Tag Archives: cambodia

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Cambodia

The Chinese New Year is coming real soon, and BookMeBus is offering travelers with a chance to buy bus tickets at 10% off.

A quick tour of Phnom Penh these days definitely shows signs of the Chinese New Year coming close. Not only do you see SALE signs popping up everywhere – definitely a good time to shop! – but its common to see flashes of red and gold abound. Chinese lanterns are also predominantly decorating the shops around the city.

Chinese New Year

Fast Facts: Chinese New Year

  • Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival in China.
  • It is the most important holiday in China.
  • It is split between two important dates: Chinese New Year’s eve and Chinese New Year’s day.
  • The date is different each year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, but is always between January 21th and February 20th.
  • 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

Chinese New Year in Cambodia

Although the Spring Festival is celebrated by Chinese, Cambodians and Vietnamese have been carrying the tradition of celebrating the New Year throughout the generations. In Cambodia, Khmer and Chinese, and even other nationalities do celebrate this as well. However, it is NOT considered an Official holiday in the Kingdom of Wonder.

Many locals treat this holiday with similar observance as Pchum Ben. What can be observed is that the streets would be a little bit quiet, some stores would be closed, and several employees take time off to spend time with their families.

 

Border between Thailand & Cambodia (round trip)

Editor’s note: We continue with our last post from Hugo‘s experience. This started from the post Border processing in some countries in South East-Asia (part one), which was then followed by the post Border between Vietnam & Cambodia (round trip). As always, images and content are provided by our contributor. Please enjoy.


thailand cambodiaI am living & working in Phnom Penh. I had to go to Bangkok for few days due (or thanks) to some business meeting. As always, I took a bus to reach the Thai border from Cambodia and I arrived to Poipet. First, you have to know that Thai are driving on the left (like British) & Cambodian are driving right side (such as French). Due to that and legacy, most of the bus coming from Cambodia cannot cross the border and continue until Bangkok. Therefore they are in partnership with other bus companies on the other side of the border.

Thus, I am warmly recommend you to ask the bus driver how is it going to be working once arrived at the border. Most of the time, the other company is waiting for you once the bus arrive and follow you until you enter into the bus to reach your final destination. If you don’t want any issue on that point, I will recommend you to take a direct bus but they are only few of them and are more expensive.

Once arrived to Poipet crossing point, you have to check out from Cambodia and walk until checking point of Thailand. Most of the time, the queue is really huge, you have to be patient!! I pass without any problems. As a French citizen I don’t have to pay for Visa in Thailand (and I think that it’s free of charge for most of citizenship – However have a look at your embassy website again!). Once you arrive in Thailand, if you are looking for a bus, a coffee, a guesthouse or whatever, you have to keep going straight and after 5 min walking on your left you will have many buses companies that are going everywhere in Thailand.

I finally reached Bangkok and stayed there for few days meeting. On my way back I just took a bus to the border and stay on the Thai part because I knew that I will be in a hurry if I wanted to pass the border (Poipet crossing point is closed between 9.30 pm until 7 am) as well as I don’t like passing border night time. I finally passed the border on early morning and everything was fine because I had my multiple entry visa for Cambodia. If you arrive without any Visa, please refer to my border story between Vietnam & Cambodia. However, if you are aware of the Visa application it shouldn’t be a problem.

When you arrive in Poipet (Cambodian part), you have many bus companies, just pick up the one you prefer!

I hope my stories helped you!

See you around!!

Hugo

Border processing in some countries in South East-Asia (round trip) (Part 1)

Editor’s note: We continue with our favorite traveler, Hugo, and his adventures in Cambodia. This time, he talks about border processing.

Recently, we’ve been having requests for information regarding Visa or border processing at the gates between Thailand-Cambodia, and Vietnam-Cambodia. This series is split into three, with this post as the first one. 

We hope you find this useful and entertaining.


This story and those tips are based on my own experience on crossing border, which is subjective. Thus, this is just a shared experience and habits, feel free to not take them in consideration if they are not relevant for you. ~ Hugo

My Golden Rules for crossing border:

border processing

  • Always check on internet opening hours of the crossing point
  • Always be aware of the Visa application (which are different depending on your citizenship) – refer to your Embassy
  • Be careful of the Visa validity: FYI: overstay cost you 10 USD per day in Cambodia & in Vietnam if you have 2 weeks free tourist entry, once you leave the country you have to wait a month before coming back.
  • Be aware of the time you will cross the border (night or day time)
  • Be patient and polite, even if something went wrong, you will for sure avoid problems.
  • https://www.canbypublications.com/cambodia/overland.htm

New Years Eve 2017 in Cambodia

With the New Year fast approaching, it is time to decide where you want to be for the countdown on New Years Eve 2017 in Cambodia. If you are still undecided, here are some places you might want to consider as the place to be when ushering in 2017.

new years eve 2017

Phnom Penh

This year’s countdown to 2017 is expected to be big in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. While many gather to the streets to witness the fireworks display at the strike of midnight, several people will be celebrating at the main hotels that are hosting festive events.

Sofitel will host its “Gala Dinner in the Phokeethra Grand Ballroom,” which promises fantastic entertainment to go with their feast. On the other hand, Raffles will also have their “Kingdom of Wonder Gala Dinner,” which will be held poolside. Also hosting events are Nagaworld and Hotel Cambodiana.

If the big hotels are not appealing, several bars and pubs along the Riverside are sure to have their own countdown festivities – showcasing a great view of the river and the fireworks display.

Sihanoukville

Although Sihanoukville has just had its Cambodia Sea Festival, the party never seems to stop at this beachside province. As it is, Sihanoukville is easily one of the most popular places to go to when one wants to celebrate a New Year’s countdown.

Every year, fireworks color the sky when welcoming the coming year. A walk along the Occheuteal Beach showcases fun, partying, and merriment for those who are celebrating New Years Eve 2017.

Since Sihanoukville is quite popular during this time, it is best to book bus tickets ahead of time so as to ensure you have a ride going there. Bus tickets can be purchased with BookMeBus for more convenience.

Siem Reap

Yet another favorite of locals and expats alike, Siem Reap promises its guests with a night of partying especially in the famed Pub Street.

While Pub Street is already a party scene during regular days, the fun increases on countdown night, making it THE place to be with friends and family. Siem Reap usually runs out of hotels to stay due to the yearly crowd that gathers. So it would be best to start checking for rooms and booking ahead.

Travel to Siem Reap is also expected to be almost full, so if you plan to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap or Bangkok to Siem Reap, you should start checking for flights or book bus tickets online through our website.

 

It comes as no surprise that everybody wants to welcome the New Year with much revelry and celebration. Thus it is important to beat the crowds and book ahead. Take care and book ahead to beat the holiday rush at BookMeBus.

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.

Untitled-2
“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