Visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Part 2)

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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 Banana

Just 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


The gate


Building 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.


Each 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 Fields3

Victims were found in mass grave.

Killing Fields4

Khmer 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 Sleng1

Front 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 


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, Cambodia (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.


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


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

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-.


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 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, 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 …. 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 ……

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