Overland Trip from Vientiane (Lao) to Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Overland trip from Viantiane (Lao) to Siem Reap (Cambodia) was interest thing. 26 hours trip presented an unforgettable experience.

It was very difficult to hunted an online ticket from Jakarta, it prompted me to immediately bought a ticket when arrived in Funky Monkey Hostel -a hostel that I chose to stayed in Viantiane-. The good news was Funky Monkey Hostel sold it for 420,000 Kip. Although other hostel or travel agents sold it for 400,000 Kip or 410,000 Kip, I preferred to bought in Funky Monkey Hostel because after I checked out on next day, I could use its comfortable lobby to waited for pickup tuk-tuk.

The ticket consists of 2 pieces:

Gambar 1

left: ticket information board to several destinations sold in Funky Monkey Hostel
upper right: first ticket. Used for sleeper bus trip from Viantiane to Pakse
bottom right: second ticket. For minivan trip from Pakse to Siem Reap

The pickup tuk-tuk came late 1 hour from scheduled time on 18:30. Due to traffic jam on Rue Setthalhilath Avenue, the hotel owner finally begged me for walked shortly to caught the pick up tuk-tuk that was stuck in that avenue.

The tuk-tuk would bring me to the sleeper bus shelter. During trip to the shelter, tuk-tuk stopped 5 times to picked up other tourists in several hostels where they stayed.

Tuk-tuk arrived in bus shelter within 45 minutes. When tuk-tuk arrived, the bus staff requested a first ticket (yellow) and he would give you a similar replacement one. Because of in a hurry, it only took 5 minutes for passenger boarding into sleeper bus.

Gambar 2

top left: pick up tuk-tuk
top right: “King of Bus’ sleeper bus.
bottom right: bus interior
bottom left: I got 600 ml bottle of mineral water on board and one wet wipes upon arrived in Pakse

At 21:00 bus left its shelter towards Southern Bus Station and arrived within 30 minutes. Bus took all passengers here for last time. Actually I was a bit worried about my backpack that put into baggage compartment because it mixed with many local passenger luggages. My backpack should be able to brought up into cabin for safety. But finally, I was very grateful when arrived in Pakse, my backpack was found easily.

Here was situations during trip to Pakse:

Gambar 3

During trip I didn’t drink too much after knowing the bus toilet couldn’t be used. 

At 9 am, bus reached Pakse downtown.

Gambar 4

top and lower left: views of Pakse downtown
right: Pakse bus terminal where bus dropped all passengers.

For tourists who would visit Pakse could continue by walking or rode a tuk-tuk for 10,000 Kip to downtown. Well, I would continue my journey to Siem Reap, I just waited in terminal because in 10 minutes I would be picked up by minivan.

I was picked up by a dark blue minivan. It would bring me into Ban Nakasong and would be switched with another minivan to Lao-Cambodia border.

Gambar 5

The first minivan that departed from Pakse terminal was stopping in a rest area.

Gambar 6

1 hour later the minivan dropped off a tourist at Don Khong

The minivan then dropped me off in Ban Nakasong to exchanged my second ticket (white) with the other one (green) and I switched to 2nd minivan into border.

Gambar 7

left: a replacement ticket was earned in Ban Nakasong travel counter.
right: the 2nd minivan from Ban Nakasong to Lao-Cambodia border.

At 11:45 I arrived at Lao-Cambodia border. Although Indonesia is a free visa country for Lao, I was asked to paid USD 2 to got the departure stamp.

Gambar 8

top left: Lao land border gate
top right: Lao immigration building
bottom right: a counter where I got a departure stamp and also as visa payment counter
bottom left: Cambodia immigration building was seen from Lao immigration building

After 15 minute immigration process in Lao, I walked to Cambodia border. Their distance is very close.

Gambar 9

Cambodia immigration building (Stung Treng Border Crossing Station)

At Cambodia immigration, I also must pay a quarantine sheet for USD 1 and an arrival stamp for USD 1.

From Cambodia immigration building, I moved into 3rd minivan that will take tourists to next dropping point as far as 1 hour driving.

Gambar 10

3rd minivan

The 3rd minivan would dropped off  passengers at a dropping point in the form of a restaurant which was also a travel agent. I ate rice with a boiled egg for USD 1.5 here as a lunch. From here I would moved into 4th minivan

After waiting 45 minutes finally the 4th minivan arrived and this was the last minivan that would bring me to Siem Reap.

This minivan would stop once in a rest area around 17:11Gambar 11

a rest area where the 4th minivan took a rest 

Then minivan would continue its journey to Siem Reap. At 20:50 I finally reached Siem Reap and minivan dropped off all tourists here to switched by tuk-tuk into downtown:Gambar 12

dropping point in Siem Reap 

From this dropping point I rode a tuk-tuk, sharing with two other tourists to downtown We had to paid USD 2 per person.

Gambar 13

tuk-tuk only took 25 minutes to got to Hangover Hostel where I would stay

Hopefully  my article can be a simple description for you who will take a similar journey.

Thanks.

 

 

Perjalanan Darat Vientiane (Laos) ke Siem Reap (Kamboja)

Perjalanan darat dari Viantiane (Laos) ke Siem Reap (Kamboja) merupakan sesuatu yang menarik. Waktu tempuh perjalanan selama 26 jam menghadirkan pengalaman tak terlupakan.

Susahnya mendapatkan tiket secara online dari Jakarta, mendorong Saya untuk segera mencari tiket begitu tiba di Funky Monkey Hostel –tempat saya menginap di Viantiane-. Beryukur karena hostel menjual tiket tersebut seharga 420.000 Kip. Walaupun ada agen lain yang menjual dengan harga 400.000 Kip atau 410.000 Kip, Saya lebih memilih membeli di hostel karena setelah check out keesokan harinya Saya bisa menggunakan lobby hostel yang nyaman untuk menunggu tuk-tuk penjemput.

Tiket tersebut terdiri dari 2 lembar:

Gambar 1

 

kiri : papan informasi tiket ke beberapa destinasi yang dijual di hostel

kanan : lembaran tiket 1. Digunakan untuk perjalanan sleeper bus dari Viantiane ke Pakse

kanan bawah : lembaran tiket 2. Untuk perjalanan travel dari Pakse ke Siem Reap

 

Tuk-tuk penjemput datang telat 1 jam dari waktu yang dijadwalkan yaitu 18:30. Karena sedang macet parah di jalan Rue Setthalhilath, pemilik hotel akhirnya memohon Saya untuk sedikit berjalan kaki untuk menghampiri tuk-tuk yang sedang terjebak macet di jalan protokol itu.

Tuk-tuk itu akan mengantarkan Saya di pool sleeper bus. Selama perjalanan menuju pool terhitung tuk-tuk berhenti 5 kali untuk menjemput turis-turis lain di hostel tempat mereka menginap.

Tuk-tuk tiba di pool dalam waktu 45 menit. Setibanya di pool, petugas bus lalu meminta lembaran tiket 1 (warna kuning) dan dia akan memberikan tiket pengganti yang mirip. Terkesan terburu-buru, hanya butuh 5 menit proses perpindahan penumpang ini.

Gambar 2

kiri atas : tuk-tuk penjemput

kanan atas : sleeper bus “King of Bus’.

kanan bawah : interior bus

kiri bawah : hanya diberi satu botol air minum 600 ml saat berangkat dan satu tisu basah saat tiba di Pakse

Jam 21:00 bus meninggalkan pool menuju Southern Bus Station dan tiba dalam waktu 30 menit. Disinilah bus mengambil penumpang untuk terakhir kali. Sebetulnya Saya sedikit khawatir dengan backpack yang ditaruh di bagasi karena bagasi sangat penuh dengan barang-barang milik penumpang lokal. Seharusnya backpack bisa Saya bawa ke atas saja supaya aman. Tetapi bersyukur saat tiba di Pakse, backpack masih utuh.

Berikut situasi selama perjalanan menuju Pakse:

Gambar 3

Selama perjalanan Saya tidak berani minum terlalu banyak setelah mengetahui toilet bus tidak bisa digunakan. Takut kebelet pipis….

Jam 9 pagi, bus memasuki kota Pakse.

Gambar 4

 

kiri atas dan bawah : pemandangan kota Pakse

kanan : terminal Pakse dimana bus menurunkan penumpang.

Untuk turis yang akan berwisata di Pakse bisa dilanjutkan dengan jalan kaki atau naik tuk-tuk seharga 10.000 Kip. Nah, Saya yang akan melanjutkan perjalanan menuju Siem Reap, cukup menunggu di terminal karena dalam 10 menit akan di jemput oleh minivan.

Saya dijemput oleh minivan warna biru gelap. Minivan ini mengantarkan Saya menuju Ban Nakasong untuk berganti dengan minivan lain menuju perbatasan.

Gambar 5

Minivan pertama yang berangkat dari terminal Pakse sedang berhenti di rest area.

Gambar 6

1 jam kemudian minivan menurunkan seorang turis di Don Khong

Minivan kemudian menurunkan Saya di Ban Nakasong untuk menukarkan tiket dan berpindah ke minivan ke-2 menuju perbatasan.

Gambar 7

kiri : tiket pengganti yang didapatkan di Ban Nakasong.

kanan : minivan ke-2 dari Ban Nakasong ke perbatasan Laos-Kamboja.

Jam 11:45 Saya tiba di perbatasan Laos-Kamboja. Walaupun Indonesia adalah negara free visa untuk Laos, Saya diminta membayar USD 2 untuk mendapatkan stempel departure.

Gambar 8

kiri atas : gerbang perbatasan darat Laos

kanan atas : gedung imigrasi Laos

kanan bawah : tempat mendapatkan stempel departure dan pembayaran visa 

kiri bawah : gedung imigrasi Kamboja dilihat dari gedung imigrasi Laos

Setelah proses imigrasi di Laos selama 15 menit, Saya berjalan kaki menuju perbatasan Kamboja. Jaraknya sangat dekat.

Gambar 9

Gedung imigrasi Kamboja (Stung Treng Border Crossing Station)

Di imigrasi Kamboja, Saya juga harus membayar lembar karantina sebesar USD 1 dan stempel departure sebesar USD 1.

Dari gedung imigrasi Kamboja, Saya berpindah menggunakan minivan ke-3 yang akan mengantarkan turis menuju dropping point berikutnya sejauh 1 jam perjalanan.

Gambar 10

minivan ke-3

minivan ke-3 ini akan menurunkan penumpang di sebuah dropping point berupa rumah makan yang sekaligus merupakan agen travel. Saya menyempatkan makan nasi putih dan sebutih telur rebus seharga USD 1,5 disini. Disinilah Saya akan berpindah menggunakan minivan ke-4

Setelah menunggu 45 menit akhirnya minivan ke-4 tiba dan inilah minivan terakhir yang akan mengantarkan Saya ke Siem Reap.

Minivan ini akan berhenti sekali di rest area sekitar pukul 17:11Gambar 11

rest area tempat minivan ke-4 beristirahat

Kemudian minivan akan melanjutkan perjalanan menuju Siem Reap. Jam 20:50 akhirnya Saya memasuki kota Siem Reap dan minivan menurunkan turis disini untuk berganti dengan tuk-tuk ke pusat kota:Gambar 12

dropping point di kota Siem Reap

Dari dropping point ini Saya menggunakan tuk-tuk, sharing bertiga dengan turis lain ke pusat kota harus membayar USD 2 per orang.

Gambar 13

tuk-tuk hanya butuh 25 menit menuju ke Hangover Hostel tempat saya menginap

Semoga tulisan ini bisa menjadi gambaran sederhana untuk Kalian yang akan melakukan perjalanan yang sama.

Terimakasih.

 

Mengunjungi Kesederhanaan Phnom Penh, Kamboja (Part 1)

6 Januari 2015

Phnom Penh Route2

Kamboja atau Cambodia, boleh dibilang ini adalah titik awal keseriusan Gw menjadi backpacker. Dan trip ini adalah menjadi trip parallel pertama Gw karena sebelum mengunjungi kamboja gw mampir di Singapura dan setelah kamboja Gw akan mengunjungi Vietnam dan ditransitkan sekali lagi oleh maskapai Tiger Air di Singapore sebelum pulang ke Jakarta.

Gw masih inget banget, beli tiket Jet Star di agent resminya karena Gw belum punya kartu kredit.

Setelah hari sebelumnya transit dan keliling Singapore, Pukul 13:25 Jet Star 3K 593 take off meninggalkan Changi International Airport dari Terminal 1. Gw landing dengan baik di Phnom Penh International Airport.

konter imigrasi phnom penhKonter imigrasi Cambodia….Gw memalukan….dimarahin petugas imigrasi karena ambil foto ini….Gw ga lihat ada tanda “no camera”

Tahun 2015, Cambodia baru pertama kalinya memiliki tranportasi umum bus. Pemerintahnya membeli beberapa bus bekas dari Jepang. Dan di setiap halte bus sering dijaga oleh militer bersenjata mereka. Sebelum mereka memiliki bus, transportasi umum mereka adalah Tuk Tuk dan Taxi.

Singkat cerita, Gw lebih memilih Tuk Tuk, karena hasil browsing gw sebelum trip ini berjalan menyatakan belum ada rute bus ke airport.

100_2109

USD 10….muat 5 orang….jalanan berdebu…40 menit menuju ke pusat kota.

Gw minta pengemudi Tuk Tuk untuk diturunkan di dekat National Museum, kerana rute sepanjang National Museum menuju dormitory akan melewati beberapa venue menarik. Jadi sembari jalan ke arah dormitory Gw akan berjalan melihat venue-venue itu. Oh ya kali, selama 2 jam Gw akan jalan sejauh 2 km sambil menikmati suasana dan mengambil beberapa foto menarik.

National Museum

Jalan kaki di Phnom Penh dimulai dari titik ini….National Museum.

Kingdom Square

Dari National Museum jalan kaki 350 m ke arah tenggara akan ketemu Royal Palace Park

Pertigaan

Nah itu City Courthouse….Pengadilan Negeri nya mereka….300 m di selatan Royal Palace Park

Taman yang menghubungkan alun-alun kerajaan dengan independent monument bernama Wat Botum Park.

Taman sepanjang 500 m ini sangat ramai saat sore. Dari warga yang sekedar nongkrong menikmati senja atau warga beroleh raga…., olah raga khas kamboja. Ada juga beberapa ekspatriat mengajak anjingnya jalan-jalan atau beberapa warga yang menikmati sajian kuliner jalanan yang murah meriah.

Taman arah hotel

Aktivitas

aktivitas warga di sekitar Wat Botum Park

Di ujung taman ini akan bertemu jalan Preah Suramarit Boulevard lalu Gw berbelok ke kanan. Berjalan sejauh 350 m Gw menemukan patung Raja Norodom Sihanouk -pemimpin legendaris Cambodia-.

Sihanouk

Gw duduk di Statue of Father King Norodom Sihanouk

Dari patung ini, Gw jalan lagi lurus ke barat. dan kemudian akan ketemu Monumen Kemerdekaan mereka. Monasnya mereka lah kalau boleh dibilang. W

Independence

Independence Monument

Dari Independence Monument gw inget-inget sewaktu di Jakarta bahwa Gw harus jalan ke barat dan belok kekiri di gang kedua dari jalan utama Preah Sihanouk Boulevard. Tuh kan ketemu dengan cepat….

Top banana2

Dormitory bed di Top Banana Guesthouse & Rooftop Bar seharga IDR 60K/malam

Ketika memesan di Booking.com, Gw tidak begitu yakin dengan kenyamanan guesthouse ini. Tetapi setelah sampai di Negara tujuan ternyata guesthouse ini melebihi ekspetasi Gw. Keren banget lah nih guesthouse. Tau aja kita haus ada segelas air es welcome drink dan Gw dijamu di ruangan bar mereka sambil check-in. Malemnya bar ini ramai sampai pagi hari.

Di dormitory ini Gw sempat berkenalan akrab dengan Sam-seorang muslim Australia serta turis dari Belanda dan Perancis.

Setelah beres-beres dan mandi, kita mulai malam dengan mencari makan malam. Pilihan Gw jatuh pada makanan tradisional mereka….ini diaaa:::

amokAmok….adalah sejenis masakan ikan yang dituangkan dalam santan dan dituang dalam batok kelapa muda yang masih ada kelapanya.

Makanan ini berharga USD 5 dan setelah makan malam Gw putuskan untuk segera tidur, mengingat besok akan jalan pagi hari lagi bahkan sorenya akan berpindah ke Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Perjalanan hari ke-2 di Cambodia akan Gw lanjutin di artikel berikutnya ya…….

Visiting Phnom Penh, Kamboja (Part 2)

January 7, 2015

After spent a night at Top Banana Guesthouse & Rooftop Bar, I could enjoy morning situation at Phnom Penh around guesthouse.

Situasi sekitar guesthouse

Quiet in the morning around guesthouse

After  took a bath  and packing, I had breakfast at guesthouse bar:

Bar Top BananaJust chose your food or drink…. many menu here

No more wasted time, I rushed to venues. I would visited two main venues in Phnom Penh. My limit time was 14:30, it was time for Mekong Express Bus would departed from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

For saved my time, I decided to hired a Tuk Tuk service for USD 20 for visited two venues and the last one it would deliver me to Mekong Express bus shelter. For information, initially Tuk Tuk driver offered USD 25 for his service, but I could bid the price until USD 20.

Okay trip began…. Tuk Tuk moved to south as far as 17 km. After passed dusty road for 45 minutes, I arrived at:

1. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

100_2199The gate

100_2198Building where victims’ skulls, tools were used for massacre, some remaining Khmer Rouge soldier uniforms and victim’s clothes were stored

This was Cambodian massacres location. It did by their own leader, Pol Pot. According to data from here, it said that 1 of 4 Cambodians were killed by Pol Pot.

Ticket fee was USD 3. You would get a headset that provided various language options to hearing an explanation of each spot you would visit. And I chose Malay language language to easily understood history of the place.

100_2164Each visitor would focus with their headset. Some of them were sobbing crying alone

Even I saw Australian sobbing cried because they heard that a Australian became a victim at that moment.

Killing Fields2

In every spot would be provided audio number and you must adjusted with  number on remote that you held.

Killing Fields3Victims were found in mass grave.

Killing Fields4Khmer Rouge forces set musics loudly on this tree to covered sounds of torture and slaughter

Killing Fields5

Remains of victim’s bones and teeth were often seen during rainy season.

I can’t told one by one guys ….. Hopefully you who haven’t gone yet, would get a chance to visited it later.

After got around it almost 1.5 hours, I thought that was lost my Tuk-Tuk driver. I looked for him and  I didn’t remember where he was waiting. After 15 minutes finally I met him. For you, better you made appointment where you can met him after sightseeing.

Next destination was at north as far as 12 km and tuk-tuk could reach it for 30 minutes. Here was the place:

2. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum 

Tuol Sleng1Front of former school was made a museum by  government of Cambodia.

Museum ticket fee was USD 3. It was victim’s temporary shelter before were executed at Choeung Ek Genocidal Center. During waiting period, prisoners would be forcibly employed by Khmer Rouge government. Victims were generally opposed on thinking and idealism with Khmer Rouge government under Pol Pot’s leadership.

Tuol Sleng4

Touched to saw mother’s face and her child, they were both potential victims who newly entering in jail and were recorded their identity.

Tuol Sleng3

Prison and cuffs for them

The prison were surely identical with torture. But I didn’t need to showed picture of it….I wasn’t strong for saw it.

At last part of museum, there were several booksellers about Pol Pot and story of some survivors from this tragedy although they were scheduled for execution.

Okay …. time got closer to 14 o’clock. It was time for me to went to Mekong Express pool for trip towards Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

The bus shelter was 5 km north of museum. It took 20 minutes to got there. Even tuk tuk driver didn’t know where Mekong Express shelter location. I tried to showed location on map, he still didn’t understand. Finally I asked to residents and one of them finally knew and showed where it was located to him.

When arrived, tuk tuk driver asked for more tip USD 2. Yes. I gave him 

100_2240

Mekong Express office on National Highway 5. I could see several destination cities.

When entering Mekong Express office …. Their staff confidently served me with spoke Khmer…. I was speechless …. She asked me three times. I just said that I was a tourist and had booked seat by email while showing a passport. She laught and apologized to me. She said my face like Cambodian… Cause of it we were be familiar.

Mekong Express Email

Ticket that I booked from Jakarta for USD 14 / passenger

 


While w
aiting for bus that would depart 1 hour later. I decided to had lunch at stall across street in front of bus shelter. I ate fish soup with rice for USD 1 …. very cheap.
After finished, I went to Vietnam.

Mekong Express

Bus ready departed

I even relaxed in front of shelter. Though bus was on boarding time behind it. I thought bus would be boarding in front of the shelter. When I got into bus…. staff who handled boarding said …. “Where are you, I look for you to boarding”, while smile and patted my shoulder …. “” I’m sorry mam. ..I’m at the front “.

My trip went left Phnom Penh and towards Ho Chi Minh will tell in separate part…..

 

 

Visiting Phnom Penh, Kamboja (Part 1)

6th January 2015

Phnom Penh Route2

Cambodia, arguably this was my starting point to seriousness to be a backpacker. And this trip became my first parallel trip because before visiting Cambodia I transited at Singapore and after Cambodia I would visit Vietnam and transited once again by Tiger Air at Singapore before returning to Jakarta.

I still remembered, I must bought Jet Star ticket at official agent because I didn’t have a credit card …. very late to have a credit card.

After transited and got around Singapore on previous day, at 13:25 Jet Star flight 3K 593 took off leaving Changi International Airport from Terminal 1 and I landed smoothly at Phnom Penh International Airport, Cambodia.

konter imigrasi phnom penh

Cambodian immigration counter …. I was embarrassed …. I was being scolded by immigration officer for taking this photo …. I didn’t saw “No Camera” sign

For your information, In 2015, Cambodia had bus as public transportation for the first time. Cambodia government bought several used buses from Japan. And at every bus shelter were guarded by their soldiers. Before they had public bus, their public transportation were Tuk Tuk and Taxi.

And finally, I preferred to chose a Tuk Tuk, because my browsing conclusion before the trip said there was no bus route to the airport.

100_2109

USD 10 …. fit for 5 peoples …. dusty road … 40 minutes for reached to city center.

I asked to Tuk Tuk driver to dropped us near National Museum, because route from National Museum to dormitory would pass through some interesting venues. This was special benefit…. so while I walked to dormitory, I would see them. Oh yes, for 2 hours I would walk as far as 2 km while enjoying afternoon view and took some interesting pictures. This is it….

National Museum

Walking at Phnom Penh started from this point …. National Museum

Kingdom Square

Walking for 350 metres  from National Museum to southeast, you would see Royal Palace Park. Their royal square

Pertigaan

Well,  that was City Courthouse …. Their District Court …. 300 m at south of Royal Palace Park

From City Courthouse, I saw city park that was very wide. This park connects the Royal square and Independent Monument at south. The park name is Wat Botum Park

The Park along 500m was very crowded during afternoon. Many citizen came just  for hanged out, exercised, also some expatriates took his dog for walk or some people who enjoy street culinary.

Taman arah hotel

Aktivitas

citizeb activities around Wat Botum Park

At end of the park I met Preah Suramarit Boulevard road then I turned right. Walking for 350 m, I found statue of King Norodom Sihanouk-Cambodia legendary leader-.

100_2145

I sat at Father King Norodom Sihanouk statue

From this statue, I walked straight to west then I found Cambodia Independence Monument. This was like Monas at Jakarta.

Independence

Independence Monument

From Independence Monument, I  tried to remembered while expolored this area by google map at Jakarta. I should walk to west and turned left at second alley from Preah Sihanouk Boulevard road. And I found quickly …. this was it

Top banana2

Dormitory bed at Top Banana Guesthouse & Rooftop Bar for USD 6 / night without breakfast

When I booked it in Booking.com, I was not so sure about guesthouse comfortable. But after arrived at destination, actually it very exceeded my expectation. It was really cool guesthouse. I was thirsty, very panting after walked for 2km with full backpack. Ms. receptionist was very kind for prepared cold drink …. very fresh….. and I treated in their bar room while checked in. And the bar was very crowded until morning.

In dormitory I met Sam-an Australian Moslem- and two tourists from Netherlands and France.

After took a bath, I started to looking for dinner. This was time to tasted thier traditional food …. this was it:

amok

Amok …. is a kind of fish dish poured in coconut milk and poured in coconut shell.

The food was USD 4 and after dinner I decided to immediately slept, because I would walk early morning tomorrow and would move to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on afternoon.

The 2nd day trip at Cambodia would continue in my next article ……