Beatrice Sawali

Cambodia

Why do you travel?

“Money fills the pockets, but Travel fills the soul.” that’s what I believe and there’s just something about experiencing all these new things in new places that just brings color to the world!

What did you love the most about the trip?

I loved our accommodation in Siem Reap! Lub D was just so full of vibrancy and charm despite its quaintness. The sites? Well, nothing really beats the majestic Temples of Angkor Wat, but I honestly think there’s a lot more around Siem Reap that I have yet to discover. Of course I also won’t forget how beautiful the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is! Also not forgetting The Killing Fields and The Genocide Museum, which may not be for the weak of heart, but it is part of Cambodia’s history that makes you admire how its people have risen from those dark days. On a lighter note, when in Cambodia, ALWAYS try their Fried Rice! No matter which city you are, it never fails to taste good! And speaking of cities, a big thumbs up to our various tour guides for our smooth itinerary flow and the transport companies that were always on time whenever we’d switch cities in Cambodia.

What is the one thing you won’t forget?

All the good things aside, I can’t exactly forget how our island hopping boat trip in Sihanoukville, Cambodia was cancelled on the last minute due to engine failure??? Though I have to applaud our local contact, Ms. Chumpy on providing a fast alternative, though instead of going to see 3 islands (namely KohRong, KohRongSamlem and KohThas), we only managed to see just the one (KohRong). Which kinda paints our second to the last day in Cambodia on a little sour note, but I guess all’s well that ends well.

What will you come back for in this trip?

Siem Reap, that’s for sure! Now I know why all those travel fairs mostly just offer Siem Reap, ‘cuz it’s definitely a tourist spot (though a lot more expensive then Phnom Penh when it comes to buying souvenirs…) with lots of places to go to like the pubs and night markets. Though I’ll just stick to visiting more of the other temples I haven’t gotten the chance to visit during our 3-day stay in Siem Reap.

Did this trip inspire you in anyway? How?

Travelling in general inspires me to work, work work, in order to save, save, save. Sure you gotta save for the rainy days as well, but mostly my dilemna is there’s too much of the world to see and sooo little time!

Why do you think Filipinos should travel?

Well, for me, it widens my perspective of things; like we’re all just tiny specks in this big world, but we’re given free range to explore if given the chance (and budget). I bet if the majority of our country is given the chance to travel and experience the world (and not just work abroad), then maybe the Philippines wouldn’t be so overpopulated!

Any travel tips/hacks you’d like to share?

Know your way around the place you’re travelling to. In my case, I got to research that Cambodia actually has their own booking app called Pass App, which is like Angkas here in the Philippines, but you get to book a tuktuk instead! It’s really nice and all ‘cuz the fare is already indicated in the app and they even send a receipt to your registered email. Pro Tip though, Pass App is mostly not applicable in Sihanoukville, especially if you plan to go around town there. DON’T. All the roads there are under construction and the tuktuk driver we booked charged a REALLY HIGH price! Ugh, lesson learned the expensive way…

Why did you choose to #travelwithaccess?

I’ll probably be featuring this little tidbit in my personal blog anyway, (haha! insert shameless plug: http://daydreamsonthemoon.blogspot.com/) but mainly it started with us not finding the “right” travel agency during our trip to a Travel Fair last October 2019. And even though we did take the time to ask around and leave our contact details in the various booths we inquired at, none of them got back to us. Like literally none, nada, ziltch. So that’s when my mom brought up Access Travels, saying she saw Anne Curtis’ social media post, where she was biking around Angkor Wat and stuff and Access Travels was mentioned. So I inquired with an itinerary link I read from another travel agency website, (since they didn’t get back to my inquiry as well…) and Ms. Danica later got back to me, we had a really smooth transaction process, and the rest was history.

Any recommendations on how you think Access can improve to serve the Filipinos better?

Maybe a little less… exclusivity I guess? Like, has Access Travels tried participating in travel fairs or tried to market the brand out there? Although I get the premium quality and great service; tours like mine don’t come at a cheap price. All I’m saying is, if it wasn’t for my mom who’s updated in all things celebrity stuff, and celebrities themselves promoting your brand; I would have never heard about Access Travels at all.

What are the places in your travel bucket list?

Well I’m still saving up for my international dream places (namely Spain and Greece), so for now I’m ticking off some of my local bucketlist places, which I also share with my mom: First off, Mt. Apo in Davao, which I hope I get my mom to climb before she hits 60! Secondly, Palawan, (like El Nido, Coron and Puerto Prinsesa Palawan) I’m still ways away from saving up for that 9-day tour I’m checking out for this tri-city adventure, but I’ll get there! The other places on my list, like Mayon Volcano in Albay, Pangasinan 100 Islands, Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Magellan’s Cross in Cebu, Bataan’s DambanangKagitingan and Boracay (which surprisingly I have never been to, yet) are still in my affordable range and all I’ll be needing for that is a lot more vacation leave credits from work. Ah travel, it really is one big time and space dilemma.

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