With only three weeks to spend in Cambodia, I was having a hard time deciding what to do after leaving Siem Reap and exploring Angkor Wat. Then I came across Here Be Dragons, a Game of Thrones-inspired hostel. My decision was made immediately.
Battambang was a nice change a pace from Siem Reap. It’s not particularly off the beaten path but not as busy as Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. It was the first time I felt like I was in the “real” Cambodia. Battambang has no shortage of activities. Here are some of the major things to do there:
1. Bamboo Train
At 50 km/hour this “norry” (commonly known as the Bamboo Train ) was originally built by the French but was abandoned when the Khmer Rouge shut it down. It’s now a popular tourist attraction. 50 kilometers might sound slow but it sure doesn’t feel tame when you’re sitting cross-legged on a piece of wood with no seatbelt. The train costs $5 USD to ride and is open daily.
This guide was written after my time spent in Thailand & Cambodia but is generally useful for most of South-East Asia. This one is more for the ladies as men don’t have much to worry about but I have included some notes for men.
What to wear?
One of my friends who frequents Thailand annually had advised me not to pack anything at all and to purchase all of my clothing and luggage when I arrived. Being a tall and curvy North American chick I panicked at the thought of not being able to find any clothing that fit. I was also on a strict budget and clothing was not something I planned to spend on. In hindsight I wish I had followed that advice. I ended up having to ditch a lot of my stuff in favor of thinner and in some cases more respectable clothing.
Worrying about getting around a new place can be stressful. Read this guide to alleviate your transportation anxiety and learn some tips.
Depending on where you are there are endless options to get around. I found Bangkok, Thailand to be a transit friendly city. The bus, ferry, BTS Skyline, and MRT Subway all have set fares while other cities may take a little bit more negotiating.
Southeast Asia is comprised of 11 countries with varying cultures and laws. The following guide(s) highlight some of the more common aspects between most of the countries but follow up for specific country information is highly suggested.
Before you arrive study up on local laws, banned items, and customs for each individual country you are visiting. You probably didn’t know that chewing gum is illegal in in Singapore and can cost you $1,000 USD on your first offense. Some of the common courtesies and behaviors in Southeast Asia are not as obvious to Westerners. Here are some common behaviors you should avoid in Southeast Asia:
Take off your shoes.
If you see a line of shoes outside of a door, remove yours and place them in the row. You should never wear your shoes into someone’s home and many businesses will require you to remove them as well. And while we’re on that…