Tag Archives: travel journal

Thailand-Cambodia Travel Adventure

Editor’s Note: Below is an adventure from 3leaf-clover, one of our Travelogue contributors, on her Thailand to Cambodia trip. Her story talks of her regret of not using BookMeBus when planning ahead. Check it out!

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All content and images are from the contributor.


Hello to my fellow travelers!

I wanted to share a story on how we traveled from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Before deciding on our final itinerary, we thought many times on what transportation should we use in crossing between these two countries. We initially plan to book a direct bus through bookmebus.com before our trip from a bus company called Nattakan which was referred by one of our friends. But finally we decided not to do so as we are not sure on the time of our arrival at the Bangkok International Airport also known as Suvarnabhumi Airport. We heard from a friend that the flight from our chosen airline is delayed most of the time.

We tried to come at Mochit bus station as fast as we could as we decided to take a bus from there. We reached the station around 11am and can’t think of alternative way to reach our destination so we decided to take a taxi from there going to Aranyaprathet border. We didn’t expect our travel to be that expensive. We have wasted time and of course money on that trip. We regret not booking in that bus company beforehand as we knew that was a good company with good reviews and recommendations from our fellow travelers. Also it was a direct bus where we don’t need to take our luggage in immigration office of both countries. This is an advice from us is based on this experience. You should plan your trip well. Research on what are the options for you to travel and choose the best. Book all the things that can be done before like flights, hotels and also transportation so that you’ll enjoy your vacation more. We are hoping that you will not experience the same as we do.

Thanks for reading this and always smile, relax and enjoy your trips and vacations.

Mondulkiri: A wildlife experience

Editor’s note: Below is another adventure submitted to us by Paola Vega (she’s on Instagram, too!), documenting her adventure in Mondulkiri. Follow

Have a story to share? Send us your story and if we like it, you can get a free ticket. 1 Story = 1 free ticket!


The eastern region of Cambodia is a place unknown to many. Yet becoming more and more popular. Mondulkiri province is now an upcoming backpackers’ destination full of wildlife and nature.

I took a mini-van from Phnom Penh directly to the town of Sem Monorom. I then walked to the office of an Elephant Sanctuary that I contacted prior my arrival. My intended purpose of coming here was to volunteer a few days and this place offered a great deal.

The first night I had to spend it at a really nice hotel called Nature Lodge. Completely immersed in the essence of the region; wide open green spaces, beautiful sunsets and clear night skies. The next day the “Mondulkiri Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary” welcomed me with their arms open. The first two days I followed them on their trekking and elephant tour just to get to know the whole organization better and to grasp their essence. After, I spent three days helping at the sanctuary with various projects.

The place is a real paradise for the elephants, they have a massive land where they can roam freely, and the best part is: they are not chained or ridden on. They really take care of them at the sanctuary. The visitors have the chance to feed them and then bathe them. And if you do the two-day program you even get to sleep one night at the sanctuary in a nice jungle-hut. A really unique experience.

Also, the jungle trek is a great way to see more of this beautiful region. There are many waterfalls and plantations around worth seeing. And at the end of the day, you feel so accomplished for walking 20k up and down hills.

I had a great time during my stay in Mondulkiri and I will recommend it to anyone who’s in Cambodia. If you are a nature and animal lover this place is for you!

Phnom Penh to Koh Rong Samloem

Editor’s note: Below is another article by our favorite traveler, Hugo! Check out his recount of his adventure from Phnom Penh to Koh Rong Samloem below.


I am living in Phnom Penh since 6 month now and I try to leave the capital at least once every two weeks to take some fresh air, this time: direction Koh Rong Samloem! Thus, with my friends, we left Phnom Penh with a night bus and arrived in Sihanoukville early morning. That was the 4th time I was going there, as this is really close to Phnom Penh, however I still don’t really like Sihanoukville. This city is for me neither nice nor beautiful, this is just the only way to reach the islands that are great, this is why I am not staying there, even for a night!

Once arrived we took a Angkor Speed Ferry boat with BookMeBus, the only boat company I never experienced, and it is definitely the best company to go the islands! They were exactly on time, their staff is really nice, they give you fresh water, boats are new; they have a great and clean open-rooftop, toilets and brand new life jackets for everyone. Furthermore I learned that they are the only one allowed to stop at Long Set Beach in Koh Rong, which can be really useful for those that wants to arrive directly there.

With my friends we arrived in Koh Rong Samloem and we booked at Freedom Island Bungalow for one night. Those bungalows are cheaper than many other in Saracen Beach (between 25-30USD) and are really great, big beds, clean bathroom and a nice terrace to chill with a drink at the end of the day. Those bungalows are located on the right part of the beach, so you don’t have the fits in the white sand, but place is quiet and not crowdie at all. Therefore I recommend those bungalows for people that want calm, clean and cheap place and don’t care that much on walking 3 minutes to reach the big Saracen Beach.

First day, we went to Sunset Beach on the west side of Koh Rong Samloem. To go there you need to take a tiny path that cross over the jungle and you arrived in this beach with transparent water & you are almost alone, what asking for more? After an afternoon spent there, we came back to our bungalow and spend a night drinking mojitos and playing cards, such a great time when your daily life takes place in Phnom Penh.

The second day, we had to leave our incredible bungalow because they were full… We finally ended up in the Hostel by the Sea, the worst hostel I ever experienced in Cambodia… You pay 10 USD for one bed in dorm, you have only one fan for 4 beds, a small disgusting blanket and I am not sure they ever cleaned the sheets… Showers? Can we call that a shower? I am not sure… They are located on the middle of their garbage and it’s just a narrow trickle of smelly and disgusting water not available all day… Finally, after seeing their kitchen, eating there is something you should avoid. I am used to go to hostel and guesthouses and I am never looking for high standard as I always go for the 3-6 USD dorms, but when you pay 10USD for a dorm, at least you want a fan and a proper shower, even more on the sea side. However, as everything was booked we had to stay there.

We left quickly Saracen Beach (which is a bit too big for me), to reach Lighthouse at the south of the island, the walk is a bit more that 1h but is really great and once you arrived you can reach an amazing beach where no one goes, we stayed there playing cards, fishing crabs, reading, incredible! I warmly recommend you to go there, but be careful there is nothing to eat there, we bought some water in the houses nearby but you can’t find anything else.

We finally end up this amazing weekend by a beach BBQ, costly (8USD) but really great! We came back with the same company, Angkor Speed Ferry and reached Sihanoukville, our weekend was really great and I will definitely go back to Koh Rong Samloem!

Hugo

Bus trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang

Editor’s Note: We once again hear from Hugo on his exciting trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang. As always, all content and images belong to the contributor.


Hi everyone! Again, here I am, after some new traveling experiences in Cambodia. I am still living in Phnom Penh, trying to enjoy as much as possible to travel around when I can manage time and money!
Last weekend, I decided to move on discovering Battambang, thus I booked a bus through BookMeBus to reach Battambang. I booked a Virak Buntham Night Bus leaving at 1 am from Phnom Penh night market because journey is quite long and I didn’t have a lot of time to go on travelling. That was the first time I had a night bus in Cambodia, one large bed for two persons! It was fun and I slept well so my requirements were totally fulfilled. The journey was great!

phnom penh to battambang

I arrived early morning on Saturday, I started looking for an hostel around the city center, I found one pretty great and really cheap, couple of streets up to Night Market (Sorry, I forgot the name). As I always do when I am on trip somewhere in Cambodia, I rented a moto for two days to go on discovering the city and the surroundings. I went down south, riding next to the river for some hours! Places there are amazing, great views and the atmosphere is so relaxing there when your daily life takes places in Phnom Penh! You can see monkeys, bats and some temples all around. I love Cambodian countryside, I can spend hours driving in there, getting lost on these incredible tiny dust roads.

battambang

After all this time spending on losing myself into Battambang countryside I decided to go to the “Bat cave”. This is one of the biggest touristic attraction in Battambang. This cave is under a mountain where you have many great temples as well as some historical places. At sunset time, thousands of bats are leaving this cave to live their night life! This is impressive but not as I expected… I expected to see a huge cloud of bats leaving at once, but finally they were leaving the cave in a thin discontinuous flow. However this mountain is really beautiful, I am warmly recommending you to go there and visit those temples. (Entrance fee is 1$ per person). You can either choose the road or the stairs, I personally took the stairs, it’s quick and not really tough to handle.

After this long trip, I just get back to Battambang and enjoy night market as well as some bars with backpackers I met on the way. The day after, I continue on discovering the countryside and chilling around the city, which was really great.

I enjoyed this place, countryside is beautiful and it’s a good place to relax and chill around. However I would not recommend you to stay more than 4-5 days there. Once you have seen the city (which is small) and the surroundings you don’t have much more to do and Cambodia is full of great stuff to see so you have plenty of possibilities to continue your trip around!

I hope I gave you the tips you wanted from this place!!

See around traveling,

Cheers,

Hugo

My trip from Phnom Penh to Mondolkiri

Editor’s Note: The story below chronicles the adventure of Alice on her trip from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri. All images and content are from the contributor.


 

Currently living in Phnom Penh, we decided with some friends to leave the capital city during Water Festival and go on discovering North East of Cambodia and especially Mondolkiri.

We booked a bus through BookMeBus to go there. The journey was great, the landscape was really beautiful and very different to all I’ve seen in Cambodia so far, with all those hills and this luxuriant vegetation. Our first impression when we got there, was this really peaceful mood prevailing in this small village surrounded by nature and animals. This is so pleasant after the spirited Phnom Penh!

We were hosted and guided by two native from a Mondolkiri village during the entire week-end, which is a great way to discover this region. We stayed in a traditional house for the first night, talking and eating with locals.

mondolkiri

The second day we left early morning to go for two days trekking in the jungle! That was an amazing experience. We swam in waterfalls, saw crazy animals, slept in hammock (in the middle of the forest), fished and eat from the river, saw elephants … Coming back in the village after this incredible 2 days trek, people invited us to a weeding in the village! That was so great!

Mondolkiri is far from being my best trip since I am in Cambodia, not only for the amazing landscape but also because it was a real interesting exchange and sharing moment with the locals. It is a place not to be missed during your trip in Cambodia!

I would recommend to go there just after the rainy season, when the landscape is entirely green and rain is not anymore an obstacle to go on discovering. You should stay there at least three days, which is I think the minimum if you want have time to appreciate this so special atmosphere. Moreover, if you want to see the elephants, I would recommend you to choose a Cambodian NGO, in order contributing to local initiatives.

I did enjoy this trip a lot because we always were with locals therefore I can only warmly recommend you to avoid guesthouses there!

Enjoy your trip in Mondolkiri!

 

Alice