Published: July 9th 2012May 12th 2012
We kicked off the Kings Birthday with a trip away to the coast to the beautiful Kep & Kampot! It was in this region i discovered my favorite flower called peacock flower in english you will see many photos of it attached to this post :)
After a 4 hour bus trip we arrived in Kep where we had lunch at a resturant over the water & then we headed to Kampot for our accomodation. Our accomodation was Utopia and Utopia it was indeed, literally on top of the water in quiet surrounds it was so peaceful & beautiful we loved it! We spent the afternoon watching the sunset whilst on tires floating in the water oh the hard life indeed! Day 2
The next day we took a taxi out to Kampong Trach to check out the caves there & in one cave they had built a shrine to Buddha and one of the Hindu gods. The caves were interesting and cool, which was nice to get out of the heat. At the first caves our guides were children and as it was school holidays we didn't feel as bad about paying them to
be our guides.
The second lot of caves we went to were either side of a Buddhisy temple, one was affectionally known as the bat cave, hundreds of bats were at the top of the cave but the camera didn't capture them :( In our second cave one of the guides was deaf with no implant to help him hear and no sign language. Kari found that really difficult that he had such major barriers to communication especially as she knows sign language - she didn't realise that such a thing liek sign language could be taken for granted. Following the caves we visited a the pepper plantation where we had lunch & bought some kampot pepper!!! Day 3
We went up Bokor mountain which was a challenge to us nature lovers with the huge casino already built and the 30 story building in the pipeline.However it was cool when we were up there as the temperature had dropped quite considerably. Half way up the mountain was a statue of Lok Yeay Mao - yup thats the giant lady sitting cross legged in our photos. Khmer people pray to her for protection when they travel and offer
her phallic shaped objects as offerings such as bananas! She was said to be pining for her husband (or angry at him) and was travelling by sea to see him when the boat crashed & she died. So you either make the offering to appease her or to ask for her protection. You either offer phallic objects because she is 'longing' for her husband or becuase she hates men. No-one is quite sure what the true story is though
The view from the top was quite special as we could see out to the ocean and there was an old but still in use Buddhist temple at the top which was where we saw a monkey and Kari offered to take a group photo of some monks on their camera at which point they proffessed their love for her :)
After this we went to the waterfalls & played around with them, the crossing at the top was a little bit tricky though becuase the water moved quite fast
We finished off the day with a sunset cruise, wine, and cheese :) Day 4
On our way back to Phnom Penh we were treated to
lunch at (one of Kari's colleagues) Sokhoeun's family home in Takeo province, the food was amazing we ate thin panckaes stuffed with pork mince, fresh herbs and satay chilli sauce, and salad ingredients. Were allso treated to home grown coconuts and water melon from their farm, they also grow pigs, have cows and rows & rows of chillis! We were so honoured to be there it was a huge blessing and we are grateful for the invitation from Sokhoeun and her family.
Sorry we are bit behind schedule this trip happened mid Kari going crazy with uni
There are more photos below