Ream National Park: Where to stay, what to see, and how to get there

Located just 18km east of Sihanoukville, Ream National Park covers 210 square kilometers of  jungle, rivers, mangroves, and lush tropical islands. The park is also home to an amazing array of wildlife and marine life, including over 155 species of bird, sun bears, gibbons, pangolin, fishing cats, turtles, dolphins, and even dugongs. Here’s our guide to escaping the crowds and exploring the beautiful scenery and natural wildlife in Ream National Park on Cambodia’s southern coast.

Ream National Park Cambodia

If you’re on the coast, don’t miss Ream National Park.

Established by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1993, the first National Park in peacetime Cambodia is also one of the most historically important; its sandy shores and forested peaks providing the perfect location for the Vietnamese insurgence against the Khmer Rouge in 1979. In a way, it feels like Ream has changed little since then. The lush jungle and beautiful beaches are still all but untouched by tourism, and there are only a few villages and guesthouses tucked away within the confines of the park. While there is a bit more industry including oil and gas mines and a big military base, this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the park or of the sense of authentic Cambodia you get as you pass through. Continue reading

How to get from Battambang to Koh Kong through the Cardamom Mountains

Getting from Battambang to Koh Kong is not for the faint of heart. This trip, no matter how you do it, is long and grueling. But if you’ve got a few days to spare, it makes for an excellent adventure into one of the most remote corners of Cambodia.

If you’re going to try to make the trip, you have essentially two options: on your own by motorcycle, or by a combination of buses or cars. The motorcycle route is also possible on a good mountain bike, but requires a high level of fitness and is not to be taken on lightly.

How to get to Ou Som Pursat

Ready for an adventure?

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Review: Haven Training Restaurant, Siem Reap

Haven got its name because it’s a social-enterprise restaurant that offers training and safe shelter to disadvantaged young Cambodians. But it’s a haven for diners as well, providing both well-made Western favorites and some pretty authentic Cambodian specialties, using many organic, locally produced ingredients and adhering to international food safety standards. This is food you can feel good about in just about every way.

Haven Cambodia

Try the chicken morning-glory soup, it’s delish.

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You and the night and the music: Dancing in Kampot

Kampot’s nightlife differs from the other major Cambodian cities due to its smaller size and the laid-back nature of the town. Visitors generally care more about chilling out along the riverside or chatting with people in the numerous bars, rather than getting their party on. Those looking for drug-fueled jungle parties should head to Sihanoukville or one of the islands. But don’t worry, Kampot has its own style of dance party.

Kampot at night

When night falls on Kampot it’s time to put on your dancing shoes!

The expats here are known as Kampotheads for good reason, and the ever-growing number of watering holes should indicate exactly the kind of trouble you can find in this mellow city. The town grows more lively on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with weekly parties to satisfy everyone’s urge to shimmy. Although you may find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dance party almost anywhere in town, if you want a guaranteed evening of shaking your booty, be sure to head to one of the places listed below for one of Kampot’s weekly dance parties! Continue reading

How to make a visa run: Crossing the border at Cham Yeam International Checkpoint

There may come a day when you need to make a quick visa run to Thailand. And while Poipet is a nightmare few expats want to relive, crossing the border at Cham Yeam is a much more relaxed experience. Prepare to deal with a bit of hassle and to be dramatically overcharged for your visa, but don’t fear the wild scams traditionally found up in Poipet.

Cambodia Thailand border Koh Kong

Crossing the Cambodia-Thailand border at Koh Kong doesn’t have to be a hassle.

As of 2017, here is what you can expect if you plan to be crossing the border at Cham Yeam International Checkpoint outside of Koh Kong, Cambodia to Hat Lek, Thailand. Continue reading

Review: Giant Ibis Bangkok Siem Reap direct bus

Until recently the only direct bus going between Bangkok and Siem Reap was run in conjunction with the Thai government and featured a fleet of mostly older buses; all other companies were forced to change buses at the border. Giant Ibis, on the other hand, offers a fully direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap (and vice-versa) that allows you to keep your baggage on the bus while you go through border control. I took the Giant Ibis from Bangkok to Siem Reap recently and thought it was a welcome addition to the route.

Giant Ibis Bangkok Siem Reap

Get from Bangkok to Siem Reap on the Giant Ibis direct bus.

tl;dr Excellent ride. A few bucks more, but worth it. Book a ticket now or read on for more information

Giant Ibis is the most popular bus company in Cambodia with tourists and expats who value safety—the buses have seat-belts, and the drivers (usually) do not drive at outrageous speeds, which make them unique among Cambodian bus companies. Although the Nattakan/Transport Co. buses are not bad in this regard, Giant Ibis still as a few things that set them apart.

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