Before coming on this trip I had the idea of doing a whole lot more in Cambodia than just Angkor Wat. Our plans centered on heading towards eastern Cambodia to the Mekong and spending four or five days in that region, trekking and/or taking a ferry or boat up the river towards Laos.
Prior to starting the trip, I didn’t find much, as the internet had not yielded any information on Cambodia’s east, so we thought that it might be easier once in Asia to find something. In Vietnam, we continued to search but once again the search went cold, and we thought we would have better luck once in Cambodia.
In Siem Reap, we went to see a couple of travel agents, however once again we were not in luck as information about the region was not that forthcoming. We did find some tour operators, which seemed to cater more for cyclists. Others merely seemed to do half day and full day tours which I found slightly expensive.
I found a guide seemed to specialize in the tourism in the region, which I contacted for a quotation for a three-four day program. However with a quotation of $1000 per person, it was very unlikely that we would be doing what seemed to be a very interesting itinerary.
Raquel and I discussed our options as we seriously considered heading straight to Laos without exploring eastern Cambodia, because as I kept saying, we were backpacking, but it was still our honeymoon. When researched Laos a bit more, especially Luang Prabang, we realized we could do similar treks in Laos at a fraction of the cost of those in Cambodia.
We still had one decision to make though: were we still going enter Laos from the south to spend a few day in Si Phan Don (otherwise known as the 4000 islands in the Mekong) or head to Laos’ capital Vientienne and make our way to Laung Prabang.
Each option had its positive and negatives, but entering through the south and going to Si Phan Don, would mean finding our own way there, not getting ripped off crossing borders, and then making the LONG journey north to Luang Prabang.
We gave the options a lot of thought and decided that going straight to Luang Prabang by plane would be our best bet and option and would be a very good end to this portion of the honeymoon, even it meant missing out on something cool like Si Phan Don. On the plus we would be missing on long bus rides, which was something we did not really enjoy in Vietnam, as we spent more time recovering from them more than anything else.
With the decision made, we bought our flight to Luang Prabang, and bid farewell to Siem Reap, where despite it not being our favourite place, was good to us and we managed to relax and have great memories from one of the world’s most amazing sights.