In his blog post 11 BIGGEST BUSINESS TRENDS in the Philippines 2014 , Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet beautifully describes the emergence of Filipino Free Independent Travelers. "They travel by setting up their own itinerary like a backpacker, but live luxuriously and travel leisurely without the need for a travel agency". I agree. And I am proud to say I am one of them.
10:50pm -ETD Manila
2:00 -ETA Ho Chi Minh City
2:30-8:00am -Sleep 8:00am -breakfast
9:00:2:00pm - walking city tour
2:30pm -back at hotel
3:00pm : leave for Phnom Penh (by bus)
9:00pm -ETA Phnom Penh
9:30pm -late dinner/drinking 1:00am-sleep
READ: HONG HAN HOTEL Bui Vien: backpacker friendly + very helpful manager
for detailed review.
READ: Cha Ca, Banh Xeo, Rau Mong and Nem Ran at NHA HANG NGON Restaurant HCMC for full review.
chunks of fish seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill on a hot pan tableside.
crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Price: 70,000 Dong
We took the cab to War Remnants Museum.The perfect place to start your City Tour as it will give you a glimpse into the war past of Vietnam (Vietnam War) which has significantly shaped the contemporary psyche of this nation.Will talk about it in my next post.
READ: Ho Chi Minh City: The WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM
It's interesting to see a Catholic Church in a communist country honestly.I know there are many more in HCMC and Vietnam but this one is grand and elaborate in its design.Lakas maka-European feel.I noticed that it's not open to the public though so we had to contend ourselves to having pictures around it. Just across the street side of the church is the Central Post Office.
The Central Post Office is another manifestation of French architectures legacy to the city.It is fully functional until now and inside you can find atm's, souviner shops and money changers. We rested in some benches inside and at some point I felt like I was in an old European Train Station.
From the square, we took the taxi to Bến Thành Market in hunt for souvenirs It's a public market but surprisingly, goods are expensive. I was disappointed coz I thought they are outrageously pricey.I guess for tourists like us who are easy prey to local merchants.Haggling is the order here of course and unfortunately,that's where me and my friends are not very good at. I bought a black Ho Chi Minh shirt for 420pesos after minutes of trying to lower the price.
Read: Walking Tour of HO CHI MINH CITY
2.The Killing Fields
4.Public Market + lunch
3:00pm --leave for Siem Reap
9:00pm ETA Siem Reap
9:30-late dinner + night out
11:00pm-sleep (need to wake up early for sunrise at Angkor Wat)
WHERE TO STAY:
KHA VI GUEST HOUSE
Gladly, our tuktuk driver was reliable.He suggested to us a good restaurant by the avenue near the riverside.
WHAT TO EAT:
Tom Yam Hot Pot (seafood) --$7
The best Tom Yam I have ever tried in the entirety of this trip. Yes, not even the Tom Yams in Thailand could match it. At least in the places we tried.
And the Steamed fish with lemon was awesomeness.The fish was really tender and fresh tasting.They do catch good fish in Mekong river or wherever it was from.
Amok Fish (In Coconut) --$4
Not that impressive but I give it an A for presentation.
The KILLING FIELDS Choeung Ek
We were advised to skip Phnom Penh and head straight to Siem Reap but how can one snob Cambodia's capital when there is so much contemporary history in it.
Phnom Penh is the current capital of Cambodia after it was moved there after the fall of Angkor, the old capital.It lay witness to the continued struggle of the country being pawn to its powerful neighbors ----Thailand and Vietnam.
It is important to note that Thailand (Ayutthaya) was responsible for the fall of Angkor and Vietnam's communist struggle also affected Cambodia in a big way.Khmer Rouge, the notorious communist group lead by Pol Pot was a result of the victory of communist North Vietnam (which by the way was also responsible for the defeat of the group later on).The civil war of 1969-1975 eventually lead to the victory of the repressive regime (helped by communist North Vietnam) which orchestrated the Cambodian Genocide.
One should not miss The KILLING FIELDS in Choeung Ek when visiting Phnom Penh. This is one of the most popular mass graves where victims of the Communist Regime of Pol Pot were dumped.
Full article >>> here
he CENTRAL MARKET Phnom Penh
Since the Killing Fields is 15 kms from downtown, our tuktuk driver advised that we go there first.It was a wrong move.He didn't mention of that the Grand Palace actually closes during lunchtime.When we got back to the city center therefore, we were for a few minutes puzzled about what to do.Good thing Katsu (our Japanese buddy who we met during the trip) suggested that we go to the market. Perfect because it's just nearby plus we were in the mood to look for some souvenirs and trying some local food 'market style'.
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WHERE TO STAY:
GOLDEN TEMPLE VILLA Siem Reap: Small hotel with a BIG Statement
It was the same scenario from HCMC, we left the capital 3 pm so we were in Siem Reap by 8pm. We went straight to our hotel for check in. Knowing that a nice accommodation is waiting for you is one of those simple pleasures of tiring road journeys.
GOLDEN TEMPLE VILLA Siem Reap is love.
WHERE TO EAT:
PAI SAN RESTAURANT Siem Reap
WHAT TO EAT:
Khmer Sour Soup
4:30am-leave hotel for Angkor Wat
6:00am- Sunrise at Angkor Wat
7:00am-breakfast at Angkot Wat
2.Wat Arun and sorrounding Temples
4. Angkor Thom
2:00pm-back at hotel + quick lunch
3:00pm -leave to Thai border (via taxi)
6:00pm-ETA Thai Border
6:30-leave for Bangkok
10:30pm -ETA Khao San Bangkok
11:00pm -late dinner +night out
WAHT TO SEE AND DO:
DAY TOUR OF ANGKOR COMPLEX
Unlike other temples, Angkor Wat faces West.It could also be appreciated best therefore during sunset.