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Published: January 4th 2020
650am start for us today. Your average person would hate the early start, me however, I'm loving it. We're actually getting shit done and seeing things.
Because nothing's open that early in the morning, I stocked up on snacks. Oreos, chips and cashew nuts for breakfast. Yeah, not great.
We're taking a public bus to Kampong Cham. My expectations of things on this trip have been grossly incorrect for the majority of it. I was expecting some shit heap bus like I've seen throughout Cambodia and Thailand, but instead, we get a very reasonable bus with air conditioning.
We made several stops picking up locals and dropping them at their small towns along the way.
Depending on the ticket the local bought, they either sat in seats or on stools along the aisle until the bus was full.
We stopped off at a petrol station for a toilet stop. There were only two toilets - Male (which was just a urinal) and Females - standard toilet equipped with butt dance hose and most importantly, a door.
Standing there, trying to go for a squirt while you've got 20 woman standing there watching you while they wait for the toilet to become available, is uncomfortable as fuck. I got stage fright and had to hold on for another 2hrs until our next stop.
This place had a toilet door, but it also had mosquitos. So whilst you're standing there with your pecker in one hand, you're using the other to furiously fight off the onslaught of flying devils trying to make a pit stop on you.
Eventually we get to Kampong Cham about 3pm in the afternoon. It's a significantly quieter city than Siem Raep with very few tourists, so it immediately felt better.
We stop for our first meal of the day at Smile Resturant which is part of BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development) and puts money back into the community. Food was OK.
Then we walk to our hotel which is PIMP. KC River Hotel, only 2 years old, has a sky bar, 12 stories. I get a king size bed and a view overlooking the Mekong river. It's certainly a step up from the last few nights.
Except, looks can be deceiving. The shower floods the whole room when you use it and in the morning the bath plug got stuck.
We then head out on a bike ride across a long Bamboo bridge and over to Koh Pen island. It's a very simple, inhabited island, mostly full of farmers. They don't get a lot of foreigners, so seemed genuinely happy to see us. They'd all say "Hello" and wave at us. The kids would run up and try to get Hi Fives or get excited when we waved back.
It had been the first time I'd been on a bike for awhile, so thought I'd zoom around, doing skids etc. This was good fun until I realised halfway through the ride that my back tyre was flat.. probably from being overly enthusiastic.
My tour guide Vanny gasped "Oh my Buddah!" which was hilarious - except that I had to finish the trip in the lowest gear possible as we'd been riding over an hour. I made it back safely, but there were definitely quite a few unexpected fish tails and questionable moments.
I absolutely loved this part of the trip, it was definetly a highlight so far. Seeing REAL Cambodia was one of the main reasons I chose this trip.
We went out for dinner later on and while heading up to the night markets, a few of us saw there was a massage place open (that didn't look dodgy) and had $6 massages for an hour. We thought, fuck it, why not and got one each. Let's just say, there's a reason why it was $6. Honestly, I could've massaged myself better than that lady.
That'll do for today. Homestay tomorrow!
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