Hi, I'll be visiting Cambodia for two weeks in January. I have been reading up on things and am really excited. I will, unfortunately, be going alone as my travel companions canceled.
There are a few things:
I was planning to only spend my time in three areas: PP, Siem Reap, and Kraite. The majority of the time would be spent in SR (5 or 6 days) with a few days for Kraite and PP. I'm not into the party scene and would like to spend time relaxing. Does this sound doable?
I don't have any advanced reservations. Will this cause me major problems because of the time of travel? I am a bit above a backpacker's budget but not really interested in staying in high class hotels or going to spas. I'd rather put my money towards traveling.
Should I bring my computer? I've been wrestling with this because the computer seems like an extra liability and hassle, but it could be very convinent and several of my media devices need it to charge (NOOK, camera, mp3 player). And which plug does Cambodia use?
As I am currently living in S. Korea, shorts, hats, sunscreen, etc. are not in season. I am assuming I can buy these things fairly easily when I arrive? And is there a place to donate the clothing I purchase if I do not have room to take it back with me to Korea.
Lastly, do ATMs allow credit card withdrawls from Mastercard (with appropriate pin of course)? I do not have a debit card for the States at the moment only a Korean one.
Sorry for the list of questions. I'm a bit nervous about traveling by myself, so I'm trying to plan as much in advance as possible :)
#1 eveliens has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 2
In answer to your questions:
1) Yes that's doable
2) No need to book ahead unless you have specific needs or heart set on a particular property
3) Personal decision I guess. You'll find internet in all major centres so if you can get by with a public comuputer then I wouldn't bother.
4) Yes you can buy all that stuff in Cambodia
5) Ahh depends on the card. Cirrus, Star and Plus are very common so check that your card works on one of those for starters.
Have a good trip!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,798
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I would leave the computer at home.Why carry something like that around unless you need it for work. If you just need it for emails then there are plenty of internet shops around. You can buy an adaptor to charge any electronic with a usb in a wall plug.
You will find some great and cheap shopping in PP. There are some amazing markets that will overwhelm you.
As for the ATM card, I would check with your Bank. Be sure to bring some sort of back up just in case it doesn't work.
#3 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
There's shorts, sunscreen and hats aplenty to be bought here. You could donate unwanted items to an orphanage or one of the street kids organisations. I wouldn't want to recommend a particular one, as there are several doing good work, but you'll no doubt read about them while you're here.
Cambodia uses a two pin plug and you can buy an adaptor many places - try the electronics section of Central Market, or Sorya Mall close by.
You needn't to be too nervous about travelling alone in Cambodia - getting about is pretty easy, the buses are generally comfy and there's always a tuk tuk or moto driver around to take you where you want to go. I'd recommend that you get transport at night instead of walking alone, but that's sensible anywhere. People here are friendly - if you're on your own they will be interested in you and happy to help. And depending on your travel style and how much you want to meet people, there are tours or excursions you can sign up to, and plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes where you can strike up a conversation.
I'm also in SK at the moment and did the same trip as you last year. We used credit cards from home and took cash, as long as you're not trying to use your Korean card you should be fine :) Also, with the plugs- you can get a global adapter plug from most Korean markets/electronics streets for 5,000 they work really well and save you looking once you're there! If you want any more info PM me :)
We stayed in a really lovely guesthouse in Siem Reap for 4 days and enjoyed our time there- Palm Garden Lodge. They picked us up from the overnight bus as well which was a massive relief after 12 hrs with little sleep! the email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The rooms were clean, bathrooms didn't have windows but were okay, we had a double fan room $9- a bit muggy but fine on a budget, comfy beds, free breakfast (eggs on toast or noodles, tea & coffee), wifi and computers to use downstairs, bikes free for guests or across the road for $1 a day. Heaps of books there, about 3 mins walk to the main road, 5 mins to Bar Street and an amazing Pho stall at the end of the main road :) Here's the website http://www.palmgardenvilla.com/rooms.htm
I find sunscreen in SEasia to be very overpriced. That said I never bought it in Korea so........
As much as a laptop can be a convenience, it can be a big hassle too. Does your equipment have ways to charge with ac adaptors? Just food for thought as others have said. The laptop is something you would really feel good not having to worry about.
Yeah it's not cheap! The best places to buy it in Korea are cosmetics shops rather than at the chemist. So have a look at Faceshop, Nature Republic and the emporiums for it :) It's good quality, just look for it without the whitening!
Well said by all. There is no need tobook accommodation in advance as you are not traveling in the peakseason. It is best to book a private room in a clean hostel. Moreoverthere are a number of cyber cafes in Cambodia so you need not carryyour computer. Wish you a memorable journey.
Palm garden lodge is indeed a very nice place to stay!
Also check River Garden hotel, a place that supports the local community in Siem Reap run by a very creative Australian woman.
If you want to donate your clothing please visit ConCERT Cambodia, a center that connects visitors with local NGO`s : www.concertcambodia.org
#10 joniverstraete has been a member since 19/1/2011. Posts: 4
Thank you everyone. I've come, enjoyed myself, and have gone (back to freezing Korea, boo!) but I found all your comments spot on. Especially about the sun screen, ouch! I also ended up not needing my cards except a few times because I was carrying enough cash but both my Visa and Mastercard were accepted.
Hopefully this thread will help other to-be travelers :) Cambodia was a nice place to visit and two weeks was plenty to enjoy at leisure.
#11 eveliens has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 2
Hey Eveliens, i am agree with "Somtam2000" reply...Happy Journey :)
#12 jackdsilva12 has been a member since 18/1/2011. Posts: 31