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Kratie

This laidback Mekong riverside town makes a good base for discovering the lesser-known delights of eastern Cambodia.  


What to do

Take a tuk to Sambor, a colourfully exotic collection of pre-Angkorian temples buried in  monkey-filled jungle, then hire a bike from your guesthouse (about $2 a day), cross the river to Koh Trong on a ferry and follow the nine-kilometre trail around this small lush island to discover ornate stupas and floating villages.


Where to stay

Packed with antiques dating from Cambodia’s colonial period, Le Bungalow (+855 23 215 651) is an upmarket bolthole with big private lounge and restaurant serving pricy French food.  A cheaper alternative, The Balcony’s (balconyguesthouse.net) spacious rooms and pretty river views make it popular with backpackers who feed for pennies in the restaurant serving hefty portions of Khmer and western food.  


Going out

After strolling with crowds down by the river at sunset, everyone heads for Red Sun Falling (Rue Preah Suramarit), a book-lined bar run by eccentric ex-Chicago bookstore owner, Joe.


Koh Rong 

With a few palm-fronded bungalows for hire, no electricity and white sand beaches, Koh Rong is an island paradise for Robinson Crusoes. 


What to do 

Go diving or snorkelling to see colourful fish and coral-studded reefs with Koh Rong dive centre (kohrong-divecenter.com), circle the island in one of Cambodian Pride Tour’s seakayaks (cambodianpridetours.com), or just laze on the idyllic, powdery white sands of Long Set beach.


Where to stay

Millionaires for whom money is no object will head for the luxurious castaway resort of Song Saa (songsaa.com) in the north of the island, but mere mortals  will choose Koh Rong Backpackers (facebook.com/KohRongBackpackers‎) a palm-leaf bungalow on stilts whose dorms for six include mosquito nets and lockers.


Going out

Koh Touch beach has a lively bar scene, but the best night owl venue on Koh Rong is Monkey Island (monkeyisland-kohrong.com) where they have cheap beers and amazing fire shows on the beach. 


Talkback


Destination: Cambodia
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