Mar 7, 2010


Both Teeny Travelers stayed home for this trip, and my brother Vincent and I made a short hop over to Cambodia to see Angkor. Travel tips? Well, it was the right decision to leave both kids at home; it was blisteringly hot, and I can't imagine that the temples would hold much interest for any kids under the age of 8 or so (and that's only if they've seen Tomb Raider/Indiana Jones and can pretend to be treasure hunters). But AMAZING for adults, and there was certainly a wide range and many choices for food and accommodations. I used my usual combination of TripAdvisor (traveler reviews, recommendations, and, most importantly, photos), HotelsCombined (or Kayak, same thing), Lonely Planet (for "usual" itineraries and the highlights) and the Luxe Guide (which exercises far more editorial restraint in making its selections, and is highly entertaining to boot) to make plans, bookings, and reservations.

We hired a guide with a car/driver (not too terribly expensive at ~$60/day), which made the temple-hopping much more efficient. Rather than cram in as many temples as possible, we really only made it a point to see the highlights - Ankor Thom and Angkor Wat the first day, and on the second day, hiked up Phnom Bakheng in the dark for sunrise, and on to further-out Banteay Srey, and Ta Prom and Pre Rup afterwards. This left lots of time for good meals (at restaurants that we picked off the Luxe Guide, rather than letting our guide choose for us), refreshing beverages at the end of the day, and even a couple of foot massages and a somewhat disturbing fish pedicure.

One nice diversion from the temples that I'll mention, though, was The Happy Ranch. At the end of our last day, we rode through countryside and rice fields and villages to get to, well, another temple. The horses were healthy and obviously well-taken care of, and they were able to cater to different levels of riding experience. There's also something about having grit in your teeth and horse hair all over you that makes that gin and tonic at the end of the day extra-delicious.

After having been in Cambodia a few years ago, when for some strange reason we DIDN'T go to Angkor, it was great to finally be able to cross it off my list. Next? Mik votes for Borobodur...