Thursday, 5 March 2015

Whirlwind Phnom Penh

This was a really short trip. I was only staying 2 nights before leaving by ferry for Chau Doc, Vietnam. In fact I would only be spending a day sightseeing. Half of that day would also be at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre,  also known as the killing fields. After the previous 5 days in Myanmar on the tourist loop, looking at Pagodas and fishermen, this was a really sombre day in comparison. I recommend getting the audio guide (Unless you are in a group they'll likely charge you for it anyway.), it really helps in understanding what happened.

Thinking back, even though its been 2 whole days since I visited til I'm writing, I still have disbelief that it really occurred. How does one order the deaths of 1 in 4 of your countrymen? I guess just like the Nazis persecuted the Jews, when power is unchecked, the unthinkable can happen. It is no wonder that even when refugees told of the horrors, most of the world did not believe them either.

After lunch and a quick stop by the Russian market, we also visited the old prison where those executed would have been. Blood splatters still exist on some of the ceilings as well as the floors of both interrogation rooms and the tiny cells which the prisoners were held. After visiting both places the same day, thelast stop at the grand palace, though magnificent, really wasn't enough to lift ones spirits.

As my previous post,  I'm also including a cost breakdown. Pictures when I get back home and look at what's on my camera.

2 Mar 2015
- 9USD Tuk Tuk to hotel(King Grand Boutique Hotel) from airport (This was a flat rate from the counter. I reckon you could get 7-8USD if you haggled outside the airport grounds. After 24 hours of continuous travelling, I wasn't up for haggling)
- 2USD laundry ( You can find laundry rates as low as 1USD/kg. I wasn't really searching very hard for the lowest rates)

3 Mar 2015
- 6USD Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields)
- 3USD Audio Guide
- 3USD Tuong Slay Genocide Centre (S22 prison)
- 25,000 Cambodian Rials Grand Palace

4 Mar 2015
- 20USD Ferry from Phnom Penh to Chao Doc (This is the agent price though as I was fortunate enough to be travelling with my travel agent friend. You're unlikely to get the same price as a walk in customer. Additionally, for some reason, the ferry ride from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh is 5usd more)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

5 days Myanmar

This was a very short trip as firstly, I realised how expensive accommodation would be and secondly, while booking my flight tickets,  I forgot that February only had 28 days. Anyway during this trip, I spent one day in Yangon, 2 days in Bagan and finally 2 days in Inlay. All in I spent about USD 200 not including flights. My flight from Singapore cost SGD 140 on Tiger airways including taxes. And my flight out from Yangon to Phnom Penh via Bangkok cost USD 220 on Bangkok Airways. I was lucky to be able to join other travellers too which allowed me tostill hire a car and be at thesame price as renting a bicycle. I will just give a breakdown as I'm still on the road. Update in detail later. 
25th Feb Yangon
-10USD cab to hostel (MYANMAR BACKPACKER) 2pax
-4USD cab to Shwedagon Pagoda
-8USD entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda
-3USD cab to hostel (I dropped early at the market and walked back while Liz went straight to hostel)
-16USD for one night (forfeited as realised not enuff time in Bagan)
-16000Kyat for bus to Bagan (purchased from hostel as cheaper than travel agency nearby)
26th Feb Bagan
-25USD cab to sunrise then to hostel (Ostello Bello Bagan) 4pax
-20USD entrance fee for Bagan (managed to sell it for 10 USD as it was -5 days long and I had only used 2 days)
-35USD hired car from 9am to 6pm 4pax
-21USD for one night in hostel
27th Feb Bagan
-34USD car hire to Mt. Popa.
-11000Kyat bus to Inlay
28th Feb Inlay
-1USD ride to hotel (Joy Hotel)
-1000Kyat bicycle rental til 9pm (A Tun travel, beside smiling moon restaurant)
1 Mar Inlay
-15000Kyat boat tour of Inle Lake. 3pax but can take up to 5pax (Sun rises from behind a mountain so it is still possible to catch it if you leave hotel at 6am. Might miss a bit of the hues though. Otherwise youd have to be on the water at 530)
-18000Kyat bus to Yangon (13000Kyat if you take the standard bus)
2 Mar Yangon
-8000Kyat cab from terminal to Airport 2pax (I reckon it could be pushed down though another guy who had offered 9000Kyat was shouting at our driver. Distance felt shorter than hotel to Shwedagon Pagoda)