A Taste of Vietnam and Cambodia

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I’m always a fan of great architectures and as adventurous as i am, i suddenly became so ecstatic that finally i can be a Tomb Raider for once. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Planning occurs when i’m browsing the Cebu Pacific Website and thinking where to travel next. Then i saw Vietnam and realized that yeah, i haven’t gone to that part of Asia yet. And luckily, it’s seat sale time, so i talked to my companion if he wanted to go with me and upon saying yes, i immediately booked a round trip tickets to Ho Chih Min City, Vietnam.

My first plan is to cover HCM city only, then through browsing some blogs and forums, i decided to include Cambodia, Siem Reap in particular. A neighboring country of Vietnam. The mystic aura of Siem Reap temples is the one that triggers me to redo our itinerary. Another plus factor might be for the fact that it was also Tomb Raider’s filming location. At least i’ll get to step on the land in which Angelina Jolie once step upon. :mrgreen:

dividerlouise

DAY 1: Departure

Departure time at 11:00 PM

* NAIA terminal 3 tax/fee = php 2,370

Dinner = php 200

TOTAL: $59.77 / 2570 php

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DAY 2: Arrival

Arrival at 12:30 AM

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1:30 AM = Exchange money at the airport (higher exchange rate)

2:00 AM = “Chill” Mode 😁😁😁

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4:00 AM = Take taxi to Pham Ngu Lao, “Sinh Tourist” office

*Always take Vinasun taxi or Mai Linh = $8 to $20 = php860 (430/pax).

Taxi scams are rampant in Vietnam so please be aware. As much as possible, take hotel shuttle or get the said company. Avoid airport taxi as they might charged you more. To get Vinasun taxi, go to Departure area of the airport or go to the main road.

> Kill time at 23/9 Park in Pham Ngu Lao or Any place opened

> Breakfast = $5 (php215)

Ø The Sinh Tourist: +84.8.3838.9597
Ø Email: info@thesinhtourist.vn
Ø Opening Hours: 6:30AM-10:30PM

6:30 AM = Bus to Siem Reap ($15 to $23) =php989

*Sinh Tourist is quite famous in Vietnam, it’s better to get your Siem Reap bus tickets early. As for us, we’re lucky to have gotten the last 2 seats on the 2nd bus. “Sigh”

*Sinh Tourist price =$17 (php731)

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Lunch = $5 (php215)

-First taste of Pho! Yummy!!!

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– Mekong River

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– Road to Cambodia

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– Cambodian Border

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8:00 PM = Arrival

* tuktuk to hotel = $1 (php43)

> Hotel Check-in at STEUNG SIEM REAP HOTEL

ADDRESS: Street 9, Sangkat Svay Dangkum Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tel # +85563965167

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Verdict:

Location – ☺☺☺☺☺ Near to everything. Walking distance to Night Market and Pub Street. Many restaurants around the corner.

Cleanliness – ☺☺☺☺ Very well-maintained

Breakfast – ☺☺☺☺ Nice breakfast buffet. Selection of American and Asian Cuisines.

Recommendation– ☺☺☺☺☺ i absolutely recommend this hotel for the ambiance, food and the location. The room itself is big with nice veranda and what really matter is it’s reasonably priced. Absolutely Stunning! ☺

Dinner = $5 (php215)
> Swim & Relax

– Delicious Cambodian Cuisine

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– Nice Restaurant Decoration

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TOTAL: $43 / php 1849

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DAY 3: Temple Tour (Angkor Wat, South gate/Angkor Thom (Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of Leper King and Terrace of the Elephants)

4:00 AM = Wake-up time

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5:00 AM = Angkor archaeological park day tour entrance fee = $20 (php860)

Ø Tuktuk day-tour = $12 (php516) to $35 (php1505 or php752.50 each)

*We arranged our tuktuk the night before our trip. We hired the one that brought us to our hotel from the Sinh Tourist terminal.

– Our Tuktuk Driver

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Ø Sun Rise at Angkor Wat

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7:00 AM = Go back to hotel and eat breakfast

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*Buy tickets for tomorrow’s trip (SR to HCM city)

9:00 AM

– Tickets to the Angkor Archaeological Park

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– Angkor Thom

201

– Painter

349

Ø Bayon

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12:00 PM = Lunch $5 (php215)

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– Another beautiful Restaurant Decoration

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– The Elephants

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Angkor Wat

428  455

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474  485

– Apsara Dancers

500

Ø Ta Prohm and Preah Khan – The Filming location of Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider

– Entrance to Ta Prohm

346

– Musicians at the Park

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402  378

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Ø Sun Set at Phrom Bakneng

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7:00 PM = Dinner $5 (php215)

8:00 PM = Pub Street / Night Market

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Ø Souvenir shirt @$1.5 each = 4 pcs $6 (php258)
Ø Ref magnets @$1 for 3 pcs = 6 pcs $2 (php86)

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– EXOTIC delicacies (crickets and spiders! whatttt???)

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TOTAL: $47.5 / php 2042.50

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DAY 4: Bus Trip

6:00 AM – 7:00 AM = Breakfast (free)

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7:00 AM = Bus to HCM City ($15 to $23)

Bus to HCM city $ 23 (php989)

> Mekong Express Bus = earliest at 7:30 AM
#14A, Sivatha Road, Siem Reap
Tel # +(855)(0)63-963662

> Sinh Tourist Bus

– Road to HCM City

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Lunch $5 (php215)

8:00 PM = Arrival in Saigon

> Check in at Tan Hai Long Hotel & Spa

ADDRESS: 14-16 Le Lai St., District 1, District 1 – Ben Thanh Market Ho chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel # +84838272740

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Verdict:

Location – ☺☺☺☺ stone-away from Ben Thahn Market. Walking distance to Pham Ngu Lao and tourist attractions.

Cleanliness – ☺☺☺

Breakfast – ☺☺☺☺ Nice Buffet

Recommendation – Location is perfect, close to everything. Small room but cleaned everyday. Good for the price.


Dinner $5 (php215)

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TOTAL: $33 / php 1419

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DAY 5: Cu Chi Tunnel Tour & City Tour

*You can book this tour on the day itself. Just be at the Sinh Tourist office as early as possible.

> 1/2 day cu chi tunnel tour = 90,000vnd (php180) $ 7.67
cu chi tunnel entrance fee = 80,000vnd (php160)

6:30 PM = Breakfast

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8:00 AM = Depart from The Sinh Tourist

– Pham Ngu Lao

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– Our Sleeper Bus to Cu Chi Tunnel

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9:30 AM = Arrival at Cu Chi Tunnels. View Short Video and lecture

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– Free Cassava (War Food)

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– The Tunnel

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12:00 PM = Depart from Cu Chi Tunnels

1:30 PM = Arrival at Sinh Tourist Office

2:00 PM = Lunch $5 (php215) at Trung Nguyen (a famous coffee shop in HCM city)

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– My first taste of the famous Vietnamese Coffee! Superb!

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3:00 PM – 5:00 PM = City Walking Tour (Reunification Hall/Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, City Hall, Opera House, War Crime Museum, Ben Thanh Market)

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a. BEN THAHN MARKET
Opening Hours: 6am to 6pm
NIGHT MARKET = 6pm to 12am

*This is the area where you bargain for clothes and souvenirs. There are also some stalls for vietnamese coffee here.

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b. MUSEUM OF HO CHI MINH CITY
Opening Hours: 8am to 4pm
Address: 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

c. SAIGON POST OFFICE
Opening Hours: 7am to 8pm
Address: 02 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

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d. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Address: Han Thuyen Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

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e. REUNIFICATION PALACE
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 11am and 1pm to 4pm
Address: 106 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

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f. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 5pm
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

g. SAIGON OPERA HOUSE
Address: Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

h. SAIGON ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN
Opening Hours: 7am to 10pm
Address: 02 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

6:00 PM = 1. Saigon Square / 2. Lucky Plaza in Dhong Khoi Area / 3. Saigon Square 2

7:00 PM = Dinner $5 (php215)

– Coffee Night at Highlands Coffee

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– The best Cookies & Cream Frappe and delicious Caramel Frappe. So let me create a hashtag #thebestcookiesandcreamfrappeEVER ☺☺☺

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11:00 PM = Back to hotel & sleep

TOTAL: $ 21.67 / php 931.81

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DAY 6: Ben Thanh Market / Dai Nam Park

6:30 AM = Breakfast

7:30 AM = Bus 616 from (across) Ben Thanh Market to Dai Nam Park = 25,000 vnd ($1.25)

9:30 AM = Dai Nam Park (last stop) = Entrance 50,000 vnd ($2.5 or php107.5)
Zoo Entrance = 40,000 vnd ($2 or php86)

12:00 PM = Lunch $5 (php215)

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2:00 PM = Bus 616 to Ben Than Market – 25,000 vnd ($1.25) php 53.75

4:00 PM = Free time (Vincom Center or Saigon Square)

*Some people say that this area offers some factory overruns original clothes and bags. Well, it wouldn’t harm to atleast check it out.

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– Exotic in Jars

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– The Motorcycle Road (the famous road of Vietnam). Be careful in passing through it and don’t wait for them to finished because Motorcycles are everywhere in HCM city!

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7:00 PM = Dinner $5 (php215)

9:00 PM = Service to airport $5 to $14 (php602) 301/pax

> Dinner $5 (php215)

TOTAL: $29 / php 1247

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DAY 7 : Departure

Departure at 1:00 AM

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Here’s the summary of all my expenses:

TRIP TOTAL = $ 233.94 / php 10,059.31

HOTELS = $ 90.12 / php 3940.79 (php 1970.40 / pax)
$ 86.40 / php 3768.41 (php 1884.21 / pax)

ROUNDTRIP – TICKETS = php 6770 (php 3385 / pax)

COST = php 17,298.91

Another beautiful experience! i’ll be here again for sure! 🙂

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