Destination: Penang -> Siem Reap -> Phnom Penh -> Sihanoukville -> Koh Rong -> Sihanoukville -> Phnom Penh
Dates: 10 Aug 2015 to 19 Aug 2015
Before Trip Expenditure
Air ticket from Penang to Siem Reap (AirAsia) = $124.50
Air ticket from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (BassakaAir) = $32
Air Ticket from Phnom Pehn to Spore (Jetstar) = $111
I travelled during SG50 weekend, tickets were extremely expensive from Singapore, so i took a bus to Penang to visit a friend first before i head over to Cambodia.
You can take a bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, but the journey is long and i heard that the buses often get into accidents. The price difference is not that huge anyway.
Visa: Not required for Singaporean
Total expenses before trip: $326
Total expenses during trip: $493
Total expenses for 10 days in Cambodia: $819
Day 1-4: Siem Reap
Arrived at Siem Reap at 2.10pm. Bought a sim card with Wifi for USD$5. Our hostel provide free pick up service!
Where did we stay?:
While waiting for Sherwin to arrive, i walked around to explore the places nearby the hostel. When Sherwin came, we had dinner together with Laetitia, a lovely lady from France. Sherwin's friend recommended us to eat at Khmer Kitchen. The food were pretty good and relatively cheap. We had Amok and beef Loklak. I really like Amok, it taste a little like Thai Green Curry, but not spicy at all. Spent USD$7 per person.
After dinner, we wanted to have some cocktails. Found a place that has a great deal - "Buy 1 get 1 free". We had 4 cocktails and it only cost us USD$2 each. Alcohol in Cambodia is so cheap.
We then shop around and tried the road side food. I love the coconut crepe (USD$1)! I was so addicted to coconut throughout the whole trip! I had coconut milk shake (USD$1) almost every day! And the crepe... delicious!
Booked our tour for Angkor wat the next day. USD$24 per person which include driver (by car) and tour guide. You probably can get it cheaper if you go by tuktuk. But this was recommended by Sherwin's friend, so we went ahead with it. (drop me a message if you would like to have his contact)
Bought a 1 day tour ticket for USD$20. The 3 days and 7 days tour cost USD$40 and USD$70 respectively. We were contemplating to buy a 3 days tour ticket, but we thought that spending of 3 out of 4 days of Siem Reap seeing temples might get kinda boring.
Visited mainly Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm temple and Bayon temple. I love how Ta Prohm temple is bound by massive roots of huge trees.
We overslept and missed breakfast on the third day at Siem Reap. Had breakfast at the noodles stall right beside our hostel. It's delicious and cheap too! USD$1.50.
Went to the silk farm with our new friend Andy, from California! He such a talented photographer, check out his work (andyto.net). The tour was free, we just had to pay for the tuktuk, cost us USD$4 per person for 2-ways..
After the tour, we chilled at Blue Pumpkin. It's a famous cafe in Cambodia, they have branches everywhere. The one we went has nice beds for us to lie while enjoying the delicious danish pastries. The best thing is that they change the bed sheet each time a customer leave. How labour intensive. Spent USD$3 on pastries. Wasn't the best though. I was rather disappointed.
Went for a Quad Bike tour in the evening with Sherwin. It's so pricy, USD$30 for just an hour. If you have tried quad bike before i suggest you to skip it. Though it was rather nice touring around the villages - the scenery was pretty and the children were so adorable, waving to us continuously when we passed by, I still prefer to visit them in a less touristy way.
Walked quite a distant to Mr Grill for dinner. The food was delicious and i like how there were just a few tourist and mainly locals. Spent only USD$4 per person.
Beer for just $0.75..... woooo!
Found a really cheap place for massage! Just USD$4 for an hour full body massage! I went there twice! How i love massage. The place is decent, located inside the night market right opposite our hostel.
Day 4. Went for a bike trip with Laetitia! Bike rental is just USD$1 for a day. It is really easy to cycle around Siem Reap, the road is flat, unlike Myanmar. I remembered how i was struggling like crazy go up and down multiple slopes when i was cycling in Bagan.
We met an Italian couple with a tour guide on our way, and we followed them to the river place.
We took the boat trip for $10 per person. Sadly, it wasn't like what we expected. The scenery wasn't that fantastic and the tour guide brought us to all the tourist area, trying to make us buy things. As usual. Despite us telling him million times that we want to eat at places where the locals eat, he still brought us to an expensive restaurant. Oh well. They are just doing their job. So nah, boat trip is a no no. Some people paid $15 for it. goodness.
Laetitia and I refused to have lunch at the expensive restaurant. After the boat trip, we cycled to a nearby village and had our lunch there. We had porridge and satay for just a dollar each. That's how it is supposed to be you see. It's not as if we were that broke, we simply wanted to experience what the locals do. This is how backpacking supposed to be. Though there were lots of flies everywhere at the stall, there were plenty of locals there, so we thought of giving it a try. It tasted pretty good and i'm just glad that my stomach was strong enough to handle the food.
Rushed back to the hostel to bid goodbye to the lovely people that i've met at the hostel. I do hope our path will cross again someday.
Day 5-6: Phnom Penh
Arrived at Phnom Pehn at 11.35am. Got a free ride from Sherwin's colleague. How awesome to have a friend working in the airline industry. haha. One of our friend was working in Phnom Penh, so we stayed at her apartment. Such a pity that she had to go to Bangkok for a work trip and was only back the night before we left. If only we we had more time with her....
What did we do?:
Went to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum on our first day. I learned so much about Cambodia's history when i was there. In April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing everyone living in the city to move to the country side to work in the fields. They were determined to get rid of anyone who were educated - Doctors, lawyers, government bodies, teachers and so on, not just them but their families too. "Get rid of the roots" they said. They demolished schools and converted them into torture chambers. 3 million lives were lost within 3 years. How cruel. It's so depressing.. Can we ever make war history? It's scary how recent the the war in Cambodia was and how till today, just a few Khmer Rouge leaders were convicted. Please bring some justice to the people.
I went to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial alone the next day. Sherwin was too depressed to go.
I prefer to not take pictures of those victims' skulls that were nicely displayed at the memorial tower. Learning about how they were killed got me shaking with fear. Because they couldn't afford guns and machinery, the people were killed by knifes, hammers and even tree branches. Slow death.... Babies' heads were smashed by hitting them against the tree trucks... Okay enough. I'm sorry.
I spent USD$10 for 2 way tuk tuk ride to the Killing Fields. The drivers usually ask for USD$20..
Other places to check out in Phnom Penh includes The Central Market - a huge market to walk around. Noting fantastic. The Palace - operating hours 8am to 11am, 2pm to 5pm. Entrance fee USD$10. I didn't went in as i didn't want to spend the money. It's also nice to walk by the river, which is right opposite the Palace.. There are plenty of restaurant and pubs there.
There are a couple of nice cafes in Phnom Penh. Artillery is one of them, located at street 240. A vegan cafe that sells plenty of delicious and nutritious food.
Day 7-9: Koh Rong
How did I get there?:
Chilled chilled chilled. That's the whole purpose of me going there. I enjoyed walking around the beach, enjoying the sea breeze. Reading a book on a hammock, with a glass of milk shake by the side. I'm a sucker for beach vacation.
Took a boat trip on my 2nd day there. Met a couple of friends from all over the world. Partied on the boat, snorkeled a little and chilled at Long Beach. Had some bbq food on the boat and snorkeled again to check out the planktons. It was my first time seeing planktons! Pretty! The boat trip cost USD$8.
I didn't join my friends at the night party. Partying wasn't in my agenda, i didn't want to get high or worst, drunk. A couple of beers is fine. So i stayed in my room reading.
Caught the last boat back to Sihanouvile on the 3rd day. Met Joshua and Mati, from Britain and Chile. Had to stay a night at Sihanouvile as my bus back to Phenom Penh was at 6.30am the next day. Found a relatively cheap hostel. Spotted their huge banner outside its restaurant stating "Dorm with AC $5". Its been awhile since we had AC. The room was clean and comfortable. Plenty of shared bathroom. It was a great deal!
We spent our night partying at a club along Sihanouvile beach. Clubbing was totally not in our plan. We were exhausted. We only wanted to take a quick look. But the staffs from various bars and clubs were giving out flyers for free beer. One glass after another...
I went back to the hostel at 3,30am with Mati, Joshua stayed on. That joker. haha. He was the one complaining about how tired he was. But when the music starts, he can't stop dancing. hahaha. Great hanging out with those guys.
Overall, my Cambodia trip was pleasant. Not the best i've experienced in South East Asia, but definitely worth going. I hope you will enjoy Cambodia as much as i did. :)