A drive through the Cambodian countryside

1 Aug

During our Cambodia trip, we decided to travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh by road. The other options were by flight (too expensive) and by boat (closed in this season due to water levels); hence we decided to go by road. The journey takes about 6 – 6.5 hours (so you lose about half a day in travel) but the roads are very good and the journey is pretty comfortable.  The side benefit is – you get to see the pretty country-side and also how the majority population of this country stays and survives.

The drive through this region is very serene, beautiful and interesting. There are miles and miles of rural scenes with green paddy fields, typical bamboo houses, cattle, traps to catch locusts, local rural markets with interesting wares, etc etc. Sharing a few of those scenes that have been captured through the lens of instagram –


But what we thought was the most interesting, were the following couple of things –

The local bamboo houses here are typical of this region. These houses are built at a height with bamboo or concrete which acts as “legs” for the house. Earlier I thought that the houses were built at a height to save them from floods but then our guide told us that it was not necessarily so. It was also for more space which can be utilised for multiple purposes – as a parking space for the vehicles, dining area for the family, party place for special occasions, general sleeping area (all you need to do is tie a hammock and you are set), storage area etc etc. Basically space for any and everything. In some places the road is at a height and the ground is below, so the houses have been built on the level of the road (with the help of bamboo legs) and there is a small bridge built to connect the road to the house. It is an absolutely amazing and must see sight. unfortunately I don’ have pics of such houses. 😦

During our drive, we also saw another curious sight which we couldn’t decipher. There was small rectangular enclosures filled with water. This had a gate kind of thing built-in the centre with a tube light on the top and a cascading plastic sheet reaching the water. For the life of us we couldn’t understand what it was. Then our guide in Phnom Penh told us that it was for catching locusts as it’s the locust season. The lights attract the locusts, they then slip on the plastic and get trapped in the water below.

Apart from this along the way there is the Kompong Kdei Bridge which was built by King Jayavarman VII in the early 13th century but is still used today by the main Siem Reap to Phnom Penh road. I was so amazed by the fact that something built-in the 13th century has managed to survive for so long and still be in use.

So if you find yourself anytime in Cambodia then be sure to ditch that easy flight connection and try this road journey. It is very beneficial to your pocket as well your travel crazy mind. 🙂


25 Responses to “A drive through the Cambodian countryside”

  1. Raunak August 1, 2012 at 19:27 #

    super like 🙂 thanks for sharing your travel tips. I so want to have a bamboo home just like the ones you saw…they look great!


    • getsetandgo August 2, 2012 at 10:34 #

      Hey, thanks. they are beautiful and each house is different in itw own way too. You really have to see them.


  2. Juliana Lightle August 1, 2012 at 20:55 #

    Really enjoying your travel log. I have been to Thailand and Myanmar but not Cambodia.


    • getsetandgo August 2, 2012 at 10:41 #

      Thanks. I have fabulous stories about Myanmar and thats on my travel list to. Have you updated your posts on Myanmar on the blog?


  3. krista August 2, 2012 at 00:10 #

    Beautiful pictures. It looks like a very unique landscape – and it looks like passing through the landscape gave you good insight on the day-to-day culture of the people who occupied these houses. Did you notice anything about the types of plants and trees in their yards? Do they serve as decoration, or are they there for any specific purposes?


    • getsetandgo August 2, 2012 at 16:19 #

      Hi Krista.. Thanks for dropping by my blog and your comment. Some of these trees are for fruits etc, like plam trees for everything (leaves, bark, fruit etc) and some are for ornamentation.. But they have an abundant variety of tress and plants. I’ll write a separate post on that as well. Interestingly, unlike India, they do not rear cows for milk. Cows is only for meat and they import milk or use coconut milk.


  4. pommepal August 2, 2012 at 16:46 #

    I love road trips you see so much more of the country side, well worth the extra time spent travelling. I always think it is the journey as much as the destination that is the highlight of travel


    • getsetandgo August 3, 2012 at 14:48 #

      I so agree with you… And you are sure living and travelling this philosphy too 🙂


      • pommepal August 3, 2012 at 16:01 #

        Gypsy lifestyle is so cool….. (Or rather at the moment it is slowly getting hotter in my corner of the world…)


      • getsetandgo August 3, 2012 at 17:15 #

        Lol… Its getting hotter and hottest in my part of the world.


  5. Niranjan August 3, 2012 at 14:08 #

    You have a fabulous travel blog. Keep travelling.



  6. teodesson August 3, 2012 at 16:22 #

    nice travel story and pictures


  7. Terri at Time To Be Inspired August 5, 2012 at 00:18 #

    Very interesting! I don’t want to sound naive, but do they eat the locusts? Or is this some form of pest control that I don’t know about?


  8. The World Is My Cuttlefish August 5, 2012 at 11:16 #

    I’d like to see that bridge.


  9. tchistorygal August 6, 2012 at 20:03 #

    Such interesting pictures and commentary. Without the commentary they would be impossible to imagine for those of us who have never been to Asia. Thanks for sharing.


    • getsetandgo August 7, 2012 at 18:18 #

      Thanks for the kind words tchistorygal. They insipire me to write more such posts and share these experiences with everyone.


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