An Excellent Guide in Siem Reap
Favorite thing: VT member, Eithwe, helped me find an English speaking guide for the Angkor temples and Siem Reap area. So Peng Thai is a free lance, licensed guide for the Angkor temples. Not only is he very well educated and knowledgeable, but he is also just a nice person to be around. In Mar 09 the typical rate for licensed guides in the hotels was $25/day. Peng Thai (So is his surname) charged $20, probably because he was self-employed and did not have company overhead.
He met me at my hotel each morning and was always early. I thoroughly enjoyed all four days that he was my guide. He was flexible about what and when to see things, so that we could avoid the crowds. When convenient, we would also take a mid-afternoon break while it was hot and then go back to touring when it started to cool off. Peng Thai was also very patient with all my picture taking and often volunteered to take pictures of me so that I could be in certain scenes. His email is email@example.com [sic] and his phone numbers are (855) 12 60 30 94 and (855) 17 36 96 12. I give Peng Thai my highest recommendation.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Volunteer Opportunities in Cambodia
Favorite thing: This tip was originally a response to a Cambodia forum question by anywhere24 about opportunities for volunteering without having to pay someone to do so... I just got back from Cambodia. I did some volunteer work with Phymean Noun's People Improvement Organization (PIO) which provides schools for children at the Phnom Penh dump and a couple of slum areas. You may want to check out my Phnom Penh tips and travelogues for some details. While I was staying downtown, I also found the Veiyo Tonle Restaurant which supports the New Cambodia Children's Life Association (NCCLA) orphange. Feel free to e-mail me if you have specific questions. BTW, I totally agree with you about not paying to do volunteer work. It makes much more sense to spend that money on the kids and their families (e.g. you can sponsor a whole family through PIO for $50/month and that includes their food).
Fondest memory: Helping teachers and kids at PIO schools understand how things fly was the highlight of my whole trip. They liked the paper airplanes, helicopters and flying rings, but I had no idea that the soaring cylinders would be so popular. Of course, they can be worn as a crown too, LOL.
Visa on arrival
Favorite thing: Visa on arrival is possible at the Aranyapathet-Poipet border, Trat-Koh Kong border and Moc Bai-Bavet border of Vietnam. The price is 1000 Thai Bath if you are traveling from Thailand. 25 USD if you are traveling from Vietnam or Phnom Penh airport and Siem Reap airport. The visa is valid for 30 days. You need one passport photo.
I had to wait almost one hour to get the visa in the Trat-Koh Kong Border.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Adventure Travel
Cambodia Border Crossings
Favorite thing: Depending on your nationality, you should be able to get a Cambodian visa at the border. Most buses will collect everyone's passport and visa fee and take care of it for you once at the border. Make sure you do your research and you know what the visa fee is. I entered Cambodia, and the visa fee for Americans was $20. My driver tried charging me $25, saying the price just increased the day before. Don't let yourself get scammed.Related to:
A great book to read before visiting Cambodia.
Favorite thing: "River of time" by english author Jon Swain is a fantastic book about Cambodia under khmer rouge.
It also covers many other interesting aspects of Indochina and it's a very good read before you go.
It's very well written and heart breaking and grueling in a way that made it very hard for me to put the book down.
Read it before you go, or even after you have been.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Study Abroad
Cambodia is rubber country.
Favorite thing: Cam bodia is one of the worlds largest producers of natural rubber.
It's often malaysian companies that have branched out their buisness to Cambodia where they have more space and cheaper labour costs compared to Malaysia.
When you see a lot of thin trees in straight lines by the side of the road in Cambodia then it is mosr likely a rubber plantation and the local workers walk around the trees and collect the natural rubber that is used for car tires around the world.
You also see rubber factories around Cambodia where the natural rubber is treated and made in to car tires.Related to:
- Business Travel
The khmer/cambodian people.
Favorite thing: Most of the inhabitants of Camdia are of khmer origin.
The khmer people originally came from India and Sri Lanka who came to the region around 1200 years ago and even if they have been mixed up with the other south east asian groups over the years, the cambodians remain quite a bit darker than their neighbours in Thailand and Vietnam.
I personally find the cambodians very pretty people with very unique faces.
goldmine for whoever plans a trip to cambodia
Favorite thing: check this link:
those free booklets are widely distributed in Cambodia, and most useful to dig out a nice hotel, restaurant, club or shop or find a map of PP or Siem Reap
Favorite thing: WHY SAD DIRTY MIDDLE AGE MEN???ARE THEY ALL ALIKE????i am travelling asia on my own for the pleasure to discover countries and meet and understand different people and culture.am i an old pig if i speak to a girl or a boy in these countries?????you should be ashamed to generalize your opinions on old men travelling abroad,you just ostracize them
Keep an eye on those hookers!! (And your drinks)
Favorite thing: So I brought back a lady to my room for the night and we started hittin' the Mekong Whiskey and Coke pretty furiously. Well, I went into the bathroom and stupidly left my drink in the room with her. I come out of the bathroom and we start foolin around again and next thing I know I am waking up with a splitting headache and my video camera stolen and 20$ I had on the night stand, which I had planned to give her anyways. Luckily I had everything else locked in my room safe. AHAHAHAH.
I can laugh about it now, since I woke up still having all my internal organs.
GIVE TO THE OLD PEOPLE!
Favorite thing: In Cambodia you will probably find yourself giving money to, or buying things from the small children. As much as they need it the charities in Cambodia recommend you try and aviod this as it just encourages parents to keep them on the streets (and so to some extent out of school). After a while I realised it is better to give to the elderly, or disabled people. You can only imagine what they must have gone through bearing in mind the history of the country. And to top it off many are now forced to spend their days begging on the streets. So they deserve all the help they can get.
It seemed to me that this is who cambodians themselves would direct their charity towards. After all there is no form of welfare system or government pension for the elderly in Cambodia. And what struck me most was the humility and gratitude they showed... they will likely not pressurize you to give money.
Favorite thing: There are ATM's in PP and Siem Reap. There are also ATM's in Sihanoukville. There were at least 3 there when I was there last year. So, if someone tries to tell you that you can only get cash out in the Capital, it is not true.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: US$ is king in Cambo however small street stalls/shops might find it hard to give change for a one dollar purchase from a 10 or 20$ bill. I usually like to exchange say $50 to $100 into riel and keep the rest in US$. The exchange rate will be about 4000riel to one dollar.
Your guesthouse will like to be paid in US$ but it wont be demanded. Riel will be accepted as is US$ anywhere in Cambo, for any purchase.
Payment in US$ for big/expensive purchases (hotel bills, restuarant bills, travel bills etc, etc) and payment in riel for small/inexpensive items (ice cream, fruit, drink, small snack, books, taxi fare, T-shirt, tips.
Fondest memory: Living in P.P for 6 months. I miss the genuine friendships I made with Khmers.
Favorite thing: I saw many kids there , they are so cute but they are very poor. Our guide said the kids there have half day studying , half day make money . but i found them all the time.. begging , selling the souvenir .. thats so pity . Prepare some candies which is very welcome by them .
Favorite thing: USD is more popular than the local currency. I heard this when i prepared my trip there.. but be sure to have more small change like USD1. USD2. I changed my money at the last minute and the bank here only provide USD50,USD20, which is not so convenient. because when you buy sth. you may not know the money you get back is fake or real one.
National Road No 1
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