PHNOM PENH, KOMPONG THOM, AND BACK TO SIEM REAP

After I returned from the snorkel trip to Long Beach, I wanted to go back and spend a night there. But I wasn’t sure how much time it would take to visit Virachey National Park in NE Cambodia? So I leave Koh Rong, before I really wanted to.
On the boat trip back, I sit next to a funny women from Austria. They need to get to the airport, so have reserved a taxi. I ask if I can join them, but they fill the taxi. The bus to Phnom Penh is $9, a taxi split 3 ways is $15, OK. I meet another couple that needs a taxi to the airport, so I decide to go with them.

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PHOTOS FROM THE CAR CAN BE INTERESTING
We drop off the couple at the airport, it’s another 1/2 hour to my hotel.
I’ve saved my souvenir shopping for Phnom Penh, rumor says the market there is really good. While riding the Tuk Tuk, I notice a sushi buffet restaurant, walking distance from my hotel.

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ALL YOU CAN EAT SUSHI AND I ORDER A SOUP BASE FOR THE STEEL POT WHERE YOU CAN ADD: FRESH NOODLES, VEGIES AND MEATS THAT CIRCLE ON THE CONVEYER BELT
There was a soda/juice bar, some asian dishes and a desert bar. I’m stuffed, all for $8.90 (Cambodia uses the dollar).
I stop by the mall just to look around.

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ASIAN WOMEN LOVE SHOES WITH “TALLER” SOLES
Riding around in the Tuk Tuk allows you to observe and photograph daily life.

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THIS IS THE FIRST MILITARY PRESENCE I’VE SEEN
I always associated the Cyclo with Vietnam, but there are still a few in Phnom Penh. They were all wearing T-shirts espousing no-smoking?

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CYCLOS NOW SEEM MORE LIKE A TOURIST ATTRACTION THAN THE LEGITIMATE TRANSPORTATION OPTION, THAT THEY ONCE WERE.

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I LOVE SEEING THE BICYCLE STILL BEING USED AS A LEGITIMATE FORM OF COMMERCE
Cambodia and SE Asia are experiencing the same disparity in incomes as America is. On one hand you have fruit delivered by bicycle.

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THEN YOU SEE TOYOTA LAND CRUISERS DRIVING AROUND
So I’m strategizing (planning) my trip to VIRACHEY NATIONAL PARK. The book says there’s great hikes, jungle, wildlife and water falls. I was hoping to loop back to Siem Reap, except there’s no road. It’s nearly 2 days of busing, basically up and back to Phnom Penh. I hate spending my vacation on the bus, so I opt for doing a smaller loop, around TONIE SAP LAKE, it’s the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia and has a UNESCO designation of great importance.
I have one more day in Phnom Penh, shopping and

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YEP, ANOTHER FOOT MASSAGE, THIS TIME BY A BLIND MASSEUSE
My bus doesn’t leave till the afternoon, so I head back to the RUSSIAN MARKET, for something I saw for Natasa and I. I will be posting a blog about the many things I bought in SE Asia. I met a couple who were so proud they hadn’t bought anything? They were enjoying their country, taking photos and enjoying their “safe” travel, if I can help some locals by buying a few souvenirs, it’s OK, I’m happy to do it.
The NATIONAL MUSEUM is only 1 block from my hotel, I have to go.

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THIS IS THE ONLY PHOTO YOUR ALLOWED TO TAKE INSIDE

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UNLESS YOUR QUICK!
Prostitution is legal in Cambodia, the Tuk Tuk drivers were always asking if I wanted “Boom Boom.”

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THIS WAS THE ONLY SIGN I SAW THAT HINTED SOMETHING WAS GOING ON INSIDE
My bus is here to take me to the Big Bus, bus station. You never know when your going to get a pee break.

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THIS IS A FIRST, PINEAPPLE USED AS A FRESHENER
Back home I got a $100 ticket for talking on the cellphone while driving

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WHETHER YOUR DRIVING A MOTORCYCLE, CAR OR OUR BUS, EVERYONE IS TALKING AND DRIVING..
I try taking photos out the bus window, like the following shots:

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THIS CAR BLOCKED ONE LANE OF A TWO LANE ROAD, OVERLOADED WITH WOOD, THE WHOLE AXEL CAME OUT. (where’s the tow truck?)
The road is being worked on (everywhere constantly) and there’s a 2-3 ft. drop off. It took 5 hours to go 160km (100 miles).

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YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE, OR ELSE
The road is only partially paved, it’s mostly dirt, they’re getting ready to pave it, when? That’s a good question.

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THIS IS A DUSTY LIFE UNTIL IT’S PAVED.
I decided to stop half the way to Siem Reap at Kompong Thom. It’s famous for having the oldest temples in Cambodia. I talk with the local Tuk Tuk driver, he informs me that the main road is closed (surprised? no). The good part is the alternative road goes through the country and small villages. I have no interest in the temples, but the country drive seems intriguing.

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THE COUNTRYSIDE WAS BEAUTIFUL, WITH VERY LITTLE TRAFFIC (DUST)
I’m glad I came on this “tour”, there is so much going on, “in the middle of nowhere”

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NEARLY EVERY HOUSE WE PASSED HAD A COUPLE COWS IN THE YARD

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THE ROAD WAS FREQUENTLY BLOCKED BY WANDERING COWS
We get to the SAMBOR PREI KUK TEMPLES, lame just as I suspected. But I hire a tour guide for $5 so I don’t miss a thing. Plus he wants another $1 for the community, “to pick up garbage.” I said “I don’t mind paying the extra $1, but there’s garbage everywhere.”
The ride back is more interesting, as I suspected it would be.

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THIS IS “BEST” PHOTO IN CAMBODIA, FOR SURE
It’s amazing how much you can do with just a motorcycle and the desire to work, they’re hauling mattresses.

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THEY ENJOYED ME TAKING THEIR PHOTO, THEY WERE LAUGHING AND WAVING
I’m finally back in town and head to the hotel with the pool.

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I’M KICKING POOLSIDE WITH FILET OF FISH, A PAPAYA SALAD AND PINEAPPLE JUICE, LIVING THE DREAM!
I’m “home” watching the TV news and their showing an accident

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WITH BODIES, THEY SHOWED IT OVER AND OVER
My hair is getting pretty long and in Europe it’s $15 for a haircut, here $2.

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I GOT THE EYEBROWS AND NOSE HAIRS CUT TOO, $1 TIP
The bus is over an hour late (normal) so I wander over and take this photo.

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It’s been a long couple of weeks exploring Cambodia. but I’m back where I started Siem Reap. Heading to my favorite guest house BAYON SHADOW GUEST HOUSE, AC, WiFi, pool and free breakfast.

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EVEN THE BATTH TOWELS ARE MADE TO MAKE YOU FEEL WELCOMED
I do some last minute shopping, eat some frozen yogurt and one more massage. I’m ready to get back to Bangkok and eventually Slovenia.
I’m feeling like an old pro at this travel stuff, I should it’s been 11 months. No, I’m not writing a book, in case your wondering.
I did for the fun of it, not the money.
Thanks for reading and commenting (that includes you)
Jeff
Next? back in Bangkok-(worlds biggest market) and back in Slovenia.
CAMBODIAN PHOTOS

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5 thoughts on “PHNOM PENH, KOMPONG THOM, AND BACK TO SIEM REAP

  1. rachel berrington

    Jeff. I don’t know how you keep going. All the moving seems exhausting to me. When I took a year to travel, I ended up staying in the same town for 4 months because I wanted to stop for a while. Doesn’t anyplace in Asia make you feel like hanging out for a few weeks/months?

    Really interesting stories and photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
    1. jeffsbiketour Post author

      I am currently “living” (recovering) in Slovenia. Live in Asia? are you crazy? I couldn’t take the constant piles of burning plastic, open sewers, buying bottled water, the choking dusty roads.
      I’m biking here everyday, breathing clean air, drinking water from the tap and am living with the most wonderful and beautiful women ever. LIVING THE DREAM!
      Thanks for commenting and thinking of me,
      Jeff

      Reply
  2. anusa Mihelic

    Great to hear how nice my country is. I wont speak about Slovenian womens, ha. Take the road to Ljubljana some day again, you know the way; Jeff. Nice pictures and blog. Welcome to Slovenia. Anusa

    Reply
  3. Mary Shea

    Hey Jeff! How is everything going? A lot of hard work I am sure! Just love the photos. Thanks so much for the beautiful card you sent. It was great to hear from you. Looking forward to seeing you in April.
    Mary

    Reply
  4. davidakachops

    Jeff, this trip is out of control. Do you think you would ever be able to pull this off without $4 foot massage ? Its so cool that you keep at the blog too ! thanks, I very much enjoy getting caught up with your travels.

    Reply

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