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Trip to more remote sites/temples

Colden, New York
Level Contributor
3,000 posts
212 reviews
Trip to more remote sites/temples

Have found 2 interesting trips. Both are for 2 days, 1 night and price is for 1-4 persons. My husband and I are considering one of these and wonder if anyone else would like to share this experience as well as the cost. We will be in Siem Reap from 1/5/2014-1/19/2014 so dates available for trip would be 1/6-1/17/2014. The guide for this trip is on the recommended list and gets good reviews-San Park. I haven't booked anything yet.

#1 Siem Reap to Banteay Chmar-overnight town of Anlong Veng at AV Sophea in twin room (we'd have our room for the 2 of us and then the other room would be yours) see Pol Pot house and Ta Mok house-next day Preah Vihear, Koh Ker and Beng Melea before returning to SR. Cost for 1-4 persons is $500 which includes driver, guide, overnight stay, water, gov't taxes, petrol & parking fee, insurance which covers vehicle and all passengers, vehicle is Toyota Camry with A/C.

#2 SR to Preah Vihear-overnight town of Sra Em at Heng Sokchamroeun GH-next day Koh Ker, and Beng Melea before returning to SR. Cost for 1-4 persons is $350 which includes same as above.

Even if no one is interested my husband and I want to do one of these. Which one do you recommend?? Thanks.

Edited: 19 May 2013, 03:16
Las Animas, Colorado
Level Contributor
2,348 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

Hi Chris - I'd recommend option 1, as we did a similar trip (DIY - not a tour) last November. There was a bit of reconstruction going on at Banteay Chhmar (Temple of the Cats) - and while we had it to ourselves last year with road improvements it will soon become a "day trip" out of SR - so see it now while it is gloriously tourist free:) Make sure to walk around the outer walls - the carvings are outstanding and unlike anything I've see at other temples. Sra Em is a lovely small town, if you have time stop at their market (on the main road as you are going up to Preah Vihear). We also had one of the best meals I've ever eaten in Sra Em - at a small restaurant with no menu, no English spoken, and great coffee. BTW - if you get two other people to go with you that will be six of you in that Toyota Camry - see if they can upgrade it to a van if there are more than two of you going.

Colden, New York
Level Contributor
3,000 posts
212 reviews
2. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

Lynn you did this DIY?? How did you do that? Did you rent a car, make hotel reservation on your own? Is there public transport available? We would much rather DIY but didn't think it was possible. If you drove yourself were the roads in decent shape and marked? We don't want to end up in Myanmar or Thailand! LOL!!

Las Animas, Colorado
Level Contributor
2,348 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

Oooh no - didn't drive ourselves (no Cambodian driver's license!) - we have a Khmer friend in SR, he helped us arrange a driver and van, we had searched hotels on Travelfish and made a reservation in Anlong Veng. Main roads are pretty well marked - if you have a map (we do). Some of the roads were in rough shape but were obviously being worked on so may well be in much better condition by the time you are there. Our driver spoke some English, and when it got a bit iffy around road directions he called our friend in SR for advice. Although our plan was to go to Koh Ker on the way back we spent too much time at Preah Vihear and skipped it (we had been there on a previous trip and our friends decided to save it for another trip). By using a tour the guide will be more conscious of time than we were - we really prefer to dawdle a bit:) so you should be able to get back to Koh Ker and Beng Melea on the way back. If I'm recalling correctly it took about two hours to get to Preah Vihear from Anlong Veng, but we stopped in Sra Em for the markets enroute. Oh, and if while going up the long paved road to PV and the driver stops and asks if you want to buy a carton of cigarettes for the police up there feel free to decline - they readily admit that it is a bribe of sorts and nothing will happen if you don't buy them:)

Edited: 19 May 2013, 05:41
Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
Level Contributor
16,142 posts
92 reviews
4. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

I htink those prics are very high, I'd negotiate with that guide before commiting. You can very easily book those trips upon arrival, when you can see the kind of peopel you are dealing with and settle on a fair price.

I'll be taking a local friend up to see Preah Vihear, hirign a driver for the day to take us up there, then to Anlong Veng where driver will drop us off at friend's village there, this trip is $120 for the entire day. You can very easily find places to stay for under $20 a night (at the foot of Preah Vihear I think I paid $7), IMO that guide is asking waaay too much for your trips.

Fayetteville, North...
Level Contributor
5 posts
61 reviews
5. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

I've lived in Cambodia long enough to say you definitely need to negotiate that cost. On average I wouldn't pay a driver/car more than $70 for a day of driving. That would come with an English speaking driver, water/coke, and cold towels every time you got in the vehicle. On top of that, a guest house in the provinces isn't going to run you more than $20/night with AC. I doubt Banteay Chhmar has anything lodging that charges over $45/night. A guide might set you back another $30-$50/day since he will need a guesthouse as well. However, that guide will stay at the absolutely cheapest guesthouse he can find (probably about $5-$7) The average working class Khmer generally will forego AC for a cheaper room. As far as all the other things they told you about (fuel, insurance, taxes, parking fees), that would all be covered in the prices already listed. Altogether I would try to bring the price much closer to $250-$300 for option A. I would budget another $10-$15 a person for meals while eating in the province. If you are very picky eaters, maybe $20. I would encourage you to pick a place on the side of the road not around the major tourist areas though. The food will be as authentic as can be and much cheaper. I have eaten at road-side restaurants on highway 1 and paid $20 for a group of 6 including drinks. That was also the "westerner price". If you can get your guide to haggle for you, you can bring that down a bit. Have a great trip and let me know if you have any questions. I'll be heading back to Siem Reap in a few weeks and cannot wait.

siem reap
Level Contributor
557 posts
6. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

Been to all these places more than once.From Siem Reap to Banteay Chhmar is 172K if you go by Sisophon.

About 100K to Sisophon on #6 then 72K North on #56.#6 is great but #56 is dirt and rough.Better to take #68 at Kralanh even if a little further.Good road almost all the way.

Come back 30K to Samraong to eat then 60K East to Anlong Veang.Get a room for $15 to $20 and then go see Ta Monks house and then up to the border about 10K to see Pol Pots grave.Spend the first night in Anlong Veang and get a early start to Preah Vihear.

One hundred twenty K east to the base of the mountain.Buy tickets at the bottom for the ride up.The last time I went it was $25 for a small truck that takes up to eight people.To ride on the back of a moto is $4 for one person.I drove my car up one time but they stop you at the school now and sell you a ticket for the ride up to the top.Come down before lunch and eat at the small town about 15K south.You need to leave before noon if you want to see KK and BM.

From the small town of Sra Em to Ko Ker is about 140K.Good road.Costs $10 to see the temples.From KK to Beng Mealea is 60K and some of it rough dirt.Beng Mealea is $5 and from there back to SR 60K.No tolls on the road anymore.

So almost 700K depending on the route.Two full days.Maybe one hundred for fuel,five each to get in at Banteay Chhmar,$25 to go up the mountain at PV,$10 each at KK and $5 each at BC,a room in AV at $20,and driver and guide for two days at $25 each per day comes out to $285.Not as high as it seemed at first

Colden, New York
Level Contributor
3,000 posts
212 reviews
7. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

Thanks so much to everyone who replied to my post. I also thought the price was a bit high but wasn't sure. That's why this forum is so great. Based on a recommendation from someone whom I highly respect I made contact with a person he/she has used on trips to Cambodia. My husband and I are doing Option #1 for 2 days, 1 night and couldn't be happier about it. Instead of $500 we are paying way less than that. More in line with what X61624 and SiemReapDragonfly have suggested. I will definitely post a trip report of our time in Cambodia as well as a review of our experience to the remote sites.

8. Re: Trip to more remote sites/temples

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