Off the beaten track, there are some unique and stunning places for those looking to break up the journey between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh whilst also gaining insight into everyday Khmer life.
We highly recommend a stay in Kampong Thom. Although this city takes its name from its province, it is surprisingly understated and has a largely agrarian economy – locals are modest and friendly, making their living by working the rice paddy fields and selling their wares in the town’s buzzing markets. In the heart of the Cambodian countryside, the rural town of Kratie may be small, but this community on the banks of the Mekong River offers some of the most striking sunsets in Cambodia, so should not be underestimated! Escape the tourist crowds and stay in this rustic area, home to the unique Irrawaddy Dolphin, renowned for being the rarest creature in the region. The vibrant fresh food market is well worth exploring here, enjoy the delicacies and get a taste of local life – the lively area makes for a quintessential Cambodian scene, bright colours and friendly locals of all ages interacting with each other in every direction you look. Nearby, lies the ruggedly beautiful Ratanakiri province, home to the country’s minorities, the Kreung and Tompuon. You are bound to appreciate this mountainous location if you value unspoiled nature as it is one of the least developed pockets of the country and, perhaps best of all, is a likely spot to witness endangered wildlife.