Cambodia – My first abroad solo traveling

It was not unlike other unplanned trips in 2019, exploring Cambodia was a journey that I had planned and prepared many things before. My initial plan had been invited a couple of my friends to go together. However, after a great number of things, They were not in. It was not matter to me, because If I had had tour mates , It would have been fine. But It is not a big problem if I go alone, not only that trip but also other trips.

What do we prepare to to in Cambodia

It was clearly that I would travel alone by myself, the first thing I prepared prior to coming back Sai Gon after Tet 2019 Lunar new year Holiday that I brought my passport. Because of a nation of Association of Southeast Asia Nations the Vietnamese passport can be approved to go into Cambodia up to 30 day without Visa. It is extremely convenient, right? Yes the first thing I mention is the passport. The second thing, that is money or cash. In Cambodia, they use both USD and Riel (Cambodian currency), you should carry at least one type of these currencies. However, from my experience I think The USD is more appropriate. The third thing, That is a sim 4G or 3G, It is very easy to buy in big cities such as Pnom Penh or Siem riel, you might buy and receiving support from sellers, there are numerous telecom stores. Last but not least, answering the question how to go to Cambodia. You can go by both Airplane or by car. At that time, Because I lived in Ho Chi Minh, therefore I chose to go by a bus from Pham Ngu Lao street (Only around 300K for one way ticket). When you go by bus, they car owner will help you receive approval from border gate.

Two days in Phnom penh

After 6 hours from Ho Chi Minh City, eventually, I was in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. I felt It is similar to some cities in Vietnam, honestly, that City is so small or at least It is not big as I thought.  Soon after arriving to Phnom Penh, I immediately booked the Grab to arrive my Hostel. Because of going alone, I often choose to stay at hostels or Dorm because of both It is very cheap and I can talk more with local people or other backpackers. Cambodians do not speak English well, I said that because when I arrived my hostel I attempted to communicate with a receptionist but he did not understand what I was trying to say til the hostel owner came. However, my accommodation was quite beautiful.

What can we eat when we stay in Phnom Penh,

As I said, Because Phnom Penh is similar many Vietnamese cities, particularly, southern cities in Vietnam. I feel very familiar to Ho Chi Minh (However, It is smaller than Ho Chi Minh). I tried to taste some local foods as well as local drink. Two days in Phnom Penh, fried chicken rice was my best choice besides other native foods.

If you ask me, where you can explore in Phnom Penh, here are several advices from me

The Royal Palace of Cambodia.

The first place in this city, I was keen on exploring that was Royal Palace. My hostel was very near that, I walked only about several hundreds that was the Palace. Because of enthusiasm, I came to there very early before opening time and I decided to wander around that site to see the daily life. From outside, seeing people and the scenery, I felt so peaceful. I liked the feeling that see the doves on the grass-yard and enjoying the activities of the local people.

If I remember correctly 8h30 am is the opening time, after Buying a ticket I started to discovery the Palace. My first impression about it that It is like a big Pagoda in Vietnam. Currently, I do not remember all detail, but that time I was very happy because I joined two tourist groups to know more about each place in that site the first one was a Vietnamese group and the second one was the Korean group. From the ancient time, the ancestors of the Cambodia was the great khmer empire that was reason the Royal Palace has many famed structures of Khmer ethnic like a great number of architectures in southern Vietnam.

I am a historic person who is very keen on everything about history. So that, Discovering the Cambodia’s current Palace is very interesting to me. I have learnt numerous things by visiting that site.

The Palace is still where the King and royal family live, there are some restricted areas you do not allow to enter in that sites because of the privacy, but from my point, if you visit Cambodian capital you should visit “their heart”

National Museum of Cambodia.

The second place I sightsaw that was the National Museum of Cambodia. It was funny thing, because after finishing a tour around the Royal Place, I randomly picked a nearby place to visit. And the answer from my phone was that site. To be honest, I have not remember anything about that except I had buy an expensive ticket compare to the value I got from that site lol.

See the sunset on the bank of Mekong River

When I lived in Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh, I always have a corner for me I called them were “Khoang Lang” (a place in a story I read for a long time ago, Its name “Vo oi anh biet loi Roi”. I think I had figured out that place in Cambodia. I want to mention the bank along the Mekong river that locates in front of the Royal Palace. It is really quite and peaceful with the daily activities from natives. I like the moment that I saw the dusk from that position. That time, I just hoped I can be with my love to see together (It made me miss her so much and totally hurt me as well….).

I ended my time in Phnom Penh by buying ticket to Siem Reap and took a long sleep.

The next story about Siem Reap….

Siem riep – Must Visit place in Cambodia.

From the Phnom Penh, I bough a car ticket to Siem Reap. My bus ran slowly through a lot of provinces of Cambodia. On my bus, I slept and seeing too outside. Although, It was not unusual compare to Vietnam It still brought me an enjoying time to watch while I wore my earphone to listen my favorite playlist.

After, long hours I realized that I still had not ticket for returning Ho Chi Minh. I had to face with both problems that were trying to buy ticket as soon as possible to come back Sai Gon on time for working and looking my hostel. I remember that I went most of car headquarters and branch in Siem Riep to figure out the ticket return directly to Sai Gon. Unfortunately, many receptionists of the car companies can’t speak English, so It was a tough time, eventually, I decided to give up and trying to buy a ticket back to Phnom Penh.

Currently, It did not remember much information about the downtown of Siem riel but my feeling that It is similar to Hoi An ancient town in Vietnam. Because my hostel in the central of the city, It is very easy to explore several famous places in that City.

Here are some my advices from me for you when you are in Siem Riep:

First thing to do that is discover the Pub Street, Night Market and some places near those ones. At my first night in Siem Riep, I wanderlust around the city and tried to taste some street foods, It’s so good I feel that their foods are mixed between Sai Gon’s Foods and Bangkok’s Foods. After an exhausted day, trying to eat the local foods and watching every people made me feel better. Because of the foreign area, It looks like the Bui Vien In HCM, Ta Hien in Ha Noi or Khao San in BangKoK. At that night, I thought I will have to comeback the Siem Riep together with my lover. If I come back to Cambodia, My fist destination is Siem Riep.

On the next day, I started to discover the Angkor. When I was a child, I read and watched a ton of information about that mysterious place because of that reason, I was really enthusiastic to did that. In my journey, I hired a local who has a Tuk Tuckering ( One of the most popular vehicles in Cambodia) to carry me all day. I did not remember the exact price, If I am correct, It was about $10 or $20. Fortunately, my driver is a Vietnamese, He has lived in Siem Riep for about 20 years. He is so nice. After my trip, I tipped for him $10 and my tour mate (I will tell about her later) tipped for him about $10.

Here I went, My first action that had to buy the ticket. They have three kinds of tickets that are 1 day, three days and seven days. Because It has many places with the long distances If you have more time and want to slowly discovery you can choose the long days packages.

I bought the 1 day package for about $37 (It is so expensive). However, the one thing made me happy that the ticket printed my photo lol.

to be continued….

To conclude

The reason that I never watch the “Mat Biec” film

These days, in the freezing weather in Ha Noi. I read a dozen of news about Mat Biec, It has been fortunate to me that I do not use the social network because I know many my friends will update that film every single hour. In my life story “Mat Biec” is always sad from the Nguyen Nhat Anh’s story to my love.

I already read the Mat Biec long time ago, while I am writing this article, incidentally, my nephew turned on the song “Co Chang Trai Viet Len Cay” in my phone through my bluetooth speaker. Back to my story, after reading that book, I talked to her about that story about Ngan, Ha Lan, Tra Long. That time, I still had opportunities to meet her. One day, She said tome, “Could you go to *** to hang out with her”, I was so happy. She said our dating time about 8h00 PM at a The Coffee House. Actually, I came to that place from 7h00 or 7h30 PM and brought tow books “Mat Biec” and another book that I could not remember right now. Yeah, It was a great night to me, every time that I met her I always feel happy.

I was being on the bus and taking photo by myself for cried moment when I said to her that I would miss her so much

After that day, She did not time to read until a day, when I decided to travel alone to Phan Rang. On the time, when I prepared to set off, I messaged to her that I missed her so much then She said “what is the answers from the others”, initially, I did not understand her question, shortly, I was extremely sad because she explained to me about her question. She thought that I had other loves, I said to her I wanted to go bed and I cried… Until the next morning, I could control my emotions to sent some messages to her. And then, when I was on the bus to come back Ho Chi Minh. I messaged to her again that I missed her. She said she completely reading the Mat Biec Story then I and Her chatted more about that story. She said she was annoyed about Ngan and she also called me “Ngan Minh” (The original term she called me). One moment later, I thought and said to her that “When I watch that movie, I will miss her so much” then I cried again and did not talk to her anymore.

I have been still scared when I suddenly heard the OST of Mat Biec or reading whatever about that film. So, I will definitely never watch that film… unless I have an opportunity to watch together with her

Climbing Ba Den Mountain.

Prior to reading this post as well as my story in Ba Den, So I definitely advise you that, If you have a chance to you to Ba Den Mountain, You have to do that.

Where is the Ba Den and Why I chose that to come?

I started my second trip in 2019 by climbing the highest mountain in southern Vietnam, It is located in Tay Ninh Province, especially, It is really well-known to hikers and trekkers or students in Ho Chi Minh.

Before 2019, I did know anything about Ba Den or even Tay Ninh province. In a my alone trip to Tan Lap Float village in Long An province, I heard 2 my girls who I made friends at that trip, they told me about their plan to climb Ba Den. Soon after that, when I had come back SG I researched more about that place and realized It is one of the most popular for camping or climbing in a short time. It is also one of the highest mountains in the Southern, If you can approach the top of the mountain, It is really the best award for you to view around. When I was there, I also saw many friend groups climbing to the crest for camping.

View from the middle of the mountain

At that time, I was very sad because of a person who I have missed so much. After shaving my hair, I randomly picked somewhere to bury my sadness. Yes, Ba Den was a choice for that time.

It was a tough time to reach the Top

Unfortunately, I decided to go to that place in the hottest month, It was about the middle of April. A great number of words of mouth that climbing the Ba Den mountain is extremely dangerous because of the difficult trails. I have to admit that they are correct, It was very horrible to me beside the obstacle when I tried to move step by step in at a snail’s pace in the deserted atmosphere as well as the boiling hot weather. Not over yet, Because I came to Ba Den in the late afternoon, that made me very worried when I climbed, the fearing that I could reach to the top at very late or when I went down I could not take the bus to back to Sai Gon. Many times, I had the intention that giving up and went back. However, after all, I also was the top, I compensated myself by a short nap and enjoyed the peaceful scene.

The consequence of that strictly climbing was I drunk enormous water when I was climbing and my sweating soaked everything I brought. More badly, One week after that, entire my body was painful. It was very incredible after that time I felt better in terms of health.

So, I thought that trip made me stronger although I could not bury what I wanted lol. I think I will go to Ba Den again. It was a really exciting experience.

————————Ba Den Mountain 15/04/2019———————————————–

2019 Travel – The First Trip – Riding motorbike from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau City

2019 is one of the years that I imprinted to a great number of new destinations, It also marked this year through the experiences that I backpacked alone many times even traveling abroad by oneself. Dozens of experiences have been gained and they are absolutely precious that might go along with me to the end of my life because of the stories behind each ones. I love writing, to remembers these memories, I think I have to write something. It is time for me to review those ones.
My initial decision that was writing entire my 2019 travels in only one post, While I was writing I realized lots of things to do. So I have decided to separate each journey.

Let’s Start With Vung Tau

The opening travel of year: Riding motorbike from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau City.The first place I came in this year was Vung Tau City. When I still lived in Ha Noi, I heard, watched and read many things about Vung Tau. I really wanted to travel to Vung Tau. But when I started to live in HCM city, I realized that numerous people in SG are not enthusiastic when they come to Vung Tau. The cause is very funny that Vung Tau is the nearest relaxing place from Sai Gon everyone can go, in the mind of many Saigonese Vung Tau, It is a part of the student life.
With me Vung Tau is still interested, It was my first traveling in 2019 and also my first motorbike trip from the time I came to Sai Gon.

How did I go to that City?
So, As I mentioned, I drove my motorbike from HCM city. That was the first time I went through the popular ferry, It was Cat Lai Ferry Station. Only over 2 hours, I arrived in Vung Tau. It also was so convenient for me with my motorcycle because I could easily move around City in my familiar “horse”.
Another thing about the road, Compare to the north roads, I think that the way from HCM city to Vung Tau city is really good. If you do not want to ride the motorbike, you also choose other transportation like cars or fast boats in Sai Gon River.
Where should you visit to sightsee?
Let me tell you some famous places. You can find many attractive places on Bai Truoc and Bai Tau. I highly recommend you should explore it both in the early morning and late at night.

The View from Pigge Hill

You might find other spectacular sites like Mui Nghinh Phong or Doi Hai Dang. From my point of view, I really love the Piggie Hill, I brought my speaker and a beer bottle on there and sitting down then turned on my favorite list in Spotify after and then drunk beer. It was one of the most chill seconds in my life.

What dishes can we eat in Vung Tau?
The cuisine is always a foremost part in all my explores. But poor for me when I came to Vung Tau because of traveling alone, so I only was able to taste some food. I did not have more chances to taste the food for a large number of people like Lau Mam and so on. Instead of that, I tried to eat some local foods like Bun Mam and Hu Tieu Muc. Until the next time, I hope I could come back to Vung Tau with my love to discover more dishes.

To sum up, I am happy with that trip. I will come back that beautiful city to continue writing this post