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.

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Battambang’s best vegetarian and vegan restaurants

The hardest thing about being a vegetarian in Cambodia is fielding the question “How do you do it? It must be so hard!” every day. Thankfully, it’s not hard at all to be a vegetarian in Battambang, and almost every tourist restaurant has vegetarian options on the menu. In this post, I’ll cover the best vegetarian restaurants in Battambang that cater specifically to vegetarians and vegans, and a few runner-ups that I’m including because of their super special vegetarian menu.

Battambang vegetarian restaurants

There are lots of vegetarian and vegan eating options in Battambang! (Here, Monorom Garden)

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Happy Khmer New Year!

Look around and you’ll see Khmer New Year, Chol Chhnam Thmei, being celebrated around the country. The holiday is Cambodia’s most important, bringing the country to a near standstill as city residents head home to the provinces to spend time with their families, have parties and visit their local pagoda.

Khmer New Year in Siem Reap

Khmer New Year “stars” being sold along the side of the road in Siem Reap. Most families get one to hang outside of their home.

The holiday celebrates the end of the harvest season and marks the start of a new year (and also the start of the truly hot hot season). Although the holiday is officially only three or four days long—in 2019 it’s April 14, 15, 16—it can extend onto one or both adjoining weekends, and often even a few days before that. In the days leading up to Khmer New Year, prices, especially for transportation, can go much higher than usual. Continue reading

Review: Giant Ibis buses, Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice versa)

The trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by bus has improved by leaps and bounds during the time I have lived in Cambodia. The once bumpy road is fully paved now, and in 2019 the trip now takes between 5.5 and 6 hours. But between the view of the Cambodian countryside, the smooth ride, and onboard WiFi, this is one of the best ways to travel across Cambodia.

Giant Ibis bus Cambodia 2019

We took this gleaming Giant Ibis bus in 2019 and it’s still a great ride.

Giant Ibis at a glance…

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