Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

Showing posts with label Recommendation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recommendation. Show all posts

January 31, 2018

I and my wife were making a decision on what hotel to book for our trip in Bangkok during the Chinese New Year 2018. We plan to stay there for 4 nights. 

I was on my laptop seeing price of D Varee Hotel Xpress Makkasan at $41 per night, while my wife was on Agoda app of her iPhone and the price shown was $29. So, this is lesson number 1- Price on Agoda app could be cheaper. 

Later, my wife tried checking the $29 per night, we tried to change the date back and forth, whether we should book 4 night in one booking or separate booking. We found that the first two nights could be grouped together and the price would be $29 per night, while the other two nights could be grouped together and the price would be $41. Thus, we could save some money. 

While if I happen to view from my laptop, it is $41 per night, no matter what day I want to choose among the 4 nights in total. Lesson learned - try grouping the dates you might pay less because if you want to do only one booking, they would flatten the rate by using the highest rate $41. 

Separate bookings, make up to $878.88
So, after making separate bookings, the total that I spent was $878.88 for 4 night and 6 rooms. 
Well, I just wanted you to understand the concept. For the math, please excuse me. You probably try to calculate and find an error then consider my information misleading. At least, the trick worked for me.

January 20, 2016

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:

January 19, 2016

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.

However, here I am introducing my Paypal Withdrawal Service.

Click Here to Read the Details of My Withdrawal Service ()

Lazy to read? Ask me directly. 
Facebook Messenger

Query at: 081 688 555 or via email (Not my PayPal ID)

What our clients say about us:

"Vuthy is a reliable and nice person. I used his PayPal Cambodia Withdrawal Assistance Service. He acted fast and provided me good service. I will surely use him again in the future." - Norindra Abbe, from Lingua Cambodia

January 16, 2016

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. 

January 11, 2016

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


January 9, 2016

There are hundreds of hotels in Bangkok in which you can find in a blink of an eye. However, only if you have stayed at those hotels that you realize how convenient it is. For this post, I am going to introduce you to two hotels which locate in a great location for a reasonable price.

1. Red Planet Hotel, Asoke Bangkok

Red Planet Hotel Asoke is a popular hotel among tourists as it's located just 100 meters from Asoke BTS station and it's also 100 meters from Terminal 21 shopping mall. This hotel room is generally booked. So, be well planned and book before others if you plan to travel in Bangkok.

It's hotel cost is around $30 to $33 per night for 2 people if you book via Red Planet Hotels homepage or via Agoda. Normally, you can get 10% discount if you are a Remembered customer which mean you are a returning customer. So, it's best to book via its homepage, rather than via Agoda. Children aged below 4 years old could stay for free if you don't request for anything extra.

I recommend this hotel because it's convenient to travel from one BTS Asoke to other tourist attractions. For example, if you want to go to Siam paragon, you can just take BTS Asoke to Siam BTS station at ease. BTS is specially popular among Thai people as the traffic is congested and it saves time too.

Read more details and book now!

Inside the hotel is not so spacious, but it guarantees its cleanliness and sleep comfort. The room is definitely for two people as the each of twin bed is enough for one person. 
Its twin bed

There is an app of this Red Planet Hotel for you to book too and there are many branches of Red Planet Hotels. You may browse through for a Red Planet Hotel before you travel to a country. It is not only for you to book, but also to ask friendly staff about services and attractions in Bangkok. 

2. D Varee Xpress Hotel Makkasan Bangkok

This hotel is a three-star hotel, it is located on new Petchaburi road and about 100 meters from Petchaburi MRT. You can use this MRT and connect with BTS at Asoke BTS Station (connected by Makkasan MRT).

This hotel is generally expensive. It could cost up to $151 per night, but if you book via Agoda, it you might get up to 75% discount at $28 per night.

There is a price for free breakfast also, but I did not choose this option since I wanted to walk around and try street food.

I used to stay at this hotel in January 2016 and found it convenient to travel via MRT too. The room is big and incredibly clean. This hotel is 600 meters away from Red Planet Asoke Hotel. It could take up to 20 minutes to walk to Red Planet Hotel.

Read more details and book now!

The look outside of D Varee Xpress

Inside D Varee Xpress Hotel

March 29, 2015

I have always loved Bonsai tree since my first time to see it on the internet. Unluckily, it is not easy to find in Cambodia. On the internet, I learned that I could find Bonsai tree in Vietnam. However, I never had a chance to go to Vietnam since I have become fond of Bonsai.

How it looks on the internet. Don't you love it?
In March 2015, I went to Bangkok and did not mean to go to Jatujak plant market. It was when I and my friends Mamiao and Chanutr did not know where to go at night around 9:00 PM. Then, we agreed to go to plant market.

If you wish to shop at the market. You may do so as well. Jatujak market is a weekend market where people come to sell many different kinds of products, creative products. On Wednesday evenings, they open shops to sell plants.

There, Chanutr shopped many small plants. She loved them. So did I, but I did not have a clue on how to deliver it home.

After walking for a while in the market, I saw my lovely Bonsai trees! They were so lovely. It was so hard for me to choose because there were varieties! And the price varied a lot too. I tended to choose the small one so that I could carry home.

I bought my first Bonsai tree for 400 Baht ($13). It came with a vase.

My Bonsai tree at hotel in Bangkok

Since I traveled back to Phnom Penh by plane, I requested for help from my colleague who return from Bangkok by van to help deliver my Bonsai to the office. Because after talking with AirAsia staff, they told me that I cannot bring any kinds of plants on plane.

However, all was done and my Bonsai tree is now safe at home in Phnom Penh. I forgot to tell you, my Bonsai tree will have red fruit too :D

My Bonsai tree at home and is healthy

March 6, 2013

              Cambodia garment workers strike for minimum wage hike   Source

Cambodia is famous for its attractive low wage to the investors in the garment sectors, regardless of having no more quota to export to EU and the US. That manufacturers includes both footwear and apparels. 

This means our government's policy on attractive low wage works very well. Many garments manufacturers move from Vietnam and Thailand to Cambodia because they could spend less on labor here in Cambodia. Despite transparency issues, investors keep moving to Cambodia as wage is the main factor.

However, garment workers are not happy with the given wages. Many of them has been going on strike to claim for raise of the salary. It works very well if they strike, but if they don't, the manufacturers will not raise the salary as well. It seems to be so necessary to go on strike go get higher pay. 

But is it good for Cambodia in terms of investment attractiveness? Is it a pro to government policy? The answer is No. At least, that's to what I think. Our government tries to keep the wage lower than in Vietname and Thailand. For example, in Vietnam, the minimum wage is 6 USD per day and in Thailand 10 USD per day. Thus, Cambodia government shall keep it low; for example, 4 USD per day. In this way, Cambodia could attract more investment in the sector. 

"There will be a minimum wage adjustment every January every year, there is no need to go on strike" - said Mr. Tun Sophorn, National Coordinator at International Labour Organization in a meeting at ILO BFC on March 05, 2013.

The quote above means a lot to me, Mr. Sophorn raise a policy which could satisfy workers without having to go on strike to get higher pay. Also, our government would be ready for adjustment from years to years. For example, there will be 15% increase to every garment workers January next year, it helps a lot I think. Garment workers needlessly listen to union leader to strike and also the government could prepare for competition with other countries. 

February 5, 2013

In the past, at least to what I think, Phnom Penh was full of C110 or C90 motorbike. Not many people would buy any bikes with machine over C230 or maybe there were not too many available for all. However, in the late 2010s, quite many youngsters tend to buy Yamaha R6 which is C600 or CBR C1200. Those bikes are very fast; and who could afford such bikes are not poor. It is unlikely that they might pickpocket or rob; it is only possible to say that they might have their own clan. I actually want one of that if I were physically fitted.

In Cambodia, riding big bikes could be considered as gangsters, robbers, or pickpocket because the truth is many of them have their own gangs. With fast bike, they could escape easily. Thus, it has become a stereotype for people here to judge big bikers; and I am not saying they are wrong, I just want to open up another perspectives to all of the Khmers thatt not all of them are gangsters. There are several other reasons behind owning a big bike.

1. First, I would like to introduce you to a type of big bike - FTR 223 which was made in Japan, model 2002. I bought it two years ago for 2000 USD which is pretty reasonable if you compare it to other smaller bikes which possibly cost up to 3300 USD. I chose this bike for its shape and weight. It has that little gangster look in which I consider charming :D and it is not too heavy for a small guy like me. Furthermore, I am sure that I will not lose a lot of money when it comes to selling since quite many have asked whether I want to sell with their offers. 

2. The bike consumes pretty less petroleum. I normally pay 5 USD for 150 Kilometers which is somehow less than other sorts of smaller bike.

3. With its uncommon manual gear, I feel safe when I get home at night time despite the fact that robbery/crime rate in Phnom Penh is not low. I guess people would not spend time chasing after the big bike and not everyone knows how to use it.

4. I feel the strength and masculinity for those who own such big bikes. As you could read on the Vehicle Ownership Card, you will see that those small bikes are considered as female bike while a bigger ones are considered as male's bike.

5. With such well-made Japanese bike, I could travel short distance to province or to my land nearby Phnom Penh. Others might possibly use small bike on those roads as well, but the thing is, with the stronger forks of FTR, I would feel less rough.

6. With the speed which is just right for city ride, FTR could get me to work or to places faster than others. However, I also bear in mind that safety first and I would not ride over 50 Kilometers per hour inside Phnom Penh; and also, I don't ride that zig-zag like teens do.

7. When it comes to rainy season, I do not have to worry about the flooded street like others do. It is pretty safe for me to travel within the flooded part in the city.

And yeah, these are my reasons for owning a big bike. Will you continue to pre-judge or change your mind regarding big bike owners? Well, remember when you educate younger generations not to judge a book by its cover. I hope you can do the same here. 

February 2, 2013

According to Wikipedia,
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms for MLM include pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing.
Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing.

In Cambodia, MLM is often called Network Marketing. Some people do not know what it means by the term Network Marketing as they are not familiar with the term and do not even know that they are being in the game, what they know is that they could make a lot of money without much effort.

Are we clear with the definition? :) Let's go to the next part. I am going to share what I have experienced, not what you might have heard of in any books or elsewhere. Thus, please excuse me and bear with my personal idea regarding MLM.

Network Marketing Process in Cambodia:
The top level tries to gather people through holding a workshop to explain about the benefits of MLM with very little focus on the quality of the product they sell, and will tell you a lot of successful stories; for example, some people could make 50,000 USD per month, some starters could earn 2,000 USD per week and stuff. Some people might be inspired and register to be a member immediately through paying a hundred dollars or so. However, some who are smart enough to doubt about the quality and understand that it is not easy to get the money as others expected; and what is even smarter, they do not spend a hundred of dollar on the product they have heard for the very first time - and do not know about the origin of the company, never heard even a bit of it.  Blah! I treat them as smart people.

How are you going to get more members in order to boost your sales? You may approach your friends, family, and relatives so that they can become your distributors. You are not sure of the quality, but since you are so much absorbed into it. You go advertise so that you could grow more network; all you need is distributors, a lot of them. After your friends realize that the product should not be that expensive and is not as good as they were told - they hate you.

MLM of medicine, for example, the top level might brings a few types of medicine and explain the benefits of them; after the presentation, he would ask you to try buy some; and those are not cheap. They would dare you to try it. Only if it works well with you that you should distribute. That's what you might be told. Sound nice, eh? All you could hear is easy-incoming money.

What I really hate about the idea of MLM is that in Cambodia. Friends who are so much absorbed into it do not want to tell you what they are doing. They suddenly drag you to hear what you do not want to spend a single minute on it.

For example, a classmate who took a Master degree in Public Administration with me gave me a call and told me there was an opportunity to make a lot of money in a month. I did seek for the reason, but he could not help but told me to attend a workshop. Later, I asked another classmate who attended the workshop which was informed by the same guy. He said the speakers advertised about a type of medicine which would work with many types of diseases. He was promoting more distributors. Distributors would get a lot of benefits as he could make a lot of commission without having to do anything. Just sit still and the money will grow.

After knowing what it is about, I immediately gave the guy a call and told him I am not interested. 

Lately, another friend told me that there would be a translation business and I might get a loyal client. First, she posted a comment on my Translation Ad that she might introduce me to her CEO and stuff. We agreed that we would meet at some points. One day, I went to meet her at her shop as she said she would be available to talk at that time. What I do not understand is why we can't talk on the phone when she has nothing for me to translate at the time being, I went there anyway. We spent a couple of seconds to talk about translation and lots more to drag me into MLM.

Later, I got back home, we chatted and I told her it is beyond my business scope. I want to focus on my 8 hours work and translation. Then, I also told her if her CEO is going to introduce me to MLM, not straight to Translation; then, we do not have to meet. The answer is there! She responded if I think so, then there is no need to meet. All in all, her CEO is about to spread the sermons as well.

Moreover, the price of the products that you purchase are double or triple higher than the regular price after three or four layers distributors. :D

I would call that kind of activities deceitful. 

The possible victims are provincial people, older generation, uneducated people, and greedy people.

I do not suggest any of my readers try that Network Marketing. Money never comes easy. Even if it does, it will spoil you. You are supposed to earn it tough. Never do the gold digging!

All I hope now is that those who are involved in MLM bring a lot of quality products, not just to cheat through network down the line.


January 23, 2013

When I was a kid, my English teacher started with teaching Phonetic Symbols, I did not really notice or even knew the reason why I had to study such things; plus it was hard for an eight year old kid to start with such things.
Phonetic Symbol - SoundPhonetic Symbol - Alphabet
So, I could not remember them well and ended up noting the pronunciation of English word in Khmer. It worked! However, I had to struggle remembering Khmer pronunciation; and the sound was not as accurate as a native speaker and might result in being unable to deliver the meaning to our partner.
I did learn about the Sh Ch part. It was pretty easy to produce such sound, but I did not learn about that there are two types of sound of EA, AU, OW, etc. You know what I’m saying? Probably not! :D
Because shamefully, I have just learned more of Phonics when I first started my first job as an English teacher of a Young Learner Program at New World Institute. I never thought that knowing Phonics could be that wonderful.
I am not going to tell you all that in details. However, I could illustrate some which will brighten your eyes a bit.
Let say, BOW. That is the hard sound of OW, while COW, TOWEL, we use the soft sound of OW. See the difference? Or it could be seen through THREAT and EAT. Could you notice the difference between the soft sound and the hard one?
More examples, people might not notice that with a magic E, words could be pronounced interestingly as it will follow the original sound of the vowel. You will know what I mean after reading below.
For example, letter A. The sound is supposed to be A just like the letter, however, it is not. You need to add an E to get the original sound of the A.
If not, the sound will become AE. For example, CAT. If you add an E, the sound will be an original sound like KATE. So much A that you could hear.
It also applies to other vowels as well; for example, COPE, KITE, PETE, CUBE. As you can see, without an E, the sound of this word would not be so original. You can find all of these information in Phonics book.
In summary, it is important for us to learn the concept so that we could pronounce each word correctly. You may find that Phonics book at New World Institute and do some self-learning, or probably just download some from the internet.

November 15, 2012

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