The Best Weekend Get-Aways From Phnom Penh
Phnom and Penh is a great city, and it has a soul, but now and then, you need to get away and travel down the coast, whether its long-distance or short. Having lived in Cambodia in 2018, I know I’m qualified to give you an answer.
If you go outside Phnom Penh, you have loads of places to visit, with quirky hotels, tiny communities, sleepy towns, and beautiful beaches. There’s a lot more to this country than meets the eye, and that’s why I love this place.
I remember eating fresh seafood in Kep while having a few beers on the dock, watching the waves pass by or hiring a Tuk Tuk in Kampot and visiting the salt flats, meeting locals working their backsides off for just a few dollars a day, but all have a smile on their faces.
The countryside is one of the best bits about Cambodia, and everywhere you look its lovely and mysterious. Please keep reading to find my little destination gems.
Oudong It’s a special place in Cambodia money and use to be the capital in the day. The destination isn’t far away from Phnom Penh, and you can get many travel packages to make this a one-day journey with only a 75 minute travel time.
In the North of Phnom Penh is Kendall province, with Oudong settling in their and was brought to light in the 17th century under the Angkorian spell. The Royal family used to have residents for over 200 years, until 1866. Another cool thing about Oudong Temple is it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The area consists of Royal buildings and mountains thought are unique to Cambodians culture and heritage. If you like history and you want to feel a bit of cambodia’s past, this place offers peace and serenity from the crazy capital Phnom Penh
A short visit from Nam pen lies Koh Dach, aka the silk island. Theirs a big contrast in the island from the capital, and the distance is only 6km! The island is like another world compared to the capital and offers something different.
You only need half a day here, and basically, all you can do is kick back and relax and enjoy this quiet island. Also, you will see a lot of weaving going on but sadly not as much as in the past. This industry is dying on its feet a little bit, but you can get some good souvenirs that are all hand.
The island has a small restaurant and picnic area well you can go swimming and chill out for the afternoon. You can also find the road going full circle, and you get to see some paddies, small forests, villages, and a few streams. To can also get around easier by hiring bikes and doing a full circle on the island.
A good place to check out is Le Kroma, with an Infinity pool with great River views. You also have some great food available with a wood fire for pizzas and other tasty dishes.
Angkor Borei & Phnom Da
The site is located south of the capital on the next two Takeo provinces, not the most famous archaeological site but still enjoyable. The site was constructed in 400 BC and is one of the earliest examples of Khmer construction.
The site is huge and covers 740 acres with moats nearby and a defensive wall. The city used to be an Angkorian capital under the Khmer empire they were advanced and well ahead of Europe 800 years ago. Angkor Borei is sat uneven planes, and at certain times of the year, you need to access the site by boat.
There’s also a museum their, and has an old Buddhist temple that is pretty cool. You can find a lot of old antiques, and relics from the Khmer culture.
Close by, you have the Phnom Da mountain, which has 11-century temples from Funan times. The temples were built out of basalt rock which is known to this region.
Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre
If you like wildlife, then you gotta head down to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. You can find it 36 Km from Phnom Penh and has over 1200 animals with Tigers, elephants, Gibbons, snakes and leopards, which have all been involved in illegal trafficking.
The animals are rehabilitated before thinking before being set free to the wild due to cruel treatments by poachers. You can volunteer on-site and help workers look after the animals throughout the day.
You can also see many Sun bears that originate all over South East Asia and sadly are hunted due to superstitious medicines.
Another laidback place for you to enjoy and relax just outside Phnom Penh.
You can find the site just two hours away from the capital and is Cambodia’s 3rd city. You see many old buildings from the French colonial days and served as a French military post for years. Also the town is on the Mekong and has the largest bamboo bridge in the world, connecting Kampong Cham with Koh pen.
The size of the bridge is 1km and has to be reconstructed every year as the rainy season hammers the bridge and rots it. You see everything cross the bridge, from horses to cars. Recently theirs been a concrete bridge constructed, which takes a lot of the traffic now and is generally safer.
You get a lot of Khmers visiting here for a weekend away from Phnom Penh, and basically, it’s a pretty lake 30km away. The lake has a pavilion that is great for running off and jumping into the cooling lake. If you come here, make sure you pack your trunks and towel so you can have a dip.
You also have the ruins of Ta Prohm of Bati, which does’t rival Angkor Wat but was a house built by Jayavarman VII, which still holds the gardens that are still well maintained by gardeners today. For a quick visit out of Phnom Penh this is nice.