Cambodia 2005 - İsmail TEZCAN

May 21 2005

A member of Servas Turkey, Ismail and his 11-year-old-daughter Damla have recently visited the Kingdom of Cambodia.   

They flew from Istanbul to Bangkok by scheduled flight of Turkish Airlines. This was a 9-hour-non-stop-flight.This flight was free of charge since Ismail is working for Turkish Airlines.At Bangkok International Airport, they took another flight to get to their final destination Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Cambodia.This flight takes about 35 minutes. They paid US$ 260 for Damla and US$ 340 for Ismail for the round trip between Bangkok and Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Cambodia. At the International Airport of Siem Reap, they applied for the entrance visa for Cambodia. Visa fee was US$ 20 for Ismail and free for Damla (free for children under 12). At the airport they took a taxi to get to the downtown area and find a hotel. From airport to downtown, the taxi fee is US$ 5. They stopped at three different hotels and these hotels were all full since it was high season for Cambodia. At the 4th hotel, they found a room. At Angkor Diamond Hotel, they found a room for US$ 45 including breakfast. They decided to stay there for 4 nights. In the afternoon, they relaxed at the hotel then, they had dinner and took a small trip in the city at night. For the next day, they arranged a tour in the Angkor Wat area. They hired the taxi driver for US$ 20 for the whole day and a licensed tour guide for US$ 20 for the whole day.

They had breakfast at the hotel and started to visit the Temples in Angkor Wat area. They bought a 3-day-pass for the Angkor Wat temples for US$ 40. (Free for children under 12) . The three most magnificent temples are Bayon, Ta Prohm and the immense Angkor Wat. In three days, they visited the most important temples in the area. In Cambodia, there are hundreds of temples and about 100 of them are in Siem Reap area. And most important temples are in Angkor Wat area. The celebrated temples of Angkor are Cambodia's greatest tourist attraction. The 100 or so temples are the sacred remains of what was once a much larger administrative and religious centre, and were built between the 9th and 13th centuries to glorify a succession of Khmer kings. The three most magnificent temples are Bayon, Ta Prohm and the immense Angkor Wat. Most of Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century and the temples were gradually cloaked by forest. The site became the source of scholarly interest in the late-19th century after the publication of Voyage à Siam et dans le Cambodge by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. Efforts were undertaken to clear away the jungle vegetation that threatened to  ompletely destroy the monuments, and restoration continues today. On the third day, they visited a floating town called Kompong Luong at Tonle Sap Lake. This trip costed US$ 15 for Ismail and free for Damla since she was under 12 years old. Ten thousand people live in this permanently floating town on Tonlé Sap lake. Houses, schools, karaoke bars and restaurants float atop boat-based foundations, rising and falling up to 5km (3mi) with the tide. Like the Vietnamese Floating Village on the northern stretch of the lake, the population is mainly Vietnamese. There's not much to do, and nowhere to stay, so it's a matter of soaking up the atmosphere of life on the water, with an iced coffee or beer in hand. Kompong Luong is near the southern reaches of Tonlé Sap lake in Pursat province, around 40km (24mi) northeast of Pursat. On the final day, they spent the day in the city, did some shopping and relaxed. During the days in Cambodia, they had no rain, the temperature during the day was 28 C and during the night 20 C. After spending 4 nights (5 days) in Cambodia, they took the flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok in the morning. They were in Bangkok at 10:00 am. They left their baggage at the left baggage department at Bangkok airport. They took the bus from the airport to the downtown. They visited some Buddhist Temples and the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Before evening, they took different buses to get back to the Bangkok airport. At the airport, they had dinner and waited for the flight back to Istanbul. At 10:30 pm, they checked in for the flight and got their boarding passes. The aircraft departed at about 01:00 am on its scheduled time. This flight took about 11 hours from Bangkok to Istanbul due to strong wind blowing from west to east. You can find detailed information about Cambodia in following link : http://www.lonelyplanet.com/cambodia

In Cambodia, everthing is priced in US$ and you do not need to change your US$ to local currency. Credit Cards are accepted in the hotels but they charge interest rate for the credit cards. They accept cash US$ everywhere. Angkor Wat is one of the Top 20 destinations to be visited in the world, like Pyramids, Wall of China, Petra, Grand Canyon,…

Ismail and Damla had a wonderful vacation in the Kingdom of Cambodia. They highly recommend every traveler to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Specially, the people of Cambodia are very honest and they don’t want to cheat the tourists like Thai people do in Thailand. The people of Cambodia are very poor and they try to be happy with what they have and unlike in Thailand the women are not for sale in Cambodia. We hope the people of Cambodia will not change in the future. 

ismail & his daughter damla