Noel Boyd

Blogger, Emcee & TV Host.

Noel Boyd

Blogger, Emcee & TV Host.

Noel Boyd

Blogger, Emcee & TV Host.

Noel Boyd

Blogger, Emcee & TV Host.

Noel Boyd

Blogger, Emcee & TV Host.

Jul 21, 2014

Guide to Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Phnom Penh

I have been staring at my screen for the past hour wondering how to write this post. How do I fit my emotions into words? I will do my utmost best and hopefully you will understand how I felt on the 17th of July 2014.

I knew visiting Choeung Ek, otherwise known as the Killing Fields, would be emotionally draining. It is the site where more than 20,000 men, women and children were brutally executed. These innocent people were executed by their own kind. Yes. Cambodians killed Cambodians. And get this. The mass graves at Choeung Ek are just 129 of 20,000 that have been found by researchers!

The entrance fee to Choeung Ek is US$6.00 per adult. This entrance fee includes an excellent self-guided audio tour which is available in 15 languages. I do not know how it sounds in other languages but the English version was well done. I could hear the pain in the man's voice each time he spoke about the Khmer Rouge regime.

The first thing that hit me when I entered the gates of Choeung Ek is the sadness that hangs in the air. As I walked around the mass burial site, I learnt how the victims were killed. While some were shot in the head, others were deemed unworthy of a bullet so they were killed by other means. Some had their throats slit open while the rest were bludgeoned to death with weapons such as axes, changkols and hammers.

This commemorative stupa is filled with the skulls of the victims...
This display contains recently found fabric and bone fragments. Each time it rains, some fabric and bone fragments do surface. To me, it's like as though mother nature is helping the deceased to be found.

Pictured here are shorts that belonged to a child.

As many of you know, I am a paranormal investigator on a web TV show. I hear voices more than I see things that ordinary people don't. As I was approaching this mass grave, I thought I heard children laughing. Mind you, I had my audio tour headphones on. My initial thought was "Don't these parents know how to control their kids in a place like this". I removed my headphones and looked around. While I heard soft laughter again, there were no children in the area! Then I realized what this mass grave was. It was a grave for women and children.

People from around the world have hung bracelets and friendship bands on the poles.

I broke down at this tree. The Khmer Rouge would slam the heads of infants on this tree to break their skulls. 

Thousands of skulls are on display in the stupa. 

Words cannot describe what I think of the Khmer Rouge regime and their leader Pol Pot. Between 1.7 to 2.5 million Cambodians died between 1975 to 1979. How is this even right?! What was the world doing while this genocide was taking place?

I urge you to visit Choeung Ek and the S-21 Prison when you visit Phnom Penh. Only then will you truly realize what the Cambodians have gone through and why they are still struggling till this day.

My Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Condolences

I would like to convey my condolences to the loved ones of passengers and flight crew on Malaysian Airlines flight 17. Regardless who did it and the reason behind it, it was a needless violent act. I cannot begin to imagine what the family members and friends of the victims are going through.

I would like to also offer my condolences and love to people of Malaysia. Every once in awhile, a nation is tested and I'm very sure Malaysia will come out of this stronger than before.

Stay safe everyone and please remember to tell the people that matter most that you love them. You'll never know what tomorrow may bring.

Jul 19, 2014

My Phnom Penh Trip in a Nutshell

How do I summarize Cambodia, more particularly Phnom Penh, in a single blog post? It's a lot harder when I have to write about the Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Fields). I'm still not sure what to say but be sure to read about my thoughts and experience at Choeung Ek. I feel this particular location deserves a post of it's own. Please check back soon to read about it...

Landing at Phnom Penh International Airport

I did not know what to expect when I arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport. Travel websites and shows will only tell you so much. Most of the time, these publications will showcase the best of a country and for good reason too. For example, a television show would likely need to work closely with the country's tourism board. Which tourism board in their right mind would allow the production crew to film something negative about their country?

So do forgive me for landing in Phnom Penh with an open mind. It's better to have an open mind right? Well I must say the international airport is decent. I was thankful they had aerobridges! I have been to countries in Southeast Asia which do not have aerobridges and the heat that greets you as you disembark from the plane is comparable to being slapped by a furnace. Anyway, I cleared custom and immigration in under 15 minutes. That's awesome in my books! They have an impressive duty free store located in departure too.

What to do in Phnom Penh?

Visit an orphanage

This is one of the most rewarding things you could do in Cambodia! There are many spread out over the country so I guess you can say you are spoilt for choice? These orphanages are home to children that have either lost their parents through diseases such as H.I.V or their parents simply cannot afford to care for them. Proverty is amazingly high in this beautiful country! If you are visiting an orphanage, please consider purchasing items such as rice, art supplies, clothes and hygiene products such as toothpaste and soap. If you do not have time to shop or want to avoid the insane baggage fee airlines charge, you may donate money. Every cent goes a long way in ensuring these innocent children are fed and well looked after.

The orphanage

A classroom in the orphanage

The children are lining up for lunch. A simple headcount is done before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This is KaoLee. He is 21 years old and he calls the orphanage home. He dreams of being a diplomat someday. I know he will achieve his dreams because this young man studies very hard and he is determined to succeed.

These boys are absolutely adorable!!!

Eat street food!

CAUTION! Eat at your own risk! I always eat at street stalls wherever I go. Not even food posioning, which I got in India and Indonesia, can and will stop me. I think of myself as a somewhat daredevil when it comes to food. In Phnom Penh, I ate Kuy Teav - a steaming bowl of Cambodia’s noodle soup, Num Kachay - small chive cakes and Nom Pang - a delicious baguette stuffed with minced pork, pickles, fresh salad and slices of ham. I wish I had pictures to show you but my GoPro camera was stolen by hooligans. Yup!

Visit the market

The narrow pathways in this market near Angkor International Hotel is always bustling. I have never seen a busier market! Not only will you find lots of people on the pathways, motorcyles are on it too. Welcome to market mayhem v.1.0! The slow moving human traffic allows you to take in the sights of  barbecued meat (mostly pork) on sale along with fresh fruits and vegetables, live seafood, poultry, etc.

See what I mean? It's people and machines on the pathway.

It's vegetables and seafood side by side...

The darker colored fish were wriggling...

Fresh fruits anyone?

Notes: 1) I don't see the need to recommend a hotel in Cambodia. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and you can great deals at But if I had to recommend one, it's Angkor International Hotel. It's near the market where you can get awesome street food and the Royal Palace is within walking distance.

The Royal Palace

2) Theft is a serious problem in Cambodia. Your tuk tuk driver and hotel will remind you not to use your phone when you are out because hooligan on motorcycles would ride by and grab whatever you are holding. Like I mentioned above, my camera bag was snatched right off me while I was on a much slower motorcycle. I lost my camera and cash! Booohooooo!

3) It's best to have US currency on you while in Phnom Penh. While the Cambodian riel is still in use, you'll find prices displayed in US dollar. Even the ATM's dispense US currency.

Jul 5, 2014

Singapore's $10000 Note

This piece of news has been popping up on AsiaOne for the past two days...Singapore is axing the $10,000 dollar bill. 

It doesn't affect myself nor most of the Singaporeans that I know. Imagine trying to buy a meal at the coffeeshop with this note. You'll probably get bitch slapped by the hawker. Meh!

Jun 12, 2014

Kindness Day SG

If there is one national movement that I love, it's definitely the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM). In a nutshell, SKM's main objective is to create a kinder and more gracious society. Everyone, yes YOU and I, have a big role to play in making our home a better place.

Think about it this way... One act of kindness makes another person smile and in return it brings a smile to your face. We Singaporeans are innately kind so let's do what we can to create a more gracious society.

I'll throw an example of an act of kindness that I recently did. A few days ago, I was on the bus heading to Kallang Road. A foreign worker boarded the bus but his EZ link card didn't work for some reason. All he had was a ten dollar note but nobody in a crowded bus wanted to change money with him.

I felt so sorry for this man that I got up from my seat, approached the driver and asked “where is this gentleman going?”. The driver replied “ahhhh...Lavender”. I took out a two dollar note and paid for his fare. The look on this bus driver's face was priceless. He was shocked! The foreign worker? His smile made my day. This man actually wanted to follow me to wherever I was going so he could buy something in order to pay me back. I politely rejected his offer and he shook my hand repeatedly before alighting at his bus stop.

From an act of kindness on my part, let's move on to an event that screamed KINDNESS! On the 30th of May, I celebrated Kindness Day SG at Shanghai Dolly. The title of the event was 'A Nation of Kindness starts with ONE’. Doesn't the event title make so much sense? It really starts with ONE. YOU!

Taken from the Singapore Kindness Movement Facebook page where they were taking selfies on stage!

The Guest of honour was Mr. Baey Yam Keng (seen above), MP for Tampines GRC. Mr. Baey is such a nice guy. He is so down to earth and he took the time to speak to many individuals. And hey, the official kindness song by Lorraine Tan was launched along with special performances by Jack and Rai, Elson Soh, Juno, Stella Seah, the very entertaining Dim Sum Dollies, Hossan Leong and many more talented artists.

Stella was one of the many performers for the night...
It was an amazing night with good positive energy! We were given a media spot near the stage and this video wall was just next to me. It was the best seat in the house!!! 
Elson Soh performing...
My brothers Jack and Rai were awesome as always! They got the crowd pumped up and singing along..

George Chan was the most energetic performer for the night. I love this guy!
It was my first time watching Vocaluptous perform even though I've heard so much about them. They are good!
That's Robin Goh! If you are a fan of local theater, you'll know who he is.
Hossan Leong! His stand-up comedy set was above hilarious. I was laughing from start to end. I guess I can use his performance to summarize the event. It was fun, funny and very entertaining.

It's the Dim Sum Dollies! These talented ladies got everyone laughing from the get go!

The Kindness Day SG celebration was so much fun. Very seldom do I walk away remembering everything about an event. They even had a special cocktail and mocktail for the event. Both were equally yummos! Best thing about this movement's not over! An act of kindness should be done every day, 365 days a year. f you have experienced or witnessed an act of kindness, do share them on social media with the hashtags #kindnessdaysg and #nationofkindness. Each time I read about such heart-warming stories, it really brightens up my day! A page that I highly recommend you like is the Kindness SG Facebook Page!

Lastly, do visit to find out more about this awesome movement. Remember everyone, it starts with YOU!