Simon Armour review 21 Aug 2016
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The temples of Angkor, but particularly visiting Ta Som in the rain, beautiful and atmospheric, and Banteay Srei with its intricate carvings and idyllic setting. Later our cycling tour of the silk island near Phnom Penh, particularly thanks to our lovely guide, Nara, who took the time to show us so many aspects of traditional Cambodian life on this peaceful island, including the silk weaving, tofu making, and sampling local food as well as sharing her knowledge of the local flora. The visit to Toul Sleng and the killing fields made a lasting impact on us, especially so because of the expanded context given by our guide, Nara. After those harrowing but essential visits to hear the story of the genocide, the Lotus Blanc restaurant and Pour Sourir l'Enfant school was truly inspiring and uplifting. Our seaside experience at La Flamboyant resort in Kep was lovely and ideal for families, while the sailing club is a must for dinner, watching the sunset, and the Kep National Park is wonderful.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Phnom Penh was an interesting place to visit, and the Blue Lime hotel was lovely, but I would not spend too long in the city when there are so many beautiful places to see in the rest of the country. Being vegetarian, we thought we may struggle to find good food, but it was not difficult at all, with lots of lovely Khmer curries and stir fries, and the Chamkar in Siem Reap was truly outstanding with its unique and gorgeous menu, and in Phnom Penh, the Friends restaurant and the Vegetarian were both excellent in very different ways. Visit the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles, in Siem Reap, to see how the unique traditional skills are being revived using natural dyes and Cambodian techniques.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Thanks to Dave at the vacation provider, we not only supported some great projects providing training and employment to those in need, as well as traditional crafts, (of which we bought some lovely examples) but we were so moved that we will continue to support one of the projects. Given the lack of public transport its hard to travel around in an environmentally friendly way, and I wish we could find an alternative to the need for plastic-bottled water! There is a pressing need for conservation of the remaining natural environments in Cambodia, and hopefully the right kind of tourism brings an economic incentive for this?
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
A real experience, with such lovely people and places, we will never forget! Everything went very smoothly and to plan over three different locations, which is quite an achievement too!
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you so much for your review! We really love the countries we visit and we pride ourselves on finding just the right experiences for each of our customers, so itís wonderful to hear that you have so many great memories from your trip.
Moreover, making a positive impact through tourism - for example by supporting local businesses and projects like Lotus Blanc - is the reason why we started this business, so we really appreciate your enthusiasm and encouragement. Hope we can help again soon!