Monthly Archives: January 2015

Phnom Penh and the coast of Cambodia

After Battambang our next logical stop seemed to be Phnom Penh, a name which spelling makes one think they are dyslexic. It was weird being in another big city, the last of which we experienced was good ol’ Bangkok. Though it had its Cambodian quirks the city felt similar to its Thai counterpart: big markets, lots of traffic and, of course, tuk tuk drivers harassing you constantly. Honestly, I was more impressed than anything of how vigilant the Phnom Penh tuk tuk drivers were. Often they would follow us down the street trying to convince us that we actually really did need a tuk tuk and that walking was stupid. No means yes, yes means yes, everything means yes to them!!!
Because Kevin and I are not big city folk we were satisfied after one day of walking throughout the city. Walking along the river was actually really enjoyable. There was a lot of locals out and about to watch and the mighty Mekong River was a welcome sight and and exciting foreshadow for Vietnam to come.
After Phnom Penh we headed for Sihounikville for some beach time and so I could wait for my Vietnam visa chilling on the beach sipping on nice cold beers than roasting in the Phnom Penh heat. Who knows how you pronounce Sihounikville really? Sville as I called it was not really what I was expecting. The main area makes me feel like I was back on Koh Phi Phi. Drunk people everywhere and a seedy place in general. For example, when asked how they liked Sville one drunk backpacker from Australia responded by saying the MDMA was amazing…yeah time to leave. Instead of leaving, because I still needed my visa, we hitched to a more quiet part of the beach. It was actually super pretty and relaxing and provided the perfect setting for some reading and chilling. All and all Sville was a nice beach break once we broke away from the seedy backpacker area!
After Sville we hitched to Kampot, a small town near the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. It was nice to be in a small town again! The town had two really nice caf├ęs for amazing morning breakfasts and a hotspot restaurant literally next to our hotel. Basically foody heaven! Additionally there were a lot of cool places to explore by motorbike. We spent one day exploring a national park with great views of the ocean as well as tons of abandoned buildings to romp around in. My bike got a flat on the way back so I got to accompany to Cambodian gentleman on the hour drive back to my bike to fix the flat and then ride down in the dark with gusty winds blowing! Another fun day was filled by exploring some sweet caves not far from town and a lovely drive through the country side!
I ended up buying a bike off another backpacker in Kampot with the plan of biking rather than busing through Vietnam! A Frankensteinesque Honda Win but a good runner and fun to drive!

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Battambang, Cambodia

Kevin and I ventured into the exciting world of hitchhiking after meeting a tall Irishman by the name if Tom who had been hitching his way through Southeast Asia. We had to walk 5 miles out of town which was rough in the heat and made even more unbearable by being asked “tuk tuk?” every five feet. Honestly, it was one of the scarier things I have done looking down the road and sticking my thumb out in a hopeful gesture for a ride! I felt awkward, uncomfortable and weird on that road but I kept at it and after only 20 minutes we hopped in a van, the owner of which said in broken English that he could take us half of the distance to Battambang! Getting that ride made me feel all sorts of pride and warm n fuzzies inside. I felt like I accomplished something and it felt good!
Our first ride went well and we were soon looking for our second! After only a few minutes of arm waiving a Cambodian man in a tricked out 1990’s BMW pulled up and offered us a ride. This ride was hilarious! The guy obviously had some money and invested quite a bit into it! We listened to heavy Cambodian dance music set to random videos of bull fights that were displayed on a television right on the dash! The gentleman was extremely nice and got us to where we were going so no complaints there!
Our original purpose of traveling to Battambang was purely for some coconuts we heard about. Apparently they have a unique type of coconut that is creamier and sweeter? Anyways, other than these coconuts, and the lovely shakes they are a part of, there wasn’t much to do in the city. Kevin and I mainly just relaxed and enjoyed some good food or strolled along the river.
My favorite day involved renting a moped and exploring the country side. I visited the Killing Caves near the city towards the end of the day. The place was powerful to say the least! Apparently, 10,000 Cambodians were murdered there by the Khmer Rouge not too long ago.

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