Bus travel in Cambodia

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I decided to travel by bus in Cambodia because:

  1. Passenger train service was non-existed when I travelled, but there are now passenger trains running only on weekends and public holidays.  Although plans are in the works for a country-wide network, the train service is currently limited to four destinations, running from Phnom Penh via Takeo and Kampot, terminating in Sihanoukville.
  2. The bus was way cheaper than flying.
  3. Interesting country scenery along the way.
  4. Hassel-free border crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam.

After some research I decided on Giant Ibis Bus Service. They offer rest room and restaurant stops along the way, free Wi-Fi, electrical outlets to charge your phone, air-con, complimentary pastries and water and a complimentary pickup service  to passengers staying at one of their partner hotels. 20161109_220537

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Traveling time: about 5 hours, 30 min, price: $15. Departing 7H45, 8H45 and 12H30 pm. Night buses at 10H30, 11H00 and 11H30 pm.  The bus will make its first stop about 160 km south of Siem Reap at Banyan Tree Restaurant, the exact half way point of the journey.  The second stop is about 60 km north of Phnom Penh. Plenty tuk-tuk drivers at the bus stop in Phnom Penh to take you to your accommodation.

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Phnom Penh to and from Kampot

Travelling time: 2 hours, 30 min, price $9. Departing 08H00 and 14H45.  Plenty tuk-tuk drivers at the bus stop to take you to your accommodation.20161109_215248.jpg

Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

Travelling time: 6 hours, 30min, depending on the border crossing. Price $18.

Vietnam does not offer Visa on Arrival. You must have your Vietnamese entry visa in your passport or you will not be allowed to board the bus. I arranged my Vietnam visa through Mad Monkey Hostel in Phnom Penh. I handed in my passport before 17H00 at the hostel and received it the next day after 17H00, $50.

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The crew attendant will collect your passport once your on the bus. When the bus arrives as the border you will be required to get off the bus and get an exit stamp in your passport. The Crew Attendant will return your passport to you as you get off the bus and collect it from you again when you get back on.20161117_13134120161117_131717

After you’ve cleared Cambodian immigration, you will get on the bus again. The bus will drop you off at a restaurant in the duty free zone. While you enjoy lunch, the Crew Attendant will take your passports ahead to the Vietnamese immigration check point to start the process while you eat. When your Vietnamese visa has been processed, the bus will take you to the immigration check point. Here you will be required to retrieve your luggage for a scan by Vietnamese customs. Follow the Crew Attendant, pick up your passport from the immigration officer, scan your luggage, and return to the bus.20161117_162702.jpg There will be taxi’s at the bus stop in Ho Chi Minh City to take you to your accommodation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road trip to Vanrhynsdorp

Planning a trip to Vanrhynsdorp and surrounds, or passing through? Why not stop and stretch your legs, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

Vanrhynsdorp is a small town situated along the N7, also known as the Cape Namibia Route, and about 300 km or 3 hours drive from Cape Town. The town is located on the edge of the Nama Karoo, an area of semi-desert succulent vegetation.

What to see and do in Vanrhynsdorp

  1. Take a picture of the Maskam Mountainthe flat, table-like mountain, which can be seen from a distance.20160708_174810-2
  2. Start the day with a buffet breakfast at Lesatsi Lodge. This lodge is just outside Vanrhynsdorp on the R27 towards Vredendal.20160707_094449-2
  3. Make a wish. Throw a coin in the newly restored wishing fountain at Lesatsi Lodge.20160706_164123
  4. Visit the Kokerboom Nursery at 74 Voortrekker street for indigenous succulents to buy or admire.
  5. Visit the Historical Jail and take a step back in time. The old prison was built in 1895 from limestone and clay bricks. Now craft products and succulents are on display and for sale here.
  6. Take a stroll through the town.20160708_08014020160708_08025120160708_080916
  7. Take the Vanrhynspass along the R27 towards Nieuwoudville. Leave the Western Cape and enter the Northern Cape. This pass is a must drive offering forever views over the Knersvlakte.van-rhyns-dorp
  8. Visit the Waterfall on your way to Nieuwoudville…. Oops, no water.20160707_114813
  9. And the quiver tree forest, which is the biggest, natural quiver tree forest in the world.  Some of these trees are more than 250 years old. I know….forest?20160707_123718 
  10. You can either turn back now, or visit Nieuwoudville which is about 50 km from Vanrhynsdorp.20160707_132500

12 Things to do at Cape Point

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Planning a trip to Cape Point? Here is a few suggestions for a day trip, although there is so much more to do.

Cape Point is part of the Table Mountain National Park and is a must see when in Cape Town. It is home to the most beautiful indigenous plants, animals, birds, beaches, footpaths, scenic drives, 2 lighthouses, monuments, a phantom ship,  picnic and braai sites, just 70 km from Cape Town.

How to get there:cape-point-1

  • Take the coastal road along Sea Point, Camps Bay, Llandudno to Hout Bay via the M6. From here take Chapman’s Peak Drive to Noordhoek,  turn right and follow the directions through Scarborough. The entrance to the Park will be on your right.       OR
  • Take the M3 to the end,  turn left towards  Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town. Continue along the coastal road to the entrance of the park on the left.

Unfortunately there is no public transport that goes all the way to Cape Point. Either do a self-drive, or go with a taxi or tour group.

Opening Times:

  • 07h00 to 17hoo – winter – restaurant, funicular, curio shop opens at  09h00
  • 06h00 to 18h00 – summer – restaurant,  funicular, curio shop opens at 09h00

Entrance Fees:

  • R125 – Adult,
  • R65 – Child    OR
  • Green Card/ Wild Card

Things to see and do:

  1. Visit the Buffelsfontein visitor’s centre for information about the local history, plants and animals life.cape-point-9
  2. Visit the monuments of  explorers Vasco da Gama and Bartholomew Dias.cape-point-63
  3.  Visit the most South-Western Point in Africa and take the scenic walk for a stunning view.cape-point-74cape-point-73
  4. Ride The Flying Dutchman Funicular to the lookout point.  R58 return for adults and R24 return for kids.cape-point-86
  5. Or walk all the way from the parking lot to the historical lighthouse.cape-point-92
  6. Enjoy the vistas from the lookout point at the upper funicular station.cape-point-152
  7. Visit the historic lighthouse and upper funicular station.cape-point-93Take the Light House Keepers Trail to Dias Point, a 15 minute walk. The new light house can be seen from the viewing point.Cape Point (98).jpgcape-point-110
  8. Take a scenic drive through the park and be on the lookout for Chacma baboons, birds, zebra, ostrich, eland and dassies.cape-point-61
  9. Photograph some of the more than 1 100 indigenous plant species.cape-point-52
  10. Take a photo of the historic lime kiln.cape-point-34
  11. Picnic at Bordjiesdrif or Buffels Bay tidal pools.cape-point-20
  12. Be on the lookout for the legendary ghost ship…The Flying Dutchman…

Do wear comfortable shoes, bring along water and a jacket as it could be windy here.

All of the above landmarks can be found on the brochure/map  you receive at the gate.

Baboons

  • Baboons are wild animals, dangerous and are attracted to food.
  • DO NOT feed baboons, you will be fined. Baboons that have been receiving food from humans become aggressive and have to be destroyed.
  • Do keep a safe distance and move away slowly if a baboon approaches you.
  • Do not open car doors, windows or display food when baboons are present.

 

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