What not to do in Cambodia
|Don't forget to appreciate the beauty of nature|
Okay... I know I’ve already published an entry about the trees in Siem Reap, but with regard to travel guide tag, let me publish this first post and share with you a few pointers about what not to do in Cambodia:
VISA & CASH
· Do not be anxious and spend an hour perusing blogs about how much you have to pay for VISA. If you are a Filipino you don’t need to pay anything. Visa is free. If you are Japanese you need to pay 30 USD.
· Do not withdraw cash impulsively. Make sure of the amount you need to dispense. There is a 5-dollar charge each time you withdraw money from the ATM.
· Again, if you are a Filipino, do not bring your dilapidated PESO BILLS. Money changers usually don't accept peso and if they do, they prefer the new one thousand bills. Better have your peso exchanged to USD in Manila prior to your departure.
|Do not miss the sunrise|
· Do not forget to coordinate with your hotel about the time of your arrival. Take advantage of the free airport transfer that comes with your accommodation.
· Do not stay in fancy hotels. Unless it is your honeymoon, it would be wiser to stay in a budget hotel. Mind you, cheap hotels don’t offer cheap service and won’t make you feel cheap in any way. Readabout our stay in King Boutique Hotel here and know how the hotel staff made us feel like KINGS, giving us more than what we paid for.
|Do not miss the hotel breakfast|
PACKAGE CITY TOUR
· Do not book a package trip arranged by your hotel. It is often more expensive. Learn from online forum about some recommended Tuk-tuk drivers and organize your itinerary with them. You can read about how we met our awesome Tuk-tuk driver and how we had an awesome Tuk-tuk experience in an awesome post here. LOL *redundancy alert* X_X
|Do not touch the wall carvings|
|Do not mess with the monkeys|
|Do not support animal cruelty|
|Do not forget your hat|
GETTING AROUND THE CITY
· Unless you are a history/design or a total freak, don’t squeeze in 15 temples in your three-day itinerary. I am telling you, if you are not the kind who appreciates ruins BY HEART, forget the 40-dollar 3-Day pass, here is a better itinerary for you.
· Do not be lazy to walk! Understand your geographic location, take photo-walks and save on Tuk-tuk fares.
· Do not ride the elephants! I learned from my friend elephants undergo difficult training for this ‘tourist activity’. NOT. GOOD.
· Do not entertain a (pseudo) tour guide unless you are willing to pay in 5 dollars.
· Do not recklessly take photos. Notice the signs and know which areas forbid photographing.
|Don't just take pictures anywhere|
· Do not start your day late. Not after lunch. Best to start before 8 AM. Or you will miss a 15 km hike to the waterfall and waste 30 dollars for an unfinished day itinerary.
· Do not give alms to beggars. It makes them think you have lots to give. Maybe in such a case, it’s good to follow my friend’s adage, “I rarely give but when I do, I don’t” LOL
· Do not leave your FREE bottled water in the back of the Tuk-tuk!
· Do not be loud and obnoxious. YOU DON’T OWN THE PLACE. No. Seriously, keep it down to show respect. You can always enjoy and at the same time be mindful of your surroundings. Show your savoir-faire.
· DO NOT LITTER! IT IS COMMON SENSE!
· Do not eat the happiest pizza. Send me email so I would discuss to you why.
· Do not eat a 7-dollar lunch because you can always get something that costs 1 to 2 dollars. Try different foods in small eateries. Your dollar will go a long way in such diners!
· Do not drink Iced coffee with spiders. I swear it will take your strength, probably all your strength and joy away especially when you are having a really bad day because of some hormonal imbalance and self-induced insecurities.
· Do not drink WAY too much or you’ll wake up with a very bad hang-over the next morning and may miss the most expensive activity in your itinerary!!!!!!
|Do not wear short shorts if you don't have cover-ups|
· Do not wash your clothes in the sink. NO person in sane mind would wash 4-kg clothes and expect them to dry off clean after a day with 4 sets of hangers, no clothes line and sunlight!
· Do not wear inappropriate clothing especially when entering a sacred place. Here are some Temple Visit OOTDs I and my friends pulled off.
· DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT with the vendors. You’ll be staggered by their selling persistence and may actually turn out to be your pet peeves. Don't dare ask how much if you don't intend to buy their product. Again, if you don’t want to be constantly targeted or pestered by vendors/ promoters/ guides/ drivers/ beggars/ candy-holic children, DO. NOT. ENTERTAIN. THEM.
· Do not buy 6 dollar shirts without bargaining. You can always negotiate up to half the price.
· DO NOT BUY 7-DOLLAR MAGNETS FROM THE AIRPORT UNLESS YOU REALLY LIKE THEM. Four pieces of Ref magnets are sold for 1 dollar by some vendors.
TRAVELING BY BUS
· Do not be lured by the 5-dollar discounted bus ticket for a morning trip. It is such a waste of time. Take a night trip instead. You can sleep in deluxe buses. It is comfortable enough for a decent night snooze.
· Do not bring big, bulky packs when you plan to cross borders. It is always convenient to pack light especially when you take cramped public transports.
|DO NOT BE SCARED OF HEIGHTS|
Finally, do not hesitate to immerse yourself in the Cambodian culture. Do not rush. Take time to understand what you see around. Reflect...
And before your travel comes to an end, do not forget to ask a meaningful question to yourself like:
How can your trip make your life and Cambodia better?