Archive for Cambodia

Top 10 Destinations in South East Asia

Posted in Asia, Top 10 picks in South East Asia, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2010 by Mackeral Mark

I am lucky enough to have visited every country in South East Asia.

OK, so I haven’t been to every inch of the place but I’ve a better angle than most so I’d thought I give you guys my top 10 picks!

First let me give you the criteria.

These places/countries are judged on:

  • NBNatural beauty / Historical wonders
  • UE – Unique Experiences offered
  • CH – The Chill-out Factor (Off the beaten track, smoke etc.)
  • CR – The Craic! (Irish term meaning fun or entertainment)
  • X – The Girls  (the real X factor)

So here they are…

Naughty Nomad’s

TOP 10 Spots in South East Asia!

😉

——————————————————————————————-

10. Flores, Indonesia

Komodo Dragon

In a word: Wild.

NB – Diverse & Dramatic.

UE – Volcanoes &  Dragons.

CH – Few Tourists here.

CR – Restricted to Weekends.

X – Cute accents; pity there’s not more of them.

Bottom Line: Launch Pad for Komodo and home to some of the most dramatic volcano scenery in the world.

——————————————————————————————-

9. Vang Vieng, Laos

Riverside bar; drugs on the menu.

In a word: Lazy.

NB – Winding Rivers through beautiful karst scenery.

UE – Tubing down the river, drugs on the menu.

CHVery chilled but too many tourists. Low season is better.

CR – Riverside bars with ‘happy’ pizzas and friends on TV. Night-life limited.

X – A big no no. $500 fine if you are caught with a local girl.

Bottom Line: Great place to flake out for a few days, but no Boom Boom.

——————————————————————————————-

8. Myanmar

Me in Bagan, Myanmar

In a word: Bizarre.

NB – Bagan puts Angkor Wat to shame.

UE – This is why this place is on the list. No American brands, strange clothing, painted faces, fashion shows in every bar and no mobile phones.

CH – Horse carts and only hardcore tourists.

CR – The odd full moon festival and driving the horse cart pissed.

X – Sigh, no phones and the girls don’t drink…

Bottom Line: This country is the most unique in the S.E. Asia and leaves more memories than any other, but night-life is a little frustrating.

——————————————————————————————-

7. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Drop anchor and light up.

In a word: Popular.

NB – Sunsets over the South China sea accompanied by 1,960 islets.

UE – Spending an exciting night on a Vietnamese boat.

CH – Rack and pack em in the day but lovely when the sun goes down.

CR – Some weed, liquor and midnight swim anyone?

X -Unless you got some horny Americans on your boats…

Bottom Line: It may be a tourist trap but it’s 100% worth it.

——————————————————————————————-

6. Palawan, The Philippines

I took this in El Nino, Northern Palawan

In a word: Adventurous.

NB – Jungles, empty beaches and the world’s largest underground river.

UE – Epic Motorbiking trips . Canoeing to a deserted island.

CH – Your own private beach anyone? Purple Sunsets? Heaven.

CR – Diving ship wrecks and the dangerous dirt bike trails.

X -There’s always a few cuties to date in Philly…

Bottom Line: If you want  adventure, love and escapism; this is the place.

——————————————————————————————-

5. Bali, Indonesia

There's a lot more than Kuta beach.

In a word: Unique.

NB – Great Beaches, beautiful landscapes and endearing rice paddies.

UE – Balinese culture; surfing; diving; motorbiking around the island.

CH – Beers on the beach are good; but a lot of tourists in Kuta.

CR – Plenty of great restaurants, live music and pumping nightspots.

X – Balinese girls are premium with good values. Other options include cheeky Javanese Muslims and crass Australian women.

Bottom Line: It may be a tourist trap but it’s 100% worth it.

——————————————————————————————-

4. Cambodia (in general)

Life is cheap. My friend Dan took this one in the killing fields.

In a word: Lawless

NB – Angkor Wat.

UE – No rules. People go off the rails here.

CH – You can smoke weed out  in the open; on a beach. Nuf said.

CR – Every night is an adventure ; endless debauchery.

X – Khmer girls are cute and love foreigners.

Bottom Line: You may never leave.

——————————————————————————————-

3. Phuket, Thailand

Bangla Road

In a word: Sex.

NB – It’s got a decent beach.

UE – Going to pool hall at 6am and being surrounded by gorgeous women.

CH – Flake out on the sand, oversexed and hungover.

CR – Live music and perfect for pub crawls.

X – Girls, girls and more girls…

Bottom Line: Sex, and lots of it. Spend more than a week here and you will probably catch something.

——————————————————————————————-

2. Borneo, Malaysia

Me and Dan on the skywalk in Mulu, Borneo

In a word: Idyllic.

NB – Unique wildlife, pristine beaches and the world’s biggest cave.

UE – Jungle excursions and staying in long houses.

CH – Back to Nature.

CR – Fantastic pub culture. Get to Rainforest Festival in July.

X – Chinese girls here incredible attractive, probably the best in S.E Asia… They are quite friendly as well! Excellent place for dating hotties and MLTR.

Bottom Line: Something for everyone. So much to do here, not enough time. Everyday here is an absolute pleasure. You’re just ‘happy’ here.

——————————————————————————————-

1. Boracay, The Philippines

What more could you want?

In a word: Paradise.

NB – White beaches, palm trees , turquoise waters and violet sunsets. Ahh!

UE – Mongolian Buffets, Mojitos and free love.

CH – In low season this place seems to good to be true. Think Disney land with no ques; hammocks and female acoustic sets.

CR – Ram-shackle discos by the beach with live music and cheap drinks.

X – Romantic, sexy and artistic; these Filipinas are addictive. Plenty of creamy Japanese and Korean tourists around too.

Bottom Line: For this nomad, this place is paradise.  Go in Low season.

——————————————————————————————-

Honourable Mentions

I decided to only include places I’ve actually been in the top 10. I contacted some fellow globe-trotters to give their top 10 as well. I’d like take this opportunity to thank everyone involved! The only problem was everyone had different picks!  But it’s nice to see there was some consistencies.  Here are some other picks from fellow travellers…

  • The Malukus/ Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Pie, Thailand
  • Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Northern Laos
  • Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Luzon, Philippines
  • Northern Vietnam
  • Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
  • Dili, East Timor (I’ve been here, it just missed the list)

Check out my S.E Asia City Guides!

Please share your favourite places! Leave a comment below!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Phnom Penh City Guide

Posted in Cambodia, City Guides with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by Mackeral Mark

Lake side (RIP)

Phnom Penh in a word: Playground.
C.O.H: 4.5 / 5
Q.O.G: 3 / 5
S.T.L: 4.5 / 5
City guide ratings explained

Costs €$£

Beer: Around  $1 a beer.
Bed: €3 for a private  room.
Bud: Practically free!
Board: €2 for a decent meal.
Budget other: The odd bribe might cost you.
Currency Conversion

Overview

Most people go off the rails here. This place has everything. Cambodia is the wild west of East Asia. If you like weed, sex and booze; you may never leave.

Khmer to me... prrr

The Girls

Khmer girls are cute and cunning. They are darker than other races in Indo-China. They’re traditional dancing is insanely sexy and portrays an alluring delicacy . Be but warned, they get very jealous and are prone to violence. Life is cheap in Cambodia. What constituents prostitution here is a contentious issue.  Men pay dowries to marry women; who in turn are treated like property. Some girls in Phnom Penh are ‘professional girlfriends’. They won’t ask for money but they often expect the man to pay for everything. Other girls are more relaxed and just want to meet foreigners. One night stands are common but the  girls tend to want relationships to develop as a result. But that’s not a bad thing; Khmer chicks are great fun, smoke weed and are very willing to please. Expect to stay A LOT longer than expected. The life style here is sweet. My first trip here was with a friend in 2006 – he is still there to this day!

Nightlife Recommendations

Phnom Penh is rockin’ every single night. This place is anything but boring. Here are some popular picks. Plenty of girls of all backgrounds in both.

Heart of Darkness
This small little disco is practically famous. Attracting all the angels and demons of Phnom Penh, this place is a must.

Pontoon

Cool boat bar by the river. A bit more up-scale; a good place to pick up more sophisticated Khmers.

Getting High (courtesy of webehigh.com)

Legislation: Technically smoking pot is illegal in cambodia. However given that the cambodians use it in cooking, restaurants use it on pizzas, and corruption is rampant it generally is not a problem so long as your sensible. Remember this is a very poor country, and people may be desperate for a sale or (other extreme) split a bribe..

Law Enforcement: In area’s like the Lake side you will have almost no problem with police as the local bars and guesthouses bribe the police to create a sort of ‘Green Light District’ in the middle of Phnom Penh.
Otherwise generally you will barely ever see any police around, just dont smoke in a non-tourist public area. Be sensible.

Where to buy Marijuana in Phnom Penh, Cambodia : You can almost always buy weed in the backpacker’s district, or by the lake side. as you make your way towards the restraunts on the water’s edge, you will most likely be confronted by 2 or 3 men asking you “you want joint?” by joint they just mean weed. prices go about 2$ for a decent bag. if you pay them more they will remember your kindness and deliver to parties or to city addresses for you
and another reporter added: “While living there I found the best place to buy from are the happy pizza shops along the lakeside. You can straight out ask or if your’e a little sketched out try asking them for rolling papers and usually they will offer. The stuff sold here is slightly better than any of the stuff you will buy off a street dealer or tuk-tuk/moto driver, but there is always them.

If you’re up for a good night go down to the Lake side where you will almost be surrounded by dealers asking you if you want to buy all sorts of drugs from weed to opium. They are usually found smack in the middle of the lake side main road and they will be more discrete before sunset and openly deal after sunset.
WARNING: When dealing with street dealers make sure you have the money you want to pay in cash in your pocket or something. The street dealers will get very close to you and ignore your personal space. So its a BAD idea to take out your wallet to pay because as soon as you give your dealer the money for the weed someone else will try and grab your wallet out of your hands. I learnt that the hard way.

Another good place to buy weed is also at the lakeside at the bar ‘Magic Sponge’ just ask the guy at the bar for a joint and he will roll you one or give you one he’s already rolled. There nice and big joints but have more baccy than normal (hey the guy has to make a living) if you go when its not busy he will probably roll one and join you on his ps2. Great guy :)”

Phnom Penh Marijuana Prices: Buying off street dealers/tuk-tuk drivers and moto drivers its important to know you can bargain. If your good you can get a medium sized bag (I estimate about a 1/4) for $2-5USD but thats if you can bargain well. Dont buy for more than that off a street-dealer your getting ripped off.

Buying at the pizza places costs a little more because the weed is better so you can buy in bags of $10USD or $15USD the bags again look like they contain about a 1/4 but you never know how much your getting unless you weigh but I doubt any cambodian dealer will care if its under/over weight.
At the Magic Sponge joints go for $1USD 🙂

My Phnom Penh Experience

I could write a book about my experiences here.  I think in this circumstance a picture’s worth a thousand word.

Tattoo of my name on my Khmer girlfriend's ass (Long story)

Her Dad's weed