All posts by Tharum

Love Khmer Rock & Roll?

Documentary film, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock & Roll, will be on a Cambodian provincial tour starting later this month (see schedules below). If you’re a music lover and interested in discovering more about the Khmer music and arts, this is a good time to go to at least one of the screenings. You’ll enjoy Cambodian rock music in the 1960s and 1970s, before the Khmer Rouge regime and genocide. The documentary is about 1h 45min, which took director John Pirozzi 10 years to make.

It’s amazing to see how organizers, The US Embassy Phnom Penh and DC-Cam, came up with the locations for this must-watch documentary. The film documentary is making a homecoming again, this time with a provincial tour that includes the hometown of Cambodia’s legendary singers Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea.

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“Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten” Provincial Tour

Screenings locations for:
Battambang (December 21)
Siem Reap (December 24)
Ratanakiri (December 28)
Mondulkiri (December 30)
Stung Treng (January 3)
Kandal (January 8)
Kampot/Kep (January 10, 2017)


The official trailer for the documentary feature film Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock & Roll

Ros Serey Sothea – Clip from the film Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten

Talking to NPR before the documentary release in New York, director John Pirozzi said that
“Western music for Cambodians was something that goes back to pre-rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, there were dance halls in Phnom Penh, and big band music and crooners were very popular in the ’50s. People like Perry Como, Pat Boone, Frank Sinatra were getting into Cambodia through the elite, through the wealthy Cambodians who were being educated in France and coming back with records.”

Learn more about the film: http://www.dtifcambodia.com/info

During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.

The Flicks: Community Movie Theaters
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll is a brand new documentary film about Cambodian rock music in the 1960s and 1970s, before the Khmer Rouge regime and Cambodian Genocide.

Top five: Cambodian rock’n’roll acts

Messages from BookMeBus team

We at BookMeBus are excited about 2017. In 2016, we’ve been hard and smart at work to serve our growing number of customers who use BookMeBus. Everyday, we serve hundreds of customers, helping them to book bus tickets easily. The website, www.bookmebus.com, has been one of Cambodia’s most favorite websites for travelers to get bus trip information, schedules, and even prices. In addition to the website, we also launched the mobile app, which is available on both App Store and Play Store.

To conclude 2016 in style, we’d love to share some thoughts from our team members:

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Lorselle, CDMO
At BookMeBus, 2016 was:
In a word, “whirlwind.” I believe it has been a challenging year, but has nevertheless been FUN. BookMeBus has grown massively in just one year.
In 2017, my 3 wishes for BookMeBus are:

  1. To become the primary provider of bus tickets in Cambodia.

  2. To win more awards for its ingenuity and technological advancements.

  3. Energy for Langda to continue leading BookMeBus to higher heights and achieve his vision.

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Tharum Bun, CIO
At BookMeBus, 2016 was:
Tremendous! New territories to explore and exploit. Some great things to bring with to the new year. Being the winner for the Cambodian ICT Awards, we really feel the pride.

In 2017, my 3 wishes for BookMeBus are:

  1. To win more awards locally and internationally. And to get into the front page of The New York Times.

  2. To sell many many more bus tickets than 2016 by 10x.

  3. To be known as a Cambodian startup that is a model for young Cambodian entrepreneurs that they can start here and even expand successfully in Southeast Asia.

Some selected highlights of the year that was:

Around Cambodia through the eyes of travel bloggers

Thinking of places to visit in 2017? Here’s a list of 10 blogs about traveling in Cambodia. With this list, you’ll get to know 10 travel bloggers who share their journeys and experiences. They go to places (some you may have never been to) and write about their travel experience, tips, and advices. These 10 travel blogs will be your good read and inspiration.

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Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace – photo: Tharum Bun

1.

Ayana Journeys – A blog by a responsible travel company
Last year I met Ayana Journeys team when they took a group of university students from Japan to visit and learn about technology and innovation in Phnom Penh. One of the latest posts on Ayana Journeys’s blog I like is this one: Transformative travel, which Amy McLoughlin described that “Travellers feel that their life has been improved by this experience; lasting memories have been created, and travellers feel more connected to and empathetic towards a global community.”

2.

When In Phnom Penh – Do as Cambodians do!
When you’re in Phnom Penh, you always want to get the most of out of your time to experience and explore some of the most interesting things and places like the locals. With a network of Cambodian bloggers and contributors, When In Phnom Penh blog provides local insights into the trend of cafes, restaurants, and places.

3.

Mad Monkey South East Asia Travel Blog
This blog is not about hostels. While you can find some practical guide for backpackers in Battambang, the blog also covers other cities and best spots in Southeast Asia.

4.

Rusty Compass – Blog Tales from the road
Rusty Compass covers Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. I’ve never been to Sapa in Vietnam. But this blog post, Village walks around Sapa, Vietnam (with video), is just amazing.

5.

Blue Lady Blog – A lifestyle blog by a Cambodian blogger Kounila Keo
A blogger friend of mine started her popular since 2007. She’s been invited to stay at luxury hotels and dine at restaurants. In addtion to this, she’s also a jetsetter, hopping from one flight to another to visit places and share those travel notes with the world.

6.

Hands on Journeys – Share our journey through stories and travel tips
This travel agency’s blog offers some interesting stories and travel tips. This blog post argues “Why we shouldn’t give up on supporting Orphanages.”

7.

Hanuman Travel blog – Travel with a personal touch
I learned about this Huanuman Blog since it was launched in 2009. This blog reviews accommodations and discusses local travel news: Cambodia’s Sam Veasna Center a finalist for 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards.

8.

Travel Chameleon – A Travel Lifestyle that suits anyone
The blogger describes herself as a Malaysian working in Cambodia. She also has “a big heart on traveling.” She has been to 26 countries and counting. In August, she also wrote a nice review about BookMeBus.

9.

Move to Cambodia
Almost any travelers who set their foot on Cambodian soil, they may have visited Move to Cambodia. The blog/book author is Lina Goldberg, a freelance writer who travels extensively around every corner of Cambodia. So there isn’t much to describe her blog here. But it’s worth to mention BookMeBus is fortunate to have Move to Cambodia as one of the affiliates. So if you’ve got a travel blog, you can also join our affiliate program here.

10.

Cambodia Explorer Blog
This blog is quite new and rare. The blog author is Sanya, who described himself as 100% Khmer, who’s born and raised in Cambodia. If you’re looking for perfect places to eat, I’d suggest you visit Sanya’s blog!


At BookMeBus, we love travel stories. Share yours with us!

Bus ride in Cambodia

Customers’ satisfaction is one of BookMeBus top priorities. At BookMeBus, we always want to make it super easy for anyone in Cambodia to book bus tickets for an enjoyable ride. Early this month, BookMeBus CEO, Chea Langda, had a good chance to get latest updates on the road safety and government policy at an informal dinner meeting, presided by H.E. Sun Chanthol, the Cambodian Minister for Public Works and Transport.

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At Himawari Hotel, about 30 people from the public and private sector discussed road safety and ways to improve.

One of the key takeaways from the meeting and discussion, initiated by a group of Cambodian Professionals (also known as Campro), is how BookMeBus.com can help contribute to a better bus travel experience. While the core business of BookMeBus is online bus ticket booking, the information and feedback from the customers, through the online platform, will play an important part to help both bus operators and travelers themselves. For instance, most of customers always ask for information about which bus company is good, better, or the best. During the meeting, Langda pointed it out that BookMeBus’s online customer review/rating after their trips “would help a lot since bus companies have to offer better services to compete for more customers. I can see the example of how hotels around the world treat Trip Advisor.”

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BookMeBus CEO mentioned that more information from bus travelers will help bus company to do better.

These are some highlights from the conversation:

  • To minimize traffic jam, road maintenances take place during night time rather than day time, whenever possible.
  • By the end 2016, the Ministry will introduce a new, improved way to obtaining driving license through computer-based test
  • Speed up the process of renewing driving license. Starting a few months ago, Cambodians can quickly get their renewed license at an office inside the Aeon mall in Phnom Penh.
  • An introduction of a new online registration of vehicle ownership plate numbers
  • No longer just in Phnom Penh, vehicle checkups can be done across Cambodia.
  • To minimize the road damage caused by overloaded trucks, a new measure is in place to penalize the driver and the company owners.
  • Distribute free reflective stickers to vehicle owners in rural areas with limited lighting at night.
  • New road and bridge construction: Stoeung Trang bridge, four-lane express road from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville (Kampong Som)
  • From Kampong Cham’s Skun to Siem Reap, there will be a tuk tuk lane.
  • A new road to be built from Veal Veng to Koh Kong
  • Introducing mobile teams of pot hole fixers, who will quickly help with road maintenance.

Read more:
Cambodian Professionals Forum (CamPro) discussed road traffic safety, transport and infrastructure development

BarCamp Asean 2016 in Phnom Penh: what to expect

While Cambodia has hosted BarCamp Phnom Penh since 2008, this is the first regional un-conference event under the name BarCamp Asean. Its slogan is ‘Growing technology together.’ This means that it’s much about the cross-border collaboration and exchange of knowledge among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (10 states). Just like any other BarCamp events, the participants contribute the content or the topics. The BarCamp allows anyone to pitch any topic they want to share with participants. The theme of this year’s event is: technology, entrepreneurship, and innovations. According to the organizer, Be Chantra, a little more than 100  topics were already submitted.
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Here’s a list of what to expect when you attend this 3-day BarCamp Asean:

  • For those who want to build your own startups, these 4 sessions are for you. Ben Crox will talk about his 10 years of startup experience in Hong Kong. Mike Ducker will share 5 global lessons about tech startups. You will also have a chance to meet the Cambodian Angel Investors. Looking for investment opportunities for your Cambodia-based startup? There is a session for that, too. Meet BookMeBus’s CEO Chea Langda to learn about how to pitch your startup and get invested.
  • While there are so many topics to learn, you can really learn much more by getting to know people. Networking. Be there and willing to listen and share your thoughts. This is what this event so amazing. It’s much more amazing as more participants come from other corners of this East Asia. Investors, geeks, nerds, startup founders, businesspeople, and students will be there. Participants and speakers come from many countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippine, Hong Kong, India, and Japan.
  • You might not be there looking for a job. But there is a chance that you’ll get hired from the spot. Or you might meet your potential business partner or future co-founder. Demonstrate your skills and talent by giving a talk.  Don’t be shy. Sharing is caring.
  • The year’s BarCamp Asean will take place from 4-6 November 2016 at Norton University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The first day of BarCamp Asean will be solely dedicated to exhibitions as most Cambodian businesses will seize this opportunity to connect and engage with their local consumers.
  • On Twitter? The hashtag for this event is: #BarcampASEAN. You can live tweets or follow the event, too.

Register here to attend BarCamp Asean! Or you want to give a talk?

BookMeBus team will be there! Come and say hello to our team and learn about some new opportunity we’ll be offering at the event! Our booth, number 9, is on the ground floor.

Learn more: