Chan Trier Rhodes (age 13, attends Beijing City International School), her brother Sarak (11, attends BCIS), her sister Channisai (2), and their parents, Dr. Reed and Channy Rhodes
Over the previous winter holidays, we flew from Beijing to Phnom Penh, Cambodia with Dragon Air. We’d flown to Cambodia with China Southern before, but prices were rising and we weren’t satisfied with our past experience. We stayed at Angkor Bright Guest House, which had affordable prices, A/C, and great staff. We booked our tickets using a travel agent.
The flight to Phnom Penh cost RMB 17,350 roundtrip for two adults and three kids. At Angkor Bright Guest House, it cost USD 15 per night for a room without a window and USD 20 per night for a room with a balcony.
The Best Part
For me (Chan Trier), there were two “best parts” to the trip. The first was the food, which I had eagerly anticipated all year. Cambodian snacks are excellent and there are just so many to choose from. The other best part of the trip was the scenery and places to see around town. In Kampong Cham, visitors can go to the riverside by night and see people dancing and selling food. It was like an open-air fair that took place every night.
The Worst Part
The worst part of the trip was the rain, which would fall in quick spells every now and then. The winter holiday is a better time to see
Cambodia, because it’s not too hot nor not too cold.
An Unexpected Moment
The most unexpected moment was when we visited a temple inhabited by monkeys. It was a special day in Cambodia, where you have to go to the temple to pray. We were getting off the tuk-tuk when a monkey came and grabbed one of the containers with food in it. When the tuk-tuk driver tried to take the container from the monkey, it snarled and looked like it was going to bite or attack us. So the driver threw a shoe at it to get it to drop the food. It worked, but I hid inside the temple during the whole fight because I was so scared.
In Cambodia, most people speak English and it’s possible to use American dollars. Almost everywhere you go, there are snacks that you can buy on the street. In addition, taxis and buses are easy to come by and drivers sometimes speak English. You can also get around in tuk-tuks, rickshaws, and motorcycles, but you have to know the average price. Otherwise, drivers may make you pay more.
Expect rain if you’re going to Cambodia over the summer.
Be careful when visiting some mountains or temples; monkeys can bite. Make sure all your shots are up-to-date.
Photos courtesy of Chan Trier Rhodes