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Old 03-12-2004, 01:20 PM
philip_coggan philip_coggan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 247
Default Re: 10 days in Cambodia?

Hi Maciek

I think you could spend 2-3 days in PPenh easily - see the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda and the Tuol Sleng museum in town, the Killing Fields memorial and Shooting Gallery out near the airport, visit places like the Ballet school (r=traditional dance) and the kick-boxing stadium, take in some of the famous night-life. If you can afford $45-50, stay at the FCC on Sisowath Quai - book online at http://www.globekey.com/reserve.php?mstcode=PNH260 - otherwise, just have a beer there, but do visit it. Visit also the Jungle Bar on Sisowath and say hi to my friend Scott, the owner - a nice American who can make sure you have a good time without getting into trouble.

I think the boat to Siem Reap is fine - it takes from abt 7 a.m. to abt 1 p.m. and costs abt $25, maybe less. If you ride on the roof of the boat, (and you will), cover up your arms and face - seeing Angkor with extreme sunburn is no fun!

For monks at Angkor, get a guide and go to the modern monastery to the left hand side of the ancient temple - and ask politely if someone would like to pose for you. There's another temple near the Terrace of the Leper King with an interesting hall where they practice music. Remember to take your hat off - never approach a monk with your head covered.

Other places: Sihanoukville, Kep (I prefer Kep), Bokor (Kep and Bokor could make a day trip from PPenh), all south of PP. To the northeast, Rattanakiri is the least touristic area of the country. Battambang is a big town, but not touristic, and the boat ride downriver to the lake is very picturesque.

If you want people-pictures, I suggest you contact a moto-driver named Tom, who works afternoons outside the Riverstreet Restaurant (renamed recently the Cambodia Club), opposite the FCC on Sisowath. He was a great friend of mine and took me to stay in his village. He can at least be your guide/wheels in PP, and maybe can take you outside to do a village-stay. Speaks perfect English, totally trustworthy, and understands that not every visitor wants to see the monuments. If this sounds interesting to you, send me an email and I'll contact him by email so he can make arrangements (meaning take time off his job, and maybe hire you a motorbike).

Maybe I could also contact Scott in advance - he might have some ideas too. We had a mutual friend (Swedish) who entered a Buddhist monastery and is probably still in it - might be interesting to visit him.

Beggars: a pest but not major. Safety: don't get over-excited, I lived there 2 years and never a problem.

Drop me an email at [email protected] if you want me to contact Tom and Scott.
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