Here’s the deal, what would you do, if you got USD120 (with Tigerair) round-trip (or return) ticket from Jakarta to Phnom Penh?
Yes! Take it! And I’m glad I did it. Even it was not direct flight, you have 4-5 hours transit in Singapore, I don’t mind. Changi Airport is nice, 5 hours won’t hurt me. I was away from home/work from September 9th until September 19th, 2013. It was my first time going to another country by myself. With a 28L backpack + my DSLR camera back, I’m so ready and excited to follow my journey. Because it was my first time going solo, I put my itinerary extra carefully. I know where I’m going but I didn’t put any details on my itinerary, let my instinct or idea flow when I get there:
September 9th: Arrived in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
September 10th: Move to Siem Reap (Cambodia)
September 14th: Move to Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
September 17th: Back to Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
September 19th: Back to Jakarta (Indonesia)
So here’s my story, I hope you’re enjoyed it
Day 1: September 9th 2013
It was a pleasant flight with Tigerair. I arrived at Changi Airport without hassle, I purchased Tigerconnect, so I don’t have to get my luggage and pass through immigration then check-in again. I simply go to Transfer E Lounge, and I showed my itinerary printed from Tigerair, then I got my new boarding pass. After that, I just went around and looking at duty free shops. Changi Airport is massive! There’s a several new lounge in Terminal 2 such as i-Connect where you can use free internet and Xperience Zone where you can watch some entertainment in comfy chair. I spent most of my time in i-Connect Lounge, contacting my friend that I’m going to Cambodia! Anyway, the second flight (also with Tigerair) was kinda… bumpy. The landing was rough. Pretty rough. I was shocked but thank God, nothing bad happen. And here I am, arrived in Phnom Penh International Airport, I’m in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder….
I went to immigration officer, but suddenly, a man in uniform came to me and he told me that I have to get visa on arrival and pay USD30. I said NO! Indonesian doesn’t need visa or such thing to get into Cambodia. So, I just walked into immigration directly to get my passport stamped and my fingerprint scanned. So easy! Next, I went into arrival gate, Taxi to the city center is USD9, Tuk Tuk is USD7. I took taxi to go to my hostel (USD2 difference won’t hurt me). And, yep, trouble…
I want to sit in the front because I really want to look around. But, I didn’t knew that Cambodian drive on the left side (Indonesian drive on the right side), so it was a little bit awkward when I opened left front door. Second trouble! My taxi driver can’t speak English. Well… I tried really hard to explain! He thought me I’m local (because I’m skinny and has Asian face), so that was why he didn’t think that he would need to speak English. “White Rabbit hostel, Sir.. W-H-I-T-E-R-A-B-B-I-T.. BKK 1 Building 40A Street 294…” and then he showed me THAT LOOK! Meaning, he doesn’t know at all where the hell is that. I’m not blaming anyone, I tried really hard to explain more, then I borrowed his phone, call the hostel and let someone from the hostel speak to the driver. And it works! So make sure you have your hostel phone number just in case your driver don’t know your destination.
MADE IT! Yes. I stayed for a night at White rabbit Hostel. It was really cheap, only USD4 for fan-dorm (4 bed). You can read my review on TripAdvisor. Also, I bought a local SIM card so I can keep update my trip with MOBILE INTERNET! (Oh I’m so in love with internet…well said!). It was really cheap, I got Cellcard SIM card for USD1, and recharge with USD5. I registered on XG Internet Package for USD1.5 you can get 1GB for a week + free calls and SMS
Back at the hostel, I met a German guy in my room, if I’m not mistaken, his name is Killian. He talked a lot, but I really enjoyed the conversation, his thoughts, his idea, everything he said is make sense and makes me feel want to get more adventure and also running away from space that full of stupid people who always care about themselves and pretend that they have everything so they don’t need anything else.
Funny thing was, in the bar, when I hanged out with some people, a woman came and she just took my drink and said.. “Excuse me….” and I was like…. “Err….sorry, I think that’s mine..” and everyone was laughing “I think that was a really good joke” someone said. Awkward 😛
I didn’t explore Phnom Penh much on the first day because I knew, I have time for that on the last day. So, I went sleep and ready to move to Siem Reap with Cat Mekong Express Bus. It was USD12 but I booked online so I only paid USD11. Their service was great, they also provide free pickup from my hostel to the Bus Terminal! Excellent!
To be continue.