Blogs from Phnom Penh, South, Cambodia, Asia


Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 15th 2023

So enough with the sad stuff Cambodia, show me your awesome. Today I had booked a tour with an organisation called the Wildlife Alliance. The group gathered to meet Marie and Bort at 7.30. We all piled into a beautifully air-conditioned van and set off to the Phnom Tamao Zoo. The zoo itself is state owned but they work with NGO's like the Wildlife Alliance to run the rescue centre. Every animal here has had a bad luck story, which I am finding is typical in Cambodia. But inside the sadness you find the stories of these amazing peeps that overcome insurmountable hurdles to make the lives of these animals the best they can be Tamao Zoo is open range. It covers an area of 2300ha. About 100ha is dedicated to animal rehabilitation. They are not ... read more
Lucky an Mr Sareem
Chhouk getting his shoes on
Sun Bear

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 14th 2023

Today was the day for the sad stuff. The 2 sites on the agenda were S21 and Choeung Ek. For those that don't know about these places, S21 was a prison the Khmer Rouge used to interrogate their prisoners. Once they had the information they wanted, the prisoner was shipped off to Choeung Ek, the killing fields. So yeah, content warning S21 started its life as a highschool. In that capacity I imagine it was quite a lovely school. Three large 3 storey buildings surrounding beautiful green quads. But as Pol Pot disposed of all the schools. While he was educated in Paris, it was a privilege he wanted denied to most of his countrymen. Its not surprising really, he recruited his army from the rural areas. Young uneducated, disenfranchised youth. They were poor and they ... read more
Choeung Ek

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 13th 2023

This trip is started out bit differently to my other adventures. I usually try to arrange my flights so that I land in my destination city late afternoon. Giving me enough time to get to my hotel, have a shower, and then maybe head out to do a bit of exploring before dinner and crash out for the night. This time however, my flight left late Friday night and I arrived in Phnom Phen late Saturday morning. Check in isn't until 2 so I could only drop my bags at the hotel and then head out to explore the city still covered in the grime of a day's travel. No matter, I had 2 goals 1) find an ATM to pull out some Cambodian reels and 2) find a place to taste test the local beer ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 13th 2023

Today started out much better than yesterday. Its amazing what a good night sleep will do. I had arranged to meet up with my civicly minded Tuk tuk driver. Mr Vy (pronounced V) agreed to be my driver for the day, which is a whole lot easier than haggling with various tuk tuk drivers all day. We started our tour at the royal palace. A strange thing about Cambodia is the 2 currencies. Even in this government building the entry fee was in USD. I asked if I could pay in reils which was OK. But they definitly don't trust their own currency. I don't know if it's because reils aren't worth much, or because Pol Pot blew up the central bank and they didn't have a currency for a long time, but US$ are definitly ... read more
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Mekong River

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 15th 2023

The AmaDara stopped in Phnom Penh - a very modern city with construction everywhere! It bears witness as to how far Vietnam has recovered since the war. Phnom Penh is home to many ex-pats from Australia, England, Europe and North America due to the low cost of living here. Lots of modern high rise condos are doting the 4 river intersection (the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers merge and split into the Basak and Mekong Rivers flowing south) that converges in this capital city! Home to the Parliament and the Royal Palace, there is so much to see and do here! We started with a visit to Wat Phnom Historical Site which is where the city gained its name. A wealthy woman (Lady Penh) in 1372, build a buddhist temple and a Pagoda on a man-made ... read more
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple inside
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple worshipper

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh October 19th 2022

We sailed from Phnom Penh this morning with only seven couples remaining on board. Until our arrival in Phnom Penh our number had included a group of four people working in the travel industry who were invited on board to find out more about Pandaw so that they will, hopefully, promote their cruises to clients. There was also a group of six Vietnamese and I never quite established if they were also working in travel or if they were a group of family/friends. We also said farewell to Sarah from Sydney who only had a short break from work and could only do the short cruise and a rather strange Indian guy who only seemed to want to drink and smoke. Seriously, by 10.30am when we were out on our excursion yesterday he was desperate to ... read more
Silk cocoons on the sticks
Silk cocoons

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh October 18th 2022

We were up on the sun deck this morning just after 7.00am so that the immigration official could check our faces against our passports. The officer checking our faces actually had a sense of humour which is a most unusual trait amongst immigration officials! He looked at me, looked at my passport and announced ‘very beautiful’. Given that he also said this to Steve, he may not have been very discerning in regard to the standard of western feminine beauty, ha, ha, ha?? Anyhow, all of us were verified and cleared for entry to Cambodia. After breakfast we boarded cyclos for our ‘smoke free’ tour of Phnom Penh City and set off into the city with our Cambodian guide, Leng. Spelled Leng, but he pronounced his name as ‘Ling’ to my ear. Our itinerary said that ... read more
Ready, Set, Go
Wat Phnom Daun Penh
Wat Phnom Daun Penh

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 27th 2022

My next big Trekkup trip was a cycling trip to Cambodia, including a visit to Angkor Wat, one of my big bucket list items. The Far East is only now just starting to open after two years of Covid restrictions and we were amongst the first tourists to visit this lovely country. It was pretty interesting to see how happy people were to see tourists again, which I am sure I'll mention a few times throughout my blogs. First - we had to get there. We weren't able to get our plane tickets until a couple of weeks before we left due to some restriction and flight changes. So, we wound up going through Singapore (via a vaccinated travel lane corridor, meaning you had to be vaccinated - indeed you had to be vaccinated to enter ... read more
Cloud 9 Sky Bar
Passion Fruit Mojito
Singapore airport

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 7th 2020

Arrived back in Phnom Penh Wednesday night after a 7hr bus ride....quite good watching the countryside pass by. Our last 4 days here have been very relaxing, staying at the Lavanya Hotel which is a lovely little boutique hotel right in the centre of the city, $54 a night with a really nice breaky, we hardly had to get a tuk tuk for our last few days....we could walk everywhere. Mornings were spent exploring and afternoons by the pool was in order. We walked by the anti corruption commission and found we were not allowed to take photos we really wanted to as you see this grand building on one side and their carpark over the road is full of Bentleys, Range Rovers, Mercedes and even a Rolla......we were very amused by that! We revisited ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 16th 2020

Well we arrived in Phnom Penh Saturday afternoon after a last minute hiccup with our connection from Singapore to Phnom Penh....we were Qantas all the way but it was Qantas plane to Singapore and Jetstar from there to Phnom Penh...Jetstar cancelled the flight and put us on one 3hrs before we got to Singapore....anyway after 50 minutes on the phone to Qantas the solution was they put us on a flight the day before and we overnight at Singapore airport which worked OK....Crowne Plaza was a nice place and just in Terminal 3. It is nine years since we were in Phnom Penh and we are so excited to be back...had very fond memories from our last visit which was only two days whilst on a Mekong River Cruise in 2011. We had a few beers ... read more

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