THE TRIP

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Cambodia -

The au­thor stayed at Car­damom Tented Camp (www.car­damom­tent­ed­camp.com; +855 966 410783), which of­fers three-day pack­ages from Us$345pp (£260) and four-day trips from Us$465pp (£350), in­clud­ing round-trip trans­fers, all meals and ac­tiv­i­ties. The camp is a col­lab­o­ra­tive project be­tween the Wildlife Al­liance, who have pro­vided ranger pa­trols for the past five years in the JW Con­ces­sion; YAANA Ven­tures, who de­signed it and are re­spon­si­ble for its op­er­a­tions; the Golden Tri­an­gle Asian Ele­phant Foun­da­tion (GTAEF), who part-fund the rangers; and a Thai-based hote­lier, the Mi­nor Group.

Tours of Ph­nom Ta­mao Wildlife Res­cue Cen­tre are of­fered by the Wildlife Al­liance (www.wildlifeal­liance.org), with a min­i­mum do­na­tion of Us$150pp (£113). They also run a ‘Be a ranger for a day’ pro­gramme to see life on pa­trol; prices given on re­quest.

Get­ting there

The au­thor flew with EVA Air (www.evaair.com; 020 7380 8300) from Lon­don Heathrow to Bangkok; daily flights take around 11.5 hours and start from £551. From there, Air Asia (www.airasia.com) has one-hour flights from Bangkok to Ph­nom Penh that cost from £70 re­turn.

The camp can ar­range trans­fers from Ph­nom Penh, Si­hanoukville or Koh Kong to Tra­peang Rung, from where a con­nect­ing boat de­parts for the camp. In Thai­land, Bangkok Air­ways (bangkokair.com) flies to Trat, where guest may also be col­lected. Some long-dis­tance buses be­tween Ph­nom Penh and Koh Kong also stop at Tra­peang Rung, tak­ing around four hours.

Get­ting around

Within JW Con­ces­sion, all travel is by river, whether by kayak or long-tailed speed­boat. Cam­bo­dia has lim­ited rail ser­vices but a good net­work of in­ter-city buses. In cities, motodop bike-taxis or tuk-tuks are quick and cheap.

Cost of travel

As the camp is pretty much all-in­clu­sive, bar­ring any ex­tras such as drinks, you will re­quire lit­tle cash. Cam­bo­dia is also cheap to travel around; a de­cent ho­tel for a night in Ph­nom Penh will set you back less than £20. Eat­ing out in Ph­nom Penh is very cheap, too, with main meals from as lit­tle as £2. A taxi trans­fer from Ph­nom Penh Air­port to down­town is about £8.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion

Va­ca­tion Bou­tique Ho­tel (Ph­nom Penh, www.va­ca­tion­bou­tique­ho­tel.com) epit­o­mises good value, al­though it’s hardly bou­tique. Still, the large, mod­ern rooms are lo­cated close to the river­front; B&B dou­bles from KRH200,000 (£37)

Food & Drink

It’s all too easy to get west­ern food in Ph­nom Penh but try Kh­mer-style cui­sine. This not only dif­fers greatly from Thai and Viet­namese cook­ing but of­fers up some glo­ri­ous flavours. Sam­ple clas­sics such as amok, a fish-based spiced curry typ­i­cally served in a ba­nana leaf, or lap, a pi­quant salad driz­zled with beef, lime and chill­ies. There are plenty of noo­dles and baguettes to go around, while the red curry is fra­grant and creamy with co­conut milk.

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