Photo exhibition: “Cambodia Reawakening: One year after the Khmer Rouge”

In 1980, one year after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, American photographer John Burgess arrived in Phnom Penh, where he began a journey across Cambodia to document the country’s recovery process. Burgess, who worked as a journalist for the Washington Post and TIME, traveled by car from Phnom Penh to Battambang and Siem Reap, and around the Tonle Sap, capturing amazing images along the way.

This month his photographs from that time will be on display in Siem Reap at Footprints Cafe from May 3rd to May 17th. See below for more details.

Cambodia vintage photo

The Phnom Penh-Battambang train was running, with every square centimeter filled. (Captions by John Burgess)

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Phnom Penh metered taxis and taxi-booking apps

In the last few years metered taxis have become popular in Phnom Penh, offering a safer and sometimes less expensive ride than the alternatives. Unlike in many major cities, taxis need to be reserved in advance by phone or app, and can almost never be flagged down on the street. However a quick call or swipe can have a taxi to you in less than ten minutes. Here’s a rundown of the best taxi companies and taxi booking apps in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh taxis

Metered taxis can be a safer and less expensive alternative way to get around Phnom Penh

Cambodia taxi apps

Rumor has it that Uber is on its way, but until there there are several local alternatives. PassApp Taxis, Exnet Taxi, and iTsumo are Uber-like taxi apps operating in Phnom Penh that allow you to book a metered tuk tuk, taxi, or SUV with the touch of a button (theoretically). Continue reading

How to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice versa)

These days, there are a couple of easy ways to go from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh including bus, boat, plane, taxi, and mini-bus. There are options to fit every budget, but some are nicer than others. Right now the road is in great condition and it’s a smooth ride (fingers crossed it will stay this way). The journey takes between 5 and 6.5 hours, depending on your mode of transport.

Giant Ibis bus

Travel in style with Giant Ibis bus.

Bus

The road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap offers a glimpse of Cambodian country life, as it barrels past rice paddies, traditional wooden houses, and water buffalo and cows lazily grazing on the side of the road. The views are best appreciated from a full-size bus, as the mini-buses are more crowded and have smaller windows. If you get carsick, the bus is a better option as it’s a bit slower and significantly less bumpy. Continue reading

The best pizza in Battambang

Despite its small size and relatively quiet atmosphere, Battambang has a surprising amount of foreign food options. From Indian to American, French to Spanish, visitors and Khmer alike can get their fix of cuisines from around the world. Oddly enough, the food with the most variety in Battambang is pizza.

Because I adore pizza, I’ve made it my mission to check out all the options in Battambang and find my favorite. The results of my arduous search include more than a few nights stuffed with pizza, and a definite choice for the number one best pizza in Battambang.

Battambang pizza

The best pizza in Battambang? Gets my vote!

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How to get from the airport into Siem Reap

Visitors to Siem Reap will be relieved to hear that airport transfers to Siem Reap are pretty painless. The reason for this is that there’s virtually no competition from the Siem Reap Airport (REP) and the drivers have strict rules about not line-jumping or undercutting each other. This means prices are set and you will not usually need to bargain. You also can book a less expensive ride in advance through your hotel or travel agent.

You have four options for getting to Siem Reap from the airport: taxi, moto, tuk tuk, or van taxi.

Siem Reap Airport

Welcome to Siem Reap Airport! Here’s how to leave.

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Review: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap PSD Xpress bus

Now that the road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is fully paved and the trip takes only six hours, there’s no better time to get a glimpse of the Cambodian countryside through a bus window. PSD Xpress is a new company running full-size buses twice a day. If you’re trying to decide which company to take for the bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, I’ve got a report from a recent trip (I’m actually writing this review on the bus right now).

PSD Xpress Cambodia

PSD Xpress is the latest luxury bus plying the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap route.

PSD Xpress is aimed at the tourist market, positioning themselves alongside Giant Ibis and Mekong Express. But how do they compare? Continue reading