Phnom Penh


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May 27th 2008
Published: May 27th 2008
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At the sand dunes
Greetings from Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.

We arrived here yesterday after a 6 hour bus trip from Saigon. But more about the trip and what happened today after I recall what happened in Mui Ne on the last days and in Saigon.

As you can recall my last report was about Mui Ne and to when Michael left. As you can see from the pictures the fare well party was a pretty wet event. From the inside with the beer that flowed and from the outside when we had a toast with Saigon Whiskey in the South China Sea at 11pm at night.

The next day was spending swimming, walking the beach and just lying around. Michael left at 2pm and we all said our good by on the bus pick up. It was a bit sad to see him go as it was a real pleasure to be with him. It is amazing how much joy he had on the trip and that he showed it as well. Like a kid in a candy shop.

The evening we went to out favorite restaurant and had calamari and chicken cordon blue.

The next morning we
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At the bottom of the dunes
hired some motor bikes. Well, more scooters then bikes. Fully automatic and a top speed of about 100km. Peter had never written a bike before and we told him the dos and don'ts. So off we went at about 9am to see the famout sand dunes which are about 40km away. It was nice to be on a bike again, even when it was a small one. We rode through a little fisher town and along the coast to the dunes. There we parked our bikes in a 'secure' area and climbed by foot the dunes. It looks rather easy, but I can promise you that it is not. It was hot and the dunes steep. I felt pretty sympathetic to the Foreign Leginoares that did that dune wandering for a living.

One top we realized that there are other dunes as well and all a bit steeper. Not wanting to be pussies we decided to climb them as well..... Not a good idea.

Peter wanted to do what sounds good in theory, but in practice it is a bad idea - sand surfing. That means to slide down the dunes on a piece of plastic. Well, off
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The coast of Mui Ne
he went and it looked impressive; for about 5 seconds. When he climbed up to us again he had sand everywhere. And sand and sweat mixed makes up for a real itchy feeling.

After the sand dunes we visited a cemetery and drove to the little fishing town to have a look around. Then it was time for some nice lunch.

At lunch we were joined by a German girl that stayed at our hotel and since she was alone we asked if she wants to come along for the afternoon to the waterfall. She said yes and Peter in his wisdom offered her his bike as he had enough sun, sand and biking for the day. Now Michaela had never ridden a bike as well and I had my doubts, but she was a big girl.

So off we went again and since I knew the way I rode shotgun, Michaela in the middle and Allen at the end. When we went through the fisher town again I heard this mighty crash and when I looked back I saw a bike on the road and Michaela under it. Well, you can imagine what thoughts rushed through
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The hospital on Mui Ne. Not a pretty sight
my head - broken legs, flesh wounds, etc. I jumped from my bike and rushed over to here to see how she was. Thank god she was standing up and walking to the side walk. By then we had the whole fishing town around us and I shouted to Allen to get the bikes all on what spot and guard them as you don't know what the locals are like.

Michaela was white as a ghost and her left leg looked pretty bad, especially her foot. Blood was running down her leg and the wounds didn't look good. When she tried to get up, she suddenly rolled her eyes and collapse. By then I really thought that the shit hit the fan. I lifted her up and jumped on the next local's bike and said 'hospital'. He knew where it was and off we went, the whole 100 meters; we were lucky that the accident happened so close.

I carried her into the emergency room and dropped her on the bed. A doctor was there straight away and tended to her. By then she was awake again.

After a good examination the nurse cleaned the wounds and
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By by Mui Ne
bandaged her up. Allen had driven the bikes to the hospital and went back to pick Peter up the ferry the bikes back to the hotel. I stayed with Michaela and made sure that all was fine.

Now the hospital is everything you expect to be in Vietnam. Man, there where people standing all around us discussing the accident and whatever else. The room was just a mess and if a western doctor would walk in he would have a heart attack. The doctor hardly spoke English, but that's where the arms and hands come in handy.

We took a taxi back into our hotel where a sour and sorry Michaela took a bath and went straight to bed. Poor girl......

The next day we were all wondering how she was and we were happy for here that all was fine. OK, she had some deep cuts and bruises, but no broken bones. So she could carry on with her travels as she still had 3 weeks to go.

On Saturday we took the bus at 2pm back to Saigon as Allen is running out of time. It was sad to leave Mui Ne as it
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Killing Fields
is a great spot and I can only recommend it to anybody.

In Saigon we just spend one night and took the bus to Cambodia at 9am.

The trip was good and not at all like the last time I took the trip. Then I had to take a bus, get dropped off at the border and walk over it. Then another bus would take me the rest of the way. This time it was hop on the bus and stay on it all the way. Good one.

In Phnom Penh we checked into my favorite backpacker, the Okay Guesthouse. This is a real icon for backpackers, a center of information and a really good atmosphere.

This morning allan and I got up early to see the city. Peter was nowhere to be found so he missed out on the tour. We had hired a tuk tuk for the day for the amount of $15 for the whole day. Not bad.

First we visited the 'Killing fields' and even when it was my 4th visit there it still send a chill into my bones seeing this place. Thousands of Cambodians were slaughters there in the
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Killing Fields
most brutal way. Hacked to death, speared, clubbed and then just buried.

After the 'Killing Fields' we visited the S21 museum which is located at the famous S21 prison. Here the victims of the Pol Pot regime were handled in the most brutal way. The prison was a converted old school and while walking through the rooms, looking at the pictures and seeing the artifacts of torture, you could feel the horror these people must have gone through.

The next stop was the Russian Market. That's where all the Russians shopped when they were stationed in Cambodia for a while. In the past you were able to buy everything from weapons to cloth there. Not today; it is like a big tourist area and after seeing the 'Killing Fields' and 'S21' I didn't feel like shopping at all.

The rest of the day was spending driving around in the tuk tuk and visiting the kings palace, the national museum and other places of interest.

And now I sit here and type this bloody long report and hope that some people read it as well........

OK, tomorrow Allen will leave us. He is off to Siam
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And they still find bones
Reap and then on Friday he will be heading off back to Australia. Another one gone......

I don't know what I am up to so far so you have to wait until the next story.....



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S21 camp it looks like a school ..
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The rules of the camp S21
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S21 camp - pictures of the victims
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S21 - the cell blocks
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Russian markets - Selling fruit
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Russian markets - Any lunch?
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The kings palace


29th May 2008

sydney is cold...i want to come back....
Hi Guys... a quick note to say Hi. keep the photos coming and it's cold and grey back home, Allen stay where you are..... its a nicer place.

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