The road system in Cambodia has been developing rapidly over the last few years, opening up more and more parts of the country and cutting journey times for travelers. Here are a few of our favorite Cambodian road trip destinations that you might want to try out with your family or friends on your next public holiday trip.
Usually less than 4 hours from the capitol, Kampot is a fantastic place for a relaxing break. I trip up the nearby Bokor mountain is great fun, with one of the most exciting new roads in Cambodia. At the top, you will see one of the most stunning views imaginable of the countryside and coastline below. Kampot is also only half an hour drive from the beaches and crab market in Kep. There is now a train service from Phnom Penh to Kampot so if you have never travelled by train in Cambodia before, this could be a chance to try.
Normally 5-6 hours from Phnom Penh and only about 3 hours from Siem Reap, Battambang is a relaxed and friendly town with lots of interesting things to do nearby. Battambang is famous for its bamboo train that is unique and worth a ride but there is also Phnom Sampeau, this is a hilltop pagoda with an amazing view from the top. At dusk every day a stream of millions of bats depart from the cave, a truly spectacular site. Battambang also has a laid-back riverside in the center of the city with some wonderful places to enjoy Khmer food and drinks.
Situated in the east of Cambodia on the Mekong river, Kratie is a small town that is mainly famous for its river dolphins. Around 5 to 6 hours from Phnom Penh, Kratie is a great place to relax and experience some Cambodian nature for a few days. A boat trip up the river to Kampi to see the rare river dolphins is a highlight of the trip and there are also some other interesting activities including Kayaking that can be arranged in the town.
4- Kampong Thom
Situated at the halfway point between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (maybe 3 hours away from each city depending on traffic), Kampong Thom is an easy road trip from both cities. The main highlight is the breathtaking jungle temples of Sambor Prey Kuk, a very impressive temple that is a lot less crowded than the temples in Siem Reap province. There is also the chance to take a boat trip on the river back in town and now Kampong Thom even has some luxury and mid-range hotels with swimming pools and other facilities making it a great place to relax for a day or two.
7 or 8 hours away from the capitol, Mondulkiri is a bit further away but is an interesting place, well worth the trip if you have the time to spare. As this destination is up in the mountains, it is normally a bit cooler than Phnom Penh, especially during the night. Attractions here include some elephant sanctuaries, where you can see some elephants in their natural jungle habitat as well as the impressive Borsa Waterfalls, which are best visited during the rainy season.