Tag: indochina

Oudong, the Old Capital of Cambodia: Is It Worth the Day Trip from Phnom Penh?

In case you don’t know yet, my way of travel will probably be classified as ‘scattered’ for some people. Unlike most travelers who would outline their itinerary when they visited a place, I wasn’t like that. That’s also what happened when I was in Cambodia.

After I decided to turn down Sihanoukville from the list of cities to visit as a part of my Indochina tour, I eventually stayed at The Mou Hotel in Phnom Penh for 4 days. You may think I had visited a lot of places in Cambodia’s capital, but truth be told, I had not.

After visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on the first day, I ended up having some Khmer massage at Anna’s Spa. On the second day, I was swarmed up with the virtual meeting, so I only went to the riverside later at night for a date with my Indochina fling. LOL.

On my last full day, since I realized that I didn’t know when I got a chance to come back to Phnom Penh again, I decided to force myself to go out. And this time, I went to Oudong, the old capital of Cambodia.

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Cambodian Genocide Tour: The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh

I have a thing with dark tourism. While it may come across creepy for some people, I think I could see it from a different perspective in a way that there were times when humanity failed that we should never go back to where it was.

It’s the same reason why I like reading books related to dark history like the Holocaust. The top of my bucket list includes visiting Auschwitz and Srebenica if one day I get a chance to land somewhere around Europe. I’d also like to go to where the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy took place in America.

Who am I kidding? I definitely wouldn’t miss Sarajevo if one day I go to Bosnia, so I could see the spot where Franz Ferdinand got shot. The list goes on, and my interest in dark tourism is also why I couldn’t miss the genocide tour when I was in Cambodia.

Apart from a cemetery, I think the dark history is also something that I could trace back in my travel to remind myself that I should never take things for granted with the life I have now. As hard as it feels like in some days, I’ve got it easy.

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Review: Giant Ibis, the Best Bus Operator in Cambodia

Ever since I started planning my last Indochina trip, I knew that I wanted to travel overland from my first stop in Ho Chi Minh City to when I flew back home from Kuala Lumpur

At first, I didn’t think much about the transportation that I’d opt for my journey. However, since I took the minibus from Ha Tien to Kampot, I figure that maybe the best choice that I could make in terms of transportation would be by bus. It would be more convenient for me since I brought big luggage, and the bus will have a space for it without me feeling guilty that my bag took too much space on the trunk of the car. 

So when I left Kampot to Phnom Penh, I decided to just book a bus ticket by Giant Ibis through Bookaway

I initially planned to book a sleeper bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. However, when I was about to book it, the sleeper bus was sold out, so I ended up using the same bus operator again for the road trip in Cambodia. 

So, I’m going to share my insights on using their service as the transportation mode in Cambodia. What’s my review on Giant Ibis, possibly one of the best bus operators in the country? Check this out!

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Enroute to Kampot from Vietnam: Bus from Chau Doc to Ha Tien

When I started my Indochina trip earlier this year, I basically knew where I wanted to go for the trip. However, I didn’t have some fixed itinerary during the trip because there were some changes that I ended up making along the way. One of them was my decision to stop by Ha Tien from Chau Doc.

The thing is that I couldn’t find any transportation options from Chau Doc to Kampot online, and I figured that the only option to go to Kampot from An Giang Province is to go to Ha Tien first.

From Ha Tien, there is a minibus that directly goes to Kampot on a daily basis but the latest departure is around 1 PM. So I should either start really early in Chau Doc if I wanted to catch the bus to Kampot from Ha Tien or stay overnight in the city. I chose the later and managed to book a bus ticket from Chau Doc to Ha Tien from the hotel where I stayed in An Giang Province, Hai Chau Hotel.

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An Giang Province, Vietnam: Places to Visit Around Chau Doc

In case you haven’t read my previous review of G5 Comfort Car that took me to Chau Doc from Ho Chi Minh City, then just know that Chau Doc became the second city I visited on my last trip to Vietnam. 

If I gotta be honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Chau Doc or An Giang Province before. The only reason I decided to go to Chau Doc was because sometime last year, I matched with a Vietnamese guy on OKCupid and I asked for his recommendation to visit around the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

At first, I was planning to stop by Phu Quoc before going to Cambodia. But since beaches are the main attractions in Phu Quoc and I recently came back from Bali, I’d rather visit a place with different things to offer. Even better if it’s one of the off the beaten track destinations in Vietnam.

Anyway, it was serendipity to match with this cute Vietnamese guy even though he stopped talking to me and removed me from Instagram for no reason after a while. Because guess what? I may not find my last visit to Vietnam as fantastic as the first one, but no doubt Chau Doc has now become one of my favorite cities in Vietnam!

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