Tag Archives: travel

Travels during Peak Seasons: Tips and Tricks

If you have plans for travelling during major holidays, such as the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, it is important to think ahead and set your expectations. What is it like?

Well, you know how much of a difficulty it is to book plane tickets and hotels during Christmas and New Years? Booking boat or bus tickets is not much different. Just because you plan to travel within the same country that is teeming with bus companies, does not make it any easier. But let us help you make it less difficult.

Viral photo taken from the Internet. This is not an actual depiction of the travel season in Cambodia.

 

Tips for travels during peak seasons

  • Check the Cambodia Public Holiday 2017 calendar to see if your plans fall on a holiday.
  • If travelling on a holiday, make sure to book a few weeks ahead (this is also true for hotels).
  • Do some research regarding transportation options if the expected destination will be crowded.
  • Go to the pick up point or bus or boat station early to check in on your expected bus.
  • Bring your own water and snacks. Yes, the company might promise some drinks and snacks, but remember that it is travel season, so they might run out. You never know.
  • Bring a hand fan. Sometimes some things never go right when you travel. It can be hot and crowded, so it would be hard to get decent air anywhere.
  • Keep personal belongings safe at all times. Being extra vigilant is important during these times. Crowds can easily divert your attention from your valuables.
  • Consider the type of vehicle you want to travel in, factoring the possible number of travelers you will be travelling with.
  • Travel light if you know it will be crowded. There is no use dragging a trolley around if you will be travelling for a short time only.
  • Travel ahead of schedule to avoid the crowds.

Points to Consider

There are many things that can happen during trips when its travel season or peak season. As a result, it is best to set your expectations ahead of time:

  • It can be difficult to travel when everybody is also travelling, so it is best not to expect a relaxing time.
  • Bus companies can change their schedules during these times
  • Bus companies can add special schedules to accommodate their travelers.
  • Sometimes pickup or drop off locations can change due to possible traffic or closed roads.
  • Due to increase in travelers, some bus companies will not tolerate any delays or lateness caused by travelers.
  • Bus companies may or may not move some bus travelers to other vehicles in order to accommodate the crowd.
  • Buses may sometimes carry additional passengers – depending on the bus company rules.

Travelling is definitely fun. However, it may not always be a walk in the park. That is why it is important to consider your options and plan ahead.

We hope this small information would be useful for you when travelling during peak seasons.

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

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.

royal-palace_tharum
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!

Trip from Phnom Penh to Kep and Kampot!

Editor’s note: Below is the traveller’s journal of Hugo on his trip to Kep and Kampot in Cambodia. All content and images are from the contributor.


My friends and I, are living in Phnom Penh and wanted to leave the capital city for some days to go on visiting southern Cambodia, especially Kep and Kampot. We booked bus tickets through BookMeBus, easy booking and we got very good prices compared to the other travelers we met over there.

kep and kampotOnce we arrived in Kampot, the first thing we did was to rent a scooter to get ourselves outside of the city in order to find a great hostel to stay. We crossed the new bridge and went up north, following the River. After 5 minutes driving we arrived in an incredible hostel, with terrace above the river! Amazing! We booked there for a night and we get back to our scooter to discover the countryside around. We got lost but we finally arrived to the seaside where we stayed for a few hours.

Kampot city is not the most beautiful place in this part of the country but I highly recommend to book a room/dorm in one of those hostel on the river side and from there take the time to visit the countryside.

dscf0101

The day after we did the road from Kampot to Kep . Once we got there we booked a room in a dorm at Kepmandou hostel and started discovering the surroundings. I recommend this hostel, it’s clean, cheap and people are nice. Furthermore, they have maps of the countryside around in which they wrote down all the amazing places to discover motorcycling!

kampot and kep

From there, we were hanging around during two days, getting lost on rice fields, we went to a lake way north from Kep and we got so lost that we ended at the Vietnamese border! Kep countryside is really great, diversify and easy to go all over! I also really recommend to go to the crab market in Kep where you can eat really well and for every price range.

kep and kampot 2

This region is really nice for those who wants to travel on their own and visit countryside, rice field and having a boat trip on Mekong. For those who prefers to enjoy beaches, I would more recommend Sihanouk and the islands around. There is one beach in Kep, which is alright but really crowded during weekends and holidays. We stayed 4 days in this region, which is great but not enough if you really want to make the most of this place. I would recommend you to stay about a week.

After this trip around Kep and Kampot, we had to get back to our Phnom Penh, we booked bus through BookMeBus and we got back as easily as we arrived.

I hope that I helped you and that you will go on discovering all over Cambodia!

See you around!

Hugo

Water Festival 2016: Two million people expected in Phnom Penh

As preparations for the Water Festival 2016 ramp up, many residents of Phnom Penh are also preparing themselves for the influx of travelers coming from the provinces of Cambodia.

Currently, the expected number of Cambodians travelling to Phnom Penh are at around two million. There are, however, a number of locals and expats who have planned trips going from Phnom Penh to Battambang, Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, or even abroad. Only to escape the crowds that will surely be difficult to get around the city in.

water festival 2016

Water Festival 2016: On going preparations

A quick walk through the city, displays several preparations. In fact, as of tonight, the ministry boats have already been spotted floating and lit up.

  • Concert stages are being set up at the park
  • Booths surrounding the concert stage have been set up around the fountains.
  • Several cleanup drives were done along Riverside.
  • Boats have been prepared and tested.
  • Restaurants are displaying Water Festival 2016 promotions.
  • Grass has been cut and hedges trimmed.
  • Police attentiveness has increased and special vigilance is provided against possible thieves during the festival.

Safety precautions during the Water Festival

Below are some tips for safety during the Water Festival celebrations

  • Traveling at night increases your chances of being a victim, so its best to stay in groups and be vigilant at all times.
  • Pick-pocketing alert. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert when shopping or moving around town.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money.
  • Avoid keeping all money in a single place.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry when going around town.
  • Keep all valuables safe inside your bag.
  • It is best to have companions whenever going to somewhere unfamiliar.

For sure, the government is trying their best to keep travelers and locals safe and sound during these times. Nevertheless, a bit of common sense is sure to go a long way.