Bokor Mountain by minibus tour

Visitors to Kampot are often told they should rent a moto and head to Bokor Mountain. And while Southeast Asia has a reputation as being an easy place to learn the finer points of moto driving, not all of us have an inner Evel Knievel. Luckily, when Bokor is calling it’s possible to take a minivan tour of Bokor Mountain and let someone else do the driving!

Sampov Pram Pagoda

Sampov Pram Pagoda at Bokor Mountain.

Chan Rath Tours offers package tours starting at $13 and include a Bokor Mountain tour during the morning, and a sunset cruise on the Kampot river at dusk. There are other tours offering a similar itinerary in town, but I went with Chan Rath Tours. For this tour, called ‘The Bokor National Park Tour’ you’ll meet in Kampot town at 8 a.m., or you can request a pickup from any guesthouse out of town for a small per-person fee. As the tour leaves quite early, be certain to arrange any transportation to the pickup location the night before. Continue reading

Crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia (at Poipet)

The border between Thailand and Cambodia at Poipet has a terrible reputation, but it’s not quite as bad as you may have been led to believe. It’s true that if you’re coming from Thailand towards Cambodia you have more chance of being scammed than if you’re going in the other direction, but knowing in advance what to expect will make the border crossing relatively painless.

Poipet-Aranyaprathet border overland

Get the skinny on crossing the Poipet-Aranyaprathet border overland.

The process of crossing the Poipet border has a few steps:

  • Get stamped out of Thailand
  • Apply for a Cambodia visa
  • Get stamped in to Cambodia

In between most of those steps are several common scams that I’ll also go over. Continue reading

Beat the heat: Things to do indoors in Kampot

Even though Kampot is a river town and some of the best things to do are outdoors, sometimes it’s just too hot — or too rainy — and it’s best to just stay inside. Luckily, whether the weather is drizzling or roasting, you can find plenty of indoor activities to do in Kampot. Here are a few of my favorites.

Things to do indoors in Kampot

Kampot Art Gallery

With free entry and regularly changing exhibitions, Kampot Art Gallery is the perfect spot get out of the sun.

Kampot Art Gallery

Offering an artistic respite from the heat, Kampot Art Gallery exhibits work by Cambodian artists from around the country. Entry is free and exhibits change monthly so it’s worth swinging by regularly to support the Kampot art scene. The upstairs gallery is a traditional white-walled, silent gallery, exhibiting surprisingly pricey works, while the middle floor is the “aquarium” with an installation exhibit of fish swimming in the sea. Downstairs, there are high quality art supplies for sale, including brushes and oil paints, as well as an assortment of souvenirs by Kampot artists. Continue reading

Koh Sdach island, Koh Kong’s diving gateway

You need time to travel to Koh Sdach, a small island in the Gulf of Thailand in Cambodia’s Koh Kong Province. An appetite for adventure also helps, as simply getting to the island is a bit more challenging than reaching better-known destinations such as Siem Reap or Kampot. But if you are after something a little different, crave immersion into local life, and fancy some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving, then the trip is worth both the time and the energy.

pier at Koh Sdach Cambodia

Koh Sdach is only a short boat ride from the mainland.

First, catch a mini-van or shared taxi from Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, or Phnom Penh to Kiri Sakor commune, which consists of a small collection of shacks at the end of a rutted track. The drive takes about six hours from Phnom Penh, but the roads are fairly smooth throughout. When you arrive, you can jump in a boat that can take you out to Koh Sdach, visible across the narrow strait. A seat on a small speedboat is a modest 5,000 riel ($1.25) for a cruise that takes all of five minutes to reach the island, home to some 3,000 residents who are mostly engaged in fishing. At the harbor, boats of all sizes and waterfront homes on stilts line the docks, while mountains of polystyrene boxes keep the catches destined for Phnom Penh and Vietnam on ice.

You’ll notice right away just how far off the main foreign-tourist trail the island is. The small market, barbers, salons, and shops that line much of Koh Sdach’s main strip, all of two motorbikes wide, are clearly aimed at local families and fishers on shore leave. This is precisely what makes Koh Sdach such an appealing destination, especially for Phnom Penh residents looking to enjoy the coast without the noise and frenzy of tourist crowds. Continue reading

Is there any chance for an eco-friendly Cambodia?

Natalja Rodionova and the team from GoGreen Cambodia are the experts in living an eco-friendly lifestyle in Cambodia. They’ve written this blog post to give Move to Cambodia readers some ideas for how they can living a more ecologically responsible lifestyle in Cambodia.

bamboo straws Cambodia

Many cafes in Cambodia have replaced single-use plastic straws with reusable ones made of bamboo.

If you believe in being eco-friendly, the piles of trash all over Cambodia and the mountains of plastic and styrofoam used daily in the Kingdom of Wonder will make your heart bleed. According to recent research from the ACRA Foundation, around 10 million plastic bags are used in Phnom Penh every day. That is 3,650,000,000 bags a year! But all is not lost. In recent years Cambodia has made enormous progress in improving its environmental impact. Despite the many challenges, we’re now seeing positive change happening step by step. Continue reading

Siem Reap’s LGBTQ+ Pride Weekend 2019

For the second year, Siem Reap will be hosting its own sensational pride line-up of events and festivities, kicking off the 10-day Cambodia Gay Pride 2019. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit Siem Reap, this is it.

Gay pride Siem Reap

Cambodia pride comes to Temple Town for 2018!

Friday, May 10th – Siem Reap

6 p.m.

To kick off Cambodia Pride 2019, Miss Wong is hosting a cocktail party from 6 to 8 p.m., and 15% of profits will be going towards A Place To Be Yourself, an organization that provides support to Khmer LGBTIQ+ individuals. You can find more info on the official Facebook event page.

8 p.m. until late

This year’s opening party is at Barcode Siem Reap, and wigs are strongly encouraged! There will be free vodka caramel shots to everyone wearing a wig, as well as a presentation by A Place To Be Yourself. Here’s the official event. Continue reading

Yoga in Siem Reap

For those seeking to casually attend yoga classes or continue with a practice, there are lots of yoga options in Siem Reap that are accessible to a wide range of abilities and skill levels whether you just want to a drop-in class or something more regular. Most classes offer adjustments in order to augment or lessen the degree of difficulty, and many studios let you sample different styles of yoga to find what works best for you. Each of these studios provide all the equipment you need for your yoga practice. Here are a few of our favorites yoga places in Siem Reap.

siem reap yoga

Our all-time favorite yoga teacher Kate shows how it’s done.

Yoga Space

After trying out various yoga classes in Siem Reap, I decided to join Yoga Space. This studio is conveniently located in the Made in Cambodia Market outside of Sugar Spa, and consists of an outdoor patio that looks out onto the market below. Not only are the staff extremely friendly, but the place has a wonderful atmosphere, positive community, and a wide variety of classes ranging from NIA (a mindfulness and conditioning practice that features a combination of dance, martial arts, and yoga and is full of free movement), Vinyasa, Body Fusion (a yoga-pilates mix), Restorative Yoga with aromatherapy, Kriya, Ayurvadic Balancing flow, Happy Hour flow, Hatha, and many more. Continue reading

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

Battambang and Siem Reap are two of the nicest spots that Northwestern Cambodia has to offer, and each is worth visiting. Battambang and Siem Reap are only 48 miles (77 km) apart, but the trip can take as long as four hours due to the fact that there’s no direct road–all of the buses route through Sisophon and up to eight hours by boat. Here we cover how to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa), including boat, taxi, and bus.

Heading to Battambang? Check out our expat guide to Battambang with hotels, activities, transport and more. 

things to do in Battambang

Seen Siem Reap? Now it’s time for Battambang.

Continue reading