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Old 5th August 2019, 19:59   #16
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Default Day 5: 03 - July

Day 5: 03-July-2019

Our plan is to visit places of interests inside the city today.

After breakfast from hotel, we head to walkway on riverside which we had been to the previous night.

Not sure if there is any reason for the same, however the walkway has flags of nations on one side.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_095648.jpg


All around the place there are no drones signages


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5549.jpg


One place which we wanted to visit, however wasn't able to was Daughters of Cambodia Visitor cafe. This is located near to riverside walkway, however the place closes by 05.30 PM, hence we were not able to make it on time during the time we were there. This is a cafe run by victims of human trafficking, food here is highly rated online.


Daughters of Cambodia Cafe

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5548.jpg



Wat Ounalom Monastery

Location


This is a monastery on opposite side of the road from walkway. Time was nearing 11.00 AM and the monastery was about to get closed, so we didn't venture inside the building.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0860.jpg

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Roads in Cambodia are well marked and clean.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0862.jpg



From here we walk towards Royal Palace, however visitors are not allowed between 11.00 AM and 02.00 PM here.

The palace is very next to the river.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_101049.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_100741.jpg


Indian flag is placed very next to the main road leading from palace at riverfront.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0866.jpg



Our first stop for the day is National museum of Cambodia


National Museum

Location


Details

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_102225.jpg


Ticket counter

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Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_102321.jpg


Museum building

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_101936.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_102236.jpg

The museum has lots of artifacts from varied era, it will take at least 4 hours if one is keenly going through all display items.

There was some photo session ongoing in the museum

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_103608.jpg


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_104845.jpg


Moon rock

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_111516.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_111528.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 15th August 2019 at 10:31.
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Old 5th August 2019, 20:25   #17
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Default Day 5: 03 - July Ctd

Day 5: 03-July-2019 Ctd

Museum done, our next destination is the Independence monument


Independence Monument


Location

This monument is located at end of a huge lawn which intersects roads coming from upmarket shopping area. During our walk through this lawn in evenings, we noticed that this is a hub of leisure activities in city. Something which reminds one of boat club lawns in Delhi.

The Independence monument was built to commemorate Cambodia's independence from France in 1958.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0884.jpg


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0886.jpg

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Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0892.jpg

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Next to it is a monument created to commemorate Cambodian - Vietnam cooperation in the Cambodian civil war.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0882.jpg



It's already late for lunch, hence we decide to head to a restaurant near by which was rated highly in Tripadvisor.



Mok Mony


Location

It is a quiet little place, however liked food, cleanliness & service.
Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_143519.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_152154.jpg

I wanted to try Amok ever since coming in Cambodia, so went ahead and ordered crab amok here.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_144745.jpg

Only drawback, they only accept payments in cash.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 6th October 2019 at 20:09.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:07   #18
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Default Day 5: 03-July-2019 Ctd

Day 5: 03-July-2019 Ctd

Lunch done we walk back towards Royal Palace.


Location

There is a 10 USD ticket for entry to palace, we felt it was bit steep considering this is not a huge complex though a beautiful one.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0870.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0874.jpg

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Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn0950.jpg

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Few familiar faces in photo exhibits room

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_171858.jpg



It was around 05.00 PM when we were done with seeing around the palace. Since there was nothing much to be done, we decide to head to downtown area.

After roaming around a while, we visit Nagaworld

Location


This is a huge shopping mall which has casinos and duty free shops. Also, this is one of the visible marks of Chinese economic occupation that is happening in South East Asia. To mention an example, they have a Chinese Duty free floor in the mall.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_183618.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190703_194452.jpg


Shopping and killing time done, we head back to our hotel.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 15th August 2019 at 10:31.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:47   #19
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Default Day 6: 04-July-2019

Day 6: 04-July-2019

Plan is to visit Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (also called Killing fields) & Tuol Sleng Genocide museum today.

We decide to head to Killings fields first since it is outside town and takes more time for commute.



Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (also called Killing fields)

Location

This area was partially a swamp and a graveyard for people of Chinese origin staying in Phnom Penh. Khmer Rouge identified this area as a killing field for their political prisoners.

Though the actual number of people killed here is not know, around 9000 bodies were recovered from this area.

People were brought in trucks in the night and killed by bludgeoning them by hammer or axe. A cost effective method in a war ravaged country where bullets were expensive.


We book an auto through Grab application. A TVS auto rickshaw is our drive there, it takes around 35 mins to reach the place.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_110122.jpg

There was a bus parked at parking lot, not sure how good their service is.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5693.jpg


Ticket counter, do purchase entry tickets along with audio guide.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5694.jpg


Each major area has description mentioned similarly, however audio guide is more detailed.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1004.jpg


This place was a Chinese burial ground earlier, this was the stage which was used for ceremonies during burial.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5706.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5705.jpg

Graves, belonging to ethnic Chinese people are visible.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5727.jpg

The memorial structure near main gate

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1067.jpg

There is a huge stack of skulls collected from the area around here kept sorted based on age and ethnicity.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1057.jpg

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There are many unearthed bones and belongings in the mud still

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Clothes and bones of victims lying around

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1054.jpg

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Tree against which children were hit and killed

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5729.jpg


Location of one mass grave

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1016.jpg



There is a photo exhibition place next to the entrance

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1070.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1068.jpg


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-suh_5699.jpg

It takes us around 2 hours to see around the place. Once done, we catch another auto and head to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 6th October 2019 at 20:13.
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Old 23rd September 2019, 22:49   #20
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 6: 04-July-2019 Ctd

S21 - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Location

This building which was a school earlier, is located inside the town. It took us around half hour in auto to reach here.

Again, we take ticket with audio guide.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1071.jpg


One can imagine that this would have been a huge school for its time, before all tragic events occurred.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1073.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1075.jpg

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At the courtyard, there is a memorial constructed in memory of all those who lost life here.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1125.jpg

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Audio guide -

There are numerous mentions on online travel forums on carrying an extra pair of earphones, so that one can connect it to the second jack of the audio guide and share the same between two people. This way one can save money on audio guide.

However, I feel it may not be feasible or worth the pain since audio guides are elaborate and long. Based on each person's interest there are many subheadings for the guide too which you may listen to.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1077.jpg


The prison was estimated to house a total of 20,000 inmates over the years it was operational. Out of that, only 12 are known to have survived.


When the prison was discovered and liberated by Vietnamese army, there were 14 dead bodies present inside the prison.

Their graves are next to the main gate, their identities still unknown.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1074.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 23rd September 2019 at 22:53.
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Old 23rd September 2019, 22:56   #21
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 6: 04-July-2019 Ctd

Classrooms which were converted to make shift prisons and torture camps.

The beds which were used as torture tables are kept the same way even now.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1083.jpg

On the walls are the pictures captured by Vietnamese soldiers who freed the prison. The picture is of one of the 14 victims discovered by these soldiers.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1085.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1086.jpg


Prison rules

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1087.jpg


Vietnamese soldiers with the child prisoners rescued from the place.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1094.jpg

In between all this, one can't but think on how big this school is

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1092.jpg


Gallows on school ground

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There is a photo gallery which has pictures of both perpetrators and victims. All these pictures were captured by Khymer soldiers for documentation of prisoners.

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Some of the prison staff also ended up as prisoners

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1108.jpg

The photo gallery of child prisoners is the most disturbing one

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1111.jpg

Notice the way in which prisoners are confined in a small area in the background

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Clothes of prisoners on left side and those of soldiers on the right side.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1105.jpg


Forced labour which prisoners had to go through

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Prison made out by partitioning class rooms

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This is one of the interesting pics in the museum, you can see people cheering at the marching column of soldiers entering their city.
They were hoping that the Khymer soldiers will help them to improve their living conditions which was bad under monarchy.


This is the same soldiers who end up massacring around 20% population of the country in next few years.

Talk about absolute power and one man's myopic vision of how development should be.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1102.jpg


Another interesting thing in the picture is the shop with signboard of 'Honda' in the background. The brand still has huge popularity in Cambodia.



As mentioned earlier, there are only 7 adult surviors out of around 20000 people who were held in this prison. We were lucky to see two of them at the prison. They come here regularly and have interaction with tourists and also sell their book.

In pic below is Chum Mey

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1130.jpg

The second prisoner whom we met was Bou Meng

Last edited by mpksuhas : 24th September 2019 at 21:35.
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Old 24th September 2019, 22:05   #22
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 6: 04-July-2019 Ctd

Its nearing 4.00 PM and we go in search of a place to have late lunch.

As per our earlier plan, we had thought of visiting Flicks community theater

Weblink

The place is run by Ramon Stoppelenburg who travelled the world using invites he got from readers of his website before the time of social media or vlogging.

You can read about him here

However, due to time constraints we drop the plan and head directly to a restaurant which had good reviews online.


Eleven One Kitchen

Location

It's a beautiful place with great service.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_171445.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_172633.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_175732.jpg


Food done, we walked around the streets aiming in general direction of our hotel. Did some shopping and then when we got tired stopped for a cold coffee at Cousins Burger & Cofee.

Location


Again another beautiful place and they accept card payments too.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_193030.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190704_190510.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 24th September 2019 at 22:08.
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Old 24th September 2019, 22:31   #23
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 7: 05-July-2019
Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand

Today we leave Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand. Our flight is around 08.00 AM from Phnom Penh, to avoid any last minute uncertainty due to online cab booking, we decide to get cab from our hotel itself.

The regular charges of cab from downtown area to airport is around USD 14, however the grab cab which we took had for airport to hotel earlier this week costed us USD 7 only. Based on that we were able to bargain a bit with hotel manager and he agreed to get a cab for us for USD 10.

We started from airport around 05.30 AM just to avoid peak time rush.

Cab was a Lexus RX300, it took around half hour to reach the airport.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_055333.jpg

Enroute we pass central market area, we had planned to visit this place just to see it based on lots of comments we saw online. However had dropped the plan due to lack of time.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_054619.jpg


Phnom Penh has a beautiful airport, which is bit crowded though.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_060740.jpg

Parking lots are named in a interesting way with names of different birds

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_064056.jpg


The gents and ladies icon had a different appearance in Cambodia

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_063520.jpg


Just in case what all items were not allowed on flight. You have the actual items kept, not photographs

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_060943.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_060949.jpg


Flight was on time and we reach Phuket airport, an equally beautiful airport soon.



Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190707_110608.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190707_111606.jpg


Food counters next to boarding gates

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190707_110955.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 24th September 2019 at 22:34.
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Old 24th September 2019, 22:56   #24
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 7: 05-July-2019 Ctd
Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand


As mentioned here we had opted for E Visa for Thailand. Hence there is a seperate window for issuing visa, else you need to hand over all documents along with filled departure form which you receive inflight.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_091118.jpg


VOA counter

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_104131.jpg

There is a photo booth next to the counter, so that those who don't have photos can take it.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_104123.jpg

Also, there is an ATM located next, however do note that visa charges are accepted only in Thai Bahts (currently waived for Indian passport holders), hence it is better to carry the same in cash to avoid any inconvenience if ATM is not working.


Immigration counter is crowded and it takes around half hour to clear. Past that near baggage counters, there are SIM counters too. However, we are using our Cambodian SIM's on roaming.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_112318.jpg


Rate chart to city

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_112410.jpg

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Old 24th September 2019, 23:08   #25
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 7: 05-July-2019 Ctd
Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand


Instead of taking taxi, our plan was to take Phuket Smart bus. There is a 3 day pass with unlimited rides available and we decide to take that.

The bus stop is towards domestic terminal of the airport below the ramp.

Website of Phuket Smart bus

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_113231.jpg

You can find details of 3 day card here.

We get in to bus and purchase the cards

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_120157.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_125057.jpg


The bus

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190706_155437.jpg


The bus stops at pre defined stops as listed in the website, also it is possible to track buses on real time in the site.

Each bus stop has a signboard as this

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_211726.jpg

Patong bus stop is at electricity authority office mentioned above, however on request, the bus driver stopped next to lane of our hotel.
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Old 24th September 2019, 23:14   #26
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 7: 05-July-2019 Ctd
Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand


Our stay was booked at Ibis Phuket Patong

Location

Hotel is located conveniently near to Patong center and also beach, check-in was smooth and rooms typical Ibis quality.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_181149.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_181044.jpg


Hotel restaurant

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_141625.jpg


Room, typical Ibis. Bright and small.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_131641.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_131704.jpg


The reminder that you are in Tsunami risk zone.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_140528.jpg
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Old 25th September 2019, 22:06   #27
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 7: 05-July-2019 Ctd
Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand


We had planned the stopover at Phuket just because we had couple of extra days after Cambodia. We were not having any major sightseeing plans here apart from that around Phuket.

We plan to make another trip to Phuket to see the major attractions sometime later.

So after a short nap, we take a walk along Patong beach.


Tsunami evacuation route is marked all along the beachfront

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_181812.jpg


Patong beach is not that crowded

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_182455.jpg

The second person seen dangling from the parachute is an operator, he is dangling without any safety harness. A risk for his and also other beachgoers life if he slips and falls. This kind of unsafe practices were noticed across, a reason you find few safety related concerns raised by westerners on online form related to travelling in Thailand in general.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_182701.jpg


Soon it's sunset

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_184611.jpg


We stop at Hern Coffee and Bistro for juices and snacks in evening.

Location

It is a great place, just opposite to beach.


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_194749.jpg

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_185111.jpg



Past that we take a walk around the town and head to Jungceylon mall


Location

We do visit here the next day too and would suggest that it is good for shopping.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190705_212032.jpg

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Old 25th September 2019, 22:27   #28
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 8: 06-July-2019 : Around Phuket

After a late morning, we book a grab taxi for 4 hours. The plan is to see east side of Phuket and then head southwards and then catch the bus back from there to hotel once taxi timing is done.

The cab is a Chevrolet Captiva, it was having around 1.5 Lakh on its ODO (I guess it will be miles) and ABS, ESP alerts in dashboard. Else the vehicle was in good condition.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190706_104618.jpg



Our first destination is Phuket Thai Hua Museum.

Location

This is located in an older part of town, the museum is about history of Chinese ethnic people in Phuket. It cannot be called a must visit, however if you are interested in history and architecture, you can visit the same. Also, it is located in a part of town where parking is difficult to find. Museum provides parking, you can use this while you walk and check out the surrounding areas.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190706_105121.jpg


Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-img_20190706_105132.jpg

One of the rare spotting of Suzuki cars on this trip. Suzukis mini commercial vehicles are more common here.

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Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1145.jpg

Replica of how a Chinese shop would be

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1144.jpg
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Old 25th September 2019, 22:35   #29
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 8: 06-July-2019 : Around Phuket Ctd

Once we are done visiting the museum, we walk around the neighbouring area.


Thalang Road

Location

This area has lots of old buildings now done up in vibrant colors.

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Also, there are few smaller shopping areas selling souvenirs and similar items.

Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles-dscn1158.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 25th September 2019 at 22:36.
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Old 25th September 2019, 22:44   #30
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveler: Cambodia - Land of smiles

Day 8: 06-July-2019 : Around Phuket Ctd

After getting back to cab at museum, we head to Chalong temple

Chaiyathararam Temple / Chalong Temple

Location

Google maps lists this place as Chaiyathararam temple, however its known as Chalong temple. Our taxi driver wasn't able to understand where we wanted to go when we explained the location as per name on Google map. Finally, he was able to understand once I showed him pictures of the temple online.

This is a short drive from museum and it takes us around 30 minutes.

The temple complex is not that huge, however it has mainly 3 big buildings.

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Apart from the interesting architectural structure, this is a new temple and doesn't have much of a charm if you are not visiting there as a pilgrim. However, this is enroute from Phuket town to the big Buddha statue. Hence you can have it as a stop over.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 25th September 2019 at 22:45.
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