Nov 102012

Our book, Refractory Road in Cambodia, is currently available through Amazon as an e-book.   It contains all the Cambodia travel information found on the Refractory Road web site, with additional thoughts and recommendations.  To purchase a copy, go to and search “Refractory Road in Cambodia.”  You can also use this link: Refractory Road in Cambodia.

Here’s the book description:

“In Refractory Road in Cambodia, veteran travelers share their experience, provide valuable insights, and offer practical advice to future travelers. The authors are a middle-class American couple in their thirties and forties who enjoy quality accommodations and good food; but have an aversion to resorts, crowded attractions, and tour groups. In 2011, they spent three months traveling Cambodia. Their story provides a compelling argument for visiting the country, and for doing it as an independent traveler. The book contains descriptions and reviews for five destinations: Kratie, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Battambang, and Siem Reap. It also discusses general aspects of Cambodian travel, including entry and exit, travel costs, transportation, communications, medical considerations, and speaking the Khmer language. The book concludes with a selection of gallery-quality images.”

Here’s an excerpt, from the chapter “About This Book,” which gives further insight into the book’s contents:

“This book is based upon our travels in Cambodia during the latter half of 2011.  It is part story, part observation, and part advice.  It is what we would tell you if we ran into each other in a pub, you said that you were thinking about going to Cambodia, and you asked for our thoughts.  It is our attempt to convince you to stop the thinking and start the doing, to give you the benefit of our experience, and to convince you to go as a traveler and not as a tourist.

“This book is not intended to be a travel guide, filled with encyclopedic data on accommodations and dining.  We have traveled a good bit of Cambodia, but we are far from having traveled all of it.  The hotel and restaurant reviews that we provide are limited to the small number of places that we have patronized.  Our book will compliment, not replace, your guidebook.

“Observations and advice are only as good as the people who give them, so let us tell you something of who we are.  We are a married American couple in our thirties and forties.  We are veteran travelers with several countries under our collective belts, including countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia.  We are physically active, with running and biking and gyms a standard part of our routine.  We like backpacking, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking.  We dislike tour groups, tour buses, and tour operations.  We like being the only English-speakers in the room and having to struggle with a phrase book just to get a cup of coffee.  We like being in a place where we are the only travelers within hundreds of miles, and we don’t mind being bounced down rutted roads to get there.  But when we get there, we want a good place to sleep and good food to eat, because we are not masochists.  We are vegans — no meat, no fish, no milk, no animal products of any kind — which gives a unique perspective to our thoughts on finding something to eat.  We are beer lovers, to the point of being beer snobs, and we brew our own.  We are the combination of a California hippie-liberal, whose background includes attending Berkeley and owning a business as an animal behaviorist; and a native of the Southern Bible Belt, whose background includes three decades in the Marine Corps.  These are the people who will be giving you some advice today.

“That advice is organized into four parts.  Part I is a philosophical look at traveling through Cambodia in which we discuss what makes Cambodia a good travel destination and offer thoughts on experiencing the country as a traveler and not as a tourist.  Part II is a description of five towns we have visited that includes commentary on restaurants, lodging, and things to do.  Part III is a discussion of some general features of Cambodian travel, such as motorbikes, bus rides, medical considerations, the language, and money.  Part IV is a gallery of photographs taken by Jennifer, the hippie-liberal.

“It is our intent to update this book as we expand our travels in Cambodia.  There will be subsequent editions, and we invite reader contributions to this effort.   Comments, recommendations, and constructive criticism can be emailed to us at”

 Posted by at 3:09 am