Ean visiting the Ankor Wat complex in Cambodia

Cambodia, a friendly place

Notorious for flashy lights and booming music, Pub Street is the heart of the party scene in Siem Reap, Cambodia. With food around every corner there is something for everybody – including a café serving an assortment of bugs! Have you ever eaten a tarantula? I have – ants, silkworms, and grasshoppers too! Most of the amenities are at ground level, making Pub Street extremely wheelchair accessible – if there was ever a need for a ramp the amazing locals would offer to build one! The nightclub “Temple” was our favourite place to dance and ——–.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world and words cannot describe how magical it was to experience. While a good tour guide can show you all the hotspots, nothing beats having a local guide. Thankfully my childhood friend, Mitch (now a local to Cambodia), was all too happy to be our guide in exploring his favourite landmarks and hidden gems. Together we visited remote villages, hidden temples, meeting incredible people everywhere. After exploring the majestic countryside, we visited the bustling cities where I was pleasantly surprised with the accessibility – aside from the sidewalks which were few and far between. I managed to get around by taking to the roads and becoming one with the Tuk-Tuks, a type of three-wheeled motorized vehicle widely used in Southeast Asia.

My travel dates: Jan 8 – 14, 2020

My transportation schedule: 
Jan 8 – Wheelchair Holidays Thailand van service from Novotel Hotel in Thailand to the Cambodian Poipet border crossing. (4-5 hours)
Jan 8 – Private van service from the Cambodian Poipet border crossing to Damrei Hotel. (3-4 hours)
Jan 14 – Private van service from Damrei Hotel to the Cambodian Poipet border crossing to. (3-4 hours)
Jan – Wheelchair Holidays Thailand van service from Cambodian Poipet border to Novotel Hotel in Thailand. (4-5 hours)

Ean enjoying visiting a temple with his friend Mitch
Ean and Mitch in Cambodia
Ean driving on Pub Road amongst the TukTuks
Ean negotiating Pub Road in Siem Reap
Travelling in an accessible van from Thailand to Cambodia
Travelling from Thailand to Cambodia
Ean enjoying the view from his hotel's balcony in Cambodia
Ean at his hotel in Cambodia

Practical Tips for Thailand

Three things I would like to particularly highlight :

  • Cambodia is about adventure and exploration – going off the beaten path to experience it was outside of my comfort zone, but I have no regrets.
  • Despite our room not being listed as accessible I found the hotel was very accommodating for wheelchair users – they had the best food too!
  • My friend Mitch had a custom ramp made in preparation for our adventures which he has graciously made available to future travellers.

Three things I would advise to bear in mind:

  • My ventilator continuously overheated and was not shy about using alarms and flashing lights to express its displeasure with Cambodia’s high humidity.
  • The portable suction machine failed, requiring an emergency retreat to the hotel for repairs which was very difficult due to the lack of wheelchair accessible public transportation in Siem Reap.
  • No trip is without its curveballs, this one had a few. But I was left with a true sense of accomplishment and feel emboldened to seek out rural and remote destinations for my future travels.

Hotel Ean stayed at in Ankor Wat:

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