Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag 1,5 months away
28 augustus 2017
1,5 months away
The story will be shorter this time and I will try to hold on to this frequency of writing. So last time I ended when I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Now I'm writing from Kratie, Cambodia along the Mekong river where the elusive fresh water dolphins can be spotted.
Let me start by the how I have experienced Cambodia so far. Cambodia is equally muddy like Thailand but it has a lot more trash along the roads. Cambodia is also a lot less touristy and a lot less busy overall compared to Thailand. To me, Cambodian people seemed less tourist orientated than Thai people, which translates into more genual kindness from strangers (although tuk tuk drivers here can be a lot more persistent). Local food is unfortunately quite taseteless, I have the feeling that they don't really use spices in their dishes. I have been eating more at restaurants here, which is also more expensive than in Thailand. Portion sizes here are also a bit tiny, but it isn't too bad since you can just have a 4th meal on the day.
The roads here are quite interesting, as the main roads throughout the whole country are no bigger than 2 lanes (1 on each side), except in Phnom Penh, the capital. People drive slow in Cambodia, some 60km/h on the main roads. That said, a lot of Cambodians don't look around when they enter the road and everyone is constantly honking at eachother because of this. It sure does make the bus drives interesting. Busses are actually the fastest vehicles in this country, they overtake everysingle car on the main roads and will cruise at around 80km/h. The main roads are big enough to have 3 vehicles next to eachother, so overtaking isn't too much of a hassle.
The bus rides have also made me into a bit of a religious person of the shitting gods religion. My prayer before any long bus drive: ''May there be clean toilets and no dhiarrea on this wonderful journey''. So far the shitting gods have been kind to me :)
Alright, back to my experiences. So I have stayed with Phil in Sieam Reap for 8 days. I think I left it last time at the birthday of Phil whereafter we watched game of thrones whilst hungover. Out of the 8 days spent in Siem Reap, we only went out to do stuff for 3 days. The other days were spent relaxing at the hostel and hanging out with 2 Brittish guys and an Australian girl. We got along really good and went out for a night of drinks with them which was heaps of fun.
Bicycles were rented for 1 dollar a day at our hostel. They were quite crap compared to other companies but as Dutchmen we are used to crappy bikes. The first bike trip was off to a silkfarm some 22km north-west of Sieam Reap. We chose to take a small detour to a lake where locals bathed. The lake looked nice but not really inviting to go sit there with the locals, so we decided to just ride along. The silk farm itself was, to our suprise, for free. We went through the silk farm by ourselves to see how the silk was made from scratch, and eventually see it being woven together into sheets. After that we just rode back to our guesthouse and called it a day.
On another day we went to see the floating village, which was actually the most boring tour I have done so far. The tour lasted for 6 hours, from which 5 hours consisted of waiting in either the bus or the boat. The village itself was quite interesting and we saw the mangrove forrest in which the villagers hunted for fish. We could've seen the sunset on the Tonle Sap lake, but alass, it rained half an hour before the sunset so we went back earlier.
At the last full day we decided that it would've been a shame if we hadn't seen the Angor wat temple area (the biggest tourist attraction in Cambodia, its on their flag and its their biggest beer brand...). So being the Dutchmen we were, we decided to go for the cheap option and be our own tour guide since the temple area tickets start at 37 dollar for a day. I think the area was like 12km away from our hostel, and in total we rode 30 kms. It was a hot day, but that didn't really bother us too bad. It was nice to be our own tour guide and to be away from big tourist groupes at the temples. The temples in this area are all ruins actually, have a look at the photos ive posted :)
We left Sieam Reap to go to Battambang (2nd largest city), 50 kms south of Siem Reap but still a couple of hours drive (150 km detour) since there isn't a direct road to the city. The city itself is not tourist at all and we nearly didn't see any tourists in it. Phil and I had our first couchsurfing experience here, which stretched our comfort zones quite a lot. We crashed for 2 days at a Philippene who lived in Cambodia for 10 months. He had a small clean house in the city center, where we slept on a queen sized bed in the same room as our host. We both missed a bit of privacy but were adjusted to it after a day of sleep. Our host was a kind man and made dinner for us on the first day. The day after we went to rent a bike and were allowed to take a bike from our host. We went to the batcave area 20kms west of Battambang where we saw a killing cave (used during the Cambodian genocide) and some other caves on the mountain there. At 6 pm, millions of bat flew out of a cave to forage, which was quite the sight! Ill post a video later.
Next day we arrived in the captial Phnom Penh. Everyone we met said that Phnom Penh was boring, busy and filthy. I actually found that Phnom Penh was one of the cleaner areas of the country, so I was pleasently suprised. The night we arrived we saw The Killing Fields in a small movie theater, which was located in a red light district of Phnom Penh. The movie was quite boring, the story was bad and we couldn't understand half of the movie since there were no subtitles. Who doesn't think about subtitles when they speak Khmer half of the movie (they put this movie on twice a week)...
We met 2 Germans and decided to go touring with them for the day. We saw the biggest killing field nearby Phnom Penh and saw the biggest prison, S21, which was used as a school before the red Khmer. It is hard to imagine that the Cambodians killed a fourth of their population during this time. Te me, the reason the red Khmer used for torturing and killing their own people was just a bad excuse to be monsters. In hindsight, the movie was a nice addition to this tour since it made me understand more about the events that happened.
Our German buddies gave us the tip that Hanoi, the north of Vietnam, would be really cold during end november till january. So now instead of going to the south of Vietnam travelling northward into Laos, we decided to go through Laos and arrive in the north of Vietnam and then travelling southward to Ho Chi Minh.
So now here I am in Kratie, a stop before heading to the 4000 islands in Laos. Rented a motercycle today and had a haircut. Vistited the turtle sanctuary 35 kms up north where they protect Cantors giant softshell turtle, an endangered species. I got to hold a hatchling, so cute!
Tomorrow will be a fresh water dolphin tour, so lets hope im lucky to see them :) There are only around 35 left in this area....
I think I will leave it at this, my next writeup will probably be somewhere in Laos. Planning to be there for 3/4 weeks, depends on how fun it is going to be. Looking forward to Vietnam, I have heard pretty darn good stories about the country. I'm also planning to go for a 3 month visa there, Vietnam is a big country compared to the other ones surrounding it. I have been told that Vietnams street food is also the same good quality as Thailand, looking forward to eat cheap and tasteful meals again haha.
If you guys have any questions or tips, please let me know! I'm also open for skype conversations!
28 augustus 2017 15:50 | Door: Lieke
Jaaa blogs van Jeroen! Superleuk om te horen waar jullie je mee bezig houden! :)