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Trip Report Two Weeks in Cambodia and I Loved It!

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I flew to Singapore in early January. After two nights I flew with Silk Air to Siem Reap. Silk Air is my kind of airline; an included hot meal with wine on a two hour flight. At the Siem Reap airport, I paid $20 for a Tourist Visa. At the taxi counter at the airport, I paid for a taxi to my hostel.

I stayed at the Jasmine Family Hostel in Siem Reap for four nights. For $8 each night I had a bed in the hostel, hot shower, a great view from the fourth floor, a swimming pool and an included hot breakfast. I normally do not eat dinner at my hotel, but for $3, the chicken with vegetables was excellent. I purchased a bottle of wine at the hotel for $7.

I hired a tok tok driver for $20 each day and from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. each day he drove me to the ruins of the Angkor World Heritage site. He wanted $15 but I found a woman at the hotel to join me so we both paid him $10.

I visited the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap which is not cheap at $14 and spent much of the day enjoying the swimming pool. In downtown Siem Reap I paid $1 for a ten minute foot massage. Cambodia is a cheap place to drink. Fifty cent drafts and One Dollar drinks were easy to find. All of the ATM’s stock the American Dollar, however, Cambodia uses their own currency for smaller amounts. Avoid asking for $100 or $50 at the ATM’s because no one can change it. Instead ask for $90 or $70.

I took a mini bus from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville which stopped in Phnom Penh. The bus ride went from sunrise to sunset. I wanted to see the countryside but wish I would have taken the one hour flight from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. I stayed six nights in this beach community. Hotels were between $12 and $24 a night, but I did spend one night on an island in my own bungalow for $20. A great experience.

On a different day I spent $15 for a day trip to three different islands and snorkeling. I light breakfast and nice lunch were included. The coral reefs were incredible. The weather was fantastic every day while I was in Cambodia, with temperatures in January between 64 and 84 degrees.

I took a large bus with Internet from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh which took about four hours and stayed at the PC Hotel in the downtown area. This was the cheapest hotel I could find with a swimming pool; $25 a night with eggs, toast and coffee included. I hired a tok tok driver who took me to the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum. I was glad I met a nice woman from Amsterdam at the hotel who joined me because it was a chilling experience. Pol Pot killed twenty-five percent of the Cambodian people in the 1970’s.

I visited the Royal Palace and the National Museum and went to the Central Market. I found a new battery for my camera, a backpack and a new battery for my watch. Great deals, but it closes at 6:00 p.m. I had lunch along the river both days.

I flew back to Singapore from Phnom Penh and enjoyed my two bottles of wine on the flight with Silk. The people in Cambodia were so nice and they speak English quite well.

Life is short and there are so many countries to visit, but Cambodia is worth a second visit.

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