in the West Upper Riverside to work for the day. I basically just worked remotely for the day into this nice and spacious environment.

Siem Reap surprised me, I was expecting a bigger city, with a lot of infrastructures and roads, but basically, in comparison to Phnom Penh, it just looks like a huge village to me. But a very peaceful and interesting village. I didn’t borrow a bike and just enjoyed walking for the weekend. The tuktuk drivers were asking me every 5 meters but I still enjoyed the atmosphere there.

On the Friday evening, I went to an event organized by AngkorHUB, another coworking space located next to the Night market to hear Robin Biddulph talk about his experience in Cambodia. I’ve learnt a lot from it and met the Hub’s community.

That is why I decided to go back there on the Saturday morning to work on my programming skills. I lunched with the team and met new people full of projects before heading to a meeting with the game studio Direxplay. They explained me everything I wanted to know about their business and their vision for the future. I walked out of the interview and downloaded their most famous game ‘Sok and Sao’s adventure’.

I went to Wat Bo on my own, walking through the streets and stopping at the Old Market. I took the time to play with a kid and asked for directions before entering the Wat. It was really quiet and there weren’t a lot of tourists there. I took some pictures and admired the architecture and the wall paintings.

Afterwards, I visited to the brand new Biolab Café as a good friend of mine told me to check the place out. I stayed there enough to enjoy some coffee and snacks. Accompanied later with two friends, I discovered the khmer BQQ and spent the dinner talking and laughing. It was then the time to discover the famous Pub Street and the Temple. We have a drink over here and keep on spending the night talking.

My Sunday morning was about waking up smoothly, walking in the quiet streets, discovering new coffee places such New Leaf, doing some writing.

 

Siem Reap coffee
Relaxing coffee at Siem Reap

I left Siem Reap in a mini-van with Golden Bayon Express and it was very punctual. I slept during all the ride so I didn’t notice the 5 hours.

It was my first solo trip in Cambodia, and I loved it.

 

Border between Thailand & Cambodia (round trip)

Editor’s note: We continue with our last post from Hugo‘s experience. This started from the post Border processing in some countries in South East-Asia (part one), which was then followed by the post Border between Vietnam & Cambodia (round trip). As always, images and content are provided by our contributor. Please enjoy.


thailand cambodiaI am living & working in Phnom Penh. I had to go to Bangkok for few days due (or thanks) to some business meeting. As always, I took a bus to reach the Thai border from Cambodia and I arrived to Poipet. First, you have to know that Thai are driving on the left (like British) & Cambodian are driving right side (such as French). Due to that and legacy, most of the bus coming from Cambodia cannot cross the border and continue until Bangkok. Therefore they are in partnership with other bus companies on the other side of the border.

Thus, I am warmly recommend you to ask the bus driver how is it going to be working once arrived at the border. Most of the time, the other company is waiting for you once the bus arrive and follow you until you enter into the bus to reach your final destination. If you don’t want any issue on that point, I will recommend you to take a direct bus but they are only few of them and are more expensive.

Once arrived to Poipet crossing point, you have to check out from Cambodia and walk until checking point of Thailand. Most of the time, the queue is really huge, you have to be patient!! I pass without any problems. As a French citizen I don’t have to pay for Visa in Thailand (and I think that it’s free of charge for most of citizenship – However have a look at your embassy website again!). Once you arrive in Thailand, if you are looking for a bus, a coffee, a guesthouse or whatever, you have to keep going straight and after 5 min walking on your left you will have many buses companies that are going everywhere in Thailand.

I finally reached Bangkok and stayed there for few days meeting. On my way back I just took a bus to the border and stay on the Thai part because I knew that I will be in a hurry if I wanted to pass the border (Poipet crossing point is closed between 9.30 pm until 7 am) as well as I don’t like passing border night time. I finally passed the border on early morning and everything was fine because I had my multiple entry visa for Cambodia. If you arrive without any Visa, please refer to my border story between Vietnam & Cambodia. However, if you are aware of the Visa application it shouldn’t be a problem.

When you arrive in Poipet (Cambodian part), you have many bus companies, just pick up the one you prefer!

I hope my stories helped you!

See you around!!

Hugo

Bus trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang

Editor’s Note: We once again hear from Hugo on his exciting trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang. As always, all content and images belong to the contributor.


Hi everyone! Again, here I am, after some new traveling experiences in Cambodia. I am still living in Phnom Penh, trying to enjoy as much as possible to travel around when I can manage time and money!
Last weekend, I decided to move on discovering Battambang, thus I booked a bus through BookMeBus to reach Battambang. I booked a Virak Buntham Night Bus leaving at 1 am from Phnom Penh night market because journey is quite long and I didn’t have a lot of time to go on travelling. That was the first time I had a night bus in Cambodia, one large bed for two persons! It was fun and I slept well so my requirements were totally fulfilled. The journey was great!

phnom penh to battambang

I arrived early morning on Saturday, I started looking for an hostel around the city center, I found one pretty great and really cheap, couple of streets up to Night Market (Sorry, I forgot the name). As I always do when I am on trip somewhere in Cambodia, I rented a moto for two days to go on discovering the city and the surroundings. I went down south, riding next to the river for some hours! Places there are amazing, great views and the atmosphere is so relaxing there when your daily life takes places in Phnom Penh! You can see monkeys, bats and some temples all around. I love Cambodian countryside, I can spend hours driving in there, getting lost on these incredible tiny dust roads.

battambang

After all this time spending on losing myself into Battambang countryside I decided to go to the “Bat cave”. This is one of the biggest touristic attraction in Battambang. This cave is under a mountain where you have many great temples as well as some historical places. At sunset time, thousands of bats are leaving this cave to live their night life! This is impressive but not as I expected… I expected to see a huge cloud of bats leaving at once, but finally they were leaving the cave in a thin discontinuous flow. However this mountain is really beautiful, I am warmly recommending you to go there and visit those temples. (Entrance fee is 1$ per person). You can either choose the road or the stairs, I personally took the stairs, it’s quick and not really tough to handle.

After this long trip, I just get back to Battambang and enjoy night market as well as some bars with backpackers I met on the way. The day after, I continue on discovering the countryside and chilling around the city, which was really great.

I enjoyed this place, countryside is beautiful and it’s a good place to relax and chill around. However I would not recommend you to stay more than 4-5 days there. Once you have seen the city (which is small) and the surroundings you don’t have much more to do and Cambodia is full of great stuff to see so you have plenty of possibilities to continue your trip around!

I hope I gave you the tips you wanted from this place!!

See around traveling,

Cheers,

Hugo

BookMeBus partners with PSD Xpress

BookMeBus has partnered with one of the newest bus operators in Cambodia, PSD Xpress. Boasting of having ultra modern buses that ensure comfortable travel, PSD Xpress offers routes going between Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap. You can start booking bus tickets at BookMeBus now.

About PSD Xpress

The bus company started its operations just this month, November 2016, and has already started gaining a following. PSD Xpress offers high-end transportation and comfort for travel between provinces. Coupled with their outstanding service, the bus company has attracted a number of customers on a daily basis, so booking ahead has become a trend.

PSD Xpress

Schedules

Currently, the bus company provides options for routes going to three provinces only. Below are the schedules for the routes available. You can click directly on the link to purchase bus tickets now:

Start planning your trips accordingly and see the many possibilities that each location has to offer. Have a look at the amazing temples at Siem Reap, or check out Koh Rong and other relaxing beaches at Sihanoukville.

PSD Xpress BookMeBus

So start planning your trips through BookMeBus and travel in style with PSD Xpress.