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Kampot

An hour’s bus ride from the more popular, but also pretty tacky. Sihanoukville, chilled Kampot has spectacular views over the river and to the Elephant mountains.


Things to do 

Head out with Anne Pizey on a paddleboard (supasia.org) to discover floating villages and critically endangered  Irrawaddy dolphins, make the day trip to Bokor national park (phnombokor.com) to visit the bullet-peppered carcass of The Bokor Palace hotel, or stay a bit longer and volunteer with Cambobabs (cambobabs.skynetblogs.be) to teach the basics of English to children.  


Where to stay

There’s a great-value guesthouse with a pool just down the road in  Kampong Kreng; Villa Vedici’s (villavedici.com) kiteboarding owner, Frank, makes killer cocktails, too. 


Going out

Built on stilts over the river and serving a scrumptious green crab curry, it’s not surprising that Ta Ouv (+855 33 932422) is so popular. Another spot where expats and NGO’s congregate in the evening to play pool and eat massive portions of barbecued rib, is The Rusty Keyhole (kampot-cambodia.com‎) Kampot’s liveliest bar.


Siem Reap

Home of those amazing Angkor ruins, even if you’re not big on architecture there’s plenty to do in Siem Reap.


What to do

Join a tour with ProAngkor travel (proangkortravel.com) to visit the Angkor Archeological park or, for a more eco-friendly way to discover the site where Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raider - hire a bike (thewhitebicycles.org) and explore. Buy silks, Kampot pepper and sculptures from the endless array of stands in Siem Reap’s labyrinth-like night market. 


Where to stay

For top-of-the-range pampering after an exhausting day ruin-hopping, try the newly refurbished  art deco Park Hyatt Siem Reap (siemreap.park.hyatt.com), but if you’re seeking a budget option, The Ivy Guesthouse and Bar (ivy-guesthouse.com/)  has huge rooms, a pool table, hammocks and a restaurant serving cheap beers and veggie food. 


Going out

Feed hunger pangs for a song at one of the stands around the night market, then jive the night away at Red Piano (redpianocambodia.com), a backpacker’s favourite near lively Pub street where Angelina Jolie came to order  her favourite tipple, Cointreau, lime and tonic, while filming Tomb Raider.


Talkback


Destination: Cambodia
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