This 9 day trip was planned to celebrate 3rd year anniversary (9-17 August 2013):
From the busy Phnom Penh going to the wonderful Siem Reap; then to the adventurous Pattaya and to Bangkok.
Day 1 : Pretty Phnom Penh
Reached PP at around 4pm from Singapore. It was raining so heavily, we took a taxi to our hotel after buying a SIM card and changing our money to riel. It’s a flat rate, which is better, $9 usd for taxi and 7$ usd for Tuk Tuk.
Tuk Tuk drivers were nice but charge 3 usd per trip (for less than 5 min trip) which is places where generally near. So bargain a bit with the drivers before hopping on to the Tuk Tuk.
First night we decided to just walk around the neighborhood of the “Tea house hotel” (very cozy and nice boutique hotel) , a lot of food stalls and beauty parlors and salon.
We saw this mom-in-law Vietnamese restaurant, we missed viet, so we decided to eat there..Fantastic food.
We met our friends that night and had a drink in Hotel Cambodiana, there is a good professional Filipino band in there and we end up partying and dancing the night away. So much fun!! Decent bar.
Day 2 :Genocide Museum
2nd day, had our breakfast and went to Genocide Museum, or Tuol Sleng Museum, its a primary school turned to torture place by Khmer Rouge, sad depressing place but must go if you are in Phnom Penh. It’s sad how a man in power did Khmer Rouge that end up in a murder of thousands of people. What makes me more sad was when I saw this two men who were a survivor of the killings, their family was killed there and they are there , taking picture with people, signing autographs with the book that was written about their life and how they survive, at first I thought, wow that was great, they survive.. But then I thought how difficult is it for them to be in that same place every day, just to earn money, it broke my heart…how can they move on? Or do they really move on that much maybe that they can be there.
I mean they can choose not and move on to their lives but they are doing it, maybe they have deeper better reasons that I can’t think of.
We decided to walk from the museum to Russian market as google said its just 15 min walk, but its not, its far .. So don’t try walking.
Russian market- if you want to shop for souvenirs, silks, fake IT gadgets and branded clothing its all here in a cheaper price. The best was the 1$ scarfs! If you want to buy for gifts that’s the best.
After shopping we had great lunch in Khmer Surin (recommended by a friend) , awesome Khmer inspired restaurant, kinda pricey but was justified by ambiance and the food both taste and presentation. Had my first taste of fish amok, (now my fave cambodian food).
Went to Royal palace after lunch, gold, silver and bronze palace.. It’s good to see if you appreciate architecture and history of course. $6 usd per person.
We went to river side for a walk and pray there, nothing much in there, a lot of eating places hotels, and travel and tour shops and of course massage.
We bought our tickets to siem reap for the following day. It is 9$ per person for a mini van.
There’s a lot of travel and tour shop around. You can find them anywhere around the city.
Went back to hotel and rest for a while, we went out again to see the night market, with food stalls , people eat in the mat, it was kinda cool. we are lucky it didnt rain. tried few of cambodian street foods.
Shop a little bit but not a lot of variety in there.
Day 3 : Van to Siem Reap
We were pick up by a van early in the morning, about 9am for our 6-7hour Siem Reap trip.
The day trip went fine with 2 toilet break stops including a lunch break.
I love the scenery, so green with rice fields farms, cows, and lot of perfectly coned hays, and a lot of houses with same architecture.
It’s kinda refreshing to me because, its the time that I can just rest my mind for few hours by just staring at the window, listening with the songs that I prepared for this trip. I prepare my playlist as I’m looking forward for my long trips with music. It’s like a solitary break for me, not quiet though because of the music but I feel relax doing it,
Reach siem reap around 4pm, Check in to our hotel, went to Angkor wat bought our ticket as one day pass can use day before as long as u bought it after 5pm. Manage to see Angkor wat for an hour for the first time.. its beautiful..
Went back to our hotel and decide to go out for the night market. It was huge touristy night market area with a lot and lots of stalls for shopping, souvenirs, silks, fake merchandise, clothing s etc. Had our traditional Khmer massage in a nice massage parlor for only 6$ per hour per person. Went back hotel and rest.
We woke up at 4:45am because we want to catch the famous sunrise in Angkor wat, our tuk tuk driver pick us up at 5am.. unfortunately, it was a cloudy morning so we didn’t get to see the sun rise. But that’s ok, took a lot of photos. ( We accepted the fact that our anniversary month, August is a monsoon season for most of the south East Asian countries but of course the privilege of off peak season also is un exchangeable )
our hardworking tuk tuk driver, who put some leaves in his tuk tuk after we hadd our breakfast.. melt my heart..
Went back to our hotel to take breakfast as the hotel we chose is just near the Angkor wat.
After that, continued our Angkor adventure. Went to ta phrom , Angkor thom, bayon, and phra Tum, baphun we finish around 2pm as that’s enough for one day of temples.
our rings travel at siem reap this time..
Angkor wat in an August morning..
this are our tickets to the angkor..
Our second destination Ta Phrom were tomb raider was shoot.
We hired a Tuk Tuk and a driver for one whole day for only $15 a day plus of course we gave him $5 tip. He is a friend of ours , a brother in Christ whom our friends introduce so he is very helpful and was so kind, his name is Phirun. We let him join our breakfast and lunch and listens to a lot of his stories and of course history from a true blood Khmer:) whom his mother was a victim of Khmer Rouge herself.
After that we bought our Pattaya ticket, Rested and enjoyed our hotel.
Met with friends at night, for Thai- viet- Khmer buffet, it was awesome. Had coffee after that.
Woke up 6am as our bus to pattaya will pick us up at 7:30am, manage to have our breakfast, thank goodness.
It was a breeze fr sr to poipet (3 hours) but the immigration border there was so uncomfortable, very hot, not so much system, no directions etc we are there for about 3hours will all the waiting time and all, I will not recommend traveling by land. Recently budget airline opens so too bad for me and my husband. But it is an experience.
Poipet to Pattaya took about 3hours. Total travel around 10-11hours.
Reach pattaya and we had no idea how to go in our hotel because the van drop us into high way. We ask around and end up riding the small bus.
We paid 20 batth each person each trip, we thought every trip was standard price, by the end of our 4day pattaya trip, we found out that its only 10 baht, so sad…
We rented a motorbike to roam around, which is nice, we didnt take any tour as we just want to enjoy our hotel . We just want to do parasailing.We had parasailing , so so great experience, in a tour you will pay 2k baht per person includes island hopping snorkeling etc which will take the whole day, so we skip that and just ask a local lady near the beach for parasailing , she gave us a deal of 435 baht each person for 1 parasailing experience after haggling a bit.
It’s my first time so I’m just really thrilled and at the same time happy while I’m up there. I, giggling alone, I know that kinda funny but I can feel the wind the breeze, the sky the sea.. All the elements that I love where there.
Going down, was a little bit struggle as the boat driver can’t bring me down to exact place I even hit the roof but luckily the guys jumped to catch my feet and able to bring me down.
Thanks goodness, I appreciate all of them , the team effort just to make my experience awesome. Make me think the God bring the wind, the sea, the people, just for me to have that less than 5 min enjoyment. I’m blessed.
We were in Bella villa prima hotel, nice cozy hotel, We swim a lot and the pool was really pretty, not so crowded. The breakfast was a treat! Love it! Except for unfriendly staff in breakfast area.
As pattaya is known as sex tourist city, we decided to take a look at the walking street, the area where you will find all the bars, prostitutions and ladyboys, etc.
We felt sad for the ladies as we know this is not the life they want, but for whatever reason they are there..
Woke up today and we decided to go to a morning beach walk, we sing songs and prayed in front of the beach, went back to our hotel and had breakfast and then just enjoy ourselves in hotel, watching movie and swimming, we had our lunch over the pool side, for a change. We just ordered in the hotel restaurant.
We book our Pattaya Elephant village trekking just over the phone. It cost us 1,200. Baht per person for 1 hour elephant trekking. And a nice fruit buffet after that.
Bought this picture souvenir from the. For 400baht , its kinda pricey but one will not have a choice because you can’t take a nice photo with elephant if you are there yourself.
We love this elephant village because they don’t do the circus training with the elephant, just normal trekking and the show is about elephants daily routine like, eating, bathing, resting. No flashy elaborate costumes and stunts but a natural village for elephants. Quite happy with that as I feel a lot for those elephants who goes through laborious training just for a show.
Enjoyed the beach in morning, swim in our hotel and check out 12pm exactly.
Took a bus from pattaya to Bangkok , 2hours ride. There are buses that go to Bangkok every thirty minutes.
Went to baiyon hotel revolving observatory deck, it was fun! This is the tallest hotel tower in thailand.
Paid 300 baht per person includes a 1 drink in their music and bar 83rd floor. I love the view, the breeze and the experience up there. Felt that my Bangkok trip was complete even though I’m only there for 24 hours.
We prayed there and had an impromptu date in their bar and music lounge.
Shop around at pratunam area till late night.
Woke up early had our breakfast and headed to chatuchak market, do not use Tuk Tuk, take mrt or metered taxi, Tuk Tuk drivers will bring you to a jewelry store or dvd etc and will let you buy. We say no to this Tuk Tuk driver whom we hire to bring us to chwtuchak and he let us go down his Tuk Tuk after few minutes of him convincing us to go to this shops. Scammers around, plenty of them.
Chatuchak market, oh man, i just found the market of my own heart in Thailand.
totally loved it and don’t want to leave after less than 5 hours of shopping, I got inspired by arts area, love the colors and it was really cheap compare to shopping in Cambodia and pattaya. It’s a like Russian market of phnom pehn.