I’ve always wanted to go on a solo trip to one of the South East Asian countries and I chose Cambodia because of its rich amalgamation of various cultures, ethnic groups (including a multitude of hill tribes) and religions. I have heard a lot about the friendliness of the locals (the majority of whom belong to the fabled Khmer ethnic group), the vibrant night markets, the palaces, the Khmer culture and the fantastical fabled temples. Cambodia is also one of the rare elective monarchies in the world and this made me all the more curious about the place and encouraged me to take a solo trip to Cambodia. In addition, I’m a big fan of Tomb Raider and was dying to see the Ta Prohm temple aka “the Tomb Raider temple“ where the movie was shot.
I have also read a lot about the Vietnamese war and the devastating effect it’s had on Cambodia. Cambodia has had its fair share of tragedies but despite that its people are known to still have their fabled unwavering Cambodian spirits up. Present day Cambodia has come to be known as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. All this made me want to visit Cambodia, or in other words, the Kingdom of Cambodia, to get a feel of all the stories I’ve heard of the legendary place. I connected with TravelTriangle who planned a customized solo trip for me.
Table Of Content
- Details Of My Cambodia Solo Trip
- Itinerary Of My 4 Days Solo Trip To Cambodia
- Places To Visit In My Solo Trip To Cambodia
- What To Pack For Cambodia Trip
- My Experience With TravelTriangle
- My Travel Tips For A Holiday In Cambodia
- My Answers To Some Frequently Asked Questions About Cambodia Travel
Details Of My Cambodia Solo Trip
Trip Cost: INR 26,000
No. Of People: 1
Trip Duration: 4 Days
Inclusions: Transport, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Airport Transfers, Sightseeing, English Speaking Guide, Accommodation
Exclusions: Taxes, Visa Stamping Fee, Travel Insurance
Itinerary Of My 4 Days Solo Trip To Cambodia
Day 1: Arrival in Siem Reap & Floating Village Tour
Day 2: Visit Bayon Temple & Angkor Wat
Day 3: Visit Koh Ker & Beng Melea
Day 4: Leisure Time & Departure
Places To Visit In My Solo Trip To Cambodia
Come with me as I explore and unfold the secrets of beauty treasured for several years at these breathtaking sites in Cambodia:
I was excited to visit Tonle Sap for a floating villages tour. Tonle Sap is a combined name given to a serene freshwater lake and a river in Cambodia. The Tonle Sap Lake is connected to the popular Mekong River through Tonle Sap River. Exploring the beautiful floating villages was a wonderful experience. I was awestruck by the house like structures made out of sticks and bamboo on the boats floating on the water. I enjoyed interacting with locals, especially children while walking through the stilted villages along the banks of the lake. They were so cheerful and friendly that I could easily match my vibe with them. I even ate some steamy delicious noodles at one of the floating restaurants and made the most of my solo trip to Cambodia.
Suggested Read: Best Places To Visit On A Solo Trip To Cambodia
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It was time to visit Angkor Wat temples, the major highlight of my trip and one of the most awaited dream visits. This huge, grand and stunning temple complex has always been a symbolic structure for Cambodia. This massive religious site was built for the Khmer Empire as a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. But towards the end of the 12th century, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple. It was as if each brick of the temple had to story to narrate. I was left simply stunned by the quality of architecture – the extent of thought, precision and detailing of the inscriptions on the stones. The guide spent several hours explaining the writings engraved on the stones and the messages they conveyed. The skilfully cut and designed sandstone temples in the complex still stand intact to reveal the glory of that period to all those who are ready to listen.
Ta Prohm Temple
As mentioned earlier, visiting this temple was one of the major reasons for taking a solo trip to Cambodia. Ta Prohm temple is one of the most popular temples within the Angkor Archaeological Park in Krong Siem Reap. The temple was built during the 12th to the 13th century and was originally named Rajavihara. The Bayon architectural style of the temple brought in the name ‘The Bayon Temple’. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was also an impressive structure. Someone told me that clicking a picture with the Bayon faces brings good luck. I wasn’t sure about the veracity of this claim, so I took many pictures with these just in case!
Koh Ker And Beng Mealea
Koh Ker is a beautiful temple complex dating back to the 10th-century. The temple is surrounded by lush and dense forest which adds more mystical charm to this site. I visited Koh Ker on the third and final day of my stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The view atop the Koh Ker temple complex was breathtaking. The stepped 7-tiered pyramid structure is undoubtedly a masterpiece. Its stained yet strong walls have developed the growth of weeds as if the structure has embraced its surroundings.
I also visited the Beng Mealea temple. A temple from the period of Angkor Wat, this is located 40 kilometers away from it, towards the East. The Beng Mealea temple was equally breathtaking. This one is also known as the Jungle Temple and was quite literally the stuff of dreams. The entire place had an ethereal feel to it and left me spellbound.
What To Pack For Cambodia Trip
While traveling to Cambodia, travelers must carry lightweight and light-colored clothing. Keep comfortable shoes and sandals. Always carry a powerful sunscreen and deodorant along. Keep an unlocked mobile phone with a Cambodian SIM card. If you are traveling in the rainy season, do not forget to carry umbrellas.
My Experience With TravelTriangle
I booked my solo trip to Cambodia with Bamboo Hat Tours using the TravelTriangle App. I chose this agency as their itinerary fit my budget and also covered a lot of places in a short span of time. The trip was planned and organized by Sophie from Bamboo Hat Tours and she was very helpful. She was available 24/7 and was quick to respond to my queries. One day prior to my departure to Cambodia from Bangalore, however, I was struck down with fever. But all my bookings were done and I also got my leaves approved from office management. So, I decided to take this trip and because all the arrangements were made by TravelTriangle properly, my trip went really smooth and happy.
My Travel Tips For A Holiday In Cambodia
Here are some Cambodia travel tips from my solo trip experience:
- It’s important to ensure that one applies for the e-visa using the official government website
- Book the flights (at least 2-3 months) in advance to ensure the prices are cheaper
- It’s important for one to plan and discuss with their travel agent about the temples to be covered
- It’s important to ensure that one doesn’t lose the Angkor temple visa as doing so can attract a hefty fine
My Answers To Some Frequently Asked Questions About Cambodia Travel
Q. What should I expect as a food experience in Cambodia?
There are some really good Indian restaurants in Cambodia. I dined mostly at “The Flavors of India“ hotel which, coincidentally, was right opposite my Villa accommodation. The food was delicious. I’m a vegetarian so I have always been choosy and cautious about restaurants. Flavors of India did not disappoint in the least. They had plenty of yummy healthy vegetarian budget-friendly options and I was ecstatic. The hosts of the place were warm and welcoming too. The vegetable biryani there was to die for! I highly recommend this place! I also dined at an amazing place called Sala Russey near Angkor Wat. I sampled some of the Khmer vegetarian dishes here and loved it! The fruit-based desserts here were delightful! There are a variety of restaurants offering cuisines ranging from Khmer to Mexican to Italian to Chinese to Indian among others in and around Pub street. In addition, delicious corn cobs are sold near the Angkor Wat Temples and I highly recommend travelers to try these.
Q. What is there to shop in Cambodia?
I did not have to travel far to shop. I found a beautiful night flea market happening on Pub Street right next to my Villa. Apparently, it goes on till 2 or 3 in the night. I found stalls selling products ranging from sweet smelling exotic soaps to clothes to jewelry to silverware to dry fruits to what not. I wanted to buy everything! Alas, I had to pack light so I had to settle down for just a few but lovely items. I loved the clothes they were selling especially the cotton “tie – it yourself” pants. They were so comfortable and unlike anything I’ve seen in India. I would recommend purchasing the spices, coaster sets and the beautiful jewelry made from recycled materials.
Q. Do you tip in Cambodia?
It is not compulsory to leave a tip in Cambodia however waiter and waitresses will always appreciate a tip.
Q. Is it safe to travel solo in Cambodia?
Cambodia is a safe country to travel alone, and as long as you are also aware and cautious it is good. The locals are also extremely kind, helpful and cheerful with warm personalities. I loved interacting with them and felt right at home in a foreign country.
Q. What currency can be used in Cambodia?
Though Cambodian Riel is the currency of Cambodia, I was surprised to see the shopkeepers there accepting dollars too. In fact, USD is their preferred method of payment.
Cambodia is a destination that beholds several mysteries that can be uncovered only by taking a trip to Cambodia. And if it is a solo trip to Cambodia like Priyadarshini’s, you are there all by yourself to explore and witness the mystical beauty of this nation. So, get inspired and make your dream of a solo journey come true.
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