While our stay in Cambodia was brief and much more packed with activities than are our visits to most places, we found it to be a fantastically easy place to travel (and an incredibly affordable one).  It has to be said that we stuck to the two Cambodian cities that see the most (and, pretty much, the only) tourist traffic, and so what is true for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap most likely is not true for other places within the country.

Because tourism in those cities has ramped up only in the past few years, a lot of the hotels and restaurants there are new, and a lot of them cater to Western tastes.  Siem Reap had boutiques, bakeries and bars whose quality would easily rival those in the U.S. but that charged about 1/4 the price that we would see at home.
Cambodia has a lot to offer and so much to teach.  In our opinion, this would be a very easy place to travel with kids in tow, and, assuming you stick to the main cities, it´s a good place to go if you´re not totally excited about the idea of leaving behind all of the comforts of home.

Blog Entries We Wrote

  • To see all the blog entries we wrote about this country, please click HERE.

Pictures We Took

  • To see some of the pictures we took in this country, please click HERE.

Cities/Areas We Visited

  • Phnom Penh (Feb. 14-15, 2008)
  • Siem Reap (Feb. 15-20, 2008)

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Places We Stayed

Phnom Penh

  • Bright Lotus 1 Guest House (Feb. 14-15, 2008): Centrally located and cheap (about $30 a night), this place has nice rooms and cable, which is surprising for the price.  Alyssa’s room, however, was on the top floor, and music from a nearby bar filled her room late into the night.  (Our room on the floor below her was perfectly quiet.)

Siem Reap

  • Viroth’s Place (Feb 15-17, 2008): This luxury boutique hotel has lovely, modern rooms and a small but attractive pool.  It’s fairly pricey for Cambodia (about $90 a night for the three of us to share a room), but it’s really nice.

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  • Golden Banana (Feb 17-19, 2008): All told, this place ($55 a night) is probably a better value than Viroth’s place.  Our room was cozy and two-level (so nice to have an upstairs and a downstairs).  The pool was great, and the whole place had a wonderful, relaxed vibe. The food at the restaurant alone makes the Golden Banana worth a visit.

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  • Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Feb 19-20, 2008): We splurged on this place ($150) for a night.  Our room was gorgeously decorated, but the bathroom was fairly small for the price and our room didn’t have Internet access.  The incredible pool, however, made up for it. All of the common areas here are amazing.

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Places We Ate

Phnom Penh

  • Art Cafe: This sidewalk cafe is in a great location in the center of town.  The food is pretty good, as are the prices.

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  • K West Steakhouse: The three of us went here for Valentines’ Day! The service wasn’t great, and Derek’s steak was actually pretty bad, but they did give Derek some chocolates and a single rose to divide between Shanna and Alyssa.

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  • Metro Cafe: This trendy place seemed to be popular for business lunches; from what we could tell, we were the only tourists there.  It’s not super cheap, but the food was great and very well presented.

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Siem Reap

  • Room Service at Viroth’s: This is some of the best room service we had.  They set the table on our patio beautifully, and the three of us had a great meal without ever having to leave the hotel!
  • Singing Tree Cafe: This vegetarian place is popular with the backpacker crowd, and for good reason.  They offered inventive smoothies, great sushi and a fantastically laid-back atmosphere.

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  • Kamasutra: The Indian food at this place, centrally located on Siem Reap’s walking street, was fantastic and fairly inexpensive.

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  • Restaurant at Golden Banana: It took a long time for our food to arrive, but when it finally did, it was some of the most flavorful, most fresh stuff we’ve had.  They served up a fish curry that was truly remarkable.

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  • The Blue Pumpkin: Shanna has been on a quest for peanut butter cookies for about the last five months, and she found them here.  This trendy little bakery would do very well in any U.S. neighborhood; the baked goods are better than many we can get at home.  (If you’re ever here, try their lemon muffin. You’ll be glad you did.)

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  • Viva Mexican Bar & Grill: This place wasn’t that great.  Shanna’s nachos had baked beans on them (???), and the fish tacos were actually pretty bad.

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  • Le Tigre De Papier: Huge servings of good pizza, pasta and salad in the company of a very friendly owner.  And they have wifi!

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  • Le Grand Cafe: If the prices here were ten times what they are, we would’ve thought we were in Paris; the food was that good.  As it was, we got high quality, French food at incredibly affordable prices.  The crab gazpacho alone was worth the price we paid for the whole meal.

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  • L’Escale Restaurant: In Victoria Angkor Resort, this upscale restaurant is situated next to the resort’s gorgeous pool.  The food was great and the venue even better.

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Things We Did

Phnom Penh

  • Visited the Killing Fields

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  • Toured the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

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  • Took a tuk-tuk tour of the city 

Siem Reap

  • Toured Angkor by tuk-tuk and bicycles, visiting Bakhreng (for sunset), Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Bayon, Ta Promh and several other temples

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Country Facts

  • Capital City – Phnom Penh
  • Currency – Kiel (although most people used US dollars)
  • Exchange Rate – 4,000 Kiel to $1

Special Thanks

  • We would like to thank the following individuals who gave us a wedding gift that we used in this country: Natalie Reynolds and Tom Davis.  We really appreciate it!

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