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Cambodia and Vietnam

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I heard that you could shoot automatic weapons, grenade launches, etc. and blow up farm animals in Cambodia? Anyone confirm?

you can also point a rocket launcher at a cow for $200. all this is true. cambodia is quickly losing it's wild wild east, so be quick

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Poly I am curious as to what you loved about the south. I am leaving in four days, flying to HCMC and likely travelling up the coast to Hanoi with stops like Nha Trang, etc. on the way. Although I'd be interested in hearing about the more obscure places and could easily change my plans if there was merit to.

guess i missed this. the south is more city oriented. more exciting simply because it's growing so fast. the further north you get up the country the stronger they try and hold on to the communist past. both are very unique, but i find hanoi after 4pm horribly boring.

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I'm going to be in Phnom Penh at the end of the month and have almost no clue what the hell I should do for the four-odd days I'll be there. I kind of want to go to Angkor Wat, but I hear those kids running around the place are motherfuckers. Plus I can't imagine the street markets are too much different than in Bangkok (although probably cheaper), so maybe I'll just get incredibly drunk the whole time.

i'd check out the markets for cheap arts and crafts stuff. bangkok stuff is sometimes too assembly line for me. personally i wouldn't skip angkor just because of some kids. it's an amazing place, and the history behind it is very inspiring. just be careful of the guesthouses as some will do package deals (stay/driver) and they'll just charge you whatever they want.

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Good to know. I've got a pretty good amount of time to kill, so I may well give it a shot. My hotel is right by central market so I plan on dropping by. Plus I have absolutely no qualms about being rude to poor third world orphans (well...the jerk ones, anyways), so I may well just head out to Angkor anyways. Maybe I'll hit the 'Thunder Ranch/Farm/Whatever' and shoot a bazooka or something.....but probably not. My budget is geared towards cheap shoes, market crap, food, and booze. But hey, if there's a 'rocket sale' or something...

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The kids at Angkor are pretty in your face, but we had a good laugh with some of them - it's OK ... they do try and sell you some utter shit however

i'd check out the markets for cheap arts and crafts stuff. bangkok stuff is sometimes too assembly line for me. personally i wouldn't skip angkor just because of some kids. it's an amazing place, and the history behind it is very inspiring. just be careful of the guesthouses as some will do package deals (stay/driver) and they'll just charge you whatever they want.

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The kids at Angkor are pretty in your face, but we had a good laugh with some of them - it's OK ... they do try and sell you some utter shit however

i couldn't turn down a set of postcards. i finally caved. i hate being thought of as a sucker, but they charge like $1 for 10 postcards, so it wasn't that bad of a deal i guess

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yeah - i still dunno whether it helps them if you buy or just makes their parents get them out selling more.

There were a lot of things about being a tourist in SE Asia I couldn't get my head around - wasn't sure if I was helping the economy or destroying it ...

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yeah - i still dunno whether it helps them if you buy or just makes their parents get them out selling more.

There were a lot of things about being a tourist in SE Asia I couldn't get my head around - wasn't sure if I was helping the economy or destroying it ...

and because you weren't born there and live there now, you'll never know. I'm in the same boat.

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I'm taking a flight to Phnom Penh tomorrow morning. Basically, I'm flying in for only one day. Can anyone provide information about the night life or places to chill? Thanks!

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I in Hanoi at the moment, after spending two weeks moving north from Saigon. Is there anything worth doing here, except Ha Long Bay, or Sapa trips?

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I'm taking a flight to Phnom Penh tomorrow morning. Basically, I'm flying in for only one day. Can anyone provide information about the night life or places to chill? Thanks!

the FCC was pretty chill. I was tight on cash in Phnom Penh so not really sure. Sorry ton.

I in Hanoi at the moment, after spending two weeks moving north from Saigon. Is there anything worth doing here, except Ha Long Bay, or Sapa trips?

not really. just enjoy the sights really

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I liked just chilling in Hanoi - get out to Ho Chi Minh's house - pretty cool.

Just chill - and do the trips as well

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I just got back from a weekend in Phnom Penh. If Saigon is like Bangkok about 15 years ago, then Phnom Benh is about 30 years Bangkok's junior. The streets are littered with more bicycles and motocycles than cars. And you're sure to be continuously rushed by barefooted street kids everytime you hit the streets. All are selling copies of Lonely Planet and other books detailing the Khmer Rouge's atrocities during the late 70's and DVDs.

The one thing that I really noticed was Phnom Penh is such a young city. You don't see that many older people. Most of the pedestrians are young. Most of those who would be in their middle aged years were killed by the Khmer Rouge during their purge of the intelligensia class about 20 years ago. Apparently 2 million people died during this time.

I confirm there are plenty of opportunities to shoot AK-47s or M-16s or even a grenade launchers. Fully automatic or semi auto. The numerous Tuk Tuk drivers are all getting paid under the table to take you to the shooting range or the Killing Fields or several hotels around town. The price for buying larger animal to shoot was around 200USD (they mentioned a cow or goat). Ducks and chickens were around 5USD. But, after visiting S-21 (Tuol Sleng Schoolhouse turned torture center) museum, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with killing anything or going anywhere near a weapon. I didn't get a chance to actually go the range but there were plenty of opportunities to go.

At night, the city begins to come alive. I stayed at an inexpensive hotel along the Tonle Sap River (55USD). In the evening, Cambodian locals sit around the top canal eating freshy grilled fish and various shellfish. Overall the city feels incredibly intimate. So many people congregate along the Sisowatch Quay to watch the sunset or walk along the canal. The numerous motorcycles also contribute to this atmosphere as two or three people will ride atop each motorscooter. I loved just strolling along the canal walk and watching all the street life just unfold.

In terms of night life, I checked out a ton of bars. First stop was Sharkeys, a well known 70s rock and roll bar in town. There were plenty of Westerners there and of course a POW MIA flag predominantly displayed. I got there a little early but there were already a fair amount of freelancers milling about, both Cambodian and Vietnamese.

We left and checked out Shanghai bar and Martinis. Shanghai was ok. Had some drinks and played some pool. Most people were watching the Asia Football Cup on the tele. Martinis was pretty sleazy. If you want to see some roughed up looking chicks in an extremely sketchy outdoor bar, then go here. Word to the wise. Get a good driver and stick with him the whole time you're there. The last thing you want to wondering out from the bar at 1am and getting a brand new driver who ends up mugging you on the way back to the hotel. Also, I saw some place called Broken Bricks that looked awesome, but couldn't find it again later in the evening. Lastly, we ended up at Heart of Darkness, a little more of an upscale joint playing house and hip hop. We had a few drinks and called it a night.

Overall, I had a good time. Phnom Penh is one of the poorest places in SE Asia. At the same time, there are so many NGOs and UN agencies here that come with all the foreign aid contributions. Three things that are must dos: 1) Eat a happy pizza, 2) Get a tuk tuk driver to just take you around the city at night while stopping at all the different bars and clubs (~15$), 3) Go to Tuol Sleng Museum....

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Guest scruf

remember to say "chao" but fold your hands together and bow. thats how we vietnamiese do to show respect and say hello.

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to like old people. no one bows to people their age or younger. people don't bow much anyways. i feel like that's something your parents teach you to do, but you don't know otherwise that people in vietnam do that probably once a year if at all anymore.

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analyst is easily one of the best/imformative posters on this board. kudos sir.

Thanks, man. Much appreciated.

So my partner in crime came back to Bangkok today, basically the day after me. Apparently, during my two days in Phnom Penh, we were only scratching the surface of the city. He comes back today with some amazing stories about barfining a few girls from Shanghai bar and staying out all night partying with them. They went to some street about 20min (by tuk tuk) from the riverfront area that looked a run-down Khao San Road and hung out at some awesome bars with all these travellers and NGO types that were on the ground in Phnom Penh. His chick ends up being a complete GFE and he's been floating on air ever since.

Today, I'm basically kicking myself for coming back on Sunday, since I felt guilty about ditching work (again) on Monday. When in doubt, go with the momentum and ask questions later. Cambodia is one of the few places in SE Asia with so much unexplored terrain. The countryside is still littered with a lot of unexploded ordinance from the US's not-so-secret bombing campaigns and tons of mines. The country is still trying to try the last surviving Khmer Rouge leaders for war crimes. The infrastructure of the country is hanging by a thread, in some places.

As Poly said, I would strongly advise in checking out Cambodia, before it inevitably turns into another cliched destination for the crunchy granolas out there. Some may argue that it already has run its course, but I'm going to go out the limb here and say that the city still maintains a chaotic feel to it. Plus, the people you meet will be some of the most interesting out there....

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yeah, i'll agree with you again. i remember the first time i was at a bar in phnom penh in 2003. there was one bar we went to that insted of a coat check, they had a weapons check. you give your weapons at the door, and they give you a little ticket. my friend checked his leatherman, and i peered across the way to see what else was behind there. a bunch of ak's, couple of pistols, and an fucking gernade. a gernade with a tiny piece of paper on it reminding someone that they left a fucking gernade at the door. cambodia is so fucking nuts.

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just got back from hanoi. crazy hot and humid! stayed at the melia hanoi hotel which was very nice. right around the corner from the famous prison, "hanoi hilton" where john mcain stayed and others. i didn't know that the prison was ran by the french back in the day. they put all the vietnamese that were trying to kick the french out of vietnam in there. there were 5 viet prisoners there that later on became big wigs in the communist government. they had a guillotine right in the prison.

went to this country/pop/80s karoake bar. it was funny to say the least. a lot of good singers in there. not sure if they have a vietnam idol, if not, they should.

overall, great trip. wish i could have made my way down south, maybe next time.

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Very enjoyable read Analyst. I hope to get out to Cambodia on one of my trips to Thailand in the near future (planning on going this December but unfortunately won't have time to go to Cambodia).........

You have a great wealth of info. on SE Asia. Love some advice for my thread here if you've been to Laos:

http://www.superfuture.com/supertalk/showthread.php?p=563268#post563268

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just read your thread...great info.

will be there 4 weeks in mid oct. looking for fashon contacts for some art documentory about liefstyle fashion style in saigon...

if you have any person or student in mind...let me know...

thanks and best regards martin

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I'm current exploring various options for new years this year. Some friends visting from the states have mentioned going to Siem Reap in Cambodia for the holiday.

While Angkor Wat looks amazing, it also seems that Siem Reap has become quite the tourist attraction with 4-5 star resorts and private hospitals opening in the city.

Any interesting experiences in Siem Reap or even Sihounoukville? How did you arrange travel? Flight from Bangkok or by land? Thanks....

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do it by land for one of the most memorable miserable 100baht experiences you'll ever have. Personally, I'm kind of happy we just dicked around a bit in Siam Reap, it's an interesting place outside of Angkor Wat, the sole night club has tons of local girls. We just hung out and relaxed for a few days after seeing the Wat, which was kind of boring after a bit to be honest. Angkor Wat isn't exactly bumping, but from what I remember was completely uncharted territory in some areas, which means making friends with some of the hotel staff and see where they hang. We stayed cheap, like $5 a day. Just keep your american dollars, they didn't have an ATM when I went, might be a bit different now.

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Poly thanks sharing the knowledge....

This is completely last minute. I'm going to Poipet tomorrow. My buddies are dragging me there for one in a series of bachelor parties. Any words of wisdom? Any tips or experiences?

Two friends that went there about six months ago illegally crossed into Cambodia with two professionals at 3am. It's supposed to be a pretty sketch border town. Thanks man...

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I'm struggling at work today. Poipet is an amazing place. Basically, imagine Pleasure Island in Disney's Pinocchio.

Full report to follow very soon...

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I'm struggling at work today. Poipet is an amazing place. Basically, imagine Pleasure Island in Disney's Pinocchio.

Full report to follow very soon...

assuming you went overland then?

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I'm current exploring various options for new years this year. Some friends visting from the states have mentioned going to Siem Reap in Cambodia for the holiday.

While Angkor Wat looks amazing, it also seems that Siem Reap has become quite the tourist attraction with 4-5 star resorts and private hospitals opening in the city.

Any interesting experiences in Siem Reap or even Sihounoukville? How did you arrange travel? Flight from Bangkok or by land? Thanks....

I visited Angkor Wat about 4 years ago and the development was just barely noticeable then. Only a couple 5-star properties at the time, but the tour buses were plenty. The temples grounds are so spread out that only at sunrise and sunset was it at all crowded. The Cambodian people were extremely friendly.

My friend just got back and had a different story to tell. She said the town was overrun with tourists and lots of hotels and construction going on. Having said that, she said the people were 10x more friendly than in Vietnam (I would agree), mainly because Cambodians haven't mastered the art of ripping off tourists yet.

Regardless, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat are not to be missed. It's a nice side trip from Thailand, so if you really want to party hard, you could do it before/after a visit to Angkor.

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assuming you went overland then?

I did - it was totally fine - pretty long trip, but overnight on a bus, so had a few beers and a sleep...

Only spent a couple of days there, but it's an interesting place

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