I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past. – Clara Barton
People who judge others tell more about Who They Are, than Who They Judge. – Donald L. Hicks
Monday, October 3, 2016 (DAY 1,670 – 1,690)
I've been to Cambodia on seven separate occasions. Yes, SEVEN! Many of these times were flying from Seoul, South Korea to often rest up and relax as I operate my own consulting business. Just as with those that work more traditional jobs, even as a continuous global traveler, there are times that I need a break myself, whether that be to escape the bitter cold Winter during Seollal (설날), which most Westerners may know as Chinese New Year or the September holiday of Chuseok (추석), which is similar to a harvest festival holiday or comparable a version of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is these two two times during the year that makes it easiest for me to get away without disrupting my clients.
5. CHEAPER THAN THAILAND
While most recently CNN reported that Bangkok is projected to be the World's most popular city to visit in 2016 (along with Seoul wha-wha!), Thailand is a so-called sexy destination country, but with that also comes with a higher price tag compared to several of the other South East Asian countries. The well-worn travel paths and locations of Thailand brings in everyone from the budget backpackers to those seeking to stay at luxury resorts on the cheap, while there is no visa to obtain prior to entering Thailand, when you begin the weigh the overall daily costs, Cambodia wins!
4. VISA ON ARRIVAL
On several of my trips to #SEAsia I would have preferred to go to Vietnam, but because as an American the tourist visa can be nearly $100 USD compared to the $30 USD for Cambodia, plus for a Vietnam you MUST obtain your visa prior to arrival, which means additional time for myself to make it to the Vietnam Embassy, not once but twice! Once to drop off my passport and fill out the application and of course to pick it up, where it can take several days to a week or more and since I often search for last minute flight deals, this hinders my ability to travel with short notice.
Returning to costs for just a moment, normally when I've gone to Cambodia I am there for the full 30-days that are allotted for a tourist visa and I spend about $1,000 for a one month trip to Cambodia and this includes;
1) My RT flight from Seoul to Phnom Penh (average $400 for a direct flight)
2) Private taxi from the airport to the coast (4-hours 222km/138miles $50)
3) Private room at a guest house/hostel $7-$8 per night
4) Average meal is $2-$3
3. USE OF U.S. CURRENCY
Even though the official currency of Cambodia is the Riel, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted
at almost 99% of all places I've been including when arriving at the airport the sign posted for all nationalities is listed as $30 USD. The one new exception of using USD that I noticed is at a local pharmacy where I stock up on Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin, and Diazapem, but this is no issue as I can still pay in USD the only difference is all products are listed in Riel, while most restaurants, transportation tickets, accommodation prices, etc are listed in U.S. Dollars. This is helpful, not just because I am an American and familiar with our currency, but when it comes to withdrawing money whether it's from my Korean bank account or U.S. banks it avoids an additional step of exchanging money, where of course you always lose more on the exchange rates.
2. SMALL BEACH TOWN
Another aspect that helps to save myself money once I reach the small beach town of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia is the fact that I can walk everywhere I need to go—be that the beach, to various restaurants, shops, etc. After living in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for nearly 10-months, Sihanoukville reminds me a bit of SJDS even though it's larger in size than the small Pacific town in Nicaragua with a population of less than 16,000 people.
1. LOCAL FRIENDS AND RELAXATION
Obviously since I have been coming to Cambodia seven times in the past three-years I've made quite a few friends in the southern coastal town. Everyone from restaurant owners and staff as well as a wonderful friend Bun that owns a taxi business. And, since I've been to many of the areas around Cambodia; Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Kampot, Kep, PP, and others, I purposely choose to avoid the capital because living in one of the world's most densely populated cities in the world (great than NYC) I value the escape from the noise, crowds, and just enjoying staring out at the Gulf of Thailand, especially when I'm meeting with clients six-days a week. Work hard and play harder...or in my case work hard and relax fuller!
About the Author
My name is Troy and I gave up a promising 12-year career to travel the world! Now after more than 4-years of continuous global travel, I've lived an incredible life and my goal is to inspire others to achieve their dreams!
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