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Page 89: Road Trip Vietnam – Cambodia (part 1)

/ Monday, September 5, 2011 /
“Take care, and have fun,” that’s the words from my dad as he raised his hand to give me high five, before leaving me with my backpack, on the bus that took me to the airport. It was the last day on April, and I’m going for a road trip with my best friends, Dinda and Lia. Vietnam and Cambodia were our destination. We’ve planned to visit six cities. But, well, umm, our financial condition didn’t let us *ha-ha* to fulfilled ‘plan A’, so we went straight to ‘plan B’, which only gave us four cities. :D

Luckily, those four cities were great. First, we arrived at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Stay there for two nights. But I’m gonna keep the story about Ho Chi Minh at day 1 – 2 for later. I think it’s better to divide the story by cities we’d visited. Since we also spent day 12-15 in Ho Chi Minh, we shall start it with Siem Reap, home for the magnificent and the largest preindustrial city in the world, Angkor.

I’m not going to write about the history of Angkor, or the exact numbers that define its enormous dimension. You can find that easily on the internet. What internet has not told me before – and mesmerized me the most at the end – was the beauty package experiencing the sunset and sunrise at Angkor. I don’t want to use the word “watching” because I wasn’t only “watching”. I didn’t call it ‘beauty package’ only by watching.

The journey to Siem Reap started at day 3 (May 2, 2011). Early morning, round about 08 AM, we took the bus from Ho Chi Minh. We bought the ticket from the hostel which we’ve been staying at, for two days before. The price for the bus ticket was $18. It’s quite boring actually, hehe. You better bring books or iPod, or…sleep. :D

sleep and iPod were dinda's "weapons" to fought boredom

After 6 hours hit the road, the bus stopped at the border for passport checking and VISA. You have to pay $25 for VISA. You can manage e-visa before you come to Cambodia, actually (I don’t know the details, better ask google, hehe). The journey continues with passing a river with a big boat, then the bus head to Phnom Penh.

crossing the river

At Phnom Penh bus station, we hopped into another bus. Smaller and much worn out. Another 6 hours with television that showing some kind of comedy program which, of course, I didn’t understand because of the language and no subtitle on it. One of the comedians kept saying “Ma-leeeeh… Ma-leeeeh…” with high-pitched voice that made the three of us stay awake, between getting disturbed and eventually laughing, especially when Dinda imitating and gave comment about the legendary shouting “Ma-leeeeeehhhhh”.

at Phnom Penh bus station

We arrived at Siem Reap at night. Before start this trip, we’ve already did a little research. It’s important for you to search information about hotel/hostel and transportation, not only for budgeting, but also for comfort and safety. I suggest Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. Pick two or three, make a note about names and addresses. Back to our trip, we took Tuk-Tuk to search the wanted hostel. Each person paid $1. Be careful. Some Tuk-Tuk drivers could be cagey and put quite high charge for you. Sometimes they don’t take you to hostel you’ve telling them to go to, because they also work for other inn. When they take you to an inn, better ask about the room to its employee by yourself. Cagey driver can tell you that the hostel has no more room to rent, so they will take you to inn which already has agreement with them. First we staying at some nice and neat hostel but quite pricy for a backpacker; $5 per night, per person. I forgot its name, sorry. After took a bath, we went to get dinner at old market by walking.

Here some info:
  • Most of the transaction in Cambodia use US$, especially for foreign tourist. You can still use riel, though.
  • Liquor lovers would love to visit Cambodia. It’s cheap. Well, compare to the price in Indonesia.
  • Most of the hostels provide free Wi-Fi. 
  • Besides Tuk-Tuk, you can rent a motorcycle, a bicycle, or take a walk to wandering around Siem Reap.
  • Always bargaining! But if you have lots of money, it’s your choice if you feel that it would be unnecessary. 
42below for US$8

dinner at old market

(To be continued…)


{ Galuh Sitompul } on: September 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM said...

mana lanjutannya? *duduk anteng depan kompi nunggu tia mood nulis lagi*

{ hertiana dwi putri } on: September 5, 2011 at 7:28 PM said...

ahahaha. nanti yaaa... iya nih payah kebanyakan yang mau ditulis jadinya malah masih brantakan susunannya :P

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