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Cambodia Travel on a Budget

download (7)The most expensive part of travel to Cambodia and indeed any international destination is the price of the airplane ticket. This is particularly true for Cambodia which doesn’t have a direct destination link with major airlines based out of the South East Asia catchment area. However the introduction of online airline booking systems has made the costs to travelers more competitive. It is now possible to receive price comparisons from over 100 different airlines in a matter of minutes. The arrival of budget airlines in the South East Asia area has also made the market more competitive and offered more assistance to the budget traveler.

With the cost of internal air travel in Cambodia expensive the budget traveler will be seeking out alternate forms of transport. Cambodia fortunately has very efficient bus services utilizing the country’s modern highway system. Where is your favorite destination point in Cambodia? Is it Siem Reap in the north to view the majestic Angkor temples? Is it the coastal region to the south including the port and beaches of Sihanoukville on the Gulf of Thailand? Or is it the lesser known town of Kratie on the Mekong River where you’ll be able to sight the Irrawaddy dolphins? All these destinations are a 5 to 6 hour bus trip from the capital city; Phnom Penh.The International Airport at Phnom Penh is the busiest airport in Cambodia and is the first port of call for most travelers.

All long distance bus services in Cambodia operate during daylight hours. With buses setting out as early as 7 am travelers have enough time to enjoy the sights after reaching their travel destination without losing a entire day on traveling

In this part of South East Asia, Cambodia offers cheap accommodation. It is possible to stay in clean, guesthouse accommodation from as low as US$4 per night. US dollars as well as Cambodian riel’s are the accepted currencies in this country. For the budget traveler these accommodation prices represent great value as generally accommodation is the most expensive cost after air travel.

The low local cost of living is reflected in the price of food. It is possible to get an excellent, nourishing meal for under $2 from street vendors. By simply following locals to where they go to eat, travelers will save money by not needing to pay expensive restaurant prices. There needs to be no excuse to put off traveling to Cambodia as it would qualify as one of the World’s most affordable travel destinations amidst some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

Mike Ibbertson is a traveler through South East Asia and through his website [] shares his experiences of his adventure through Cambodia.

Health and Vaccination Information for Travel to Cambodia

From the architectural wonders of the Angkor Wat temple complex to the white sand beaches of Sihanoukville, at the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, its affordable travel deals making this exotic destination accessible to a wide range of travelers. But exposure to such diverse nature and geography involves some health risks as well, and travelers who are thinking about a trip to Cambodia should be sure to consider the proper vaccinations, antimalarial treatment, and other health precautions beforehand, to ensure their trip is a safe and enjoyable one.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that travelers to Cambodia be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B and typhoid. Those who plan to spend a lot of time participating in outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, or working with animals, should also obtain a rabies shot. And for travelers who plan to visit rural or farming areas, or in periods of increased disease prevalence, the vaccine against Japanese encephalitis is also recommended. Before any trip abroad, travelers should check that their routine vaccinations against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and polio are current. This is particularly true with regard to the measles vaccine in Cambodia; while the measles is no longer an active disease in the United States, recent cases have been reported in Cambodia and across Southeast Asia, so have your physician check your vaccination records to determine whether you need a booster shot for measles or any of your other routine immunizations. Remember, most vaccines take four to six weeks to travel through the bloodstream and be fully effective, so plan ahead!

Malaria is present in most areas of Cambodia, excluding the temple complex at Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, and Lake Tonle Sap, so if you plan to visit an area in which you could be exposed, you should check with your family doctor about an antimalarial drug regimen. It is important to share your specific travel itinerary with your provider, as certain strains of malaria in Cambodia may be resistant to some drugs. And, like the vaccinations, antimalarial drugs may need a few weeks to take effect, so be sure to book an appointment with travel clinic in advance.

The CDC recommends procuring enough antimalarial drugs to last your entire trip, as antimalarial drugs manufactured abroad are not measured by FDA standards and may contain contaminants, produce dangerous side-effects, or be altogether ineffective. The CDC recommends avoiding foreign antimalarial drugs, particularly Halfan, unless you have been diagnosed with malaria and have no other treatment options. The same holds true for any other routine prescriptions you may need, as well as over-the-counter pain, anti-nausea, and allergy medication; quality and availability may vary, particularly in rural areas, so it’s best to pack what you need for your entire stay.

Other diseases present in Cambodia for which there are no available vaccines include dengue, filariasis and plague, all of which are transmitted by insect bite. The CDC suggests preventative measures like using insect repellent, mosquito netting, and wearing long-sleeve clothing, to protect against infection. Some cases of avian flu have been reported in both birds and humans in Cambodia and around Southeast Asia, so the CDC recommends avoiding contact with the local bird population, including poultry farms and markets selling live birds. Waterborne illnesses such as schistosomiasis and leptospirosis are also found in Cambodia. Travelers can steer clear of these diseases by avoiding swimming in fresh water, and using iodine tablets to purify untreated drinking water.

If you’re planning to travel and need information about Cambodia travel vaccination NYC or other treatments, consider making an appointment with a certified professional at the Travel Clinic of New York. Get Travel vaccinations in NYC offers all the convenience of a downtown NYC location, with evening and weekend office hours during which you can meet with a travel health specialist who can provide you with the vaccines, prescriptions and travel health advice you need based on your personal itinerary.

The Most Magnificent Temple of Cambodia

I suppose if you were to pick two places to visit in Cambodia in hope of grasping a bit of what its about they would be the two we visited: the capital Phnom Penh and arguably the most amazing ruins on the planet, the temples of Angkor Wat.

Lose yourself in the magnificence of a lost civilization. Angkor is the heart and soul of Cambodia, a place of extravagant beauty and the perfect fusion of creative ambition and spiritual devotion.

Angkor Wat is the most famous temple ground in the entire Angkor plain. It was built by King Suryavarman II in the middle of the 12th century over a period of about 30 years. Like many other Khmer temples, Angkor Wat was built as architectural allegory of the Hindu religion. The central tower stands for Mount Meru, the center of the universe according to Hindu mythology; the top of Mount Meru is considered the home of the gods.

The temple ground is surrounded by a wall and a moat, not only for demarcation purposes, but also because in Hindu mythology Mount Meru is surrounded by other mountain ranges and oceans.

The main entryway to Angkor Wat is a street of roughly half a kilometer length, ornamented with balustrades and fringed by artificial lakes, so-called Barays. This entryway resembles the rainbow bridge in Hindu mythology, the link between heaven and earth, or the realm of the gods and the realm of the mortals.

Angkor Wat is in better structural condition than many other temples on the Angkor plain because it has been converted into a Buddhist temple probably even before the Siamese conquest in 1431, and because it has been used as such continuously after (in the 13th century Buddhism became an important religion in originally pure-Hindu Angkor)

Cambodia promises a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences to the intrepid traveller. Your heart will race at Angkor Wat, the world’s greatest achievements, only to haltingly derail when faced with the impact of humankind’s darkest moments. After two decades of war and isolation, only now is Cambodia truly starting to recover from the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal 1975-79 rule.

Successful Travel Photography

Travel photography is quite different from other photographic endeavors especially if you plan to make a living from it.

Most successful travel photographers are writers as well. Actually in the print world, you can’t separate words from pictures. They complement each other.

What the picture can’t show, the words explain in greater detail. So it’s no surprise that some travel articles are sometimes from husband and wife teams.

That’s the perfect job for couples. Think exotic locations, the love of your life with you and endless adventures together.

My biggest problem with travel photography is that a lot of the imagery you see have been so photographed that they’re the equivalent of visual clich├ęs. What comes to mind when you think of China? Great Wall of China, or the Forbidden City in Beijing? Egypt? The Great Pyramids. India… the Taj Mahal. Indonesia…Borobodur. Cambodia…Angkor Wat.

As in most printed media, the pictures tend to be more important than the words. A visually striking image will draw a casual browser of publication into reading an article even if the headline is not well-written.

A great selection of pictures of one destination can save a article with mediocre writing. But the same can’t be said if the pictures are of poor quality.

No matter how good and compelling the writing, if the pictures are just mediocre, readers will not be drawn to the story.

Poorly composed images, especially ones with lots of technical flaws like low resolution, artifacting and digital noise cannot be rescued. As powerful as Photoshop is, it simply can’t fix or add something that isn’t in a picture.

Even if it can, there is the ethical question of are you allowed to? Most magazine have strict guidelines against such manipulation of images especially in their editorial content.

But poorly written articles can be “massaged” and fine-tuned by editors into some quite readable.

Tips for a successful trip:

1. Careful planning and research of your destination.

Obvious yet a lot of people don’t consider this when making their plans. Festivities like Oktoberfest in Germany, Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California takes place annually at the same time.

And by planning I don’t just mean planning for the length of time you are going to be at your destination. If you’re a digital photographer, you’ll need power to charge your batteries and a way to download and clear off your memory cards or you will be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

If you’re headed abroad where electrical power is different from home, you’ll also a voltage converter. I recommend the Kensington 3317 International All-in-one Travel Plug Adapter.

2. Precise note-taking.

Whether you use a laptop or pen and paper, having good habits like keeping receipts and other bills incurred during the trip is important.

Even if you’re not writing the article, precise notes on how to get from town A to town B, how much the fare was, the duration of the drive are all details which add value to your pitch to magazines or collaborative effort with a writer.

Remember your recall will not be so good once you’re home. Foreign names have a way of sounding the same when you get home, so good note-taking is critical.

Your article will have more credibility if you provide details since a travel article is part “how-to” and part narrative. Another reason for those notes is documentation when you claim the trip as a business expense.

3. Digital SLR with wide and telephoto zoom lens

Think “light.” If you’re lugging around a lot of gear, you’ll be too beat to use your camera. Traveling light doesn’t mean you leave essentials like a healthy supply of extra memory cards, batteries and flash units at home.

If you’re bringing along a laptop, then a supply of writable CDs or DVDs is important.

Even if you don’t have a chance to edit your images after you download them to your computer, you should burn those images as a backup and mail them to yourself.

That way if all your gear is stolen, you’ll still have images to show when you get home.

Prior to his arrival in the US, before attending college, Riverside portrait photographer Peter Phun traveled extensively, documenting his travels through photography.

He specializes in location portraits, weddings and editorial work. He writes about photography, Macs & the internet. He also designs websites and is a stay-at-home dad.

Previously, Peter worked as a staff photographer for 18 years at The Press-Enterprise, Southern California’s 4th largest daily newspaper. He is the webmaster for the Mac user group in the Inland Empire.

4 Tips to Travel Safely in Cambodia

Once listed as one of the most dangerous places on Earth to visit, Cambodia has stabilised to the point that it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in south-east Asia. In fact, in the early part of this century it was almost impossible to obtain travel insurance of any kind, but now things have changed dramatically.

Travelling to any destination in Southeast Asia exposes you to some dangers, but no more than you would expect when travelling anywhere else. It is just as dangerous in some American and European cities at night as it is anywhere in Cambodia. The point is, with a little common sense a trip to Cambodia will be a rich and rewarding experience and will provide you with many a tale to tell your friends on your return.

But just to be safe, here are some timely safety tips for you to follow when you visit Cambodia.

Regional violence. There are occasional incidences of border tension with surrounding countries, particularly Thailand. Although violence is rare most countries maintain a strong military presence so you should check local media outlets for reports of danger spots.

Scams. Some tourists report being ripped off when taking long-distance car or coach travel from large cities to border crossings. Although you need to carefully negotiate the fare before you leave there is a lot of room for misunderstanding to arise especially if there are language difficulties. The best advice is to take a cool-headed view and look at the amount of money involved. Travelling is generally very cheap by Western standards and if you feel you have been overcharged by a few dollars it is probably better to ignore it and think of the big picture.

Health concerns. There have been repeated outbreaks of avian influenza, or bird flu, so it is important to ensure that your holiday insurance policy give you adequate cover. As you would expect, consuming local water can be dangerous and it is wise to limit yourself to bottled supplies. Food on the other hand should not present you with any problems and you can feel free to enjoy the local cuisine to your heart’s content. Naturally you should always be on the lookout for normal hygiene standards that you would expect in your own country and stay clear of any food outlet that looks dangerous to you.

Markets. When you purchase anything at a market you should be prepared to bargain strongly. You can easily counter offer with a bid of roughly half of what you are being asked to pay. This may appear rude in the West, but it is an expected procedure in many other cultures including Cambodia. There is no need to get ripped off in a market if you are prepared to bargain properly.

Your Cambodia holiday can be a safe and enjoyable one if you follow these few simple tips. Remember that the Cambodian people are warm and friendly. They will be only too willing to sit down and share a meal with you and help you wherever they can.

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