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IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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 […]

IndoChina Travel – Phnom Penh (1day stopover)

IndoChina Travel – Phnom Penh (1day stopover)

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 – […]

IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Siem Reap Temple Run

IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Siem Reap Temple Run

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 terminal for your transfer to the town center. Taxi desk is located after customs. The rate is standardized for taxi, Php315. But for tuktuk, some says you can still haggle a little Php180-270. If you are solo travel with light luggage, you can also try the motorcyle for only Php100. A group of more than 4 can take van for Php450. (Update: Day trip transfers from airport to downtown increased, Apr2017, Van 15USD, Car 10USD, Tuktuk and Motorcyle 9USD)

I booked a double room with twin bed since this time i will be traveling with my brother who arrived in Siem Reap 1 night ahead of me. I got the room at Boutique Cambo Hotel for only Php850.00 per night. The room was spacious and clean. The hotel also have a small swimming pool if you want to chill at night after your day tours.

Day 1 Arrival and Pub Street

Everyone who visits Siem Reap should visit the Pub Street. From your hotel, you can ride a tuktuk or walk going to Pub Street. A tuktuk ride will only cost you Php90. Pub Street is a great place to shop, dine or unwind. Take a seat in one of the bars around the street and grab some beer. Take note, draft beer is only 0.50USD (Php 22.00)

 

Day 2 Temple Run

If you arrived in Siem Reap and still do not have itinerary or tours, you can ask the taxi or tuktuk driver that dropped you in the hotel if they offer a day trip rental although it is highly likely that they will offer you their service even before you ask. Luckily, the driver that I got was a former authorized tour guide of Siem Reap. He offered 40USD (Php 1800.00) for a Angkor Archeological Park with the tour guide himself and sunrise viewing. It was almost 50% lower than the person i was emailing before our trip. The average car rental in Siem Reap for a day tour in Angkor Wat Complex is Php1350, but it does not include a tour guide and entrance fee to the complex.

You have to wake up early to catch the sunrise in Angkor Wat, most tour operators pick up their guest between 4:30-5:00am. Before proceeding into the complex, one should secure a pass. A one day pass cost 20USD (Php900.00). You should be physically there in the counter as they will take a picture of you to be printed in your day pass. (Update: Effective Feb 2017, 1-Day Pass to Angkor is USD37)

When you arrive in the complex, find your best spot to capture the sunrise.

Our driver / tour guide is very knowledgeable about the Angkor Wat – he gave us a lot of information about when, why and how the complex was built. Initially Angkor Wat was constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire but later on converted to a Buddhist temple. Some of the artifacts of Hindu gods are still present in the temple.



Going around the temples will make you wonder how artistic the Khmer people. You will wonder how they were able to lift those big boulders of rocks and carve it to achieved those wall signs or arts.

Bas-Relief in Bayon Temple


Angkor Archeological Park is not only about Angkor Wat, there are other big temples around the complex. Our driver guide brings us to Angkor Thom where the Bayon Temple is located. Bayon temple is know for its multiple smiling stone faces.

Facade of Bayon Temple

Another temple that is well known temple inside the complex is the Ta Prohm whic is use as one of the location shoot of Angelina Joli’s Tomb Raider.

Another reason why this temple is known for the visitors is its photogenic combination of ruins and jungle as the big roots of trees engulf its walls.

Below are other shots of temples in the park

Our Angkor Wat experience ended by 3pm, you also have the option to watch sunset. Your driver will just pick you up again in your hotel if you decided to catch the sunset.

Expense Report (2 persons)

I don’t usually include air ticket in my expense report as this usually varied – you might be lucky that you can grab a seat sale from Manila or your trip starts from Thailand like I did.

Accommodation, 3nights twin room (Php 2550.00)
Taxi to Hotel (Php 315.00)
Food and drinks per person- 2days (Php 750.00)
Transpo going around (tuktuk) for 2 days (Php 500.00)
Driver Guide to Angkor (Php 1800.00)
Entrance Fee to Angkor Archeological Park Php (1800.00)

Our total Expenses = Php8465.00

If you are a group of three to four, your individual expenses will be lesser you can have savings on accommodation and driver/tourguide since you can split these into 3 or 4. As I said earlier, my brother came early so we need 3 nights stay, however, 2 nights is enough to tour Siem Reap. Your accommodation can be around Php600.00 per person (Agoda rates) if your in a group or even solo.

And for a solo traveler, a group tour in Angkor Wat is around Php 2300.00 including the entrance fee to the temple (Angkor Wat Tour).

Considering above savings, you can tour around Siem Reap for 3days and 2 nights for only Php4500.00

See you in Ho Chi Minh

IndoChina Travel – 3 Nights in Phuket, Thailand

IndoChina Travel – 3 Nights in Phuket, Thailand

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 […]

IndoChina Travel – Chiang Rai, Thailand

IndoChina Travel – Chiang Rai, Thailand

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 […]

IndoChina Travel – 4D3N Chiang Mai

IndoChina Travel – 4D3N Chiang Mai

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. From Bangkok, I was able to grab a two way AirAsia ticket for only 65USD (Php3000.00). There are other ways of transport going to ChangMai like trains and buses – cheaper but takes a longer travel time. But for travelers who has limited time like me, air tickets is already a considerable option.

Hotels, hostels and guesthouses are available options for your stay. Most of these accommodation are just around the Old City walls or near Night Bazaar. Plenty of shops, restaurants and some bars as well to grab some beer. For dorm type accommodation (6-8persons in a room), i found some that will only cost you around 5-8USD and standard room for 10-25USD per night in a hostel in Agoda.com.

Arrival

I arrived in my hostel past 7pm already and I was starving. Good thing there are street of hawker nearby the hostel – meat skewers, rice toppings, juices are available. Chang Mai or Thailand in general is known to be one of the best cuisine in the world, so i believe you will never go wrong in choosing what to eat here even in just the street.

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I spent 3 nights in Chiang Mai, my first activity is to visit Elephant Sanctuary and Karen long neck village. This time, i booked a group tour because the places i wanted to visit is a little bit far. You can pre-book your tour or you can also ask your hostels for their tour recommendations. I booked my tour online in Travel Hub Chiang Mai. I got my 2-day tour around 65USD – First day is Elephant Safari Tour with bamboo rafting, ox cart riding and lunch. On the second day , Chaing Rai Tour and Karen Long Neck village.

Elephant Safari and Tiger Zoo

I was picked up in the hotel around 8am and we were about 8 people in the van. We headed our way to Elephant Safari. I am now feeling guilty doing this tour after watching several clips how these elephants are treated to become domesticated and tamed. You can always visit elephant sanctuary for close encounter to these gentle giants but i suggest not to patronize or support elephant riding.

 

Another activity in this tour is the bamboo rafting. Cruise around the river using bamboo raft – in the middle of the cruise you might want to try to paddle the raft as well. It’s a relaxing cruise as you traverse the river.

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On the same camp, you will also be given a chance to ride cart pulled by ox. The ride is just about 15mins around the camp. Lunch is included in the tour. Buffet style lunch with several meat options, noodles, soup and fresh fruits.

After elephant camp, we were brought to a tiger zoo. A close encounter with the tigers inside their cage is not included in the package but you can always add on.

 

We finished the tour and arrived in the hotel around 5pm – still enough time to take a short nap and freshen up. You can head on to the Night Bazaar for some pasalubong shopping and eat you dinner as well. It depends on your location, you can walk or ride a tuktuk going to the market. Normal price will be 100baht one way for foreigners but you can still haggle to some drivers. You can also walk from your hotel if you still have enough energy after your day tour. I felt safe walking around the walled old city going to the market – it was also a nice stroll for people watching and taking snaps around the area.



There’s a hawker center near the night bazaar where you can eat dinner and have some local beer.

Random snaps of some temples while walking

 

Check my next post Day 2 in Chiang Mai where I include my travel expenses report.

IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Bangkok, Thailand

IndoChina Travel – 3D/2N Bangkok, Thailand

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 […]


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