• Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    A royal visit

    It’s not every day that you gets to visit a palace. So, when you visit Phnom Penh in Cambodia, a tour of the Royal Palace is an absolute must. Oudong, about 40 kilometers from Phnom Penh used to be the capital of Cambodia. It was here that the kings had their royal residence, for more than 250 years. However, in 1865, King Narodam I decided that Phnom Penh would be the capital of the country. He relocated in 1865 and went about recruiting the best to construct the Royal Palace. Among them was the architect Neak Okhna Tepnimith Mak whose brief was simple – design a palace that was, well,…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    Two days in Phnom Penh

    For a city that was known as the ‘Paris of the East’ before the 1970s, chances are you will have a hard time finding anything in Phnom Penh that reminds you of France. Yes, there are a quite a few French colonial buildings. However, either they are badly maintained, or are rapidly being redeveloped to make way for high-rise buildings, malls and bigger structures. Agreed, Phnom Penh may not have what either Siem Reap or Sihanoukville has to offer. What it does have though, is a reminder of Cambodia’s turbulent history, especially that of the latter part of the 1970s. A visit to both Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    Three days and seven things to do in Siem Reap

    The primary reason everyone heads to Siem Reap is to see the ruins at Angkor Wat. However, there are other things to keep you entertained, including sights to see, activities to do and indulgences to enjoy. Covering Angkor Wat in a matter of a few days is next to impossible. Unfortunately, not all travellers have the luxury of time on their side. While some travellers may be there for a week or two, others would only be hopping in for a couple of nights, on their way to another part of the region, or back home to where they belong. While it is perfectly okay to try and see all…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    A day tour of Angkor Wat – Highlights

    What used to be a sleepy hamlet is today, a booming town, thanks to an influx of tourists from around the world who come to see the UNESCO World Heritage site – Angkor Wat. Literally meaning ‘Siam defeated’, this culturally rich town has a lot to offer, depending on the amount of time you are willing to spend here. My suggestion is to take a relaxed approach to everything you are doing, including a visit to the many temples in the complex. Getting into Siem Reap Getting into Siem Reap is relatively hassle-free if you are flying. There are flights from international destinations in the region. There are also bus…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Resources,  Travelogue

    Welcome to the People’s Socialist Party of Wong

    Step back in time and have a drink or three in a setting that takes you to the 1920s. Step into Miss Wong in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Sure, a pint of beer at 50 cents is ridiculously cheap on Pub Street in Siem Reap. And that means, a few pints and hours later, you are still sitting on the same seat, in the same bar you have chosen to make your preferred spot for the day, or evening. But it’s not every evening that you can tolerate doing the same thing, only changing the bar depending on the price of beer. If, for some unforeseen reason, you suddenly tire of…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Resources

    Cambodia e-visa or visa on arrival

    In the second week of January, 2019, I made my way to Siem Reap, Cambodia, on the last leg of my Indo-China trip. We were three of us and upon landing from Saigon, at Immigration we headed in different directions. I had opted to avail of a visa on arrival. There were a couple of reasons why I had opted for this, which I shall write about shortly. My two friends who had previously each applied for e-visas went straight to an immigration counter, got stamped and waited for me. e-visa For the e-visa, the process is simple. You need to log on to their registered website and create an…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    S-21

    One would think Chao Ponhea Yat High School is just another regular school. On entering the gates, it looks like any high school, with five buildings that face the well-maintained lawns. Note: viewer discretion is advised as some of you may find the contents and images distressing. It is now called Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. However, between 1976 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge, who had overrun Phnom Penh had named it S-21, or Security Prison 21. They immediately set about converting it into a prison that would hold an estimated 20,000 inmates, including men, women, children and infants. The adults and children were photographed and then interrogated and tortured until…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    The Killing Fields

    A lot of travellers who visit Cambodia head to Siem Reap and its iconic Angkor Wat for its culture, while those who love the sea and the sand head to the seaside town of Sihanoukville, a new discovery. In the process, they either give the capital city Phnom Penh a complete miss or use it as a transit point to get in and out of Cambodia. Which is a shame unfortunately. Agreed, Phnom Penh may not have what either Siem Reap or Sihanoukville has to offer. What it does have though, is a reminder of Cambodia’s turbulent history, especially that of the latter part of the 1970s. Note: viewer discretion…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Cambodia,  Travelogue

    Peace in Siem Reap

    Most visitors to Siem Reap make Pub Street their focal point. With the Old Market close by, this area is teeming with people, both local and tourists. However, look above, beyond the roofs, and chances are you’ll spot a pagoda towering over all of them. This is the Preah Prom Rath pagoda. Situated next to the river, Wat Preah Prom Rath is bang in the center of this area. And it’s a beautiful place to visit, sit around, and generally soak in the calm atmosphere. History has it that it was founded more than 500 years ago by a monk who landed ashore from his sinking boat. However, the complex…