Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cambodia’s National Highway No. 2 Upgraded

Vietnam News Agency reports: : "Cambodia’s National Highway No. 2 opens to traffic --
Phnom Penh, April 26 (VNA) - Cambodia’s National Highway No. 2, which links Takeo province of Cambodia to An Giang province of Viet Nam, opened to traffic on April 26.
The upgrade of the 51.6 km two-lane highway cost 13.19 million USD, with 12.5 million USD coming from the Japanese Government’s financial assistance."

Ok, this upgraded portion seems to include the segments from Takeo city South to Thnal Bek and on to the Phnom Den, Cambodia-Tinh Bien, Vietnam border crossing.

Unwrapped Travel reports this border crossing to be open to foreigners, though the Cambodia Ministry of Tourism says no visa on arrival.
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Bangkok Airways launches E-Tickets in Cambodia

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Thursday, 27 April 2006 reports: Bangkok Airways launches E-Tickets in Cambodia:

"Bangkok Airways (PG) recently launched electronic tickets for flight routes between Bangkok-Phnom Penh and Bangkok-Siem Reap, while Siem Reap Airways (FT) also has E-Tickets in place for the Phnom Penh-Siem Reap route.

The implementation follows the success of the E-ticket launch on Bangkok Airways’ domestic routes in Thailand since June 2003.

Travel agents in Cambodia will soon be able to issue E-Tickets on their respective reservation systems namely, Amadeus, Abacus, and Galileo. Customers worldwide can also book their flights through the Internet without worries of losing their tickets."

The obvious downside to this is what happens when the computers at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap go down. Airlines occasionally test their backup, manual procedures for handling computer failure, but, if it's like most other things in Cambodia, the backup procedures will take place in an atmosphere of chaos.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Can Tho – Phnom Penh Tourist Speed Boats

Nhan Dan --- Travel announces: : "Can Tho linked with Phnom Penh by high-speed ships

Can Tho Transport Company has put into operation high-speed tourism ships to serve tourists travelling [between] Can Tho [and] Phnom Penh of Cambodia.

The ship runs with a speed of 25 nautical miles an hour. The ship starts at Can Tho ferry, passing Long Xuyen city of An Giang province, Vinh Xuong border gate, Kaomsamnor border gate to the Mekong River and finishes at Phnom Penh port.

A trip takes seven hours and there are two trips a day. A return ticket costs US $45."

With an announcement like this you really want to know:
  • how the border crossing is handled. Can you get Visa on Arrival?
  • how many pax
  • can you sit on the roof if it turns out to be stifling inside
  • how much is one way
  • what's the schedule
There are a bunch of references to the base story around, but not a lot of practical information. I won't even go into what sort of (non)emphasis there may be on passenger safety.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Myanmar airline to open air routes to Cambodia

People's Daily Online -- Myanmar airline to open air routes to Cambodia:
"UPDATED: 11:26, April 20, 2006

The Air Bagan, a Myanmar-based domestic airline, will stretch its wing to Siemreap, Cambodia, as part of its plan to extend its regional destinations, private airline sources said on Thursday.

The Air Bagan, a joint venture (JV) between the Ministry of Transport and the Htoo Company of national entrepreneur, will fly the Yangon-Siemreap-Yangon route and the Yangon-Siemreap-Nyaung U- Yangon route up to twice a week on a charter basis, the sources said without confirming the date on which the flights will start.

The flight to connect Siemreap and Nyaung U is seen as bridging the two main cultural centers in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

The airline will also add destinations to Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand in addition to domestic ones, the sources added.

The Air Bagan, inaugurated in November 2004, has been flying between Yangon and 14 domestic destinations including Mandalay, Nyaung U, Heho, Thanthwe, Kengtung, Tachilek, Myeik, Kawthoung, Sittwe and Myitkyina, using one 108-seat Fokker-100 aircraft, two 70-seat ATR-72 aircraft and three 46-seat ATR-42 aircraft.

The Air Bagan stands as the third domestic JV airline after Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways, while the Myanma Airways remains as the state-run domestic air carrier. Of the two prior domestic JV airlines, the Air Mandalay has extended its flight to Thailand's Chiang Mai as a regional one.

Meanwhile, there has also been three Myanmar-foreign JV airlines flying on international routes, namely the Myanmar Airways International (AMI), the United Myanmar Airlines (AMA) and the Air Myanmar.
Source: Xinhua"

I guess this is good news since it provides a direct link for tourists between Bagan and Siem Reap, without having to connect through Bangkok or Yangon.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vietnam-Cambodia speed boat service: Can Tho-Phnom Penh

The Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily reports:
Vietnam-Cambodia speed boat service begins
Vietnamese transport company Vinashin inaugurated a speed boat service Wednesday [19 April 06] on the Mekong River from Can Tho province to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

The 120-seat Cawaco 01 will depart from Can Tho on Thursdays and return on Sundays.

The seven-hour trip passes through the towns of Long Xuyen and Chau Doc before reaching Phnom Penh.

Tickets cost US$45 to Phnom Penh and $35 for the return.

Source: Nhan Dan, Vietnam News Agency – Translated by Thu Thuy

Just glancing at the Sinh Cafe site, it's unclear what the latest, potentially cheaper or quicker, alternatives would be.