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 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
http://www.opendevelopmentcambodia.net/odc_main_category/hospitals-and-clinics/



 

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



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