Cambodia: My Vacation Story
I want to start out this with some prefaces. I first started thinking about travelling back to Asia ever since I left the place after having travelled there for work. Work took me all over South East Asian. From China to Cambodia and everything in between. I fell in love with the culture and the people. The women most particular. I like the dirty aspect of the life. Not like rolling in the mud dirty though some places you could say this is so, but more of the seedy bars and easy girls when you choose to do so. I was since laid off the job that gave me this ability to travel. Now back in the states and working in a local company, I found myself 9 years older, married and 3 kids. Always has the thought of going back to Asia been in my head. Always I have wanted to return to just relax with out a whim to think of. Close to Christmas in 2008 I was recipient of a nice size bonus check. I was able to take a good chunk, about 3500, and hide it from the family. Yes, I know this is selfish of me, but I don't care. My family financial are fine and it won't be missed. I was going to go on the first vacation I have had in over 9 years and it was going to be in Asia. So where to go? I know Vietnam is big but I did not want to go where a bunch of tourist were. I've been to china and the places around there but I was on a budget and didn't want to have to go lavish if I did not want to. I ended up choosing Cambodia. My reasoning was that is was cheep, had enough bars to keep me occupied, and some cool tourist attractions if I got bored. So I booked my ticket in December for a February 13 day stay.
I few out of San Francisco which is always a pain in the ass but I got my ticket for under a $1k so I was willing to sacrifice the long walks from terminal to international travels. The plane ride sucked as long plane rides do. I think the worst part was the 5 hours ride from Soul, Korea to Phnom Penh because it was too short to sleep well and I was to excited to relax. I arrived in Phnom Penh around midnight. Customs was semi easy. I had a few issues with my claims ticket, but it all worked out and I was finally in country. The humid hot air was the first thing that hit me and as soon as I took my first breath of it, I knew I was ready for a good, relaxing time. I was staying at the Nanjing Hotel. This place is well off the tourist area's but still close enough that it wouldn't cost me a ton of money to travel around if I needed to. I grabbed a taxi for $7. I know that is expensive but those are the airport prices and I just had to deal with it. I was tired and wanted to get into my hotel.
Check in was a breeze, the front desk dudes speak mediocre English so I had no trouble with translation. I picked a room with a window which was a little more expensive. I ended up paying $25 a night. Well within my budget and the room had a good TV, shower, toilet, and bed. All I really needed. I was still on state time so I found myself at the hotel bar grabbing a beer. The drafts were large and cheep. I think maybe a $1 or something like that.
The bar was dead, and I was looking for a little more excitement. I had done a ton of research before coming here and I knew about the Walk-About bar and a few other places. I had actually gone to couchsufing.com and was hooked up with a few people to have a beer with on the night I was supposed to arrive. We were to meet at some bar (I forget the name now) but I couldn't get a tuktuk driver to understand where I wanted to go. So the only thing I could get them to understand was "walk-about". The trip cost me a few bucks. Which I come to find out is the typical fair from my hotel to this area. I get to the walk about and if you know this place, it is a typical expat girlie bar. A pool table and I think all Vietnamese women in their typical bar girl uniforms. I order a beer ($3 I think) and relaxed at the bar. A few girls came by to chat with me but I was more interested in just chilling out and getting acclimated then chatting it up with a bar girl that spoke broken English. I had about 5 beers, it was around 2 or 3 in the morning now. I decided that I would try to find the bar that I was supposed to meet these people from couchsurfing at. I ask a few people at the bar if they knew of it and know one had ever heard of it. I grabbed a tuktuk and he said he knew exactly where I needed to go. Well I ended up at the Martini bar. This was not the place I wanted to go, but I figured what the hell. The girls were plentiful and the place was not crowed at all. I slumbered up to the bar. Feeling pretty good (drunk) about this time. Sat next to a pretty girl and ordered a beer. After chatting with the bar tender and the girl for a bit. I grab my beer and went into the dance room which was a closed room sort of off to the side. I walked in, the music was bumping and there were a few girls dancing. I found a nice spot by the bar, finished my beer and ordered another one. Low and behold the a few minutes later the girl I was chatting with at the bar slumbered in next to me. I winked at here and she came in close. This girl was about a 6 or a 7 on the Cambodian hot girl chart. Not bad looking, definitely sexy and "acted" all into me. I knew the routine from having travelled to Asia many times and it was still the same. I wrapped my arms around her and she rubbed my junk. After drinking a few more beers, it was time to leave. I actually closed the place down. I believe it was somewhere around 4 or 5 in the morning now. I invited the girl back to my hotel. Which she absolutely accepted. We hopped on a tuktuk and were in the room in no time. We showered and jumped in bed. With out going into to much detail, let me just say I had a fantastic time. We finally fell asleep but I had a hard time as it was a drunk sleep and my schedule was so off that it really didn't do any good except to brush off my drunkenness.
In the morning I gave the girl $40 and let her go. The hotel has great breakfast noodle soup for about $3 and that includes the ice coffee. I was wary about getting sick so I stuck to things I knew would be good for my stomach. Soup, noodles, seafood, and such. Always bottled water and never milk or anything fresh that feeds off the land. Day two was about wondering the tourist front. I went the waterfront area, found a good Internet cafe and email back home to the family that all was ok. I went back to the hotel to take a nap as the jet lag was getting to me. I found the day flying by as I laid in bed dosing in and out of sleep and before I knew it was dinner time. The whole trip I never had a watch. I don't carry one on my wrist and I left me cell phone at home. It wasn't an international phone so I did not even bother bringing it. I think I woke up around 7ish. Just in time to grab a bite at the restaurant down stairs and it was off to the bar. Again I hit the walk-about with my beer of choice, a Heineken. The girls were all over but I'm a typically shy guy and didn't talk to any of them. I was really just enjoying the place and enjoying just being there drinking a beer. I decided to walk down the street a bit and check out some other bars. If you know typical Asian streets, they are dirty with trash all along the side and the standard sidewalk eatery's all over the place. I went to the snake bar I think it was called. It looked like some french guy owned it. I ordered a few beers, tried to make light conversation with the people there and left. I found the place called "heart of darkness" just a few doors down but decided that I didn't want to go in. The music was to loud and I was not drunk enough yet. I headed back down to the walk-about. This time it was late and as I rolled up to the bar I was immediately hit up but a girl. So I made some light conversation, drank a lot more beers and found myself pretty sloshed. Feeling good and ready to call it a night, I invited the girl back to the hotel. She absolutely accepted but asked that we grab some food from across the street first. I thought that it might be a good idea to get some fuel in my tummy as it might end up being a long night still. We sat down in those plastic lawn chairs, ordered up our food and grubbed. A few minutes later this young solid 8 sat down next to us, drunk as shit. She was 18 or 19 for sure and dressed in this tight short blue skirt. She was mouthing off big time. F this and F that, I was hilarious. I decided to be nice and paid for her food in return she showed me that she was not wearing any panties and gave herself a good rub down for a few seconds. The girl I was with laughed and I was ready to blow that pop-cycle stand. We head to the hotel, this time the tuktuk tried to charge me 5 bucks but I just gave him $3 and said that is the fair fare, then walked into my hotel. The girl I was with was another 6 or 7 on the Cambodian hot girl scale. We showered and commenced our time together. When we finally got to sleep it must have been close to 5 in the morning as I could hear scooters on the street and the light was starting to shine through the window. I again slept like shit for about 5 hours. When we got up, I gave the girl $40 and dismissed her.
Now on my 3rd day in country, it was time to go see some sights. I wanted to rent a car and driver so I asked the front desk of my hotel to arrange this for me. This is a key point in my trip because this is where I got to know Mr. Robert. Mr Robert arrange a car for 8 hour at $40 which I thought was a average deal. The car arrived and I had him take me to the Internet cafe. After that, I wanted a good message so I asked the driver if he knew of any good places and to take me there. I can't remember the name of the place but it was down by Independence monument. I walked in and choose a $30 Thai message. I needed a lot of kinks worked out. The message lady was hot and drapping's were really an option here or anywhere for that matter. As soon as she started on my, I rose to attention. Though I was not there for a release so I paid it no mind. The girl definitely wanted me to relieve myself as she kept brushing up against my wang. My massage was a 2 hour deal and was unbelievably great. My wang was hurting from saluting for so long but I resisted and jumped in the shower and cleaned off the oil I had all over my body. I was feeling tired at this point and wanted to go back to the hotel. I told the driver I want to go grab my camera at my room. When I got to my room, the driver waited for me down stairs. I jumped in my bed and said I would take a 15 minute cat nap. I ended up sleeping for 6 hours. The funny thing was that the driver waited for me the whole time I was there. Lucky I had paid Mr. Robert (which I'm sure he got some sort of cut) and I didn't have to worry about it. I went to the hotel bar again and hammered down 2 of the large beers. Off to the walk about this time I sat down and ordered some good fried food. I had the seafood platter which was decent. It went good with a few beers. The place was kind of dead and I decided to go try a place called the Riverhouse which was on the waterfront sort of at the end of the tourist area. This club/bar seemed newer as looked around. I found the bar and ordered a few beers. It turns out they had an upstairs dance area which I decided to try. The room was crowded and stuffy and there were a ton of tourists there. I stayed for about 2 minutes and left with my beer in hand. Jumped on a tuktuk and I think I just headed back to the hotel. I was tired and jet lag was creeping up on me. I wanted to see the city a bit in the AM so I just went back to the hotel to sleep.
In the AM I told the front desk to get me the same driver again. Which they did. The driver took me all over the city, Whap Phnom temple which was kind of a joke as I hear it is just for tourists. I actually bought a ticket from the girl after going up the hill the back way instead of the front. You do not have to buy a ticket for this place at all. But there were beggar by the droves here. I handed out about $10 to them, I figured what the hell, it's only 10 bucks and if the $1 that I gave gets them a dinner what do I care. I spent about 30 minutes at the temple. Then the driver took me to the Ankor Museum which was kind of cool. A ton of artefacts from the ruins and it was neat to see them all. I was in and out in like 20 minutes. It's not that I don't like seeing this stuff but I mean how many heads of a warrior do I need to see. So I bailed. When I got into the car, the driver suggested that I should go shoot some guns. He said it would cost an extra $10 to drive there as it was out of the city. I was cool with it and had actually seen it on an episode of Globe Trekker. So off we go and it took about 45 minutes to get there. Once we arrived the cost of the ammo was $40 and that only gave to 30 rounds to play with. What a rip-off. I was irritated and sat at the table smoking a few sig's. When the dude on duty came to me and said I could do 15 rounds of ammo for $20, I was like what the hell. The cost was not any better and I figured at least it is something I can get on film as I had my camcorder with me.
After shooting the gun I went back to the hotel and there was Mr. Robert at the front desk. I told him I was planning on heading to Siem Reap and Ankor for a bit. This is were my story about Mr. Robert really begins. As I continue giving you all my vacation details, you will see and hear more and more of him, but I digress. Mr. Roberts eyes light up when I told him this. He immediately got a piece of paper out and said, "ok, I plan for you". I figured what the hell, let me hear this guy out. I only wanted to spend 3 days there. 1 day to travel, one day to see Ankor Wat and the city, and one day to travel back. Mr. Robert arranged a $35 a night hotel at the freedom hotel, the bus ride there which was around $5, A personal guide for a day at Ankor at $30, and the bus ride back which I think was another $5. He suggested that I get a tuktuk driver for the day but I was unsure about this and decided to get one when I arrived in Siem Reap. So I had my whole trip planned for around $110. Which I though was not a bad deal. So I paid Mr. Robert upfront. I was going to have to get up early to catch the bus so I decided to grab a few beers and call it an early night. The tuktuk to the bus was going to come get me at like 6AM or something like that. I awake around 5, shower and head downstairs around 5:45 and what do you know. The tuktuk guy was late. So Mr. Robert suggested I eat breakfast which I did and then went back upstairs to hang out while I waited for the tuktuk. At 7:45 I got a call from the front desk that the tuktuk was waiting for me. I finally get on the bus and as we leave the station it just hit 9:00 per the clock on the bus. I brushed it off as tourist drama and just tried to enjoy the ride. It took around 6 hours to get to Siem Reap. When we arrived my tuktuk was waiting for me with a sign in hand that had my name on it (which I requested of Mr. Robert to do). Off to the hotel we go. Check in was a bit dodgy. It turns out that the girl at the front desk was Mr. Roberts sister. He definitely got a cheaper room and pocketed a few $$. I again brushed this off as part of the deal and continued on to my room. Thankfully I had receipts of everything and that helped me in my process, though I'm not sure how much validity they had. I confirmed my guide for the next day and the lady at the front desk said I would need a driver of some sort, for $10 I can have the same tuktuk driver that took me to my hotel, take me and I agreed. I was too meet the guide in the lobby at 7AM I think. The hotel had a message room so I decided to grab an hour one. Felt great and revived me. I ate dinner, had a few beers and hit the sack as I wanted to be fresh for my stint in Ankor. The next morning the guide was late and I was offered the "please have breakfast" routine again. I ate and went back to my room and the front desk call around 8AM.
Off to Ankor we go. It is a $20 fee to get in. The first temple we see is inundated with tourist. I hated it. Though I loved the temple itself, we cruised around and blasted on to the next temple. This one I climbed to the top and enjoyed the fact that we had blown past most of the tourist people. After that we hit the Emperor's mother's temple which I think tomb Raider was filmed at. I cruised though that and it was off to lunch. I sat at in a great seat looking at the Ankor Wat temple eating an amazing curry. I paid for the drivers and guides lunch as well, I think the total bill was less the $15 and it was amazing. Now it is off to the epic Ankor Wat temple. We walked the long ass walkway and come into it though courtyards. We had gotten there so early that there was hardly anyone around. It was very cool. I got all the pictures and crap you can take and we jetted. I was back by my hotel 3:00. I decided I would go to the touristy part of town and check things out. I hate shopping so I avoided the market but I did hang out a few places and had a few beers. The beggars walk all past you if you sit on the sidewalk and that gets old after a while.
I went back to my hotel for a nap as I was going to hit this bar I had heard about. It is called Zone One. I woke up around 7ish and headed out. I arrived there and it was way early as no one was really there except the hordes of bar girls and the waiters and such. I found myself sitting in the bar girl area. The madam introduced herself and we drank a lot of beers together. She said I could pick anyone to hang with. I was hungry so I ordered up about 3 or 4 plates of food. All the girls came by to eat which gave me some cool conversation and let me get to know a few girls I wanted to hang with. After a few hours of drinking and eating. I choose my chick and we went into the dance hall. We danced and hung out for a bit, then went back outside for some more drink and fresh air. I was pretty hammered by this time and had a bus to catch in the AM. I invited the girl back to my hotel. This time I had to pay a madam fee which was no big deal and we were off. This chick was a definite 8 on the Cambodian hot chick scale. We got back to the hotel and she passed out. I laid in bed ready to rock and roll and here she was laying next to me snoring. Well I was not going to have that. I was horny and drunk so I woke her up and asked her what the deal was. She said "after, I go home?" I said cool with me as I had to get up early anyways and that left the drama of me kicking her out in the AM to deal with. Deed is done, she leaves, I sleep.
I wake up in the AM to check out and it is the same deal again with the driver and the bus. So I have breakfast and go back to my room to await a phone call. Call comes and I head back to Phnom Penh and the Nanjing hotel. Mr. Robert is there and I'm able to check back into my same hotel room. Tired from the trip, I grab a tuktuk and go back to the message place to get the kinks out. After that I went back to the hotel and took a walk around the area. I knew there were a few hair cut places down the road so I walked a ways to one. When I walked in I got a ton of looks as though they had never seen a white man in their shop before. It was kind of entertaining. I motioned a cut and shave and the dude got the idea. I hot chick did the shave and the dude did the cut. It was nice and cost around $4.
Now this is the point in my trip where things took a turn for the weird or worse some might say. As I look back at things I wish I would have listened to my brain and not junk. I get back to my hotel and start up a conversation with Mr. Robert. He says we should go drinking an says he gets off at 9:00 if I was interested. I was always up for a good drink. So he rolls up on his scooter at 9:00 and off we go to the Shanghai bar. We sit down and two girls mossy up to us as if they know Mr. Robert. Which they do it seems. We drink up about an $80 bill which I'm stuck with to pay. I guess that is how it is done. Oh well, I'm on vacation. So just to back track a bit I had chatted with Mr. Robert earlier about going to Bamboo Island and Sihanoukville. He again got his paper out and started away on the deal of the century. I halted him and said I could figure it out on my own. Anyways at the Shanghai bar we tell these two girls that I'm going to the beach. I can't quite remember the conversation but I end up agreeing to pay $40 for a car and driver for the 4 of use that morning. We were to leave like at 4AM. Which we do. I know have a real uneasy feeling about Mr. Robert and this whole trip but move on as I am on vacation after all. We get to a guesthouse which is hell-a far from the actual beach or at least the popular part of the beach. The guest house is way up some back dirt road. As all I wanted to do was sleep, once we got there. I got my room with one of the chicks and the other went off with Mr. Robert. The room had no AC and a small TV with no cable. I think it was rated around 7 dollars a night. It sucked. Anyways come to find out the girls had to be back in Phnom Penh the next evening for some bar thing at the Shanghia. I wanted my stint and the beach to be longer then 1 night so I had planned to just stay a few extra days which I again all paid in advance to Mr. Robert. Come to find out the guesthouse was owned by his aunt….go figure. As well I had paid for my buss fair to him. The girls were to go back by bus as well and I agreed to pay there way. I thought that was an ok thing to do and it was only like $4 for each of them. As we wake up in the afternoon. Mr. Robert and girl A are already up. Mr. Robert says he has to go run some tasks and will meet up with us later. I want to go to the beach so the girl A and girl B so we grab a tuktuk and head out. I don't remember the name of the location where we were staying at, it was something hill and it was way far away from the cool places in town. When we got to the beach we ate some lunch, again the beggars were everywhere. the ones that get me are the kids, I always gave them a buck but not so much the older people. Anyways, we ate some killer seafood on the beach. Just as we were finishing lunch. Mr. Robert pulls up on a scooter and tells girl A he wants to take her for a ride to show her the town. So they leave for a bit. Girl B and I are making light conversation and I am enjoying the beer, beach, and babe I am with. When Mr. Robert and girl A return Mr. Robert says he has to head back to the guesthouse and will meet up with us later. So the girls and I head down the beach. Oh and I forgot to add, these girls are Cambodian 9 and 10's. If they were not so hot I would have definitely blown this off, but Girl A was smoking hot and Girl B was not far behind. As we walk up the beach we decided to take a dip. The water was awesome. I could have spent hours in it. The beach is inundated with small bars, music and food. We found one that we like and sat down. It seemed that it was owned but some young dude who was originally from Sweden. I ordered the girls some Pina Colada's and me some beer. We drank till it was night time. The bar had a BBQ going so it was a great time to eat dinner. Fresh tuna, prawns, and more. it was awesome. Full and drunk we decide to go find another bar which we do. We play some pool and head back to the hotel. Now I have to digress a bit. Though this whole time girl A is telling me how bad of a person Mr. Robert is and how she does not want to spend the night again with him. So I suggest she sleeps with us as there were two beds and girl B didn't sleep with me the night prior. So She agrees and we head back to the guesthouse. As we rollup, Mr. Robert is at a bar drinking it up with some friends. Later I find out this friend is the driver that took us here in the first place. So we get to our room and the girls crash. I'm pretty hammered so it doesn't take me long to dose off. In the AM, the girls were to get up early to catch their bus supposedly already planned by Mr. Robert. Well that didn't happen and to top it off Mr. Robert had taken the car back that morning with out telling anyone. So the girls have woo'd me over by this time. I'm feeling as though Mr. Robert has done them wrong and played me. So I offer to cut my beach trip short and go back with them on a bus to Phnom Penh. Which now I feel was the wrong thing to do. Which it was.
Girl B says she is going to the province on Sunday and I tell her when she gets back, we should get together and I would take she shopping (mistake). The girls ask me if I was coming to the Shanghai that night to see them. I did not have any plans and really wanted to hook up with girl B so I told them I would be there around 9PM. I checked back into the Nanjing. Mr. Robert was not there for what ever reason. After a quick nap I ate dinner and headed to the Shanghai. The girls were there looking smoking hot as they do. I sat at the bar and girl B snuggled up next to me. I bought her and girl A a drink. I then bought them food which it seems is an invitation for all the girls at the bar to nibble on. After a few hours, I was getting hammered and enjoying the company of the girls, my bill was getting up there and I was ready to head out. I had to pay for the girls to leave. $15 a piece to the bar. We left and went to some dance club. It was definitely a local place. It had a huge circular layout, with an upstairs that outlined it so you could look down at everyone. We had a nice large couch setting which I paid about $30 to get. The money wasn't a big deal as I was enjoying myself and with 2 smoking hot girl. They danced, we danced, and had a great time. It was late and the girls dropped me off at my hotel. Before I got out I agreed to girl A that I would go see her at Shanghai as girl B was heading out of town for a few days.
The next morning I did the usual routine, breakfast, internet cafe, message, lunch, nap, Shanghai bar. I head out there and meet girl A. She gave me a hug and I bought her a drink. I definitely was ready to get my drink on which I did. Girl A had a few friends sitting with us. They asked for drinks to. So I wanted to be nice and obliged at buy them drinks as well. As the night went on my bill was close to $100. I was cool with it as I had 4 or 5 hot girls chilling with me. I was getting hammered and it was fun. I suggested that girl A and I go to another place. When she agrees. I pay the $15 bar fee and we leave. She takes me to a place called the rose bar. Which has a lot of her friends working at it seems, cousins or what ever. The girls a real hot non the less. I sit down and immediately girl A is rubbing my legs and hanging on me as I like my girls to do. As we are sitting there our table fills up with girls. 4 or 5 total I think. I agree to buy them all drinks. Then another round, then another round. Again another bill of around $100 but damn I'm having a fun time. The girls are all wearing short skirts and looking fabulous. So I pony up the $$ with out thinking twice. I'm pretty well hammered by this point. It is time to get back to the hotel which I do solo but not first to agreeing to meet girl A at Shanghai tomorrow.
Now here is were my trip comes to a stall. I really didn't do much in the way of fun outside hanging with this chick from Shanghai after this day. For the next 4 days I did my standard routine, then hit up Shanghai around 9PM and chilled with girl A and her friends. The only bump was when girl B came back and I told her to take a hike because girl A and I were getting really into each other. So night after night for the rest of my stay I went to shanghai. Bought a ton of drink for girls, then went off to the rose bar or where ever and bought a ton of drinks for the girls. I was withdrawing around $300 a night for those last 5 days I was in town. Do I regret it? Am I bitter about it? Not really. Yes I could have continued to bar hop, pick up bar girls and such on my own. I would have like to stay at the beach a lot longer for sure but I had a great time either way. It was fun and exactly what I needed to unwind from the day to day BS I deal with back in the states. I left Cambodia on a Thursday evening, I had girl A show me off at the airport with a nice kiss. I could not have asked for anything more.
As I look back at my trip, I think of those last few days and how I should have not gotten tied into that girl as I did. It change my being of how I wanted my trip to be. I think as I recap the events that her and Mr. Robert could have been all tied together and this was all a plan to get money out of me. I really don't care much though as in the end I did have fun and that was what this trip was all about for me. Mr. Robert continues to be the front desk guy ant the Nanjing hotel and girl A and B continue to work at the Shanghai. I web chatted with girl A a while and emailed her a bit but as the months go on that is happening less and less. I think the last time I emailed her was 3 weeks ago. Which is cool with me because if I plan to go there again, I want to just do my own thing as it is a lot more fun and cheaper. By the way, I never boom boom with either girl A or B.. oh well maybe next time!