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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.

How to Travel Around the World Safely

Nowadays, many people love to travel to different countries to experience new things, meet new people and just to experiences the cultures of the places that they visit. It is such a great adventure when we travel to a country that we never see or visit before and enjoy the different ambiances that we may not get in our home countries; get some relaxing massage surrounded by the beauty of Bali’s scenery or have a little adventure on Xintiandi while enjoying the entertainment that this city offers us. What a great moment that we will never forget. To enjoy the trip even more without have to worry of anything, you can easily use some safe traveling tips while you enjoy the holiday in any city on the world:

1. The perfect moment will be more unforgettable when we have someone to share with. Taking some vacations with your beloved ones or people that have close relationship with you will make the holiday even more fun than doing the traveling alone. While walking around the city, it is recommended that you keep on walking on the main street and have companion with you especially during night traveling.

2. Equip yourself with first aids, some medicines, sunglasses, and sun block, especially when you go to some tropical countries so that you can enjoy sun bathing nicely without making your skins gets burned.

3. It is necessary that you take as little as possible and pack only things that you need. For example, you don’t have to bring lots of clothes with you because you can buy some clothes on the places that you visit. Beside, you may not want to miss the chance in trying some traditional or local clothes while you visit Indonesia, Thailand, Italy, and other places. It is necessary to you don’t have to bring some jewelry with you while traveling. It is also necessary that you write your name on your luggage. Make sure that you get your travel insurance, legal documents and enough money of course.

4. Before you visit any countries, it is necessary for you to learn the law and customs in those countries. It will be very helpful to enable you in understanding what to do and what not to do while visiting the country. You may want to learn how to greet the local people with their own language; it will be a great start on communicating with them.

Those tips will enable you to enjoy the trip even more than before. You can have a great time while keeping yourself safe. Getting a holiday will refresh your mind and soul from the wearily daily activities back on your home town. Have your stress to be released and enjoy a little adventure for your holiday.

8 Must See Temples in the Angkor Achaeological Park, SIem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor which means “great city” was the capital of the Khmer Empire, an empire that once flourished and had a stronghold over Southeast Asia. The ruins of the ancient city can be found in the province of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The site has become a major tourist attraction because of several breathtaking temples within what is now the Angkor Archaeological Park. Some of the structures date back to the 9th century. Below are the most popular and most touristy temples in the park:

The Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat is the grand attraction of the Angkor Archaeological Park. It was constructed in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II in honor of the Hindu God “Vishnu,” known as “the preserver.” During that period, Hinduism was the country’s main religion. Etched on the walls of the temple corridors are intricate images of deities and inscriptions from Hindu literature. One of this is the “Churning of the ocean of milk,” a story that appears in the Mahabharata. It tells of the Devas and Asuras, enemy forces that are compelled to work together with the aid of the god Vishnu in a pursuit for “Amrita,” which was believed to be the elixir of immortality.

The Bayon Temple

The Bayon Temple is known as the temple of “many smiling faces.” This was also the site for the film Tomb Raider. It was constructed in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman II in his capital city Angkor Thom. Unlike other temples, the Bayon was dedicated to the god Buddha because the king was Buddhist. However, after his reign succeeding monarchs reverted to Hinduism. In modern day Cambodia, the dominant religion is Buddhism. But, Hinduist influences are still very evident in Cambodian culture and traditions.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is one of the major temples in the park. It was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman II. It was built deep in a forest as a monastery for Buddhist monks. At present the temple is no longer used for worship but is one of the most popular temples in the park because of the giant trees growing out of its ruins.

The Banteay Srei Temple

The Banteay Srei Temple is famous for the intricate details carved on its shrines, archs and pillars. It is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It was made from sandstone evident in the reddish color of its walls.

The Banteay Samre Temple

Banteay Samre is one of the farther out temples thus it has lesser visitors. However, it has its own unique architecture and similar intricate carvings on its pillars and shrines as the Banteay Srei Temple.

The Prasat Kravan Temple

The Prasat Kravan is a small Hindu temple built in the 10th century.

The Baphuon Temple

The Baphuon temple was built in the 11th century in honor of the Hindu god Shiva, know as the destroyer. It is near the Bayon Temple and is actively used as a Buddhist shrine. Although, it is open to tourists, a dress code is strictly implemented. Open clothing like shorts, sleeveless shirts or tube tops arenot allowed and tourists must observe silence while inside the temple.

The Pre Rup Temple

The Pre Rup temple is a favorite for sunrise and sunset viewing. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It is one of the highest temples in the park and is believed to be an ancient site for funeral rites.

Central Asia Travel

download (6)Central Asia was the center of Great Silk Road connecting East with West. More than silk, spices and gemstones passed through on the caravans. Language, culture and religion found these roads easy to travel as well.

Central Asia Travel destinations: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. These countries are considered the jewels in the necklace of Silk Road.

Central Asia cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Khiva, Turkestan, Merv and Kashgar are truly majestic. Many minarets and royal palaces are kept at its authentic forms and restorations are done so carefully as not to diminish the originality of these ancient architectures. When you walk around exploring these archaic monuments you feel as if you have traveled back in time. These cities are not overly crowded unlike many other tourism destinations which allows visitors to enjoy their visit entirely by delving into their surroundings more closely. It is also important to pay close attention to the structural design of these buildings such as the domes and naves of palaces because you will definitely see similar models of these prototypes, their architectural designs in many European archaic buildings. This shows that caravans on ancient Silk Road carried not only tangible goods for economic/trade purposes but also they were hauling many ideas from one place to another.

It is the territory of very rich history, a region that glitters with historic figures of Avicenna, Amur Temur, Marco Polo, Umar Khayam and others

The atmosphere in these places is extremely pleasant and such atmosphere is further enhanced by great hospitality of its people. We encourage travelers to try Central Asia traditional dishes such as samsa, palov, shashlik, kebab and manti. Central Asia Travel is becoming very popular among those who are looking for once-in-a-life time trip!

Zulya Rajabova, professional educator, experienced guide and interpreter is from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Growing up in a city with 2500 years of history, her playground included temples and monuments, ancient narrow laneways and the adobe home of her ancestors. It was here that she first learned the word “Hello” from passing tourists, and experienced the excitement of international community. She knew at a young age that she wanted to share her passion for her homeland and has dedicated herself to cross-cultural exchange ever since. Now she is the founder and president of US based Tourism company SILK ROAD TREASURE TOURS which is specialized in Central Asia tourism destinations.

Biking Travel Guides, Biking Travel Tips, Adventure Travel Guidesin Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

Did it begin with the Buffalo Soldiers, a turn-of-the-century infantry who customized bicycles to carry gear over rough terrain? It was August 1896, the riders, black enlisted men and a white lieutenant, rode from Missoula, Montana, to Yellowstone and back, an arduous 800 miles. Their mission: to test the bicycle for military use in mountainous terrain.

Or was it the Velo Cross Club Parisian (VCCP) of France? Comprised of about 20 young bicyclists from the outskirts of Paris, who between 1951 and 1956, they developed a sport that was remarkably akin to present-day mountain biking. These riders juiced up their French 650-B bikes with an extraordinary degree of technical sophistication.

Maybe it was John Finley Scott who was probably the first mountain bike enthusiast in the United States. In 1953 he built what he called a “Woodsie Bike”, using a Schwinn World diamond frame, balloon tires, flat handlebars, derailleur gears, and cantilever brakes. John was more than twenty years ahead of his time, and while he remained an off-road cycling enthusiast, at the time there were not many others who shared his passion.

We believed that the inception of mountain biking needed to be a continuous series of events that connected with one another as opposed to an isolated incident. Another example, in the early 1970s there were a band of cyclists – The Cupertino Riders, AKA – the Morrow Dirt Club, from Cupertino California, 75 miles south of Marin, who were modifying their bikes. They were grafting thumb-shift-operated derailleurs and motorcycle lever-operated drum brakes to their klunkers to help them get up and down the south bay hills. They competed against some future hall-of-famers at a Marin County Cylcecross race in late 1974, where their technology was noticed. Then they disappeared.

We believe that the continuous history of the mountain bike is most evident in Northern California. There are a few areas that will claim to be the first mountain bike community, but every history book will lead you to Marin County. The origins of mountain biking were totally innocent. It came into being not as some faddist vision of profit-oriented marketing types, but rather as the product of true cycling enthusiasts trying to find something new to do on two wheels. These cyclists found through fun and competition that the old one-speed klunkers they were using could be improved with modern cycling technology. One thing led to another and mountain biking – “the sport” – was born.

Holiday Cambodia Travel Guide

The Cambodian Khmer style of cooking is similar to that found in Thailand or Vietnam but also has its own distinctive flavours. Most dishes are served with rice, and Khmer food usually has a sourer taste than the Asian food that westerners are used to. Dishes to look out for while in Cambodia include their prahok fish paste, their k’tieu noodle soup that is served with pork or seafood and their lok lak beefsteak dish.

The city of Kratie lies in Eastern Cambodia, and one of its more memorable temples is the Laotian-style Wat Roka Kandal, which is located a short drive out of the city. Staying at the temple guesthouse by night and exploring this ancient place by day is the typical type of holiday Cambodia offers. The temple has been recently restored, and tourists can also visit the nearby handicraft shops run by the Cambodian Craft Co-operation.

Kratie is also home to one of the last schools of Irrawaddy dolphins living in the Mekong River area, and visiting the river to catch a glimpse of this school is one of the most popular things to do in this city. At the last count, there were between 65 and 68 dolphins in the school, and the Cambodian Mekong Dolphin Conservation Project was established in 2005 to protect this endangered species.

The Tours Cambodia Rural Development Team also offers tourists several eco-tourism opportunities including cultural workshops and training tours that send visitors to the local villages where the region’s distinctive handicrafts are manufactured. These tours aren’t representative of the type of holiday Cambodia usually offers tourists, and those interested in learning more about Khmer culture should definitely consider booking one or more of these eco-tourism packages. A favourite tour is that which takes visitors to Koh Pdao island outside of Kratie.

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