Unlike most of my trips, we put this one together relatively quickly. We only just solidified our plans and we depart in less than two weeks.

Some people were surprised to hear that we’ll be spending our full two week vacation in Cambodia. While the temptation to fit in a neighboring country is strong, I also love the idea of giving Cambodia our full attention.

While we tried hard to fit in some time at an elephant sanctuary, it unfortunately wasn’t in the cards for this trip. They were either too remote, weren’t a true sanctuary, or required too long of a stay to be feasible. I’ll miss them, I have such fond memories of my time at the Elephant Nature Park during a 2014 trip to Thailand.   


On my previous trip to the region I popped into Siem Reap for a just a couple days to see the temples. Having been before, however briefly, takes some of the edge off. I’m less concerned about fitting everything in and instead am looking forward to a much more relaxed pace. It will be nice to be there for a much longer stretch.

After a long flight, with a brief layover in Guangzhou China, we’ll arrive Siem Reap around 7pm local time. We’ll have the evening to recoup and adjust to the new time zone. Then in the morning we’ll be hitting it hard with a full day of temple exploration at Angkor Wat. However, I’m certain we’ll find time for massages once we’re back in town that evening - we’ll need it! Day two is another temple day, and on one of these days we’ll aim to catch the famous sunrise over Angkor Wat. When I was in Siem Reap back in 2014 the sunrise left a lot to be desired, it was more like a gradual lightening of an overcast sky. Hopefully this time we’ll have more luck. The following day we’ll explore in and around town, and shopping and kitschy mini golf might also be on the menu, along with some more r&r.

The next day we plan to head over to Banteay Srei for a homestay with a local family, we’re not quite sure what to expect but it will be an adventure. After that, we’ll make our way back to Siem Reap to catch a flight and subsequent ferry ride over to Koh Rong Sanloem for a few glorious days relaxing in a beachfront bungalow.

From there it’s another ferry ride back to the mainland and a short bus ride over to Kampot. We’ve got what sounds like an excellent little riverside bungalow booked over there. We plan to have some fun on the river with a stand-up paddle board tour and to explore the town for a couple days before heading up to Phnom Penh. 

We’ll be in Phnom Penh for a long weekend, meeting up with friends before flying back home. I can't wait! 



Preparing for 15 days and Israel & Jordan

We purchased our tickets 6 months ago, but our departure date is quickly approaching and last minute prep is in full swing. Most of the details are ironed out, our accommodations are booked and we know where we will be on what days - with the exception of a new little stick in our spokes, our President recently decided to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on the exact same days we planned to go. So, we may have to be flexible and adjust our activities to avoid the circus surrounding his visit. It's a bit funny really, it's as if he got ahold of our travel itinerary and thought, "Oh that looks nice, I think I'll join them!"

I’ve also, as a woman, been doing some research on what I should wear in these countries. It’s a bit tricky to navigate. I’ve read some conflicting information on other blogs in and travel books - and I’ve yet to read another blog that includes information for women traveling there during the spring and summer when temperatures are high. I’m planning to pack a variety of layering options so that I can add and subtract as needed. As a result I probably won’t be able to pack as lightly as I normally would. For those that might be wondering what to wear there, I'll be sure to write another post about how that all works out when I get back.

Onto the itinerary - 

So much to fit into 15 days, this was a challenge but I feel good about what we’ve come up with – take a look:


We’ll start with a short stay in Tel Aviv – I have a feeling we may be regretting not staying here longer! 

With only one day and one evening, we’ll barely scratch the surface before we’re off to Jerusalem. We’ll be in Jerusalem for 3 days and we hope to take a day trip to Bethlehem - which will hopefully include a visit to the bar in Banksy's Hotel. After that we’ll head south, stopping to check out Masada for a few hours before arriving in the southern town of Eilat where we will cross the border into Jordan. We’ll spend the following day in Aqaba on the edge of the Red Sea before heading to a Bedouin Camp in Wada Rum for a couple of days spent hiking in the desert – and perhaps a hot air balloon ride as well! Then off to Petra for two days, quite possibly the highlight of the whole trip. We’ll try to do the Petra By Night tour which has gotten mixed reviews – I’ll be sure to report back on that. From Petra we’ll head to the Dana Biosphere to spend two nights at the Feynan Ecolodge before pampering ourselves at a resort at the Dead Sea – we’ll need it after so much desert hiking! Though, we’ll aim to fit in one more day hike at the Mujib Nature Reserve – a unique hiking experience that also involves wading through some deep water.  We’ll end the trip with a day an Amman before boarding our evening flight back to the US.

A whirlwind for sure – let’s see how this all goes…!