After visiting the places within the city center of Ho Chi Minh, you can arrange a day trip outside the city to visit Cu Chi Tunnel. Several tour agencies are available along Pham Ngu Lao street (backpackers area) on the range of 10-20usd. You can […]
The third country and will be the last stop of my Indochina adventure – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. You can also read my trip report for Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. If you are in Phnom Penh, you can either go up to Siem Reap […]
We just finished our temple run in Siem Reap and it’s time to proceed with our IndoChina adventure. Instead of directly heading to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), we decided to have a stop over and take a day trip in the capital of Cambodia – Phnom Penh.
From Siem Reap, you can book a night bus going to Phnom Penh. Giant Ibis, Virak Buntham and Mekong express are some bus company choices. We chose Virak Buntham as it has a “hotel type bus” – bus with sleeping beds which are completely flat, not just reclined. As most of the night buses in Siem Reap, they have wifi access, blanket, curtain for your privacy and a power outlet to charge your electronics. Though this company has some negative reviews, luckily we had a good night travel.
Bus fare from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is 10USD (Php450.00). Travel time is around 6-7hours.
If you choose to leave Siem Reap by midnight, you will reach Phnom Penh by 7am – enough time to explore the city’s history.
If you have big luggage like us, you can book some room for a day to keep it or even to freshen up before you take a stroll. You can get Php150-300 room for a night.
To get around the city, tuk tuk are always available. We were offered 15USD (Php675.00) for a roundtrip from our hotel to the killing fields and genocide museum. Half day is enough to visit these places,
Places we visited in Phnom Penh
- Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Also known as the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, is the extermination site during the Khmer rouge regime. This is where around 8000 remains of men, women, children and infants were exhumed. Those are the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime – people who are suspected of having connections with the former government or with foreign governments. (to know more about this genocidal site click here)
Entrance fee to here is 6USD (Php275.00) and already include a very informative audio guide.
2. Toul Sleng S21 Genocide Museum
This is used to be a prison during the Khmer Rouge regime – a place of interrogation, torture and extermination.
Entrance fee is 2USD (Php 90.00)
Here are other street snaps we got around the city.
|1 day hostel||Php 200.00|
|Tuk Tuk||Php 675.00|
|Entrance Fee||Php 360.00|
Total = Php 1535.00
You can save Php 200.00 if you are traveling light. No need to look for luggage storage. And if you can share tuk tuk ride with other guest, Php 375.00 savings again on that.
Basically, Php 1000.00 for a stop ever in Phnom Penh.
Next stop: Ho Chi Minh
My 9 days Thailand solo travel ended, but my travel continues, this time Siem Reap, Cambodia for another Temple Run. I booked a flight from Phuket to Siem Reap for Php 1600.00 Upon arrival in the airport, taxis and tuktuk are available just outside the […]
My Chiang Mai adventure has ended. Its time to experience the south of Thailand – Phuket, the last leg of my Thailand backpacking. I booked a one way flight from Bangkok to Phuket via AirAsia for Php1600.00. From Phuket Int’l Airport, you can take either […]
Day 2 – Explore Chang Rai
For my second day in Chang Mai, i booked a tour going to Chang Rai to visit the the Karen Long Neck Village and Golden Triangle. Chang Rai is a two hour drive from Chiang Mai.
Heading towards Chang Rai, we had a stop over in a public hot spring. It was a needed stop over after your 2 hour sitting in the van. The area is just a typical bus stop where you can find shops, restaurants and the hot spring where the local vendors boiled their eggs to be sold for the tourist.
White Buddhist Temple
Another 1hr drive and we arrived at Wat Rong Khun or commonly know as the White Buddhist Temple. The temple is now privately own by a local artist who funded its repair and renovation. The artist believed that his work is an offering to Lord Buddha that can give him an eternal life. The exterior of the temple is extravagant with intricate details and design, however, the interior lacks details and design or maybe I just felt weird on what was painted inside the temple. The temple is still under renovation when we visited. Nevertheless it is still worth a visit and know its history.
By the way, the golden structure behind me is just a public toilet in the White Temple. 🙂
Next stop will be the Golden Triangle, an hour away from the White Buddhist temple. This time we will revisit our history lesson in high school during Mekong River Cruise and learn the trading history in the Golden Triangle – opium and heroin black market. Boat ride is optional for 300baht (around 8USD)
While cruising the Mekong River, the tour guide explains the rich history of the river including its black market history. It was called Golden Triangle as it was surrounded by mountains of three countries – Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. You can read more information here about Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent (Afghanistan).
Boat Stop at Laos
A quick stop on the side of Laos is included in this tour – Don Sao island. Here you can heck out the exotic products of Laos. Free taste of their local gin or whiskey is being offered if you have the guts to try. Well, i just had a sip and i think it’s already a good try. Picture below is one of their cobra-ginseng flavored whiskey
We were suppose to have a quick stop in Mae Sai for some souvenir but our tour guide decided to bring us to a temple at the top of the mountain. Indeed it’s a better choice – the place is relaxing. Mae Sai is the northernmost part of Thailand and serve as Thailand-Myanmar border crossing.
Karen Long Neck Village
The last stop is the Karen Long Neck Village. This is the part of the tour that realizes my imaginations watching Nat Geo channels -to experience and see the tribes you just watched on tv before.
Karen Long Neck Hill tribe, known for spiral brass coils around their necks, are actually an ethic tribe from Myanmar and not from Thailand. There are several reasons why they put coils on their neck according to anthropologist – as protection form wild tigers, it protects them from being slave form other tribe as they look less attractive or to resembles a dragon with long neck as an important figure in the tribe folklore.
Tips and estimated expense report
If you have extra time, you may opt to use overnight buses to Chiang Mai from Bangkok that will give you more savings – cheaper bus fare and you save one night hotel accommodation.
For comparison purposes on Day 2 Tour- if you want to do a DIY to Chang Rai, 3-hour bus is available for around Php800.00 round-trip (20seater). You have to consider also the transfers from one place to another which is an hour away from each other (Php 200 may be enough for public transport). I had difficulty researching this info before my travel that is why I opted to join a group tour. If anyone has tried this DIY travel using public transport please feel free to leave a comment below as reference for future travelers.
Entrance fee for White Temple is 50baht (~Php70.00) and for the Karen Long Neck Village is 200Baht (~Php270). It may have cost you around Php1300.00 for DIY plus your lunch expense. So for me, Php300.00 difference for the comfort of traveling to a distant location is a reasonable choice.
If you are a single traveler, you can save on accommodation in a dorm style hostel – for 3nights will only cost you around Php600-Php800.00
Additional savings from your round-trip Bangkok – Chiang Mai transfer by bus, paying only P2000.000 for 1st class bus or Php1200.00 for 2nd class instead of Php3000.00 airfare
A total of Php2800.000 savings for you.
Php5800.00 for 4D/3N itinerary
Next… Enjoying Phuket, Thailand
Visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and to visit Long Neck tribe in Chiang Rai has always been in my bucket list. The idea of riding on it and watching them do some paintings excites me (before). Thus my Thailand itinerary brought me to ChangMai. […]
I planned this IndoChina trip almost 3 months ahead of my scheduled travel – tours, hotel bookings, flights, routes. I believe that planning your itinerary ahead of time gives you more savings and flexibility. If we need some info for the places we want to […]