Saturday, September 24, 2016

Phnom Penh to Bangkok by Bus

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There are a lot of options for travelers to choose when it comes to traveling from Phnom Penh to Bangkok. I myself experienced in travelling both by air and road to Bangkok. When it comes to travelling on the road, I have to be aware because different means will lead to high or low range of comfort and time spent for travelling. Now let’s say bus is your option, and here I am going to tell you one of the best bus options that you should consider.
Nattakan is a Thai bus company that cooperates with Rith Muny transportation company in Cambodia. Thus, when you choose this bus, you will have to buy its ticket at Rith Muny office which is nearby Gloria Jeans riverside. It costs $25 per ticket if you buy in Phnom Penh; and it costs 750 Baht when you buy 1 ticket at Mo Chit bus station.
PP to BKK:
  • 06:00 to 09:30 – Leave Phnom Penh and arrive Pursat.
  • 09:30 to 10:00 – Have breakfast at Pursat Cambodia-Japan friendship restaurant.
  • 10:00 to 14:00 – Arrive Poi Pet
  • 14:00 to 14:40 – Take 40 minutes at the immigration office
  • 14:40 to 16:00 – Travelling on the road to Bangkok
  • 16:00 to 16:30 – Thai bus driver stopped for dinner (It won’t happen all the time)
  • 16:30 to 19:30 – Arrive Bangkok at Mo Chit bus station
BKK to PP
  • 05:00 – Leave Mo Chit bus station
  • 07:00 PM – Arrive Phnom Penh
Pros:
- 1 stop only at Pursat for brunch
- Only 1 direct bus, no transit
- There is a toilet in the bus. Pee pee poo poo is not a problem.
- Short distance to walk from immigration office to find this bus
- Save time (about 1 to 2 hours) and energy (not cramped) as you will arrive at 7:30.
- Comfortable to sleep
- It’s more spacious, easy to sit, and better behaved people prefer it, so eventually the feeling is better too.
- There is no need to walk and find another van at the border and pay extra 250 Baht.
- It provides free evening meal and drink on the bus. So, we could save lots of time without stop from Aranyaprathet to Bangkok.
- Free snack and beverage in the morning, packed fried rice (EzyGo) to be delivered in the afternoon. It is included when you pay the $25 bus ticket.
- Thai drivers tend not to stop for picking up passengers. They are ready to go at 06:00 even with 3 passengers.
- No need to wait for bus to be filled to go on from the border because only those who bought in Phnom Penh could continue going from the border.
Cons:
Bad point is the bus stop is at Mo Chit Bus Station. You will have to take taxi or BTS to the central. It cost my family 130 Baht to get from Mo Chit Bus Station to Asoke area. Probably, you can take Uber for cheaper transport.
- On your way back, the bus leaves Bangkok at 05:00 in the morning. Not at 06:00 in the morning like when you travel from Phnom Penh to Bangkok.
- Khmer drivers tend to stop quite often to pick up more passengers, but it is not too bad. I managed to arrive Phnom Penh at 07:00 PM.
- Spend about 150 Baht more on taxi from Mo Chit to your hotel.
- Not easy to travel for some Khmer as they need to be dropped at DD House.
Below is some photos:
This is a picture of the Nattakan bus from Phnom Penh to Bangkok.
Cambodia-Japan Friendship restaurant in Pursat

After purchasing the ticket, you have to find Platform 106 and wait there. 
Inside Nattakan bus on my way from Bangkok to Phnom Penh
Bus ticket bought at Mo Chit bus station



Mo Chit bus station, where you can buy the ticket
Cambodia-Japan Friendship restaurant in Pursat

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cellcard's Press Release

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Cellcard Lab offers young Cambodians a fast-track to social business success PRESS RELEASE Released on September 3, 2016
Phnom Penh, September 3 – Young, enterprising Cambodians looking to fast-track their ideas into social business opportunities can make their dream a reality via Cellcard’s first-ever incubator program, Cellcard Lab, in partnership with Impact Hub Phnom Penh.


The unique program, launched by the telco and co-working space Impact Hub Phnom Penh, aims to inspire and guide Cambodians aged 18 to 25 years old by offering them a platform to launch social businesses.

The program, which launches today, Sept 3, will roll out 4 cycles, each of which will entitle 3 lucky applicants to a 3 month program by Impact Hub Phnom Penh.


Each cycle offers participants a three-month work space at Impact Hub Phnom Penh, networking and resource opportunities and access to workshops focusing on customer discovery and validation, strategy roadmaping and pitching. They will also enjoy a full-funded, three-day visit to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to attend a workshop at the prestigious MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre) Acceleration Program and tour the Microsoft office in the capital.


Personalized mentoring and coaching throughout the initiative will be provided by experts in their respective fields. These comprise Maelle Barbancon, the technical coordinator for Friends International; Chhunny Noem, the CEO & founder of Anakot Asia; and Laura Smitheman, the co-founder of Impact Hub. The three mentors will focus on assisting participants build their business model, provide teambuilding and creativity advice and basically, help entrepreneurs better implement, develop and execute their ideas.

“There’s no doubt that Cambodian youth have the ideas, skills and passion, but we believe inspiration and knowledge-sharing by those who have succeeded are equally as important to turn business ideas into reality,” said Cellcard CCO Laszlo Barta. “Cellcard Lab welcomes business ideas of any kind, and in turn, provides successful applicants an invaluable platform that accelerates their ability to gain a complete set of skills and ultimately, bring their product to market.”


He added that as part of the brand’s #KhmerWeCan campaign, Cellcard Lab would complement its overall aim of inspiring Khmer pride and encouraging local youth to realize their potential and achieve their dreams.


Those interested in scaling up with Cellcard Lab can download application forms at https://goo.gl/forms/u6m9pLfPxKGEWvVc2 before October 15 or email melanie.mossard@impacthub.net. Remember, the Lab only admits 3 participants per cycle, totaling twelve participants for the duration of the program, so hurry and apply today!

Disclaimer: This article was written by a third party and falls into Guest Post category. 
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Awesome Cellcard XG6!

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This is the coolest and probably the funniest TVC of Cellcard yet. The offer is also great. I love the 8000MB. More data for me.


Disclaimer: This article was written by a third party and falls into Guest Post category. 

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Translation Technique - Part 2

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Here we we go again with translation technique. If you have not read my first post about this, you will have to read the Part 1 first: Translation Technique Part 1

Here I would like to address Google Translate since it's a bit mature now. Everybody knows about Google Translate, but this post is going to give you more confident in using Google Translate. In the event that we don't know the meanings of many words in a paragraph, we will have to spend a lot of time translating those words. With Google Translate, we save times. Since we copy and paste the whole paragraph, and double check if the translation is correct. It is important to stay cautious when we copy and paste from Google Translate.

After copy-paste from Google Translate, I list down the Translation under the English paragraph. I compare sentence by sentence to see the errors. After fixing all of the errors, I deleted the English paragraph, leaving only the Khmer paragraph.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Register Paypal with "oVPN Spider" to Fake Your Address

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When having Paypal account in Cambodia, it's a pain because we can only Send out money, but not receiving or withdrawing. So, to receive money we need to use fake address like you were signing up in the US or in Thailand, etc. For that you can receive, and to withdraw some people use Payoneer. Now let's talk about registering a Paypal account with fake address first.

For my case, I have a Thai visa card. Thus, it is important for me to sign up a Paypal account with an address in Bangkok. If you want an address in the US, you can do so too.
Since I use Opennet ISP, I could not sign up a Paypal account with fake address in Thailand, it always showed that I signed up from Vietnam because the IP of Opennet is a Vietnamese company. It disappointed me very much that I closed and reopened my Paypal account many times and it still shows that my country is Vietnam, not Thailand.

For my case, a friend (Mr. Sou Sovannara) suggested me that I installed two apps in my phone called "oVPN Spider" and "VPN Connect". Then, I could fake my IP to Thai IP.

It's an easy app to use, after installing these apps, it will take you only several seconds to understand it.


After faking the IP, now I could search for Paypal in Thai, and sign up with my address in Thai. And of course, I could link it to my Thai visa card.

If you don't have a Paypal account yet, click below:









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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cambodian to Receive and Withdraw Money from Paypal

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If you are interested in this topic, you might have been introduced to Paypal and already knew that there is a bottleneck with Paypal when you want to do online business in Cambodia, because in Cambodia, we can only send money out, but not receiving or withdrawing money from Paypal.

You might also have been introduced to using fake address abroad, let say an address in America or in Thailand to register a new paypal account, then register another account in Payoneer to get a master card so that you can withdraw your money from ATM machines. If you are happy with that option, you can do that too.

In this post, I am going to introduce you to another way, but you will need a help from Thai person.
I have a Thai close friend (Mr. Apinat Khamboonmak aka M) and he is so kind. He helped me all the way through when I was at the bank in Bangkok.

First, I opened a Thai saving account and also a Visa card. It costs 300 Baht. And I deposited another 3,000 Baht. Before I could do this, I went there with M as he agreed to be my guarantor. He guaranteed so that I could open a bank account at CIMB Thai. So, staff at CIMB made photocopy of his ID card, my ID card and my passport. That's it! 

Normally, other banks would require more documents such as apartment rent contract or your employment contract or your visa because you are a foreigner, but for CIMB Bank, if you have a Thai national to guarantee then a foreigner can open an account. Also, you don't have to wait for long to receive your visa card too. You will receive on the same day. So, all is done in one day.

What's special about CIMB Thai is that there is a Regional Withdrawal option which mean we can withdraw money from CIMB abroad like CIMB Cambodia or CIMB Malaysia without withdrawal service charge. So, I am quite contented to use CIMB Thai with ATM machines in Cambodia for no charge.

Also, you can tell the teller that you want to use Internet Banking. So, you will register for you and e-pin will be sent to your mobile number in Thailand to verify. Or you can register internet banking at ATM machine in Bangkok so that e-pin will be sent to you to register an account for internet banking.

At this point, I also want to grab your attention that before going to the bank, you should buy a Thai sim card at 7/11. You have a Thai sim card, then make sure you sign up a new Paypal account in Thailand and they will send sms to your Thai sim card the 4 digits to verify that you the Paypal account owner. You can do all that while you are in Bangkok. For my case, I signed up a Paypal account in Phnom Penh by using VPN so that I could register Paypal Thai account. Also, my Thai sim card was on roaming so I still could receive sms to verify my account.


Updated below on January 31, 2016



I actually had a problem since I got back from Bangkok. When I tried to link the bank account so that I can withdraw my money, I was not able to find CIMB Thai in the bank drop-down list. So, that meant I could only send out and receive, but not withdrawal. I had been asking staff at Paypal and CIMB Thai. Two Paypal staff responded me without a clue. They only said that I can't. I had sent two emails. One to CIMB Thai and another one to CIMB Malaysia. None of the CIMB replied to me. I also asked M whether I can open bank account at another bank. He helped me searched many banks and those banks required a work permit. However, a colleague from CIMB Thai replied to me in Facebook messenger a week after I had dropped the question. His answer is very satisfying. Actually, I could not find the bank name because its former name was Bank Thai Plc. Phewww...

So, now I can completely Send, Receive and Withdraw!

Update on March 16, 2016 below:

I tried to open paypal again and found that they now have CIMB Thai Public Bank. So, the above problem doesn't exist anymore. You can open a bank account at CIMB now and enjoy full services that Paypal has to offer!

Update on August 19, 2016:
If after reading, you still find it a struggle to withdraw money from Paypal in Cambodia, please feel free to seek for service via email: vtconcloud@gmail.com or via 081 688 555.
For commission fee, please read on in the link below.
http://www.vuthychour.com/p/paypal-cambodia-withdrawal-assistance.html

Feel free to ask me in the comment box below!



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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bank Loan Conditions at Mega Int'l Commercial Bank

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Decades ago, when one borrows from a bank, that person might want to hide because it's a shame to borrow from bank. However, it's becoming a trend to buy something with mortgage or loan.

Some persons even think that one must be rich to be able to borrow from a bank, because bank does not give you money easily. You will need to have hard title deed of a property and a concrete income.

In this post, I am going to explain to you step by step on how to request for loan from Mega Bank in Cambodia and what documents they need before they grant you the loan.

First of all, you will have to contact its loan officer. For my case, I contacted Sreyneang and asked her for more information. She told me the details and the documents she might need before answering a YES or NO to your loan. It took my family 4 to 5 weeks before I have been granted the loan.

So before answering, Sreyneang asked what properties I have in place so that she can come to assess. My dad agreed to put his house title deed as collateral so that we can request for loan of USD 120,000.

She came to my house and check the conditions and locations of the house. She also came to my mum's store at Orussey market to assess the business. She came to assess these properties, but what we put for collateral was only house title deed.

They ask you to make photocopy of your business patent, house title deed, income, ID cards, family book, etc. At this point, she only needed a photocopy, later she will keep the authentic house title deed. I'll let you know when in the below paragraphs. 

Loan officer will call and inform you about your loan grant and then you will need to proceed the following:

- $150 for property valuation (Sreyneang came to assess, but she still needs it assessed by professional. So, I had to pay this amount to CPL Cambodia Properties Limited). 

Later, when you have the Property Valuation Book in hand, and gave the to bank, the loan officer will call you for an appointment before a lawyer. When you arrive the bank, you will have to pay as following:

- $100 for open new account (We will have $100 deposit in that account)
- $200 for lawyer fee
- $250 burden fee​ at cad astral survey (At this time, loan officer will keep your house title deed and let cad astral survey record the title deed so that it cannot be reproduced during loan) (It takes up to 10 working days)
- Not compulsary: Extra $300 if you need a fast service from cad astral
- $10 for ID
- 0.5% to 1% processing fee. For my case, the bank deducted $600 from my $120,000 as it was 0.5%. 

It will take 7 to 10 days to wait for response from cad astral survey. Then, you are ready to get your money. In total, for my case, I spent $1,310 before getting my loan and it took me about 6 weeks.

I also gave the loan officer $100 as tip. It isn't compulsory.

If you have experience with other loan and wish to share, please do so in the comment box :)

By the way, the interest rate that I got 6.75% per $10,000 per year (Special rate, indeed). For normal rate, it is $75 per $10,000 loan. In this situation, I find Mega Bank one of the best banks for loan. 
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Khmer doctors and ethics

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During my honeymoon trip to Bangkok, my mum called my phone number from Cambodia and telling me that she recently went to Ang Duong hospital as she felt pain in her nose. There as a group of medical staff including doctor explained to her that she required an immediate surgery and it might costs between $150 to $200. She was smart enough to tell the group that she needed time to discuss with family members. She requested for the x-ray disc, but the doctor did not give although she already paid for the scan. The doctor expected her to return to undergo surgery a day after.

After hearing so, I told her to take a flight to Bangkok directly so that I can take her to a hospital in Bangkok. So, my honeymoon trip became a hospital trip :) There are many good hospitals in Bangkok. Some might go to Payathai 2, Ramathibodi, or private department called Siriraj. At least, I felt confident to hear result from Thai doctor, rather than Khmer doctor since they looked greedy, rather than helping patient out of illness.

Despite the above-mentioned hospital, I took my mum too a hospital recommended by my Thai friend (Apinat Khamboonmak) from Nakhon Pathom. He suggested me to take my mum to a private hospital called Ear Eye Nose Throat Hospital. It's located in Sirinthorn Road, about 20 minutes from Asoke. We took taxi there.

I found Thai doctors are generally friendly and careful too, and that is my from my personal experience, not only hearing from others as I've been to Siriraj, Ramathibodi and now this hospital. Dr. Anan, who is nose and throat specialist, told my mum that she doesn't need surgery. Her nose is only swollen, but a bit serious with the mucus. I would feel strange if she needs a surgery since she did nose surgery once in Vietnam 2 years ago. By then, we felt relieved. We took the medicine and continue our trip as you remember it was my honeymoon trip, but now a trip became a trip of three.

The total cost at the hospital was 1950 Baht ($53) in which I think very reasonable it consisted of consultation fee, medicines and x-ray. Not only this hospital, but the above-mentioned hospitals are generally reasonable. While most Khmer people prefer going to Bumrongrad hospital, I prefer Thai local hospitals where Thai people go. Bumrongrad is where the rich go.

What I like the most about hospitals in Bangkok is that doctor also try to avoid surgery, while Khmer doctors suggested you to undergo surgery, take IV drip or syringe. Thai doctors would let you have medicines and that's it if it isn't serious.

It was convenient for me to find the hospital as I could speak Thai a little bit and I did not need an interpreter for the whole trip.

Actually, for such illness it is considered as normal illness since many people have it, especially when living with flying dirt from bumpy road and trucks. Khmer people do not have to travel this far if Khmer doctors had moral, but since the ministry of health is negligent and did not bother to monitor quality and Khmer doctor's ethic, it resulted in many patients going to Vietnam and Thailand for health check every year.

Another day, I heard a complaint from my colleague that she recently went to Royal Ratanak hospital to check as she has serious runny nose. The cost was $260 and the consultation fee was $40, and medicine costs were generally triple if you compared to outside pharmacy. It's also where the rich go.

If I have time, I would spend $25 for Nattakan bus to Bangkok ($50 return-ticket), $30 per night for hotel, and medical fees in Bangkok.


This much medicine, in all for $53




Link to news regarding "Hospitals and Ethics" in Cambodia
http://www.opendevelopmentcambodia.net/odc_main_category/hospitals-and-clinics/



 
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