Friday, March 22, 2013

Siem Reap Cambodia. All the things you should know. (Day 1 & Day 2)

I've thought about this for a while...whether or not I should make a travel-related post, considering I do travel a lot (backpacking jeee)...tapi, by the time I'm in front of the computer, I don't remember shit about what happened. Hahaha.

So for my recent trip, I've decided to blog about it within a week after I got back...which is now lah. Before I forget.

What a crappy introduction.

LOL

Hmm, how the hell do you start a travelogue? LOLOL

Day 1 - Departure Day
I travel light. It saves time (and money) for NOT having a checked-in bag. I really don't like waiting for my luggage near the luggage belt coz I have this fear that the airlines will misplaced/lost my checked bag!

Travel tip if you HAVE to check in your baggage: 
ALWAYS pack another set of your outfit (1 tshirt , underwear, pad/tampons for the ladies, socks, stick deodorant & less than 100ml of facial wash, toner and moisturizer) for rainy days. Just in case if they DO lost your luggage, at least you can survive for another day!

Or you'd smell like a homeless person.
Which is a complete no no.

I don't travel in style anyway. I travel in comfort. I put comfort first rather than looking good. That's why in all of my pictures, I look like a homeless person.

Minus the smell.
Cause I always smell like roses.
LOLOL.

Backpacking in style! Hahahahaha


Anyway, we booked our flight about umm, 3 weeks earlier, for RM400+ per person (Air Asia return ticket). Which is considerably cheap, but I'm pretty sure we could get a cheaper price if we'd spend a little more time searching (and not bound to a strict work schedule).

But it all evens out cause we managed to book a cheap, comfy, clean with friendly staffs boutique hotel not too far from the city! I don't remember the price but it's averaging around RM100 per night for a Superior Triple Room (can fit up to 3 person per room).

So imagine if you're staying with your friends in the same room, and you split RM100/3ppl.....only about RM33 per night for a 1 person!

GASPS!

The hotel that we stayed is here: Angkor Shining Boutique Hotel
It's about 20mins from the airport.

And it has free wifi (which is a huge bonus for a geek like me!) in the room.

It's about umm, 5-10mins ride from the city center by Tuk Tuk, or a 20-minute walk if you like to soak in the sun which I don't. LOL.

Tuk Tuk from hotel to city = About USD2 - USD3

Oh, yes, their official currency is Riels, but USD is much preferable.

Tuk Tuk ride from the airport to the hotel. I was super excited because it has been a long time since I got on a Tuk Tuk!

I'm gonna take a wild guess here...this was Taylor's first Tuk Tuk ride. lol



IMPORTANT TIPS ON MONEY CONVERSION: 
Even though USD is widely used, expect some small changes in Riels.
For example, if the price is $1.50 and you give $5.00, the balance that they'll give back is $3 bill and 2000 Riels. (1000 Riels = $0.25)

Recommended to bring a lot of 1 dollar bills or any small changes compared to a big denomination.

I had a rough time paying for things cause I only had $100 bills (balance from my US trip last year).


HOW MUCH DOES A $1 USD WORTH?
A bottle of 250ml mineral water. LOL.

Don't expect Evian, Dasani or Aquafina though.
But hey, it's water.

I got mine for free from the hotel room. (Complimentary mineral water)

But funny thing is, a glass of beer costs about $0.50.
It's cheaper than water.

What the heck.


Ok, I really don't know how to get back to my adventure story...LOL

Alright, since our flight was at 7:45pm...... actually our flight was delayed for an hour, so, we reached Siem Reap at about 10 - 11pm..and hotel checked in at about 11:30pm.

Part of the hotel's lobby. Very antique kan?



We were planning to walk to the city center considering the late hours and the hotel's tuk tuk drivers finished their shifts already. But we were lucky (even the hotel staff said so!) cause just as soon as we got to the front gate, a tuk tuk came.

Oh, Siem Reap isn't a big city...and most of the streets went dead after 10pm.

The ONLY place that has a night life is around Pub Street and Night Market area.
Even so, the place is not as crowded as Petaling Street in KL or Patpong in Bangkok!
It's a very laid back town.

Pub Street....full of well..pubs. LOL

Taylor and I

Nanie and I

The music was blaring and people were dancing...on the street.

We didn't want to miss out the fun, so we danced ...on the street as well! I have horrible dance moves despite being enrolled in a dance class.

I dance like a white man.
(stereotyping that white men can't dance haha)
But seriously...most of them can't. LOL


We got back to our rooms around 2am and went straight to bed. Cause it has been a super long day.



Day 2 - City Tour
Initially we wanted to go straight to the temples that day, but since the 3 of us woke up pretty late...(around 10am LOL) so....we've decided to held it off til the next day.

There was not much to do in the city btw. The focal tourist spot is just around pub street/night market/old market anyway..

Tuk Tuk ride to the city
Night Market area during the day





Taking a lunch break 


Not much to write here cause we didn't do anything adventurous...hahaha.

Oh, we did get a massage for less than 10bucks.
I got a foot reflexology for $6 (which is about RM18!) for an hour!

I mean wow!

Oh I forgot to tell you, during the night, they'll have $1 foot massage (for 10mins)
Wowwwwwwwww!

They also have booming (I think this just came there) fish spas scattered all along the street. It's about $3 + free beer for as long as you want! I swear to God we were there for like about an hour!

Since I am super ticklish and I don't want my feet to be "eaten" by fish, I went to look around the market by myself.

Cambodia is a very VERY poor country. It's heartbreaking to see them trying to survive. As we were hanging around while Taylor and Nanie did their fish spa, we got to have a little chat with the worker there.


  • He told us that he lives about 1.5KM away from the city and his only transportation is a bicycle. 
  • He works at the fish spa for 16 hours a day. 
  • He's a young kid of 18 years old (I think), just finished high school, and saving up to enroll into a University to become a tour guide.
  • For the 3 months that he works there, his English is improving a lot considering he has to market the fish spa.
  • But monthly salary is only $50....


Ok I'm not sure whether he was just bullshitting us with sappy story, or we misunderstood him, but oh my god. If you think you're poor (and yet you can read this on your computer), think of this boy!


One of the many "fish spas" along the street

Night in Siem Reap

It's not a crowded place






SCAMS IN SIEM REAP
Alright I think ALL visitors need to know this.
The statistics of scams isn't very high in Cambodia as compared to Bangkok. But nevertheless, you should always be aware on the type of scams that's going on around the country.

For the 4 days that we've been there, we've only encountered one scam which is the MILK SCAM.

This is usually "conducted" by young kids usually holding a little baby asking for FOOD. If you offer them $1 just to make them go, they'd refuse and would say "I don't want money, I want food" while showing an empty milk bottle (for the baby).

If you try to buy them food/baby formula from one of the restaurants, they'd say "They won't let me in there (the restaurant)" and will try to take you to another shop.

This is REALLY heartbreaking...I mean a little girl begging for FOOD?!? C'mon! It's not like they're begging for MONEY, it's FOOD/Baby formula!!

You think you should give in?

WRONG!

This is how the scam works.

Remember when I said they'll say "the restaurant won't let them in" if you try to buy it from a legitimate restaurant?

It's not the fact that they won't let her in, it's because the restaurant (usually fancy ones) is not involved in the scam.

She will bring you to a (small) shop and you'll have to buy the baby formula/food there.

Ok lets say the milk costs $4. You pay the shopkeeper $4. Shopkeeper gives you the formula. You give the formula to the girl. You leave with a big heart knowing that you've done something good.

But did you know, after you left, the girl will come back to the shop, REFUND the formula for HALF of what you paid ($2 in this example) while the shopkeeper gets the other half?!

It's a win-win situation for both of them.
The girl gets $2.
The shopkeeper gets $2 AND the product back.

You see how all these relate?

It was funny cause the girl came to Taylor (and not me or Nanie). Maybe because we look like them? Or maybe because we are women? (cold hearted bitches are usually women LOL)

She almost got Taylor cause he was like "uhhhh" "uhhhhhhhhhhh" (hesitant) didn't know what to do. He even offered her money!

We had to grab Taylor away, took his wallet (LOL) and god know how many times I've said "Ignore her, it's a scam"

She was nagging at him for good 10mins and finally gave up and ASKED FOR THAT $1 that he offered earlier!! 

But of course, he didn't have his wallet with him..so..she left, moved on to a different victim.

I know even if you DID give her the money, you'll think you're helping her. But in reality you're not. You're only supporting this type of movement/scam. If you keep on giving in, this scam will spread and there will be A LOT OF of young innocent kids being victimized by these irresponsible adults.

These kids should be in schools and not begging on the streets anyway.





Alright it's 5pm and I need to move my ass to my dance class anyway. So I'm gonna continue Day 3 - Temples Visit tomorrow (or someday LOL).

Have a great weekend pipol!







5 comments:

  1. Apa nii potong stim cerita tak abes. Baru tgh semangat baca cite siem riep nihh hehe

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice Blog.Pictures are so cool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cambodia's most beautiful place. Siem Reap is fully relaxed place and many types of games and adventures can be played there. Beautiful places and the ancient temples can be visited in Siem Reap.
    http://thingstodoinsiemreap.net/

    ReplyDelete


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