ជំរាបសួរ Chum reap suor (Hello) Cambodia!
The last time I set foot to a neighbouring country in Southeast Asia was in 2007, it was a graduation trip to the enchanting Bali island in Indonesia. After Indonesia, the only countries I have visited are Australia and Singapore, both are developed countries. Tough I like the visual excitement offered by modern cities, there is this deep longing inside me to see the archaeological splendour of the majestic Angkor Temples, one of the world’s most impressive ruins.
My sister, her fiancé and I made the flight bookings to and fro Kuala Lumpur and Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. After the impulsive buying during the airline promo has set it, we found out that Angkor is not situated in Phnom Penh, to our surprise it is a 320km apart. Never mind that. For this trip, we hit two birds with one stone.
This is my first trip to a non English speaking country, the people speak Khmer. Spent 5 days 4 nights in the Kingdom of Cambodia with my family. Instead of opting for tour packages, I’ve decided to personalise our travel itinerary. Since we’ve made a blunder, hence we have to spend extra time travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (where Angkor Wat is located) and back to the capital again.
Upon arrival at the airport, I got myself a SIM card from telco provider Cellcard. It’s the most affordable for tourist, the SIM card costs $2 and I top it up with $5 to subscribe at 2GB data plan. Having a local mobile is useful especially when you need to call the hotel and tuk-tuk, calls within Cambodia cost only 5-8 cents a minute.
We ordered a taxi to take us downtown. The airport taxi charges a standard fare of $9 (roughly 36000 Riel or RM28). The ride downtown was an eye opener, motorists disregard traffic light rules and they seem to be able to manoeuvre skilfully amidst the busy streets.
Before coming to Cambodia, we booked our hotels from Agoda. We decided to pick Angkor International Hotel (website) simply because it offers a four-persons room at $50 (RM 158). Another reason being its relatively close distance to the waterfront.
The building in front of our windows.
Nothing beats a good local beer and pho (noodle soup) to call it a day.
After dinner, we took a stroll along the waterfront or better known as Sisowath Quay. The waterfront sits on the Tonle Sap River, where vendors sell fresh food and other dishes, locals sit and chat away.
The waterfront is where the local folks gather, whether for a walk or spend time with their children at the playground. It reminds me of what is missing in our society today – quality time with family. In big city where I come from, families either spend time at the shopping malls or glued to their gadgets.
To read the snippet of my Cambodia trip, here’s the link – Snippets of Cambodia.
This is our travel itinerary:
– Arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport
– Check-in to hotel in PP
– Sightseeing at night
– Bus to Siem Reap
– Check-in to hotel in SR
– Sightseeing around SR
– Tuk-tuk pick up at 5 am
– Sunrise at Angkor Wat
– Explore temples at Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat
– Old Market in Siem Reap
– Bus to Phnom Penh
– Check-in to hotel in PP
– Royal Palace
– Tuk-tuk pick up at 8 am
– Killing Fields at Choeung Ek
– Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Security Prison 21)
– Depart from Phnom Penh International Airport