Cambodia: South Vietnam To Laos (2-4 weeks)
Coming in to Cambodia from the Ha Tien border in South Vietnam is a sinch, and is the perfect place to start navigating your way through Cambodia to Laos, seeing all the best things along the way. This is a nice 3-4 week route, depending on how long you spend enjoying the beaches, but can be squeezed down to 2 weeks if you go straight from Angkor to Laos, skipping the East.
Lazy Days In The South
Head over the Ha Tien border in South Vietnam to the relaxing town of Kampot to enjoy an authentic Khmer cooking class, climb the limestone cliffs and enjoy the surrounding rural area. Next to Sihanoukville on the south coast to relax or party on its beaches for a few days. You could hop across to the stunning secluded paradise beaches of Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanleom where you can get in some great snorkelling and diving. Then head to the capital Phnom Penh to spend a couple of days visiting the Royal Palace, the bustling Russian Market and a visit to the moving Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.
To Rustic & Ruins
Next head north west to Kompong Chhanang where you can see the floating villages and pottery making village before heading to the laid back town of Battambang. Give yourself a couple of days there to enjoy the town, make sure you ride the exhilarating Bamboo Train and see the mesmerising bat cave. Go on a culture tour to get a glimpse of rural Cambodian life and go watch the young Cambodian circus (no animals) one evening. Take the boat day trip to Siem Reap to see Cambodian life on the river. In Siem Reap get in some quality souvenir shopping and enjoy the international restaurant and party scene. Spend three days to exploring the spectacular ancient City of Angkor, with the third day to visit some of the remote temples and a trip to the landmine museum or animal sanctuary. If you’re short of time, you can go straight from Siem Reap to 4000 Islands in Laos.
Explore Nature In The East
Head to the quiet little town of Kratie to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins and the beautiful Mekong sunset. Have a day to unwind with a short boat trip across the Mekong to the back in time island of Koh Trong. Head east to Sen Monorom and visit one of the great elephant rehabilitation programs there. Then head north to the red dust town of Banlung, where you can get off the beaten track with a spectacular three day trek in to the rarely visited jungle wilderness of the Virachey National Park before heading into Laos.