Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th August 2011, 06:43   #31
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit View Post
Apparently there are places near the killing fields that have mines still unearthed. Try and read a book called johnny gone down. Talks about the killing fields briefly.
Vignesh, very well written.
Hi Neoranjit, will try to fetch a copy .

Cambodia has been suffering from both internal (communist khmer rouge) and external (vietnam, US) attacks over long long periods.

These killing fields were instituted by the internal forces for mass killings with hard tool weapons.
And the landmines are the gifts from external military forces. There are millions of such landmines planted in this country. We actually happen ed to visit a landmine museum - I'll try to putforth details of that too once I reach there.
This country & its people have gone through a lot.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th August 2011, 20:33   #32
BHPian
 
neoranjit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chennai
Posts: 588
Thanked: 191 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Nice to see even tuk tuk drivers wearing helmets
neoranjit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 05:25   #33
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pune, Melbourne
Posts: 637
Thanked: 383 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Nice images Vignesh. The city looks similar to any of our Indian cities. Especially the second snap.
C300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 07:37   #34
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 3

This is the day I was looking forward to. The day we had planned to reach Siem Reap - the anchor city to visit all the temples & ruins.

The bus was at 7am. I had the booked seats on the day I reached Phnom penh. The ticket was for USD 10 per person.
May be I could have got a better deal - there are umpteen number of bus services plying between Phnom Penh & Siem reap. Nothing to regret as the bus service was pretty good. Tickets range from $6 to $10 depending upon the service you pick. Local cambodians normally do not take these coaches. If you like to travel with local cambodians then the fares are cheaper in those buses.

We were staying in a guest house near the river front area by name "BJ's house" - We had picked it from trip advisor recommendations. This guest house has just 7 rooms. Pretty comfortable for 2 nights. The tariff was USD 27 per night ncluding break fast + taxes. The house is managed by 3 persons. Service was always with smile. I would highly recommend this place.
You can find accommodation starting $6-7 in this city - many of them are not bad at all. Most of the back packers coming from places across do stay there. We were kind of holidaying rather than backpacking so upgraded ourselves

Something which is interesting here is the bus agencies arrange for pick up from your hotel. When you book your tickets they collect your stay details and promptly send a tuk tuk to get you + luggage. Believe me this saves lots of hassles in a new place.
Our departure was at 7:30 am. And tuk tuk was to come by 7 am. The guest house staff had prepared breakfast even during that early hour. And the lady herself rang the bus agency to ensure the tuk tuk is sent. All these were done by them without much asking from me.What else would you expect ? Such hospitality is rare.

Once we boarded the bus, I was relieved to find the seats were wide & comfortable. This is important as the journey will take 5 - 6 hours.
The journey started by 7:45.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1103.jpg

Break fast sellers. Beware some people sell pork sandwich - read the fine print before you eat.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1042.jpg

The highway was just a two lane road. And few places were damaged due to recent rains. Overall the route was ok. This being the major route connecting the national capital and the major tourist destination the road could have been better.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1053.jpg

Intercity transport. Much similar to our country.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1062.jpg


Mid way stop over for snacking - Kampong Thom town.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1105.jpg

Coke on a bicycle.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1104.jpg

Beautiful Country Side

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1124.jpg

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1056.jpg

This is the rainy season - the clouds say it all.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1140.jpg

We reached Siem reap by 1:30 pm. The hotel was just $1 tuk tuk ride. We stayed in a boutique hotel - Frangipani; again picked from review sites like lonely planet / trip advisor. Hotel is situated in a quiet palace away from the market area. Its hardly a 10 min walk to the happening place of the city. Amenities : Free wifi (every hotel provides), swimming pool, free bicycles to ride around, tourist information, bookings. Very interestingly, they provide free laundry for a pair of shirt & trousers every day per person . So if you want to pack light - this is the place to go.
We picked up a room for $33 per night - includes breakfast + taxes and all. And this is almost a brand new property opened few months back.

Cambodians by nature are polite, friendly & soft spoken. So hospitality comes naturally to them. The staff over here too very caring about our requirements and were always willing help on every small things we asked for.

Upcoming is the most awaited temple tour days
I'm excited again.
vigneshnr is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 10:11   #35
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit View Post
Nice to see even tuk tuk drivers wearing helmets
Yes, they do. And they are very particular about this. Even when they ride on highways, they keep themselves safe with helmets. Me too look forward for such habit here in our country


Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
Nice images Vignesh. The city looks similar to any of our Indian cities. Especially the second snap.
Thanks C300. If you just replace the signboards with Indian languages they'll almost match
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 11:59   #36
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 3

I would like to say bit about our experience while checking in to the hotel. This is the first hotel where we seated in a couch to check in rather than stand in the front desk to fill those forms & registers. This is a very novel approach and we really liked it - That too after a long bus journey.
We were received with fresh - really fresh orange juice . And the staff provided few useful details & lead us to the room.

After relaxing for a while we headed out for our lunch by around 3pm.
Now comes up the planning part of our temple tours.

We browsed through various travel agents - even the hotel had some 'do it yourself' itineraries to follow. Late in the evening we found a tourist information office near the market area - this was run by the ministry so we thought this should be more reliable + rates reasonable.

The guy over there was too good to understand our requirements and helped in charting out a plan. Anyway, we had done our homework on the places to see and things to do already. But nothing matches the local knowlegde - right.

So here is the plan map for our next three days .

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-tour-plan.jpg

Plan

Day 4: Grand circuit + Banteay Srei
Day 5: Small circuit + Angkor thom
Day 6 : Floating Villages + Roluos group

We took guide for only the Day 5. Rest we thought we would explore on our own.

Total Cost: USD 110
Includes Tuk tuk for all three days + Guide for One day + Boat cost to visit floating villages. And lots of chilled water + fresh towels during the tour days.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 17:17   #37
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 81
Thanked: 16 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Excellent Pics Vignesh. What time in the year did you do this trip ? What is the suggested time of the year ? Thanks!
bandlimitedlife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 17:49   #38
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 828
Thanked: 113 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

I heard vegetarian food can be a problem in Cambodia. Is it true?

--Ragul
Ragul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 18:46   #39
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandlimitedlife View Post
Excellent Pics Vignesh. What time in the year did you do this trip ? What is the suggested time of the year ? Thanks!
Hi Bandltdlife, I was there last week & returned last Sunday. And so this log is as fresh as it can be.
Cambodia is a destination for all through the year. But there is a peak & off season.
Peak season: Oct to Mar - Dry
Off Peak Season : Apr to Sep - Wet

Peak : Many tourists visit during the non rainy / winter / dry period to explore the land.
Pros:
1. No slush sticking to your shoes
2. Clear view of Sun set / rise in the temples
3. No need to carry rain protection gear

Cons:

1. Its dry
2. Dust flies
3. The temple areas are more brown

Off Peak :Majority of the rains happen during end June till Aug or so.

Pros:
1. Less tourists across
2. Hotel + Tuk tuk + guide + shopping prices are negotiable
3. Temples areas are covered by greenery
4. No dust

Cons:
1. Sun rise / set will be tircky
2. You may feel lonely in few temples

As I have travelled during wet August, I can say it's not a bad weather at all. The rain pour is usually sharp & for just 20 - 25 mins, then the clouds clear away.

Last edited by vigneshnr : 25th August 2011 at 18:48.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2011, 18:49   #40
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
I heard vegetarian food can be a problem in Cambodia. Is it true?

--Ragul

Not exactly.

Hi Ragul, I had the same doubts while I planned my trip because myself and Priya are vegetarians(egg eating).

Getting veg food is not a problem but certainly there are some limitations.
Good thing is people there understand the meaning of 'vegetarian' and serve you right. Nothing much to worry about.
As an added measure you can mention 'No meat' 'No fish' 'No egg' while you are placing your orders.

Restaurants have very limited options available for vegetarians. Few restaurants do have seperate "veg" menu. The menu cards are generally displayed in front of each restaurant which we browsed through before making our choice of place.

And there is always an Indian restaurant near you.

Few dish we enjoyed there
- Khmer cuisine > veg curry (they serve this in a coconut shell)
- Asian fried rice
- Veg soup is a speciality here. They come in big bowl which can satiate 2 - 3 people.

Let me know if you love to know more, Ragul.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2011, 08:10   #41
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 4

This is the first day of our temple tours. We had to start by 7:30. And the tuk tuk driver Mr Bon 'Am had arrived dot on time. We were anyway late.. holiday right.

We set off by 8:05

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-1-tuk.jpg


We wanted to start the day from the far off temple - Banteay Srei then come to the nearer temples.
Banteay Srei is not the largest of the lot - But this is one of the most beautiful temple. The pictures will prove them better.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-2-temp.jpg


The walk through into the temple


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-4-way-ling.jpg


One of the entrances to the temple


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-3-ent.jpg


Ornate bas relief


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-5-bas.jpg


Windows Angkor version 5.0 - Almost all the windows are of similar style.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-6-wind.jpg


Dancing Shiva


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-7.jpg


Very intricately decorated gate arches

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-8.jpg


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-9-rava.jpg


Temples for vishnu


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-10-temp.jpg
vigneshnr is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2011, 08:29   #42
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pune, Melbourne
Posts: 637
Thanked: 383 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Beautiful. I have no words. What fascinates me is that the structure is made of multiple stones, each delicately carved with precision and then put together. Tremendous skill and hard work.
C300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2011, 14:44   #43
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
Beautiful. I have no words. What fascinates me is that the structure is made of multiple stones, each delicately carved with precision and then put together. Tremendous skill and hard work.
Spot on, C300 ! The beauty of the carvings standout coz of the stone color. Actually this is one of the rare few temples built with limestones.
I suppose there is only one stone used and colored by weather.
In terms of construction, what I've been made to understand is - the foundation is made with hard stone and the temple structures are built with soft stones to enable carvings.

And they are beautiful.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2011, 18:11   #44
Senior - BHPian
 
MaserQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,156
Thanked: 51 Times
Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Great choice of destination. Not too many opt for Cambodia. Well done, the write-up was interesting as well as informative. The scale of atrocities committed by the evil khmer rouge on their own people is truly astonishing.

What is the procedure for e-visa and how does it work? Is the Cambodian visa on-arrival process similar to the Thai VOA? Thanks in advance.
MaserQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2011, 21:18   #45
BHPian
 
vigneshnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: bangalore
Posts: 142
Thanked: 39 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaserQ View Post
Great choice of destination. Not too many opt for Cambodia. Well done, the write-up was interesting as well as informative. The scale of atrocities committed by the evil khmer rouge on their own people is truly astonishing.

What is the procedure for e-visa and how does it work? Is the Cambodian visa on-arrival process similar to the Thai VOA? Thanks in advance.
Hi MaserQ, thanks for your comments. I'm really happy that quite a few have taken interest in our travelogue. (Though I've not got any ratings : ( )

You are right - not many indians know of the Beauty of Cambodia - that's why my thread's title is so.. ha ha ! But this nation is flooded with tourists from Europe, Australia & rest.

And btw, I've already shared the link for e-visa in my earlier post in this thread (as I'm typing this from my mobile I'm saving myslef from copy pastes). Even VOA details are in the post. Its pretty simple. If you need to know more, I would be happy to help.

Hope you would follow my thread forward.

Last edited by vigneshnr : 26th August 2011 at 21:31.
vigneshnr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yusmarg - The Hidden Wonder of Kashmir Fauji Travelogues 10 26th December 2013 07:45
OHC OE Fog Lamps: Hidden treasure or Hidden trash? ankitahuja Modifications & Accessories 38 7th November 2012 00:04
Land of Khmer's - Mystic Cambodia evo8 Travelogues 39 1st October 2010 23:21
Cambodia: LHD and RHD... we welcome both! kvish The International Automotive Scene 5 8th August 2007 03:57
Hidden Wonder ~ H O N D A ~ Modifications & Accessories 18 13th June 2006 16:12


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:07.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks