Review: Monkey Maya, Ream National Park

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Ream National Park on Cambodia’s southern coastline, Monkey Maya is surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush jungle. The secluded guesthouse offers a variety of accommodation options, lots of activities, and a big, comfortable restaurant and bar. Here’s our rundown of everything you need to know.

Monkey Maya Cambodia

Monkey Maya at Cambodia’s Ream National Park offers a scenic getaway

Accessible by a road that goes through the heart of Ream National Park, Monkey Maya provides a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Sihanoukville. The journey takes about an hour, and is an experience in itself, with gorgeous scenery for most of the trip. Monkey Maya’s tuk tuk makes daily pick-ups from their sister guesthouse, Monkey Republic, in Sihanoukville ($5 one way) and Otres Beach ($4 one way), and can also pick up and drop off bus passengers at Ream Junction next to Sihanoukville airport. Continue reading

How to get from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville (and vice-versa)

It’s unfortunate that two of Cambodia’s top tourist destinations are on opposite sides of the country. Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are less than 200 miles apart if you fly, but can be a long 350 miles by road. We cover all of the ways you can get from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap and vice-versa, including plane, bus, mini-bus and taxi.

Cambodia Angkor Air ATR72

Cambodia Angkor Air flies ATR72s for the one-hour trip between Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.

Plane

Traveling by plane is by far the easiest way to travel between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, and unsurprisingly, the most expensive. Tickets are ridiculously expensive for a flight that’s less than an hour, but  if you’re pressed for time the cost of the flights may well be worth it to avoid traveling 10 to 14 hours by car or bus. There are three airlines that do this route in high season.

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Review: Sara Ethiopian Restaurant, Phnom Penh

Even the most well-traveled palates can find little fault with the Model UN-esque breadth of cuisines available in Phnom Penh. From Iraqi to Russian, Taiwanese, Lebanese, Nepalese and Mexican, it is difficult to think of a part of the world that Phnom Penh does not have a great restaurant for… except African. But now, for the first time, Phnom Penh has an Ethiopian restaurant. And it is delicious.

Ethopian food Phnom Penh

Ethiopian food has come to Phnom Penh!

Ethiopian food is best known for injera, a sour-ish spongy bread the thickness of American pancakes and made from fermented teff flour, and for a variety of curries based around either turmeric and ginger or the characteristically dark red berbere spice mix, which features paprika, chili, garlic, fenugreek and a handful of other spices. It’s food you eat with your hands, and made for sharing. Continue reading

Review: Siem Reap Plaza Premium Lounge

Late last year the Siem Reap airport lounge got a complete overhaul. This may not concern many Move to Cambodia readers, but if you, like me, got one of those snazzy new credit cards that includes worldwide select lounge access through Priority Pass, you’re all about hanging out in the lounge, pretending to fly business class when you’re actually going to spend the flight stuck in coach.

Siem Reap business class lounge

Flying biz or just wish you were? Welcome to the Siem Reap lounge.

If you’re a lounge lizard such as myself, you know that the quality of what’s available to Priority Pass members varies widely from airport to airport. Of course they are always better than sitting at the gate the hoi polloi, but some of the lounges haven’t been updated in a decade or two and only serve tiny crustless sandwiches made with semi-stale white bread. Continue reading

How to get from Phnom Penh to HCMC (and vice-versa)

Whether you decide to travel overland or by plane, it couldn’t be easier to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, the city formerly known as Saigon. Just be aware before you go that you may need to get a visa for Vietnam in advance, depending on where you are from (but Cambodia visas are available on arrival for most nationalities). Here’s a run-down of the best ways to get from Phnom Penh to HCMC.

Cambodia Vietnam bus

Heading from Phnom Penh to Saigon (or he other way around)? Hop a bus!

Bus

Buses between Vietnam and Cambodia are relatively quick, comfortable and cheap. Taking the bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (or vice-versa) is straightforward: the buses leave from and arrive in the center of each city, the border crossing is fairly painless, surprisingly scam-free, and usually you will not be required to change buses. Many of the buses have wifi (whether it will be working for the journey in question is another story) and provide water in addition to a meal stop. Continue reading

What’s happening on Koh Rong

After a few short years of tropical island paradise, followed by a year or two of debauchery, Koh Rong is an island in flux, as it adjusts to the massive increase in tourism and resulting environmental strain without losing the chilled out character that made it so popular in the first place.

Koh Rong news

Don’t worry, Koh Toch Beach is still beautiful.

So what’s been happening on Koh Rong lately?

Good things! First, there’s been a push for environmental conservation, beach cleanup, and wastewater management. None of these things seemed like a big deal with there were only 20 tourists landing on the island each day, but now during high season there can 1,000 or more people landing on Koh Toch, and it’s put a massive strain on the island’s resources. But now the businesses are banding together to push for sustainable practices and products—you’ll now find bamboo straws and re-usable drinking bottles at the more tuned-in businesses.  Continue reading