Wednesday, 21 December 2016

My Unexpected 7 - Day Trip to Cambodia This December



Just when I thought that I wouldn't have a trip abroad for the last month of 2016, came a surprise message from the owner of Mad Monkey Hostels. I have been doing their social media marketing for a year now as a full - time remote work. This is an answered prayer because I have been struggling to keep my office job. I have been joining blogging gigs and some trips that  my lifestyle is no longer able to cope with a regular job.  He is coming to Cambodia to visit his staff and be updated of what is going on. I remember that morning and reading his messsage of invitation means a sponsored trip. I screamed with joy and quickly replied that I am very much available to the dates he mentioned.


I checked AirAsia and was able to find a much higher price for my flight because of the upcoming holiday. Only thing that I didn't like flying AirAsia is that it has always a layover in Kuala Lumpur.  Not that I am complaining but to someone who is very much conscious about her time, it is a matter of life and death. Though I know he is going to pay for my flight I wanted to get the cheapest flight.  The one I booked had a 10 - hour overnight layover in KL. I called AirAsia how much it is to stay in their lounge for a dorm bed and shower, it is around Php 800. I declined and didn't even bought any baggage allowance. 


My 6 kg backpack and a lady's bag

It was a mixture of shyness and excitement to meet him and all of the people behind Mad Monkey Hostel, a chain of backpacker hostels in Cambodia, Boracay, Philippines and soon conquering Southeast Asia. This party hostel is soon to open more branches in Thailand, Indonesia and in Palawan, Philippines. I couldn't be prouder to be working with them! I booked seven nights because I was thinking of whole day meetings and stuff. You know what, the meeting only lasted for an hour or so and that's it! The rest of my time is mine to explore Cambodia again. Last year, I only spent 4 nights in Phnom Penh but this time, I was able to go to Siem Reap and saw Angkor Wat. It was through their Mad Monkey Hostel Creative Hub Program that I got a chance to go there in exchange of a blog review. The rest they say is history.

Related post: Mad Monkey Hostels Offers FREE Stay To Travel Bloggers And Writers In Cambodia In Exchange Of Feature Write-ups And Guest Posts


There are three ways to go to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh: 

1. By boat for 8 hours along Tonle Sap river and Mekong river from the port where I had my sunset cruise tour last year. I regret not knowing the fee because they paid for mine. It was arranged by the hostel already. If you have all the time in the world, I definitely would recommend you take a boat to Siem Reap and ready your camera to capture the river life of locals.

2.  By bus for 7 hours for $7 only. I took the reverse route actually, that's Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.  You can choose also a van or  a sleeper train that cost more.

3. By flight via Bassaka Air
It only takes  an hour to get to Siem Reap or back to Phnom Penh. You can get it for as low around $35 per way. The number one option is Bassaka Air by locals and expats in Cambodia.


What to see in Phnom Penh


Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. It is less crowded than Manila, where I reside and the capital of the Philippines. Fewer buildings and more Western tourists walking down the streets. My route is Manila - Phnom Penh - Manila because this is where the first ever Mad Monkey Hostel was built and where the head office is located.  I have been to the main attractions in Phnom Penh last year but I revisited those good ones. 

Related post: Travel Guide: Places to visit, Itinerary, Tourist Spots And Where To Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Places to visit in Phnom Penh
Royal Palace - This is the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Take a look at my main picture of this article. 
Independence Museum -  An architecture that symbolizes the independence of Cambodia from its colonizers built in 1950's
Russian Market - I haven't taken any photos when I went here. First, I was too tired already and I am not shopping anything so it was only a quick stroll. There are no Russians here but this is a place where dozens of stores are selling products from souvenirs, to food, home and many more.

These are the only ones I have been because of limited time. Last year, I did went to many tourist spots of Phnom Penh: National Museum, Silver Pagoda, S-21 Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide School Prison. I also joined a one - hour boat sunset cruise for only $5. 

Best backpacker hostel in Phnom Penh
Of course, it is no other than Mad Monkey Hostel. This is if you are keen to staying in a party hostel. There's so much changes after a year of going there for the first time. The most visible is the addition of swimming pool in the villa in the other side of the road. I stayed in the girl's dorm right where the restaurant and the rooftop bar are located. This time, I stayed in a mixed dorm which is perfectly fine for me as well. The villa used to be empty and not - well decorated but now it was transformed rightfully. There's a mini bar in front of the main entrance and the office of hostel workers are located just behind the reception area. 




Two Best Budget Accommodations in Siem Reap




   



  
  

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