Cambodia: Arrival

ជំរាបសួរ Chum reap suor (Hello) Cambodia!

Cambodia Travel
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:

Day 1:
- Arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport
- Check-in to hotel in PP
- Sightseeing at night

Day 2:
- Bus to Siem Reap
- Check-in to hotel in SR
- Sightseeing around SR

Day 3:
- Tuk-tuk pick up at 5 am
- Sunrise at Angkor Wat
- Explore temples at Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat
- Old Market in Siem Reap

Day 4:
- Bus to Phnom Penh
- Check-in to hotel in PP
- Royal Palace

Day 5:
- 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

Why I don’t need a tablet anymore

I hate to play Angry Birds or Temple Run now, I guess I don’t get all the excitement about tablets anymore.

I got a daily dose of screen time at work on my desktop doing engineering stuffs – 40 plus hours a week. While I am out and about, the smartphone has a fair share of my personal time, I’d check updates on my social network accounts and flip through the cards on Flipboard.

With all of the new tablets coming out each year, ever since the introduction of the first generation iPad, I think everyone at least must have a tablet to supplement the smartphone and laptop. Thanks to the excitement of what a tablet can do, easily cramming all the functions into a single, compact, lightweight, long-battery-life gadget, I joined the hype. Yay!

A couple of years ago, I owned the iPad 2. A year later I downsized to a 7-inch Nexus 7, 10-inch was just too big for me. Months later I decided I need that extra productivity of a stylus, the Galaxy Note 8.0 was the call. I played around with it, it was fun.

Here’s a list of things I normally do on a table: watch video and TED talks, read ebooks and papers, surf the web, light productivity (email, calculators, document editing), social networking, listen to music and play games.

The tablet is especially valuable for its mobility and is great for travelling light. But when I’m at home it’s just not the most productive way for me to do anything that I do, I have the laptop and smartphone.

Back then to fully enjoy the portability of the tablet, I even subscribed to data plan. What is a eight-inch tablet if I am somewhere with no WiFi? An expensive big brick? I consider tethering a bad choice because it drains both the tablet and smartphone batteries altogether.

Instead of a going out care free and not looking awkward by ‘stuffing’ the tablet into my pants, I have to carry a messenger bag with me. More things to carry, double the worries.

And when I am out with friends, I’d rather talk to a real human in front of me than to Siri or Google Now. During my me time, I’d rather write a blog post on a laptop (with plenty of room for my fingers to type) than to split the tablet screen into half (half for display and half for typing).

It wasn’t fun anymore over time. The wonderful little tablet starts feeling ignored. Frankly, by the end of the day I just want to get away from screens, cook a meal, take a walk, go for a run, go out for a beer. In fact, it was a nice-to-have from the beginning, not a must-have for living and working.

Last week, I sold off my Note 8.0. I don’t see myself plunking down ~RM1000 for one of these tablets anytime soon.

I still look at my smartphone, of course.

[Update: Just got myself a Nexus 7 (2013) and I love every bit of the slate]

Reebok One Challenge Obstacles Sneak Preview

Just one more day to Reebok One Challenge, details of the obstacles have been revealed on Reebok Malaysia’s facebook page. Here’s a compilation of the 9 obstacles (not in particular order) on race day.

The major challenge is running the 18.95 km distance itself, so make sure to put on your running shoes as most of the time you’ll be running on pavement except for one part where there’s a hilly trail.

Route Map

Somewhere after 8km-9km from the starting point, is the first challenge. We’ll carry a sandbag of 15kg walking/running up a ramp, back and forth distance is 80m.

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