Entry into Cambodia

Phnom Penh Travel Blog

 › entry 64 of 99 › view all entries
On the ferry on the road to Phnom Penh from Saigon.

The bus ride to Cambodia didn’t start any better than the first bus ride.  We were riding on a higher class bus with a company that people had recommended on the Internet, but I guess it is still Southeast Asia.  Ana went to sit down in her seat and put a water in the pocket in front of her and saw when a bunch of bugs coming out of the pocket.  Her shrieking got the attention of the whole bus and she demanded a seat in a different part of the bus after seeing more bugs walking around the bottom of her seat.  Since the bus was full, the tour company said I am sorry, but those were the seats you picked.  While Ana made it clear we wouldn’t have bought the tickets if we knew we would have to share them with bugs, we also sprayed down a quarter of the bus with our insect repellant.  The rest of the ride was much more comfortable and we reached our destination in about 7 hours which included time for customs between Vietnam and Cambodia.

On the ferry on the road to Phnom Penh from Saigon.

We have been surprised at how different Cambodia is than Vietnam.  The income disparity seems to be far greater here than in Vietnam.  We didn’t see much begging in Vietnam, but here it is plentiful.  In addition, there is an abundance of Lexus SUV’s and a few Mercedes.  Meals are a lot more expensive with a stop at the fast food burger joint across the street costing about twice the price of our standard meal in Vietnam.  Most importantly, beer in bars cost about $3 where it was less than $1 in Vietnam. 

It is hard to tell, but the official currency of Cambodia is the Reel.  When we crossed the border into Cambodia I tried to withdrawal local money from the ATM and it only distributed dollars.

The fruit market in Phnom Penh.
   When we got to Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia) the hotel directed me towards an ATM and once again it only dispensed dollars.  Then I realized the restaurant, which wasn’t in a touristy location, has all prices in dollars.  Event government offices accept US Dollar.  The only difficult part is when the cents since they don’t use coins.  If the bill is $3.75 I need to give them $3 and the 75 cents in local money or if I give them $5 then they will give me $1 in American money and the remaining 25 cents in local money.  I would hate to be an accountant here.

Starting yesterday I promised Ana we would try to stop for a massage every day.  Finding a massage parlor is not tough, but finding a massage parlor that is not a front for a whore house is a little more challenging.  While some our obvious as the girls have nice dresses, makeup and high heels others can be a bit more challenging to discern what actually goes on in the backrooms.  We have decided to stick to massage parlors that do the massages in the front window.  While a good massage is hit or miss for $6/hour it is worth the investment.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
On the ferry on the road to Phnom …
On the ferry on the road to Phnom…
On the ferry on the road to Phnom …
On the ferry on the road to Phnom…
The fruit market in Phnom Penh.
The fruit market in Phnom Penh.
The night market in Phnom Penh.
The night market in Phnom Penh.
On our tuk-tuk on the way to site-…
On our tuk-tuk on the way to site…
The Killing Fields in Phnom Penh.
The Killing Fields in Phnom Penh.
A sign you dont see too often...t…
A sign you don't see too often...…
Dont know whether I was sickened …
Don't know whether I was sickened…
The entry to the killing fields wh…
The entry to the killing fields w…
Bats: The reason why Ana didnt se…
Bats: The reason why Ana didn't s…
Prison that the Khmer Rouge used t…
Prison that the Khmer Rouge used …
The river in front of the Royal Pa…
The river in front of the Royal P…
In front of the royal palace with …
In front of the royal palace with…
In front of the Royal Palace in Ph…
In front of the Royal Palace in P…
The coronation room.
The coronation room.
A guard hard at work.
A guard hard at work.
Phnom Penh
photo by: terminalfunk