Outward bound

Boasting an abundance of beaches, jungles, mountains, lakes and temples galore, Cambodia is a country just waiting to be explored. Nowadays there’s almost nowhere you can’t get to.

Travel is cheap for the most part, and all major destinations are accessible from Phnom Penh. So why not get going?

The temple town of Siem Reap is top on everyone’s list. Buses leave Phnom Penh hourly between 6.30am and 2.30pm. Giant Ibis and Mekong Express are popular choices, offering Wi-Fi and A/C. PSD Xpress is a new service, also with Wi-Fi and A/C and, like Giant Ibis, power points. The journey takes between 5 and 8 hours and tickets start at about $10. A taxi takes five hours and costs upward of $65. Night buses to Siem Reap with Giant Ibis depart at 10:30pm, 11.00pm, and 11:30pm and takes around 6.5 hours.

Beach lovers should head southwest to Sihanoukville, especially the popular Otres beach and the smattering of idyllic islands off the coast. Buses, with faster minivans available, depart hourly and take between 3 and 6 hours. Tickets start at $5. Taxis cost about $50.

Heading east along the coast, lands you at the towns of Kampot and Kep. Kampot boasts a relaxing riverside setting in the shadow of Bokor mountain, while Kep, roughly 30 minutes further along, is a quiet seaside resort. Both are accessible by bus from Phnom Penh, which depart regularly between 7am and 2.45pm and take between 3 and 5 hours. Tickets start at $5. Taxis cost about $40.

Art hub Battambang in the North West is also worth visiting. Morning buses depart hourly from Phnom Penh. Tickets cost upward of $6 and taxis cost about $60.

The jungle and rolling hills of Mondulkiri in the North East are starting to feature on tourists’ radars and are accessible within a 6 to 7-hour bus journey or 5-hour taxi ride. Minibuses depart from Phnom Penh in the morning and cost $12. A taxi will cost about $80.