Kampong Cham is a delightful part of Northeastern Cambodia and is sadly left off many travelers’ itineraries. This is a great shame as Kampong Cham has much to recommend it including gorgeous temples that predate and postdate Angkor. The leafy town is also a lovely spot to enjoy in its own right, and you can stroll along the mighty Mekong River that bisects it, or take to the water yourself and explore by boat.
When to go
High season in Kampong Cham is in December and January which coincides with the dry season from November to February. The weather at this time tends to be cool and there is less chance of heavy rain. The wettest time is from June to October and it can rain every day although this usually takes the form of short showers that last for an hour or two at most.
You won’t find a huge range of accommodation options in Kampong Cham but the various small hotels and guesthouses are cheap and decent quality. Many are located along the riverfront and come with a river view and air conditioning.
Despite this not being a huge tourist hub the city has a wide variety of food choices like Western style cafes selling salads, sandwiches, and coffee alongside traditional Khmer restaurants where you can enjoy a local meal for a few dollars. There are also plenty of other Asian options around like Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants.
The main hub of Kampong Cham is around two square kilometers so it is easy to explore on foot. We particularly enjoyed walking along the promenade that extends along the Mekong River. Other options are to rent a bicycle or a scooter.
Getting in and out
Kampong Cham is only three hours away from Phnom Penh, so it is really easy to make a quick trip here. It is also often used as a place to break the journey between Phnom Penh and Kratie, so if this is what you are planning then it can be a great place to swing past first.
From Phnom Penh, there are both big buses and vans to Kampong Cham operated by a number of local companies like GST, Sorya, Rith Mony or more upscaled Cambo Express.
For minivans check AVT company.
Another good option if you want something a little more luxurious is to take a taxi which will cost in the region of USD50. This is particularly sensible if you are travelling as part of a group.
Kampong Cham is a relatively safe place to visit. Violent crime against visitors is rare but there have been some incidents of snatch theft by gangs using motorbikes.
Cambodia has both malaria and dengue fever so you should cover up with long sleeved clothing in the evenings and use insect repellent to avoid being bitten.
There is a main hospital called Kampong Cham Hospital as well as Kampong Cham Clinic but for anything serious you would be better off traveling to Siem Reap.