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Simon Calder

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can you direct us to a laid-back touch of beach-life in Cambodia?


Q Me and the fella are thinking of travelling to Cambodia next year, but would like to go as independent travellers. Apart from the usual sites, such as Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat, we would also like some chill-out time at a glorious beach which is laid-back rather than full-on hedonism. Can you recommend such a beach? Also if I wanted to go on to Hong Kong what's the best way of planning this trip?

Liz Owen, London

A The best beaches in Cambodia are found around the province of Sihanoukville in the south-west of the country. Buses from Phnom Penh take around four hours to cover the 115 milees, for the equivalent of a few pounds. Once in Sihanoukville you can take a ferry to any of the beautiful islands off the coast; Koh Rong is one of the most unspoilt. Accommodation mostly consists of bungalows costing the equivalent of £20 per night. If you'd prefer a bit more luxury, the neighbouring island of Koh Rong Samloem has a plush new villa complex (kohrongsamloemvillas.com).

In terms of travel: the obvious airline to go for is Cathay Pacific, which has a fare of £844 return from London Heathrow for many off-peak dates. You fly non-stop to and from Hong Kong, then change to the regional carrier Dragonair for the flight to Phnom Penh.

Our most recent Traveller's Guide to Cambodia is here: bit.ly/CambTG

Additional research by Abbas Panjwani

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