Cambodia Day 1: Transit, Phnom Penh

After traveling to Myanmar last July, this holiday season my father and I went to Cambodia, a country known for the famous Angkor Wat and the infamous Khmer Rouge. On December 24th, we depart from Jakarta to Phnom Penh, Cambodia through Singapore. We use Jetstar Airways for the one way ticket, which cost $440/2 person. The plane was on time and we arrived in Singapore around 15.00, we have 3.5 hours before the next flight that we spent on eating in foodcourt of another terminal. I ate BBQ combination for $7 in Changi, then buy a book to accompany my trip, I have always bring a book everywhere, to fill the waiting time in restaurant, on a long trip in a car, after breakfast, etc.

We arrive in Phnom Penh at 7 pm, the airport is quite small for Asean standard but it looks new. The money changer in the airport does not offer competitive rate, anyway we could use USD for transaction in the city. We also bought a telephone card, 2GB data that valids for 21 days, for only $3/piece. The trip to our hotel, Harmony River View, is supposed to take about 30 minutes from the airport. However, there are two hotels nearby with the name Harmony on it and our tour guide confused between the two, so we ride for 1 hour around the city.

dscf9998Riding a Tug-tug in Phnom Penh

We passed through the red light district, where prostitutes were waiting on bars. There were lots of Western tourist in Phnom Penh, either for traveling or for entertainment. Our hotel could not be described as great, the lobby was more like the front desk of a saloon and they overcharged us $10/night due to the upgrade to VIP room that they never asked to us. The room was big and great thought, certainly better than a 3-star hotel across Asia. After checking in and leave unnecessary goods in the room, we walked the street for the next 2 hours.

dscf0002Phnom Penh Street View from Harmony River View Hotel

Mostly there are bars and cafe near the river, filled with Western tourists and their family, or sometimes prostitutes. The food averaged $6-15, depending on what you order. Some of the places look very decent, while others are simply desk and chairs with wooden decor. Feeling tired, we went back to hotel and took a shower. Tomorrow we have to wake early to do city tour in Phnom Penh, which starts at 8 am.

About Kevin

Kevin is an Emerging Markets Research Analyst at a global macro investment firm based in Montreal, Canada. Originally trained to be a medical doctor, he found his passion in capital markets after being involved in managing portion of his family’s equity portfolio. Kevin holds Masters degree in both finance and management, has passed all levels of CFA exam, and is a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Professional Financial Modeller (PFM). He read voraciously and has a hobby of tinkering (read: programming) his systematic equity and volatility trading model for the “Quantimental” investment firm he founded. In his spare time, Kevin likes to travel the world and become a freelance photographer for Getty Images. To date, he has a portfolio of over 1200 pictures across 35 countries.
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