While I'm sitting here in the Penthouse in Seoul overlooking the city from the 22nd floor I finally have some time to update the good ol blog!
|Seoul Airbnb Penthouse in Gangnam|
My plan for Cambodia was to stay in a small beachtown called Sihanoukville for a couple of days and then move to Siem Reap for 2 days where one of the worlds biggest temples is located.
In the end it was poor planning from my part and I rather would've spent more time in SR and less time in SV but since it was my first time in Cambo I was obviously quite clueless what to expect. Cannot recall that I've ever been in a country where I hated one place so much while absolutely loving the other but will elaborate on this moving forward!
I managed to score a direct flight from KL which is only like 45minutes and arrived in Sihanoukville at the airport around noon on the 18th. Small and chaotic airport and upon arriving I realized that as a "westerner" I need to buy a visa. Every other guy seemed to be prepared having US dollars ready but while me only having some malaysian currency. Also no atm or money changer in sight so I managed to convince some russian kid that I'm not trying to scam him and gave him a pretty good rate for the 30usd I needed to get the visa sorted. At this point I already know this stay would be interesting.
Took a taxi to my hotel and went for an ATM where I tried to withdraw 2million of the local currency which didn't work and 1million didn't work either. After 5minutes I realized that this machine was only giving US Dollar so I went for 400usd which worked. Quite interesting that the first time I would ever get my hands on USD would be in Cambodia :) Went straight to the hotel afterwards where I had booked the best room pretty much but after checking in I realized they gave me a smaller room. All my bitching didn't help much because some middle man between Agoda and the hotel screwed up but at least I might get some of my money back and the room wasn't that bad overall and it was only for a couple of days.
|bathroom view from the hotel|
Went down to the beach for a quick snack and food was terrible and I slowly realized that this couple of days gonna be tough...
|at least the view was good|
Started grinding trip advisor in the afternoon and probably the worst I've ever seen - there just aren't any good restaurants - period! Top 5 spots are some decent italians but I don't wanna eat Pizza and Pasta all fucking week...
Overall this is still proper 3rd world shit down there. Roads are insane, there are very few taxis, you do everything with tuktuk etc. Sihanoukville is pretty much a mix of western backpackers and chinese tourists who come there for the Casinos. The town has like 80k people or so and I kid you not, 30++ fucking Casinos and they are building like crazy (mostly new Casino complexes). Last night I tried to get sneaky and eat in Casino restaurant at the beach but food was shit as well. Also staff wasn't speaking a word of english - I think I was the first western tourist who ever came there.
Weather was very hot but raining quite abit as well and in Sihanoukville itself there isn't much to do apart from laying at the beach or grinding the Casinos which wasn't really what I signed up for.
So to kill time I went to a shooting range one day which was good fun but also 70usd for 30 fucking bullet with an AK47.
Given how poor the country is it's actually fairly expensive. You end up spending alot of money on transportation because nothing is close and the tuktuks aren't as cheap as Manila taxis for instance. Food is reasonably cheap wherever you go but I rather would like to spend abit more here and get good food in return.
|had Mr Na Fy for the entire week and he was an awesome driver always on time|
|gun range with some chinese kids|
I already expected that SH might be shit so I booked a very nice private island resort for one day to get out. This was indeed very nice but also very very overpriced and while the food was better than in town for those prices I would've expected alot more (they sold pizza for 25usd which is just nuts - we still in Cambodia ffs!). The villa though was absolutely topnotch and since I spent most my time in there I wont complain too much. Resort was on a small island which took me about 40minutes to reach by speedboat:
On the island itself wasn't much happening but I just wanted to relax anyways because I already was on fairly big tilt mainly due to the abysimal food situation in SV. It also doesn't help coming from a Bali trip where alot of restaurants belong to the best I have seen so far.
After 4 days everything finally came to an end and I could leave SV for SR. Rarely was this happy to get away from some place. Already lowered my expectation for Siem Reap but boy was I wrong again. Siem Reap already was interesting before I even went there because I have never seen a place with this many high quality hotels. I literally had like 5 different hotels on my shortlist and the rooms where all insane for less than 250usd/night. In the end I managed to do the right thing and I booked the one with the best reviews which was a brilliant decision: Jaya River House. I didn't know by this time but I found out later that they are the number1 rated hotel on tripadvisor for ENTIRE ASIA. Hands down I have never stayed at a place this good, not even close. If all hotels would be like this I would never stay in an Airbnb again.
Got picked up at the airport with fruitplatter, cold towels and a girl who was explaining abit more about the hotel during our ride from the airport.
Basically they run their hotel like I would run my hotel. When you get there you can choose your welcome drink, or 2 or 3, whatever the fuck you feel like. You can order espresso to the room they don't charge you. You can do your laundry with them - FOR FREE! I gave them 20 items and had them back 3 hours later. Fully stocked minibar - free of charge. Tuktuk which can drive you around all day - free of charge. On the day I moved out my flight was at 10pm and instead of kicking me out at noon like every other hotel they moved me to a smaller room where I again had a fully stocked mini bar free of charge. Hotel is incredibly nice and well done too, the room was absolutely sick.
As you probably can tell by my writing I'm still facinated by the place and I will probably go back there at a certain point in time mainly just to spend some time in the hotel and relax. Absolutely incredible experience!
In the evening went for a very nice steakhouse which had an absolutely impeccable service as well. Siem Reap is just the complete opposite of everything SV was. City had a completely different vibe from the getgo. Unfortunately I had only 1.5 days there which really pissed me off.
On the 2nd day I went early to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise and afterwards to another jungle temple. Had a very nice tour guide I got recommended by a friend and for the case Siem Reap is on your list I can only advice you to reach out to him (via me) and also stay in the same hotel I stayed.
|tour guide and driver|
That's it for now. Business is still going strong and Cryptos recovered abit but seem to be dropping heavily today. Nothing to worry though when you in it for the long run anyways.
Have 4 more days in Seoul, then a week in Shanghai and then back to Europe for the summer!