Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

September 24, 2016

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

September 21, 2016


เขียวหวาน Icecream Terrarium (Kiao Wan Ice cream Terrarium) was founded in early 2016 by P House and Mamiao after the two fell in love and started the shop together. I do not recommend the shop only because they are my friends but the ice cream they serve is addicted!
Owner:
Kiao Wan was initially started by P House as Hthroughheart ice cream shop at Khao San Road. P House met Mamiao for the first time on their trip to Kanjanaburi on March 21-22, 2015; the two fell in love and started the shop Kiao Wan.
Inspiration:
Kiao Wan means Sweet Green. It's the shop that serve ice cream that is so natural and good for health. The ice cream shop's name also has the word Terrarium. So, it was also inspired by the self-sustaining plants which has its own eco-system. This shop uses terrarium as decoration.  
Ice Cream Flavors:
There are flavors that are there everyday and there are Unknown ice cream types in which guests can give a try because the lovebird owners always mix ice cream in a mysterious way and call it Unknown. You will have to guess what you are eating. :D And when you first step in, don't be shocked. You will be given a little of all ice cream types to taste and order the one that you like best. 
Probably, I do not have to describe much about flavors, I'll give you loads of flavor photos ... 









Find the shop at:




Their Facebook page:



+66 92 949 9141


Shop design:




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 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

July 5, 2015












The Bayon School is a non-profit organization which headquarters are located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Among other activities, the NGO has set up a professional training project: the pastry school. Their objective is to provide underprivileged girls a free vocational training leading to a stable job.

The selection of students is based on motivation, school results and familial environment. Following this step, around twenty girls are offered a free training lasting 11 months, including 4 months of internship. They are also sheltered at school and receive pocket money to support their family.

The project is implemented in partnership with Alain Cojean, French restaurateur, and Fabien Rouillard, Fauchon’s pastry chef.


In order to finance the project and allow the students to put their skills into practice, the NGO opened a coffee shop inside the garden of the pastry school, located in the heart of Siem Reap, where one can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.

At the coffee shop, you can taste delicious French pastries such as financiers, madeleines or chocolate cake. These pastries will go well with one of the drinks proposed by the students, iced or old (Americano coffee, café latté, green tea, smoothie…).

The products can be taken away if you are in a hurry. You can also order a breakfast or break box that can be personalized depending on your needs.
By enjoying the products of the Bayon Pastry School Coffee Shop, you support the whole NGO and give the opportunity to young women to come out of poverty.

Apart from the coffee shop itself, the pastry school proposes another activity: pastry classes. You will be able to learn how to make French and Khmer pastries with Sokhoeum, the pastry chef.

Keep learning about the project on their websites:


https://www.facebook.com/bayonpastryschool

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

May 4, 2015

When you are reading this, you have probably read my early post regarding "Shopping Online with Ebay from Cambodia"

If you have not, you may read my earlier post first before reading this post. To do so, please click on the link above.

After receiving many questions, it gave me an idea that it would be easier to explain to readers the process in this post.



1. What about the tax after you received the item? - Anynomous

No, there is no additional tax when you buy from ebay. The only additional cost is the shipping cost. However, I normally choose an item that comes with free shipping. Thus, it does not cost me more. However, at the post office, you will be required to pay $1 or $1.5, etc, depending on the weight of your item. However, it is not much. They have the rate shown on their wall. 

2. How much is shipping cost?

It depends on where the dealer is. If the dealer is in China or Hong Kong, I think they normally can ship to Cambodia for free. However, for the US or elsewhere which is pretty far, you will have to check the shipping fee carefully. 

3. Hello, I have no experience in buying online before, I'm wondering how to write post code since I could not find any post code of my home address? And we don't need to pick our products at the post office, right?

For the post code, you may check the link here. For example, for my area Toul Svay Prey 1, I wrote 12308 as the post code. You may do the same for your area. 

You will have to pick up your products at the post office. It is very important to tell the dealer to write down your telephone number on the envelope, because normally they only write your address on the envelope. The post office here will call when they see your telephone number on the envelope. 

4. Are sellers in ebay reliable?

I strongly believe that they are reliable. However, before purchasing any products. I read the reviews by other purchasers, they shared their comment regarding the dealer, the items itself whether its reality looks like the shown picture, whether the delivery time is appropriate. You may read all of the reviews and decide. There are ways that you can complain to get your money back into your bank account. You may try shopping something cheap first, then decide to shop a bit more expensive item. 

5. Auction web site is annoying!

I agree, but I don't involve with the auction. I normally buy the Sale Now item. Just a few click and done. You can check that before you buy. 

6. Have you ever bought from Amazon? Can you compare?

I have never bought from Amazon. However, I plan to do it very soon and will share ideas with you in another post. 

7. I plan to open an online shop of brand name product, and I want to purchase from ebay to sell in Cambodia, but I have not known about the process of purchase and shipping, could you please kindly share your own experience and some suggestions?

I don't have experience in selling online product, but if you are willing to hear an idea from me I can share. I think you should check both ebay.com and alibaba.com. Because ebay.com focuses on individual deal, while alibaba.com focuses on wholesale products. Alibaba offers lots cheaper because they know you buy to sell. 

For transactions, I think you should study more on Debit Card, Paypal and Payoneer, Ask me in detail for each of them. Ask me more if you'd like. 

8. I'm thinking of order a case of Lumia 1320 from ebay, but I don't have any bank account. So, what should I do?

There is no another way beside making a debit card with a bank, then register a paypal account before you can buy from ebay.

9. It is quite interesting to buy online from ebay, I'm planning to buy a camera from ebay, but can we trust our post office? My friend said you will be risk if you don't know postman. Is it real that post office steal or change something in the box? If we find something wrong with our products, what can we do?

Normally, if you buy many items, customs would like to check your box. Thus, you may be required to pay tax. However, they don't steal your products. I have a friend doing business online. They didn't know person their at first, but since she went to pick up the items so often. She started to have connection. So, the tax person did not check much, just paid him a lum sum amount for a box. 

If you plan to buy a camera or any other fragile products, the most important thing is that will it be broken when it arrives Cambodia? Tell the dealer carefully on how to pack fragile items. You will need a lot of soft surrounding. But don't worry. It should be okay. 

10. Can I actually become a seller in ebay? 

You surely can become one. You need to register an account and agree with all of the pricing. More importantly, you should know about how to receive money via Paypal. You may read the link below.

Receiving and Withdrawing Paypal money from Cambodia

Do you have more questions? :) I am willing to answer more. Thanks for dropping by. 

April 19, 2015

How safe is a Solex lock? I guess not only Solex, but other brands also. I lost keys of this lock and I had a chance to observe a lock repairer. It did not take him much time to make a new key for me. It took him about 2 minutes to observe what's specific inside the lock.


Then, he started numbering on side of the lock so that he knows what to do with a new key without any mark on it yet.  


Later, he started highlighting on a brand new key and scraped it. He scraped as he looked at the numbers on the lock. Simply, without even further modification. After he finished scraping, the key simply worked well with the lock. 


In total, it took him about 10 minutes to make a new key of the lock. Simple as that. Think Solex is safe? Think again. 

He only looked and numbered on the lock and made a new key for me. This is pretty dangerous if later he decides to change his job :D

What is a safer way to protect our house? Please kindly suggest. 

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



I have noticed that my car's tires had been producing lots of noise even there was nothing seemed to be wrong. When I got home, I noticed that many small stones got stuck with tires, even a small battery was attached there too. 

I did try to get most of them out of the tires with a sharp key. It did make less noise, and I guess when we remove these stones, we also make the tires last longer and the stones won't go too deep, and the stones won't at the same time with tires and there of course will be less noisy.

I'll probably start looking at this once in 1 or 2 months because Cambodia has a lot of roads under construction. 



March 7, 2015

Boycott is the power to negotiate for what we want and that is positive change. Abroad where people follow democracy, boycott is quite popular as it will help citizen to bargain for what they really want. For example, when a brand is taking advantage of cheap labour, or forced labour, and citizen realizes that, they simply tell one another to help boycott the brand so that they will change. That is why more and more brands tend to create Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department. If you open a company, what you care is profit, not any CSR, that is the nature of business. However, since companies are afraid of people boycotting their products, they tend to care more about their workers' welfare and working conditions so that it is fair.



In Cambodia, however, boycott is not popular. People do not normally join hand to bargain for what they want, and simply lose the power to the authority or someone who have more money. Yet, in Cambodia, we are more familiar with citizen-justice where when people witness injustice, they do not send the accused to the court, instead they want to take justice by beating in public, which is totally different from boycotting because boycott is resilient and perseverance.    

Politically speaking, in 2013 after an election, one political party did use this strategy to bargain with the winning party. It did work!

I would like to raise an awareness that we all should join hand to fight injustice and noncompliance. We are the people have this power to boycott, and boycott will kill our opponent economically. That is why in a company, they need a union, because a union represents collective employees. The more members a union has, the better it is.

From this post, I hope that people understand more about their own power to drive change and to cooperate more as a collective force. It can be shown via stopping from buying certain products or using a service if they have bad impacts for the other people' livelihoods. We have to understand that we alone don't have any power to fight against authority, but we collectively can make authority think twice.

June 1, 2014


When it comes to loving someone, what do you normally expect? To be the first one? To be the last one? Or be ready to discover more about your loved one? To me, I am ready to hear all of the surprises. It should be damn good to know about girlfriend's past.

In this post, I am not going to focus on the girl's side, but the boy's side only. I would like to ask you readers a couple of questions:

Does it matter if a man used to flirt many girls before? Would you bother to seek for more information? I have seen many girls got jealous and even want to dump their boyfriends for that. Well, it's fair enough to dump him if he betrays while having you, but when you have a look back at his past. Probably, you should only use it as a sign to alert, but you can not judge that quickly. It depends whether the flirtation was for fun. Is it him just like that, flirting every pretty girls? Or he has been interested in one girl at a time, but faced many rejections already? Because facing rejections could lead to depression. Should you pity him for that because now he is yours?

If he faced rejections, now that you are his girlfriend. What would be your reactions when you read his old messages and found out that he used to chase a lot of girls. Let's say you found out his messages to many girls before you knew him. The messages could be "I love you til the end of my life". "Oh dear, I miss you so much". I know you may feel stupid to be his girlfriend, right?

Would you pity him? Or would you simply think he's a jerk chasing girls since he was a kid? Please share your opinions.

March 18, 2013

When the building was first started, I had no idea it is all about. A few months after they started the construction, I came across a post by Project Cambodia. Source

I knew that the building is for kids which is so wow to me because not many businessmen would focus that specific, especially on kids. 

From this post, I would like to tell you a bit more about Kids City. 

Kid City is located on No. 162, Sihanouk Boulevard, Cambodia which is next to Gold Tower 42. It is an indoor Edutainment Center. What does it mean by the way? Edutainment Center? I guess it's a combination between Education and Entertainment? :D 

The building is composed of
1. Playground
2. Daycare
3. Kid Activities 
4. Clip & Climb
5. Laser tag
6. Science center
7. Ice skating
8. Children clothes and Accessories
9. Cafe and restaurant
This is the most up to date news I have known so far. Let's see when it's all done. 




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 19, 2013

Do you like trying Street Food? I myself like trying new food. It doesn't have to be at a popular restaurant, it doesn't have to be very healthy or clean. As long as the local could eat it, I have the gut to try. :)

If you are one of a kind. This is one of the types you shouldn't miss. Last Sunday, I and my friend went to a stall nearby Orussey Market for Sach Phak Lov (សាច់ផាក់លូវ) and its drink (ទឹកយ៉ាវម៉ា). This place is quite popular, I even heard a family who came from Australia came to this stall three days consecutively just before they travel back home.

Sach Phak Lov (សាច់ផាក់លូវ) Food Stall at Front Yard of a House Near Orussey Market 

A dish of Phak Lov for two people. 
I guess the best part of the dish is its sauce and veggie. Yum!

How tables are arranged and you probably could recognize the location

Another great drink! Soya Bean (left), Yav Ma Drink (right)
Oftentimes, people would travel a long way just to buy the Yav Ma drink. My dad and I like it alot. The taste is sweet and you could feel some sort of herbal. I think it is a healthy drink.

Price Range: 
For drink: It costs about 1000 Riel per glass, and 2500 Riel per bottle
For Phak Lov: It probably cost 15000 Riel for two persons. 

Location: around Orussey Market, if you are standing right in front of the main gate, then the stall is on the right of Orussey market. You need to talk and turn left, then walk straight til the third gate of Orussey market.

February 13, 2013

I used to think that getting a job through network is not rewarding. It always made me feel like I have no ability to find a job on my own.  

But then, I think about the use of having a Recommendation Letter. If you could get a Recommendation Letter from a supervisor at workplace, then you are more likely to find a job. It is actually from the higher, the better. The thing is that people could know that employee better through the letter or the network before they decide to employ. They do not want to risk employing someone they have never heard of before. 

The problems could be both on the task fulfillment and also on the behaviors at workplace. Some might just come to work and is not that sociable so it might be hard to communicate; and some might be sociable, but is not very proactive. To avoid such problems, employment through network takes place. 

However, I still think it is not very rewarding and discouraging for employees to seek for a new job. It took me about four months to find a new job. It made me feel so discouraging that I would not be qualified for any workplaces; and moreover, I could see lots of fresh graduate looking so fine and found a new job in just a few weeks.

Also, from here I also want to raise a problem arising nowadays; and that is good positions are often filled. For example, one workplace wishes to employ a new employee, then announce the recruitment to public. Hundreds have applied, but at the end of the day, it's the internal employees who also applied got the position. 

Why? Because the internal people know better about the organization and its needs; and also the organization knows about that person better than the other candidates. Also, that individual is of course better qualified than others where he could answer most of the questions during the interview.

Here is another answer to that why, a NGOs posted a job announcement on Cambodia Daily, again hundreds have applied, but those people might have very slight chance for an interview because normally NGOs work on project and when the project ends their staff contract will be ended as well. Some of those people might be lucky and find a new job, but some would wait for the same NGOs to start a new project. So, who else should they employ beside their previous staff? and those people know about the NGOs better than the others.   

Personally, I have been employed through network twice. Once was at HML Law Firm & Consultants, at that time, my friend Chenda told me to apply for the Translator position at HML. I applied just like the other candidates. However, I had a network which was Chenda. I guess not just through the network that could get me the job, but it was the network which could facilitate the recommendation and the job announcement to me. I did not know much about the internal issue. However, after I was recruited, Chenda said the boss did ask her about my characteristics and some of my personal background.   

Later, in late 2012, after I resigned from ITC, my friend Sokha was on Maternity Leave and told me to apply for a short-term contract at her workplace - ILO. Again, that's what's so called network. There were 5 candidates as I was told. However, I was recruited for the position and later was favored by the  supervisor and he recommended me to apply for another higher position at the same workplace. So far, I have not been informed about the higher position whether I will get it or not. However, the intention of this post is to illustrate the bad and the good of networking to employment. 

Only til that day that it completely changed my mind regarding having a network to employment because now I believe that not everyone could reach us. It does not matter how good we are. It is better to have a network in addition to our qualifications. It is cool if you could get a job on your own hunt. However, many times jobs are filled by the network; and I am not saying those who are recruited through network are not great people. They are of course great people with great opportunities. If they are not qualified, those workplaces would not risk employing them, no matter how good behavior one has.


As above illustrations, I still have the negative ideas regarding networking to employment since it is a burden to people to find a job. The recruitment process could never be based on merit of the individual. 

Here, try not to confuse with Nepotism. Nepotism is completely a different thing. :) Anyway, what do you think about recruitment at workplace? 

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.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_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. 

Victims: 
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


If you happen to work for a private company in Cambodia, they only bother with your employment period and step which means your salary will be raised when you stay at a company longer. They never count the never ending inflation; and you need to bear in mind that as a Least Developed Country, inflation in Cambodia will never stop. The more growth we want, the more inflation we have. It’s so natural.
However, for United Nations staff, their salaries will be raised based on Steps and Inflation. They calculate carefully the inflation rate of each year and inform their staff about the salary the following year.
united-nations-logo-300x300

When you reach year 4, it’s time to think about gathering experiences or else you are going to end up graduating without a thing to write about in your Curriculum Vitae. You probably think you really have no experience as no workplace has ever given you a credit for what you have done? You are wrong with that! You may include blogging, tutoring English to your younger sister. Your experiences do not have to be at a company. It can be anywhere.
Anyway, that is not what I want to mention today. I would like to grab your attention to think a bit about doing an Internship. Doing an internship could be a great option for fresh graduate or about-to-graduate person. However, you ought to choose where you should do your internship. You are encouraged to apply and try hard for internship opportunity at UNDP, UNV, DFDL, Care International, World Vision – ANYWHERE well-known.
It is a great stepping stone if you could not apply for any place with little salary. You know what? I strongly suggest you start with such UN like UNDP, because when you go to somewhere else, they acknowledge the experience and your ability. Your salary may rise up even faster than those who find a job with 200$ salary. However, after your graduation, you may consider hunting for a paid job and an internship. Do not ruin any bridge.
Many NGOs, International NGOs, and UN Agencies – all look for staff having experience in an international organization and project cycle management; and those staff never get less than a thousand USD. If you have a chance to do an internship with UNDP, why not take the chance?
You may refer to my early post on Zig-Zag Educational Background and Experiences as if you don’t want to experience the same things that I did. However, I found my way now. I am planning to grow in the field as many other former trainer at ILO could earn more than 3000 USD per month.
However, some internships could be a scam. They simply want to eat up your energy and yet an internship certificate from them mean nothing. If you see an announcement from a company recruiting Sales Intern, hell no. Do not apply. What they will get is a lot of money, and you are going spend your sweat for that single certificate?
Consider these tips.

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.

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