Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Paradise Island Koh Rong Under Camera Lens Of A Traveler

Koh Rong is renowned as one of paradise islands in Cambodia having retained the pristine feature with rainforests and glorious beaches.

Koh-Rong-island-1
With an area of 78 km2, Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia kingdom, located in Thailand bay. Most travelers reach here are foreigners. 

Koh-Rong-island-2
Many travelers getting to here cannot avoid surprise to beauty of the island. White sandy coasts stretch and surround clear, blue sea, which will bring you a relaxing, comfortable feeling.

Koh-Rong-island-3
Romantic beaches are roused by activities like fishing, surfing and rowing. You can select an active activities to explore the island.

Koh-Rong-island-4
The number of resorts is not many but it is still enough to meet demand of travelers.

Koh-Rong-island-5
Along coasts of the island, you will find a mass of big canvas beds arranged neatly, which are free for travelers to rest. Therefore, you can enjoy agreeable moments as putting down your back here. Besides, let spend a little time to enjoy delicious, fresh sea food from vendors along beaches. In this way, you not only know typical flavours of this island but also obtain chances to discover Cambodian cuisine.

Koh-Rong-island-6
For any inquiry need to be cleared up, let contact to the information section for travelers in a house adjoining to the coast. 

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Koh Rong makes a strong impression on travelers not only because of its fresh, windy sea and sky, but also thanks to enthusiasm and hospitality of locals.

Koh-Rong-island-8
Koh Rong island is an interesting, alluring destination with poetic, tranquil beauty. This place is really relevant to travelers to enjoy pure, silent atmosphere and escape from bustling life. 


Before starting this journey, you should plan, book hotel and means of transport two weeks in advance. 3 days and 2 nights are enough for you to reveal totally the island. To reach Kor Rong, firstly you have to arrive Sihanoukville. After that, you take a boat to get in the island. There are two boating options for you. One, slow boat with travel time is 2 hours. Two, canoe, which will take you 45 minutes. 

You can experience active Cambodia adventures to explore hidden parts then relaxing, enjoying an amazing holiday in this lovely island.

Photo: Lamtom

Monday, August 3, 2015

Motorcycling – Cushiest Way to Explore Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia - the land of motorbikes and scooters! Small motors nimbly, smoothly move on streets. In spite of Luang Prabang, Ho Chi Minh city or Chiang Mai, it is easy to ride a motorbike around streets and even small lanes, reveal indigenous cultural features in a peculiar way.

Having low cost and compact design, easy to control, motorbike become the most common mean of transport in Southeast Asia countries. Motorbikes appear everywhere, every corner, used by both locals and foreign travelers for transfer. 

Moving by motorbike is truly flexible and convenient to explore cities, villages, fields or coastal areas. In addition, by traveling in the way of native residents, you will obtain authentically local experiences. On two wheels, it is possible to drive to ways and corners you want, stopping at anytime and anywhere to snap unique moments or take interesting conversations with locals. One day on a motorbike threading over the most hidden parts will bring fascinating experiences during your journey. 

So, when traveling in an area in Southeast Asia, you can select a motorbike as a companion and simply go. This lists below will show you some ideas for Southeast Asia discovery on motorbike. 

Yogyakarta – Indonesia

So many travelers reach Yogyakarta only to contemplate sunrise in Borobudur – the greatest Buddhism monument in Indonesia. However, many other hidden parts in this area you may not know and desire to discover. Yogyakarta city seems to be a typical slice of Indonesia with endless rice paddies, rustic villages and meandering road systems. 

You can visit this famous Hindu temple, Prambanan, as crossing over Kaliurang town, lying on the foot of the volcano Merapi. Scenery of this place can be beyond very much your imagination. Except the traffic jam in the entrance of the town, remaining things are all smooth.

Yogyakarta motorcycling

Luang Prabang – Laos

Do you want to ride around appealing streets in this ancient city? Just simple, walk to a motorbike rental shop, take one and ride. Luang Prabang is a peaceful city with lovely 2-story blocks of dwellings, quaint small houses, colorful tuk tuks and long queues of monks walking moderately on bare foot to beg for alms in the quite atmosphere. Perhaps you will be excited as encountering an old temple quite Chinese in style. Bring along a map if it is necessary for you.

Getting out of this safe and sound city toward surrounding areas, more challenges are waiting travelers to conquer. You can head to Kuang Si and Tad Sae, two superb, emerald waterfalls. The roads are relatively convenient. Passing over jungles, many beautiful landscapes will disclose.  

Luang Prabang motorcycling

Ho Chi Minh city - Vietnam 

Traffic in Vietnam always make a deep impression on any oversea traveler first time stepping on this country. Amazing. Incredible. Thousands of motors moving smoothly in narrow space among disorderly whistling noise; and patience of residents in traffic jam are unforgettable images. 

You can take a Saigon Vespa tour to get around the city. Classic but graceful Vespa scooters will take travelers to discover incredible street food, to original bars, restaurants and lovely hidden streets. This is a great way that helps you find less well-known places and enjoy real local cuisine. If you are impossible to ride, you can sit in the rear position and comfortably sightsee streets. 

Saigon Vespa tour

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is located in a highland of Thailand so this city has a natural beauty actually mind-blowing. The region is dominated by forests, strawberry fields, rivers, streams and many other ecological sites.

You can trek 14.5 km to reach the mountain top and visit the sacred Wat Phra That temple – one of the most renowned spots in the city. However, paying attention that you can encounter the traffic congestion, especially at the end of the day.

Or, you can liberate and ride motorbike to visit historic places in the central Chiang Mai city. Let reach Buddhism pagodas built since the city newly established (about 700 years ago). If it is hot, you can take some breaks, rest, enjoy the “pad Thai” dish then continue your journey.

Motorcycling Chiang Mai
 Photo: Peanuts or Pretzels

Sumatra, Indonesia

If having scanty time, you can get to Maninjau – the lake formed from the crater of the former volcano in Sumata, Indonesia. Around the lake is small fishing villages, rice fields, schools and mosques. Here, you are never stuck in traffic. 

Koh Lanta, Thailand 

Koh Lanta is an island district in Thailand. Not famous like Koh Phi Phi or Phuket, but it is an ideal destination for excursions by scooters or motorbikes. On the island, though the way is just only 26 km long, you still can have a lot of awesome experiences: local life, fabulous scenery and traffic. 

Almost the streets have pavements, safe and not crowded. Spend all your day to contemplate the stunning beach like paradise or visit the old quarter, where retains memories of the island. You can admire traditional houses lying near the sea, nice cafĂ© and peaceful space. 

motorcycling Koh Lanta

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Travel Like a "Real" Burmese

One of best ways to discover a country is immersing in the local life, eating their food, wearing their costumes, staying at their home, talking to them or traveling like them.

Just opening recently, Myanmar has still maintained unique features which are hard to find in any other country. To understand more deeply about Burma, travelers can transfer like native people and be one of them.

1. Pedicab

Myanmar’s pedicabs are really classical in style, which evoke some typical images of the past 100 years ago.

Pedicabs before Custom House, Strand Road, Yangon, Myanmar

Same to many South & Southeast Asia nations, pedicab is also a characteristic mode of transport of Myanmar, especially in big cities like Yangon or Mandalay. But, different from some countries where majorly use cycle rickshaw for tourism, pedicab in Myanmar is just an affordable vehicle that normal residents all can use for daily life’s purposes like going to work, going to pagoda, going to market.


In Yangon, you can sightsee colonial buildings on a classical pedicab, which can lead you around old streets, old buildings with people surrounding all wear traditional clothes. Feeling like to being lost in Southeast Asia in 1990s. In Mandalay, you can take pedicab to reach Royal Palace or roam around the city.

Pedicabs before Accountant General Office, Yangon, MyanmarPedicabs before Accountant General Office, Yangon, Myanmar

Pedicab in Switte, Myanmar
Pedicab in Switte, Myanmar

2. “Crazy” train

Called as “crazy” train, train in Myanmar is truly a horror. Why??? Foremost, it shakes very much, continuously, swaying up, down, left, then right, such an extent that you can jump from a place to another place though you are sitting. (Can you imagine, view this video to know clearly). Secondly, why it shakes really much. Perhaps because the railway system is old, degraded and not upgraded regularly. Train in Myanmar is even extremely much older than in Vietnam though Vietnam’s trains are old-fashioned. However, if you accept this terrible thing, you will have a real adventure, a fun, unique experience that you just only find in Myanmar. Burmese people still travel by this crazy train every day. They do that, and you can do that too. :)

So, let view some recommends below for this “unforgettable” experience.

- Circular train in Yangon

This 1 USD train will take you through countryside around Yangon city. Burmese people usually use the train for daily life. Forget a high-class board with air-conditioning if you want to have a clear view about poor Burmese people or an authentic challenge; let choose the normal type. In this way, you can see how labors go to market or go to work.

Yangon circular train - normal type
Yangon circular train - normal type

- Creepy train through Gokteik viaduct – most majestic bridge in Myanmar

Train from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin will pass over this impressive viaduct, the highest bridge for train in Myanmar, which was completed in 1900. As crossing Gokteik, the train will move at the speed of walker with the total time of 25 minutes. Spectacular scenery and creepy feeling are gifts you will receive on this adventure.

train through Gokteik viaduct

- Yangon to Mandalay


Be an adventurous person and want to challenge yourself, you can think of this “adrenaline” train journey, which lasts “15 hours”. However, before deciding to attempt it, let make sure that you are strong enough to survive to the final minutes.

>> Anthony Bourdain traveled on a Myanmar crazy train. View his video.

3. Horse cart & ox cart


Horse cart & ox cart are an outstanding, typical mean of transport in Myanmar, especially in rural areas. On a cart, you can relax, enjoy scenery and feel the mood of Burma.

In Bagan, horse cared has been used for tours. A cart ride can lead travelers to off-beaten-track temples and hidden craft villages.

Bagan horse cart

One of remarkable features in Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) is classical, colorful horse carts, which can bring you a special way to contemplate landscape of this lovely town, old British colonial houses, stunning flowers gardens and strawberry farms.

Pyin Oo Lwin horse cart

It is also fabulous to enjoy an exotic ox-cart on beaches like Ngapali or Chuang Tha.

Ox-cart Chaung Tha beach

4. Boat


Travelers can try traditional boats or boats that Burmese inhabitants usually use. Some can be really noisy with naked engine, but the experience is actually interesting.

Small boats are the main transferring mode in Inle lake. Boating is the best way to discover life on this unique lake, where you can witness leg-rowing fishermen, floating houses, floating gardens, trade boat, etc.

On the way to Mrauk U, it is possible to boat along with locals. There are two kinds, slow boat and speed boat. Hiring a private boat if you want to be alone. However, immersing in local life is better to discover a country.

Travelers can also attempt other kinds of original boats on Irrawaddy river for deep exploration or on the way from Mrauk U to Chin villages.

traditional sailboat on Kaladan river to Chin villagesTraditional sailboat on Kaladan river to Chin villages

5. Plane

In fact, domestic airline in Myanmar has an old, classical style. This style bring passengers experiences of the past which are no longer today in many countries like PAPER ticket, STICKERS and free seat (no seat allocation.). A whole country has numerous domestic airlines with small fleet of about 2 – 5 planes, most of them are ATR aircrafts. Truly these planes commonly stop at one or some places (called LAYOVERS) to collect more passengers then they just continue flying to the last destination. With this reason, they are so-called as “buses on air” or “commuter buses”.

To know more bizarre airline system in Myanmar, you can view here.


By Xuan Tran (ActiveTravel Asia)
Photo: Internet & ATA

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Best 10 Temples in Siem Reap

With hundreds of temples scattered throughout Angkor - World Cultural Heritage Site in Siem Reap province, you can only select a few priorities of the biggest, most beautiful temples lying in best locations to admire.

Angkor Wat means “Temple City” (Angkor: "city" or "capital city") while Angkor Thom means “Great City”. These are two the most important relics in Cambodia, which are considered as supreme constructions of Khmer art and architecture.

1. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the greatest, best beautiful temple and situated in the best location among all temples in Angkor Complex Site. Angkor Wat was constructed under the dynasty of King Suryavarman II in the first half of 12th century, which is the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. This temple is well-known for long passage-ways carved with hundreds of Hinduism epic relievo statues along with thousands of absolutely stunning Apsara woman dancer statues.  

Angkor Wat - Cambodia
To walk and explore Angkor Wat entirely, you will have to spend a whole day. This is also the best place to contemplate sunrise in Angkor. 

2. Bayon

Lying in Angkor Thom ensemble, Bayon is remembered by hundreds of giant, spectacular four-faced-statues. Bayon was built in 12th century by Jayavarman VII, which is the only national temple in Angkor built mainly for Mahayana Buddhism, dedicated to worship Buddha. After the death of King Jayavarman, Bayon was remodeled according to Hinduism.

Bayon - Cambodia
This is the most impressive temple in Angkor Complex thanks to its majesty about scale along with mysterious spiritual emotions as admiring this temple.

3. Ta Keo temple

Takeo temple was made of green sandstones, which is the sole temple not completed in Angkor Thom. Ta Keo was erected by King Jayavarman V, the son of Rajendravarman, as he was 17 years old. This temple is dedicated to worship God Shiva. However, Ta Keo was never accomplished due to the death of the king.

Ta Keo - Cambodia
A legend was related that the temple had been struck by lightning while it had been constructing, and all work had been stopped in the period that primary structures had been newly completed.

4. Ta Prohm

Built in 1186, Ta Prohm is a Buddhism temple dedicated for the mother of King Jayavarman VII. This is one of a few temples in Angkor having proofs which provide information about inhabitants of the temple. Ta Prohm used to be home of over 12,500 people. After the fall of Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple was abandoned. Trunks have grown over the walls creating an occult, extraordinary beauty for the temple. 

Ta Prohm - Cambodia
Someone who used to watch the film Tomb Raider of the star Angelina Jolie will specially want to visit this temple.

5. Banteay Kdei

The temple located next to Ta Prohm is Banteay Kdei, meaning “A Citadel of Chambers”, also known as “Citadel of Monk’s Cells”. This is a Buddhism temple in Angkor, built in early 13th century under the reign of King Jayavarman VII. This Buddhism monastery now decays a lot due to incorrect construction and poor quality of sandstones. 

Banteay Kdei - Cambodia
If you are ones who fancy culture and beauty, you will not miss these ruins with graceful carved motifs on walls of the temple.

6. Pre Rup

Pre Rup temple looks like a miniature Angkor with three towers in the center. The temple was made of grey sandstone, which is less durable than pink sandstone like in several other temples in Angkor. Pre Rup is used as a place to cremate bodies of the Royal lineage.

Pre Rup - Cambodia
Undergoing many centuries it was abandoned, complicated carved details in this temple has been eroded. 

7. Preah Khan

This is one of biggest temples in Angkor, constructed by King Jayavarma VII to offer his father – Dharanindra, was also the temporary residence of this king as Angkor Thom was under construction. Preah Khan was surrounded by a layer of citadel. Many construction categories was connected each other by two plus-shaped-corridors divided the temple into 4 parts. At head of each corridor, there is a temple gate with two colossal statues standing guard.

Preah Khan - Cambodia
This breathtaking temple has retained numerous invaluable masterpieces overlaid by moss through the years. 

8. Phnom Bakheng

This Hinduism temple was constructed in late 9th century, the architectural center of the new capital under the reign of King Yasovarman. The temple faces east, lying in a 6-story-pyramid. After accomplishment, Phnom Bakheng had 108 small towers surrounding the temple on the ground and on the floors. 

Phnom Bekheng - Cambodia
Located in top of a hill, Phnom Bakheng is one of best places to witness dawn in Angkor.

9. Banteay Srei

Located nearly 30 km from Angkor Wat, but Banteay Srei is the temple cannot forget in Angkor. This temple with delicate, charming contours was built to worship Gods of Hindu and Shiva. Banteay Srei or “the temple of women” is a wonderful picture about sculpture art on laterite and red sandstone.

Banteay Srei - Cambodia
The temple is rated as the pinnacle of art with relievo statues and motifs created in a subtle, ingenious way for every small detail.

10. Preah Palilay

Preah Palilay is a very small temple which is little known, situated in the behind precinct of Elephant court. This is a Buddhism temple based on Bayon style, although there are a number of Hinduism carved parts. The temple is striking with the chimney-shaped tower and sculpture statues of God Naga really fabulous from the gate. 

Preah Paliay - Cambodia
The small temple ruins, hiding deeply inside Angkor Thom area but it is really attractive under cool shade of a green tree garden.


TIP: To discover Angkor Complex site, you can trek or bike over Angkor. Animated activities will make your discovery more interesting and bring you new experiences, especially as you go through forests and encounter amazing ruins. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Draft Law Banning Travelers from Touching Angkor Wat

The new draft law of conduct, which stipulates prohibitions for travelers like banning from wearing scantily and touching ancient constructions, can be executed by the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA).

Angkor temple site

APSARA notifies that they are completing the new draft law which has been built for 2 years to apply for tourists visiting this historic site. According to Mr. Sok Sangvar, the head of tourist management of APSARA, in this early June, they will send the draft to experts of International Criminal Court to review the code’s legality.

“Basically the code directs to regulations of things that tourists not to do when visiting Angkor Wat like not dressing inappropriately and not touching ancient constructions.” – said Mr. Sok Sangvar. When the process of drafting this new code is coming to the final step, many indecent, illegal actions of some tourists happened as they took “naked” photos inside this sacred, ancient temple site. 

Following to Mr. Long Kosal, the spokesman of APSARA, when being accomplished, the rule books will able to be distributed to people who work in tourism indusstry. “We will propagate this new law widely to related authorities, departments and organizations, and hand the rule books to tourism workers such as tour guides, travel companies, hotels, etc. We need cooperation from them to achieve good results in enforcement of this law.” Mr. Kosal added.

Mr, Sangvar told that APSARA also find all ways to disseminate things must not to do for travelers. The law is mainly about the sustainable development of Angkor. This code will be also executed for other historical sites in Cambodia, but Angkor temple complex is first.