Usually when I visit a country I make a reservation for a hostel/guesthouse for the first night upon arrival and then take it from there. It’s nice to give an address to a driver and not worry about finding a room in a city you’ve never been too with people speaking languages you don’t understand, while carrying a heavy bag and most likely being exhausted from the plane rides and layovers. That peace of mind comes in real handy when you are just trying to enjoy the first taste of the air while on a motorbike in a new country.
I like the freedom of not having a set travel plan. You meet people , ideas change , places are recommended. For the first week ;however, my girlfriend (traveling outside of China for the first time) was pretty adamant about booking places in advance. She didn’t yet understand the way backpacking works and was a little nervous about coming.. We had our plans and stuck with them but the second week was totally improvised and I’m very glad it was that way.
I befriended a local guy , Bunthy, and he ended up showing me his home village outside of Phnom Penh and we made the trip to Angkor Wat and Battambang together. It wouldn’t have worked out like that if I had a schedule to follow.Anyways, back to the first week. Aimee didn’t really have much time and I wanted to take her to the islands and beautiful beaches of Southwestern Cambodia. (She has never been to the ocean or to a beach). So we landed in Phnom Penh in the evening , caught an afternoon bus to Sihanoukville the next day , spent the day after enjoying the beaches of Sihanoukville , then hopped aboard a boat for a two-hour trip to the island of Koh Kong (Monkey Island), we lazed about on the beach for 2 days and then it was time to head back to Phnom Penh to get Aimee on her airplane back to China. 1st week Phnom Penh Sihanoukville Koh Rong Phnom Penh The second week I started out by hanging out in Phnom Penh for a few days and met my Cambodian friend. We went to his village outside of Phnom Penh to get a taste of the rural life and then went up to the tourist mecca of Siem Reap and spent 3 days exploring Angkor and going on a boat ride in the Tonle Sap river through the flooded forest of Kampong Phluck and seeing the nearby floating village. Originally , I planned to make a quick back to the coast and spend my remaining days in the beach town of Kep but the 12 hour bus ride to get there kind of put me off that idea. So we continued on the way to loop around Tonle Sap Lake visiting the city of Battambang to ride the bamboo train. The last day saw a 6am bus ride back to Phnom Penh and savouring the last warm blue skied day for a while. Phnom Penh Siem Reap (Angkor ) Battambang Phnom Penh red to dark blue to yellow to orange to light green to light blue Obviously there is much more to the country that I would love to go see but I feel I got a decent glimpse at the country. In the future I would love to visit Koh Kong , Kep , and venture into the rural Eastern section of Cambodia.