Category Archives: TRAVEL ASIA

Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok after a 12-hour ride from Siem Reap. We were dropped off at Khao San Road but decided to head to our hostel first. You can go around Bangkok by just taking a tuktuk everywhere, just make sure they don’t overpay. A trip anywhere close can’t be more than THB100, in fact paying THB100 is already expensive.

 Khao San Road

Since we haven’t had food since breakfast, we went back to Khao San Road to find something to eat. Khao San Road is basically a night market, you walk through the crowded street where you can shop for food and clothes and even deep fried maggots and spiders. There are also invitations there to go to boy-girl clubs which we didn’t have the nerve to go to. So we just ate whatever we saw and went to a spa where we got facials and massages at 12AM in the morning.

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Khao San Road with all the pretty lights 🙂

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Yep, this is me trying to eat anything I can get my hands on 😀

 

 Golden Mount

We woke up early the next day and immediately headed to Golden Mount which was 5 minutes away from our hostel. We climbed the stairs and rang the bells (which we didn’t what it was for) to the top where you see a view of Bangkok.

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Royal Palace

This was basically one of the tourist spots in Bangkok. You’ll know when you get there because it is swarming with tourists. But don’t expect too much, this is just a building next to a building covered in glass to make it sparkle. Make sure that you are wearing the proper attire; everything must cover below your knees and remove your shoes when you enter the temples. The colors on the buildings were remarkable and you can see the resemblance of their carvings to those from Cambodia.

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Open from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, entrance fee is THB200.

Try their ice cream, available at the store just before te museum :)

Try their ice cream, available at the store just before the museum 🙂

Wat Phra Keo Museum

Inside the Grand Palace you’ll see the museum which displays the old parts of the palace that needed to the constructed. The old wooden terraces and the original structure were displayed to show how the restructuring of the palace made. There were also a ton crap of Buddha statues inside the museum. I think about 3 to 4 rooms were just buddhas in various positions.

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We wanted to see the reclining Buddha after the Royale Palace but unfortunately it was closed. So we just headed back to our hostel so that we can head off to the airport to catch our flight to Singapore. I think we didn’t enjoy Bangkok as much because we were tired from the earlier destinations that we went to. Also, most people who’ve been to Thailand did say the provinces are definitely more enjoyable. We didn’t also get to shop too much so that definitely took our experience down a peg. Hahaha! Although I must say, Bangkok is definitely a food mecca.

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You must try their street food, especially the pad thai.

 

If you have any comments or suggestions, just let me know. Your feedback is very welcome and will be very much appreciated. Just leave a comment or send me a message. It would be nice to hear from the people who read my blog 🙂

The Amazing Angkor City

So we arrived in Siem Reap via a minivan. This was a less taxing 6-hr ride and this time, we made sure we weren’t going to be left behind. We stayed in Mandalay Inn and were greeted with some durian and yogurt drinks (I definitely recommend staying here for cheap rates and good accommodation). Our adventure starts the next day on our much anticipated tour of Angkor City.

Angkor City is a temple complex where there are different temples built by different rulers at different times during the Angkor period. I think that sums it up. It should definitely be on someone’s must see places before they die because it is magnificent.

We booked a guided tour through our hostel at $100/head which already included our lunch and the buffet dinner at night. However, the $20/head one-day pass in Angkor City wasn’t included. There may be lower rates for larger groups, this was kind of expensive since there were only the two of us.

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Our amazing tour guide Borey, with Om Nom 🙂

Our lovable tour guide Borey picked us up at the hostel after we had our breakfast. Our tour included the full day car and driver service to and from the hostel. So we get on the car and headed to our destination. It wasn’t far from where we were staying but I never realized how big Angkor city was. It was definitely as huge as a city, you ride through a bunch of forested area before you get to the entrance to get your picture taken and pay the entrance fee. After that, you head to the nearest temple on the tour. But before you see the temples, you get to see the entrance to Angkor City where ultimate good and ultimate bad is depicted. I think for Buddhism, left is bad and right is good. So you see gods and demons holding a snake, which they say is the mother of all life; this one is according to Hinduism.

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Bayon Temple
Our first temple to see was Bayon temple with all the smiling buddhas. There are four faces on each head which makes you feel a Lara Croft vibe from the towers. You imagine that any moment those heads will turn and get up to reveal stone protectors that will kill you for. I think the cool part of this temple is you get to see (among all the Apsara carvings) a depiction of the war against Chams (which were Muslims). It’s fascinating to see the military formations and weaponry at such an age.

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Bayon temple and its towers

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This is Apsara. She’s trying to attract people to enter the temple.

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One of the pathways in Bayon

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One of the depictions of the war

Elephants and Leper King Terrace
From Bayon, we walked for about 5minutes to get to the next temple which wasn’t exactly interesting except for its long bridge towards the temple. This was supposed to depict the crossing between the human world to the world of the gods which is the temple. We walked towards the Elephants Terrace which was long since it was more than a kilometer long. It was built for the king so he can view his subjects below. You will see that there are several other towers in front of the terrace, about 50meters, and that is where the entertainers were to put on the show.

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The long-ass bridge to the home of the gods. There is supposed to the water in between but there’s none when we visited.

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Part of the length of Elephant’s terrace.

After walking the distance of Elephant Terrace, you get to the Leper King terrace which has a very good story behind it. Our tour guide tells us the story of how the Leper King became a leper in the first place. So this king battles this huge snake, and in the process, gets a skin disease from the venom that came out of the snake. To cure him, he sent for the best healer in the land. However, the healer did not come himself, instead sends his apprentice to tell the king what to do. The apprentice tells the king to jump into 2 medicated pools to cure him; but the unimpressed and unconvinced king did not comply. He asked the apprentice to jump into the pool to check whether it is effective. But since the apprentice did not need to be cured, he died in the process. The healer found out about this and faced the king to curse him that he will never rid of his sickness and that he needs to abandon his kingdom because bad things will happen to those who stayed there. Myth has it this was the reason why the temple to where this terrace was attached was abandoned.Ta Prohm
If you didn’t get the Lara Croft feel from Bayon, you will definitely get it in Ta Prohm, because this is where the movie was shot. From the Leper King terrace, we had to drive to get here so I had no idea how far it is from the entrance. You will get off into what I assumed was a parking lot and have to walk the rest of the way to get to the temple. The walk to the temple was short and there are a lot of children selling beaded bracelets along the way. I got my beads there from this cute little girl for 3 for a 1USD which was actually cheaper compared to the night market.

This temple is different to from the other because, as they describe it, this one is being taken over by nature, which is actually a very good description of the temple’s state. There are trees and vines growing inside the temples which destroy the temple itself. Since these things weren’t built using concrete. The fascinating about these trees is that they merge to build bigger tree where the old tree dies and becomes part of the new tree.

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Trees growing inside the temple

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing structures in the world in my opinion; it rivals the Pyramids and Machu Pichu in my top 3 awesome things on the planet. When you get there, you realize how huge it actually is. Nothing I saw in pictures and documentaries really gave justice on how huge the structure was. Everything about it was on a large scale, the moat, the 5 door entrance and the walk towards the temple inside was big. It was very surreal for me to see all that since I’ve always wanted to see it. When you enter the temple, you notice that the carvings portray a lot of things, of how the gods watch over and react with the people, how the king lived (of course with a lot of slaves, wives and concubines) and how heaven and hell is depicted among others.

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One of the entrances to Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat from afar

For me, the most fascinating story is the one regarding the tug of war between good and evil. You see good (gods) on one end and the bad (demons) on the other end of a snake. These 2 forces pull on the snake to make the world turn so that the things at the bottom come to the top accompanied by the dancing Apsaras. What’s really interesting about it is that good and bad both make the effort to keep the world in balance. It’s not a good VERSUS bad type of relationship but a good AND bad scenario where they both join forces to keep the balance of the world.

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Good and evil for justice!

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The King depicted in the walls of Angkor Wat

When you step inside the temple, you marvel at the structure because you know that the temple is built ONLY in stone with no adhesive whatsoever, so you think about a ton of stone falling on you in the form of the roof but it doesn’t. The temple is 3-floors high so you also think about fall down with only the softest stones to fall on. It’s really a work of genius how the architecture and design of how it was built. It’s a testament on what people can do with their imagination when given a deadline.

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Wishing the ceiling doesn’t fall on me 😀

Second level of Angkor Wat

The 3rd level of Angkor Wat.

The 3rd level of Angkor Wat.

Phnom Bakheng
Our last stop was Phnom Bakheng which was a temple on top of a hill. The sunset there was supposed to be amazing there because of the reflection of the sun from the water reservoir. But this temple closes at around 5PM and there are only a limited number of people allowed inside (since it was a small temple). To add to that, the sun did not set at the time that it needed to so we ended up just going down with the sun still up. But the trek up the hill is not a complete waste of time since there’s still a cool view Angkor Wat from above.

I know this was long but there are still a lot of things I didn’t get to mention, like the history of some of the temples and the history of the people. This is such a culture enrich place that the stories are not enough to visualize it, you really have to see it on your own. I will have a separate Siem Reap post for our other Siem Reap experiences so don’t worry about that.

If you have any comments or suggestions, just let me know. Your feedback is very welcome and will be very much appreciated. Just leave a comment or send me a message. It would be nice to hear from the people who read my blog 🙂

Phnom Pehn and our bad luck before we even got there and before we left

Before anything about Phnom Pehn, I have to tell you about our very interesting bus ride from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Pehn. So we left Pham Ngu Lan at around 3PM because it’s a 6-hr trip to Phnom Pehn. And it’s just a normal long bus ride but of course you have to go off and back on the bus for immigration. So after a couple of hours, we stopped at the Vietnam border to get our passports stamped to exit Vietnam which took about 30minutes since we were not the only ones passing the border and we were a whole bus of people. But after the Vietnam exit, you still have to ride the bus again to get to the Cambodian border to enter. So we get to the other side of the border and get stamped. After they took our fingerprints and photo for the immigration entry, we were officially in Cambodia. But since there were still some people getting processed, we decided to look for a washroom, since the bus toilet sucked and we thought we had 5minutes to spare. So we found the washroom and cleaned up. After we went back to where the busses where parked and to our horror, the bus wasn’t there anymore. THE BUS LEFT US AT THE BORDER! We couldn’t believe that the bus just left us there, that they didn’t even account for the number of people in the bus. It never occurred to the driver and his pal that, are we missing anyone? Oh yeah, whatever, let’s go! To add up to the horrifying reality, it was raining so hard and we didn’t have any umbrellas and had no idea how to get to the bus or if we could even find the freaking bus. (Please do note that literally all our things were in the effing bus, including my laptop.) So in our panic, we started thinking of what to do and good thing we found a motorcycle nearby who agreed to “follow” the bus so we can catch up. So we rode the back of the motorcycle wearing the clothes on our backs under the pouring rain hoping that we see the freaking bus that we weren’t sure what looked like. But to our delight, the lady sitting next to us at the back of the bus noticed that the persons she was sitting beside her weren’t there (SURPRISE!) and asked the bus to stop. So because of this sweet lady that we met, who also treated us to dinner, get were able to get back on the bus and get to Phnom Pehn in one piece.

So we arrived at Phnom Pehn about 10PM I think and we get to the hostel only to find out the kitchen was already closed and there were no delivery services, we had to go a restaurant if we wanted food. But due to exhaustion, we decided not to eat dinner and just hang out at the bar at the hostel. The bar was really cool and the staff was very fun to talk to (we stayed at the 88backpackers hostel) we downed our drinks and made friends until the bar closed and we had to get to bed.

What to see
Royal Palace – This is just a group of buildings where you learn what Cambodian architecture is about. Since we only hired a tuktuk for the trip and no tour guides, we had no idea what this building was for. Entrance is USD5 and it’s open from 7:30AM to 11:00AM.

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National Museum – Cool place to see artifacts (if you can call them that, I honestly don’t know what would qualify as an artifact other than being really old). There were huge Buddha statues inside and gold jewelry worn by their royalty. Entrance is USD3 and open from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

No photos were allowed inside so we can only take a photo in front.

No photos were allowed inside so we can only take a photo in front.

Genocide museum
To our dismay, the War Remnants Museum was a less depressing than the genocide museum in Cambodia. The genocide museum is a school turned into a concentration camp by the Khmer Rounge (since there were anti-intellectuals). Imagine a school where the façade is covered by barbed wires, not because prisoners were trying to escape but because prisoners were trying to commit suicide. Also, the rooms were either big rooms where you can see where the chains were installed on a huge room divided into teeny tiny cells to hold prisoners in. The museum is dedicated to all the people who were held there and died under torture. What’s also sad about it that you can see all the pictures of the prisoners displayed in the rooms and some of them were children. It’s really a very sad place to visit but necessary to realize how bad Paul Pot was to his fellow countrymen.

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Where to shop / What to Buy
Russian Market – Don’t buy from the boutique stores in front of the market, because those things are expensive. Buy from the actual market. It may take some effort but we were able to buy Esprit, GAP and MNG overruns for less than USD5.

Make sure you buy a scarf that is naturally dyed. I actually regretted only buying one but there is a store that’s near the National Museum where you can buy a naturally dyed scarf for USD10.

But before we left Phnom Pehn, we were struck by another misfortune. We were cutting time short since we were preoccupied with shopping. We left the Russian market with only an hour to spare before our van leaves for Siem Reap, then rain poured to the point that the streets were flooded. We barely got the hostel in time and had to ask the hostel if they could call the travel company so that they could arrange for the van to pick us up from the hostel. But according to the receptionist, it can’t be done since we were already late. So he had to bargain with the driver (I think) to meet us somewhere so they can pick us up and we can get to Siem Reap. After all the commotion, we had to ride a motorcycle again, with our backpacks in the rain just to get to the van. Again, it was a good thing that the receptionist at the hostel, intense as he may be, made his magic happen and we caught up with our ride.

What to remember
1.You can hire a tuktuk for a whole day trip. Just make sure you haggle for the price.
2.Bus your bus tickets with the hostel. It’s much easier that way. Don’t do the smart thing we did which was buy our bus tickets to Siem Reap somewhere else and risked missing the van.
3.Cambodians are the nicest people we’ve ever met! They always have a smile on their face and ready to great you.
4.Make sure you talk to the locals about their history; it will literally move you to hear their stories about the war. The hostel we stayed in have the nicest staff and told us stories of their relatives during the war and you can see how much they are still affected by it. I think it’s important that when you go somewhere, you learn the history of their people through their eyes because it will make you appreciate the country and their customs more.
5. Despite your misfortunes in your travel, you will meet people who will show you that kindness is still something worth hoping for.

Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum and Saigon Square

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh at 8AM in the morning after a 4-hr flight from KL. This is actually our first time to skip a time zone so it was very cool for us. We knew we only had so little time to spend because we had to catch the 3PM bus to Phnom Pehn. Because of this, we had only 3 major things that we highlighted for our very short time in Ho Chi Minh.

1. Have coffee at highlands coffee

This was highly recommended by a colleague who lived in Vietnam for a short time so we made sure we did it. Good thing for us, we didn’t have anything to eat before our flight so we went to Highlands coffee as soon as we bought our tickets to Phnom Pehn. Their food was definitely good, I just don’t know if it was authentically Vietnamese since I rarely eat Vietnamese food. But their coffee was good too! And our waitress was so nice, she had a hard time communicating in English but she was nice enough to explain to us their menu (since some of them were named in Vietnamese). I think prices in Highlands coffee are a bit expensive compared to the street food in Phan Ngu Len but if you like coffee, it’s a must try.

Getting ready to eat beef stew and caramel frap at Highlands Coffee!

2. See the War Remnants Museum

Since there aren’t that many sites to see in Ho Chi Minh, we headed straight to the War Remnants Museum. I’d like to think that our trip there was enlightening because it gave us an insight about the Vietnam war. As someone who wasn’t alive when it happened with not much interest in history, it was very educational. Because not only did I learn of what happened during the war, but there were also a ton of pictures and personal stories in the museum. We had a strong reaction to what we saw and made us kind of tear up to realize what happened during and after the war. It was depressing to find out that most people who died in the war were civilians, and worse, disemboweled children. It’s very unfortunate to know that these kind of things happened during the course of human history; that there be such brutality to humans by their fellow humans just to prove power. The museum also had remnants of the war and a replica of the prison cells that they had during the war.

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3. Shop at Saigon Square

After an emotional trip to the museum, we tried to brighten our spirit by the prospect of shopping, so we headed for Saigon Square. Our very helpful driver informed us that there were actually 2 Saigon Squares and asked which one we needed to go to. Since we were not aware which one, he told us that the 1st one has cheaper sells than the 2nd so we went there. Saigon square is mostly like the 168 mall in Divisoria, where you find stalls upon stalls of clothes, bags and etc. And being the shopaholics that we were, we needed to shop at an efficient rate so we don’t miss our bus. To this, we made a list of the important things that what we needed to buy.  First, we really needed backpacks and one of the reasons we went to Ho Chi Minh was to purchase North Face backpacks and jackets. We canvassed for the cheapest buy among the stores and found a good price for our backpacks. (Tip: You can ask the store seller if the bags are original or class A, they will tell you which one it is.) With a change of bags, we took a 1 pass through every corner of the mall to buy anything that we liked at a price that we can afford keeping in mind that we had to carry it on our backs in 4 other cities. We made some good purchases of shirts, but we couldn’t buy any authentic North Face jackets or Kipling bags so we decided not to buy those. All in all, we had fun going around the mall to buy some clothes and then went back to Pham Ngu Len to catch our bus.

The Travelling Backpacks

Our matching backpacks. We bought it for about 1,000Php.

We were literally millionaires in Vietnam!

What to remember

  1. Ho Chi Minh is a very inexpensive city, you can take a taxi anywhere and it will not cost much.
  2. Make sure you haggle with what you buy, you can always get a discount.
  3. Check what you buy, since this is a divisoria type set up, always make sure that you are not buying damaged goods.

A Night Worth of Kuala Lumpur

This was the first leg to our Indochina trip. We literally had less than 24hours to spend in KL, this is basically just a connecting flight to get to Vietnam. But thanks to their train line, our short stay in KL was enough for us to go around the city to explore some of its spots.

What to see
When you get to KL, there’s nothing really jaw dropping about it in a sense that it’s just a huge city with buildings. So don’t think that you will be greeted by something else. But the culture diversity is refreshing. But I think to be able to appreciate Malaysia; you have to see its provinces, because they have a ton of stuff to offer.

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So from our hostel, our friendly receptionist (with just our luck was a Filipino) helped us understand their city maps and helped us plan our short attack on the city.

Batu Caves and the stairs behind it. It's hard to imagine how huge it is that you need to scale the people in the picture so you can imagine how big it is.

Batu Caves and the stairs behind it. It’s hard to imagine how huge it is that you need to scale the people in the picture so you can imagine how big it is.

No entrance fees. Open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Remember to take off your shoes before climbing up the stairs at the temple. For the record, we did not attempt to climb the notorious stairs. One because we were lazy, two because we didn’t want to tire ourselves since we had an early flight the next day. 

Our first stop was the farthest attraction by train which is the Batu Caves. I can’t stress enough that navigating around KL is so easy because of their trains and the proximity of their attractions to the train stations.

After seeing the giant Buddha statue at Batu Caves, we headed to see the famous Petronas towers. Funny thing, since my friend and I are both clueless, after jumping off the train, we headed inside the “mall” and wandered around trying to find the towers. We kept on asking people where to see Petronas Towers but everyone couldn’t understand what we were asking. So in vain, we just tried to find the exit when low and behold, we were actually inside the Petronas tower. Although we did feel like two idiots abroad, it was satisfying to see how huge the towers actually were.

Petronas Twin Towers. This was so tall that even when I tried to lie on the street to take a picture, i still get the whole thing.

Petronas Twin Towers. This was so tall that even when I tried to lie on the street to take a picture, i still get the whole thing.

After taking a few pictures, we thought we should head back to the hostel because it was already nearing 10PM and we weren’t sure until what time the trains were operating. But before we got home, we got a chance to take a snap shot of KL tower. It would’ve been better to see it from the inside, but the picture for now will do.

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What to eat

Food in KL is very different from what we are used to in the Philippines but nonetheless we had fun trying it out. Make sure that you try their coffee, it’s good!

We didn’t have the time to go around finding good food but since we stayed near Chinatown, there were a lot of things to try to eat. Definitely try the Indian food if you like spicy things together with their shakes.

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What to remember
1. If you are travelling via Airasia, note that you will arrive at the budget airport which is farther than the main airport from the city.
2. You can easily take a bus from the airport to wherever you need to go to. We stayed near Chinatown and there are a lot of cheap and decent places to stay there.
3. Trains are your friends, you can get anywhere you want to go within the city just by taking the train.

Backipacking Indochina

I know this blog post is way overdue, but at least I’m making the effort to make it before I plan Indochina part II. So anyway, this was the first abroad trip that I planned and I was very excited to experience backpacking outside the country. I was very eager to make my plans and to make sure I do enough research so that we won’t get lost.

This trip covers 5 countries and 6 cities in 8 days, from August 14 to August 21.

Leg 1 Manila to Clark
From Manila to Clark, you can take a bus from Philtranco directly to DMIA for P450. Just make sure that you check the bus schedules so you won’t miss your flight. After arriving in DMIA, make sure you set some peso aside for the P600 terminal fee and the P1,750 travel tax.

Leg 2 KL
Upon arriving in LCIA, we took a bus to get to Puduraya to our hostel near Chinatown. Bus ticket costs MYR7. Going around the city by train is not expensive, the ticket costs around MYR10 on an average of course depending on where you need to go.

Leg 3 Ho Chi Minh
We flew via Airasia from KL to Ho Chi Minh. The reason we had to fly there was it was the easiest route to Cambodia, and Cambodia was our main destination.

When we got to the airport, we hired a cab for around VND300,000. We weren’t sure if it was way overpriced but it was a considerable distance from the airport to the city. Our main goal in Ho Chi Minh was to get to Saigon Square so we can buy North Face backpacks for the trip (since we were backpacking). We also had some spare time to hit the museum before heading to Saigon Square 1 to shop. Best way to get around Ho Chi Minh is taxi, it’s inexpensive and it’s by the meter. Also, when in Pham Ngu Len, which is their backpacking district, head off to the nearest Highlands coffee to try their coffee.

Leg 4 Phnom Pehn
On the same day that we flew from KL to Ho Chi Minh, we took a 6hour bus to Phnom Pehn. Bus ticket cost USD14 and you can get it from any travel booth in Pham Ngu Len. But better you try to book the tickets through email.

We arrived in Phnom Pehn very late that night and our tuk tuk from the hostel didn’t know where to pick us up because I wasn’t sure if I provided the correct bus line. So we ended up paying for a tuk tuk to get to 88backpackers hostel. I highly recommend this hostel because the hostel is fairly new and the customer service is outstanding. Our room costs USD20 but only because it was a room for 4 people.

The next day we toured around Phnom Pehn via tuk tuk, it’s fairly easy to find a tuktuk driver and cheap to around. We were able to visit the Royal Palace (entrance fee USD5, 7:30AM to 11:00 AM), the National Museum (entrance fee USD3, 8:00AM to 5:00PM) and the Silver Pagoda (entrance fee USD1). Since we had more than enough time to see the sites, we decided to go to the Russian market to go shopping. We were able to find factory overruns at very cheap prices.

Food in Cambodia is more or less the same in the Philippines. They also eat rice with everything!

Leg 5 Siem Reap
The highlight of our trip is definitely Siem Reap. We were already falling in love with Cambodia from their warm welcome and their nicest smiles that when we got to Siem Reap, we wanted to stay longer.

We arrived as usual very late in Siem Reap through a 6hour mini van drive. Ticket costs USD12. We stayed at Mandalay Inn which I definitely recommend, the room inn was small but very friendly service. We were greeted at our room by durian and some kind of milk which was very nice.

The next day we headed off to Angkor Wat which is the best thing I’ve ever seen. It is simply awesome. You must see it to appreciate what it implies in terms of human capacity and imagination. Our tour by car with an English speaking tour guide was about USD100 but for me it was worth it. Entrance at Angkor Wat for 1 day is USD20. Also included in our tour was a cultural dinner at a buffet which I forgot where  but the experience was great because the show was a great insight to Cambodian culture and way of life. If you go to Cambodia, I highly suggest you see one of these shows.

After the dinner, as a gesture of gratitude, we treated our guide and driver to ice cream at Blue Pumpkin which they suggested. Unusual ice cream flavors, a bit expensive, but worth a try. After ice cream, we were dropped off at our hostel but due to our excitement, we couldn’t stay put so we headed for the night market which was only a close distance from where we were staying. Their night market is a good place to find souvenirs although a bit more expensive that when you buy from the street.

Leg 6 Bangkok
Our horrific border cross from Cambodia to Bangkok started by purchasing a USD12 ticket from our inn. This ticket already includes the bus to the border and the mini van from the border to Bangkok. This was a grueling 12hour ride with a lot of unfortunate incidents in between but still bearable when you keep in mind how much it costs.

Again, we arrived late at Bangkok and checked in at our hostel. Make sure to haggle with the tuk tuk or else you will be charged horrendously. We stayed at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel for THB50 a night. But like in all the other places we’ve been, we still had the energy to go out so we headed to Khao San Road which is this huge night market. There are cheap everything there, including street food that are so good.

The next day we went out to see Bangkok. Our first stop was the Golden Mount which was only a walking distance from our hostel. After climbing the steps of Golden Mount, we headed to the Royale Palace (entrance fee THB200, 8:30am to 3:30PM). It took us a while to get around The Royale Palace and the museum but it was a great insight on Thai culture, architecture and history. After the exhaustion from the heat and walking, we headed off to Wat Pho (reclining Buddha) but it was closed so we decide to head back to the hostel so that we can prepare for our flight the same day. Getting to the airport via train is easy because the airport is the last station and it already connected to the airport.

Leg 7 Singapore
We flew from BKK to SG via Airasia. Upon arrival, we took the train to get to the nearest station near Little India. We stayed at Footprints hostel which was a good place to stay in but a little off location. This time, we headed straight to bed hoping that we can go around the city the next day.

Due to the tiring earlier days, we woke up late the next day but still decided to go about the city. We traveled through the easy navigation of the train system to get to the Bay and Esplanade. We then had lunch at Lau Pa Sat before deciding that just shop at ion orchard because we no longer had the strength to walk to Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa. Train tickets cost around SGD3 if you will travel along the sites.

Home Sweet HomeDue to our early flight and lack of funds, we went to the airport at the latest time possible for the trains which is 11PM. We stayed at the airport until our 9AM flight the next day.

I know there isn’t much details on this post, but I’ll be supplementing this by an additional post for each leg of the trip.

All our hostel bookings were made through hostelworld.

Things to remember:1. For control freaks like me, you can’t research enough. Most narratives online are just a base for your experience, so if you want to make sure you know where you’re going, double check on the details. Make sure you know all your options.
2. Make sure you have a map. Maps are essential in navigating the city.
3. Check the most appropriate form of transportation, because you may never know if it will be a bus or a train or a ferry.
4. Ask the locals, some will be more than happy to help you.
5. Don’t get frustrated, laugh at your misfortunes, remember that you are on vacation so if you can’t take things lightly then, what more when you get back to real life. So have fun!