Approx. 10 months in SE Asia visiting majority of countries on motorbikes, camping & backpacking style. Photos taken by iPhone 4s + iDry. You can reach me on blogs /at/ davss /dot/ com.
blogs.davss.com
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Apr 4, 2012   Day 154-181
Cambodia
154
Sisophon, Cambodia
Sisophon, Cambodia
Sisophon, Cambodia
A one night stop at a guesthouse ($7/dbl). We just avoided a serious storm that ruthesly blew away few constructions along the main road. We start early next morning by looking for a breakfast. It's not an easy task & food is rather not that good.
Apr 4, 2012 3:44PM
155
Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar
Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia
Riding along NH69 is one hell of an adventure. The road is quite wide but not paved & gravel plus sand used for its surface. There are cars & trucks passing by with no intention of stopping excessively using horns to let you know about it.
Apr 5, 2012 11:41AM
No Daylights Allowed!
No Daylights Allowed!
Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia
In Cambodia driving or riding with daylights on is "illegal" & can cost multiple one dollar bribes. Our motorbikes have them always on so we cover using mud. This has the opposite effect drawing more attention.Need to come up with a better solution.
Apr 5, 2012 11:49AM
Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar
Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia
Our first Khmer language lessons. The pronounciation is hard & we struggle to remember how to ask about prices as the sentence is very long. Numbers, on the other hand, are easy. 1-5, separate words then 5+1-4 give the rest up to 9. Never seen before
Apr 5, 2012 12:54PM
Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
Homestay projects become widely popular & appear to be well managed. They ofer us two rooms with mosquito nets at a local family house who participate in the project.
Apr 5, 2012 2:11PM
Oh Yea!
Oh Yea!
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
I was expecting a small corner place & get this luxoury kingsize bed instead. There is also concrete bathroom with cold shower (require no more). What a nice surprise. The house owners look after us well. Electricity is turned on when dark.
Apr 5, 2012 2:15PM
Banteay Chhmar Market
Banteay Chhmar Market
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
We pay a visit to local market in search for food. There are pretty much all basic things available including mobile phones but no 50" TVs ;) Again, it's not easy & food doesn't taste right so I give it a pass & have delicious watermelon instead.
Apr 5, 2012 3:16PM
Banteay Chhmar Village
Banteay Chhmar Village
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
Generally a warm welcome by very friendly people. Sales hassling is pretty non-existent here. Some people look with a little suspicion others come up openly to practise their English. Things just go with the flow.
Apr 5, 2012 3:17PM
156
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
In the middle of night I get woken up by loud & chaotic music resembling Burmese that continues to play till dusk. After a quick breakfast it's time to do some local temples exploration. These ruins used to be one of corner towers of a vast temple.
Apr 6, 2012 7:07AM
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
After riding into temples area we are ordered to pay $5 each - it's absolutely fine & our money goes to pay for restoration of this magnificent place. As we walk along we get to see workers putting all pieces of of this big puzzle together.
Apr 6, 2012 7:12AM
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
There are two interior walls connected to some buildings & one outer for protection. Remains of buildings are in terrible condition. Let's hope the guys carrying out the restoration do it the right way & it'll join UNESCO not like unfortunate Bagan.
Apr 6, 2012 7:23AM
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
So much details in wall carvings that tell history from that period. It's from the 12th century & is a precious national treasure & irreplaceable link to the cultural heritage of the Khmer people. Countless of Buddhist images & bas-reliefs.
Apr 6, 2012 7:29AM
Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Chhmar
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
For 800 years, the temple has remained mostly undiscovered & touch - the forces of nature resulting in overgrowth & collapse. Recent times a victim of mass egregious looting. Things are improving though not only for the temples but also community.
Apr 6, 2012 7:30AM
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
More details on the temple & local CBT project at http://www.visitbanteaychhmar.org.
Apr 6, 2012 7:52AM
Oddar Meancheay, Cambodia
On our way to Siem Reap. The road is gravel until a roundabout in Samarong then a newly paved straight 68 that took us back to the main road 6.
Apr 6, 2012 10:49AM
Old Market, Siem Reap
Old Market, Siem Reap
Siem Reap, Cambodia
A quick visit to the old town market where we'll stay for a couple of days to explore famous temples of Angkor. The town is very touristic although has a nice climate & it doesn't fall asleep. Plenty of bars & street/stylish restaurants.
Apr 6, 2012 7:05PM
158
Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srei Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Also known as "city of women or Shiva". This Angkor's 10th century temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva then turned into Buddhism. Its sculptured decoration largely carved from red stone is outstanding. It's a jewel of Khmer culture.
Apr 8, 2012 11:21AM
Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srei Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 8, 2012 11:24AM
Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srei Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 8, 2012 11:48AM
Prasat Pre Roup Temple (Corner Tower)
Prasat Pre Roup Temple (Corner Tower)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravaman & dedicated in 961/2. It's a temple mountain of combined brick, laterite & sandstone construction. Allegedly funerals were conducted at this temple, with body ashes rotated in different directions
Apr 8, 2012 3:51PM
Pre Rup
Pre Rup
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 8, 2012 3:59PM
161
Prasat Ta Som
Prasat Ta Som
Siem Reap, Cambodia
This temple was built in 12th century & dedicated by Jayavarman VII to his father Dharanindravaman II, king of Khmer empire 1150-1160.
Apr 11, 2012 12:59PM
Prasat Ta Som
Prasat Ta Som
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 1:03PM
Prasat Ta Som
Prasat Ta Som
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 1:14PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Built by Jayavarman VII in 12th century temple & connecting bridge. It was a centre of a substantial organisation, with almost 100,000 officials & servants. Flat in design with a basic plan of successive rectangular galleries...
Apr 11, 2012 2:53PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
... around Buddhist sanctuary complicated by Hindu satellite temples & numerous later additions. Like Ta Prohom has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees & other vegetation growing among the ruins.
Apr 11, 2012 2:59PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 3:05PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 3:10PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 3:17PM
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 3:32PM
Angkor Thom (North Gate)
Angkor Thom (North Gate)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 4:25PM
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th/ early 13th centuries by Jayaarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery & university. It's condition is the same as when it was found. There are trees growing out of ruins & surrounded by jungle.
Apr 11, 2012 5:00PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 5:03PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 5:03PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 5:07PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 5:12PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 5:14PM
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Siem Reap, Cambodia
This temple's one of my favourites after more popular Angkor Wat because of its unique climate & less tourists.
Apr 11, 2012 5:22PM
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Bayon style, meaning a "Citadel of Chambers or Monk cells" is a Buddhist temple built in mid of 12th/beg13th century AD during the rain on Jayavarman VII. It was occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.
Apr 11, 2012 5:55PM
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 11, 2012 6:01PM
162
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Built by Suryavarman II early 12th century served as state temple & capital city. It's the best preserved temple & significant religious centre since its foundation - first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. This temple is at the top
Apr 12, 2012 9:52AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
... of the high classical style Khmer architecture & a symbol of Cambodia appearing on its national flag, money. It's the country's prime attraction although I prefer few smaller temples that have more charm IMHO.
Apr 12, 2012 9:54AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 12, 2012 10:22AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Plenty of bas-relieves across long walls.
Apr 12, 2012 10:34AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 12, 2012 10:44AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 12, 2012 10:53AM
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 12, 2012 10:57AM
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Richly decorated, built by Jayavarman VII in 12th century as the official state Khmer temple that stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital Angkor Thom. After king's death modified & augmented by later Hindu & Theravada Buddhist kings.
Apr 12, 2012 12:02PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene & massive stone faces on many towers which jut out from the upper terrace & cluster around its central peak. Plenty of bas-reliefs presenting unusual combination of mythological...
Apr 12, 2012 12:03PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
.., historical, & mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
Apr 12, 2012 12:04PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Apr 12, 2012 12:14PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Apr 12, 2012 12:20PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Bas-reliefs
Apr 12, 2012 12:29PM
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Angkor Thom (Bayon)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
More bas-reliefs. This is one of my favourites temples hence so many pics ;)
Apr 12, 2012 12:31PM
Elephants Terrace
Elephants Terrace
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Part of the walled city of Angkor Thom a 350m long terrace. The terrace was used by king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It's attached to the palace of Phimeanakas, of which only few ruins remain.
Apr 12, 2012 12:49PM
Elephants Terrace
Elephants Terrace
Siem Reap, Cambodia
It was also a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies & served as a base for the king's grand audience hall.
Apr 12, 2012 12:49PM
Preah Palilay
Preah Palilay
Siem Reap, Cambodia
This was our final temple. A 3 any days in a week admission ticket was expensive costing $40/pp but well worth it. This temples complex is a must see in my opinion. There are Tuk-Tuks or buses that can take you from Siem Reap or simply hire bicycles.
Apr 12, 2012 1:20PM
163
Sisophon
Sisophon
Sisophon, Cambodia
There was no easy way to get to Battambang across the lake so we have to ride back via Sisophon then take road no 5. The road no 6 is in a lot better condition than 5 which on the other hand is very bumpy & dangerous to ride on.
Apr 13, 2012 12:15PM
Battambang, Cambodia
A quick visit to a crocodile farm. It's amazing how many crocodiles are here. Small ones are fed with snakes, frogs etc. 1000kg/10 days. They also like clumsy tourists that fall in ;) This one cost $28. They'll end up as purses, belts, shoes etc.
Apr 13, 2012 4:59PM
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Battambang, Cambodia
One of the biggest from hundreds of beasts kept in this farm. Very friendly owners invite us to celebrate our third Khmer New Year's Eve 13-15 April but we skip this invite because riding back at night with covered lamps is not wise.
Apr 13, 2012 5:08PM
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Battambang, Cambodia
This is where eggs are being held.
Apr 13, 2012 5:16PM
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Crocodile Farm, Battambang
Battambang, Cambodia
It's oval shape is taller & a lot heavier than a standard chicken egg. This one will go for a scrambled egg dish.
Apr 13, 2012 5:17PM
164
Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake
Pursat, Cambodia
Twoatttactuons ie. floating villages. What we encounter is houses inhabited mainly by Vietnamese who suffered repressions during Khmer Rouge. They were unreasonable pricy for boat trips & unwilling to negotatiate. Also, it was unclear what...
Apr 14, 2012 12:24PM
Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake
Pursat, Cambodia
... we'd actually see ie. houses that we were able to see from the shore because there was nothing else in visibility range? We'll probably never find out but feel free to comment. The lake can shrink during dry season by up to 8km!
Apr 14, 2012 12:51PM
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
After failing to cruise along famous lake we stop by at Kampong Chhang, the capital of Chhang province. It's located by Tonle Sap river with a port. Rice production & floating fishing villages during high-water monsoon season dominate the area.
Apr 14, 2012 5:04PM
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
Local people are very welcoming & engaging tourists with questions. These are private fisherman boats. They unload fish onto a truck & cover with ice for transportation. The fish smell is present almost everywhere along the shore in the city.
Apr 14, 2012 5:06PM
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhang
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
We arrange a private boat trip along the lake because we weren't told, & as we find out later, there are many tourists that turn up in the mornings to share commercial boats. Then venture out of the centre & experience New Year's Eve celebrations.
Apr 14, 2012 5:25PM
165
Floating Fishing Villages, Kampong Chhnang
Floating Fishing Villages, Kampong Chhnang
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
We meet our boat driver at 9am. She takes us along the river to show floating fisherman's houses. It's a mixture from a very modest & basic to fully furnished houses. Neighbours gather to have breakfast together. They were inviting us to join in.
Apr 15, 2012 9:17AM
Floating Fishing Villages, Kampong Chhnang
Floating Fishing Villages, Kampong Chhnang
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
She paddled for one hour non-stop in full heat & looked like it was a piece for cake for her.
Apr 15, 2012 9:23AM
Mekong River
Mekong River
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
Apr 15, 2012 9:32AM
National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
We didn't go in & just walked around the building.
Apr 15, 2012 4:22PM
166
Viet Nam Embassy, Phnom Penh
Viet Nam Embassy, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Getting Viet Nam visa. A 30-day takes one day to process & cost $45. There are no queues so a form, passport drop off & pick up took me about 30 minutes total time.
Apr 16, 2012 10:12AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The museum's located in a former hight school which was used as the notorious Security Office 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge communist regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Toil Sleng means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" or ...
Apr 16, 2012 11:27AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
... "Strychnine Hill". 5 buildings were converted into a prison & interrogation centre after four months of KR won the civil war in 1975. The prison held 1000-1500 prisoners.
Apr 16, 2012 11:31AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
An anti-public education KR stated that diplomas should only be visualised, study is not important, only work & revolution. Consequently formal schools were totally prohibited & turned along with pagodas into prisons, stables & warehouses.
Apr 16, 2012 11:32AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Most of the prisoners were KR cadres accused of largely fictitious acts of treason, such as collaborating with foreign governments, or spying for the CIA or KGB. Typically the entire family an accused trailer would be imprisoned...
Apr 16, 2012 11:36AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Most had no knowledge of the charges against them, but they were tortured until they confessed whatever crimes they'd been accused, each prisoner was marked for execution.
Apr 16, 2012 11:50AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Victims photographs are displayed in the cells. Amongst them there were women & children.
Apr 16, 2012 11:59AM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Experts estimate that somewhere between 14,000-20,000 people were held at S-21 & executed. Only about 179 survived (7 after regime collapsed) & additional 23 when the Vietnamese ousted the KR regime on January 7, 1979,
Apr 16, 2012 12:04PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
These are the leaders of Khmer Rouge regime. The secretary Pol Pot died & the rest were charged with genocide crimes & imprisoned.
Apr 16, 2012 12:28PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The only building fully preserved from times when it was in use.
Apr 16, 2012 12:44PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A typical prisoner's brick cell. They were just over 1m wide & 2m long, multiple crammed on one classroom. Prisoner could not emit any sounds or else severely punished or even killed.
Apr 16, 2012 12:46PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
One floor up are wooden cells resembling mini stables. There were even more of them in one room. Each door would have a hole presumably for monitoring/food & some window.
Apr 16, 2012 12:50PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Primitive devices used for torture. They also used shovels, bats, hammers, axes, machetes, you name it for torture & killings just to save up on expensive bullets.
Apr 16, 2012 1:11PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Victims skulls, jaws & other bones are on display to express the horror that took place here. It really can make one depressed. I often asked myself a question how one man can do such horrible things to another human being? Some justify their actions
Apr 16, 2012 1:16PM
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
as survival necessity & that they were forced to do them. Only those in their position will really know that although it's a good warning sign for people & should make them think twice before joining any political groups with idiotic programs.
Apr 16, 2012 1:44PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Built atop an old citadel called
Banteay Kev in 1860's after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh, a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia.
Apr 16, 2012 2:19PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
It wasn't that interesting. The Silver Pagoda was also a bit disappointing especially for a hefty $6.25/pp.
Apr 16, 2012 2:21PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Apr 16, 2012 2:34PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Beautiful & well maintained plants scattered around buildings. Maybe the could be organised a little bit better.
Apr 16, 2012 2:34PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A mini-replica of Angkor Wat temples complex.
Apr 16, 2012 2:38PM
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Silver Pagoda's interiors. The guy with a pulled face is running up to me to say no photos here. Like there was anything really worth here... The floor is made of silver but covered with carpets. More gold than silver elsewhere.
Apr 16, 2012 2:41PM
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Also know as the "Killing Fields". This sacred tower has been designed according to historical myths & holds victims remains mainly skulls & bones filling it up to its roof.
Apr 16, 2012 3:42PM
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Skulls of victims behind a glass. Experts examined many & some characteristics indicate mid class people being killed at this site as well as women & innocent children. The museum is well prepared for tourists & provide recorded guides in many langs.
Apr 16, 2012 3:45PM
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mass-graves where 500 victims on average were uncovered. They were killed using basic blunt tools mentioned before. A KR party's
loud music was played during the killings so neighbours wouldn't suspect anything. It's a very peaceful place to reflect.
Apr 16, 2012 3:55PM
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
There is a nice lake walk around. At the end of the tour a small museum can be visited. Some items & information repeat from the S-21 museum.
Apr 16, 2012 4:32PM
167
Going to Chhak Kep
Going to Chhak Kep
Kampong Speu, Cambodia
We rode off our initial route by not turning to road number 3 from 4 & had to cut through some villages with gravel roads to get back on track. Even though dusty & bumpy experience it was enjoyable sightseeings.
Apr 17, 2012 2:11PM
168
Kep, Cambodia
Kep, Cambodia
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Kep is a small fishery village in the south of Cambodia by the Gulf of Thailand adjacent to Kep National Park. It's a good & cheap base for exploration around this area. We are staying in $6/pr Visalsak guesthouse with fantastic local & western food.
Apr 18, 2012 12:08PM
Kep Crab Market
Kep Crab Market
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Along the coastline road there is a famous Crab Market. We are yet to sample crab dishes here, particularly crabs with local peppers. Crabs are for some reason expensive & prices are better at our guesthouse although have to order 1 day before.
Apr 18, 2012 12:09PM
Kep Crab Market
Kep Crab Market
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Cooking pots & stoves.
Apr 18, 2012 12:11PM
Kep Crab Market
Kep Crab Market
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Cages like this one are left in the waters with bait inside for later collection filled with crabs.
Apr 18, 2012 12:12PM
Kep Crab Market
Kep Crab Market
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Once caught & out of water they are killed using a bended fork with single spike. Presume they're stabbed straight in the heart to kill almost instantly thereby minimising the pain.
Apr 18, 2012 12:15PM
Kep Crab Market
Kep Crab Market
Krong Kep, Cambodia
There are many food & beverages stalls here. One would think many tourists visit this place but we encounter only few (including an entertaining French restaurant owner that doesn't know how to cook but says he just likes eating instead).
Apr 18, 2012 12:20PM
Relaxation places, Kep
Relaxation places, Kep
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Along the coast there are many places where locals gather with their families to have lunch & relax. Unfortunately, the water is not really suitable for swimming.
Apr 18, 2012 1:26PM
169
Pepper Plantations, The Vine Retreat
Pepper Plantations, The Vine Retreat
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Kep & Kampot are famous from one of the best pepper productions. A lady speaking good English explains processes taking place at her plantations from small plants to 2-3 meter high bushes. They need support to grow vertically.
Apr 19, 2012 10:38AM
Pepper Plantation, Kep
Pepper Plantation, Kep
Kampot Province, Cambodia
It takes one year for a small plant to grow up to 3m. For the next 2 consecutive years peppers are being broken off & thrown away to speed up plant's growth. After two years they are then collected. One plant can produce peppers for many years.

Apr 19, 2012 10:46AM
Pepper Plantation
Pepper Plantation
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Green peppers can be kept for up a week in a fridge, red & black for years. White pepper is obtained by first boiling, skin peeling then drying. We are told there is only one pepper plant type?
Apr 19, 2012 10:49AM
Heading towards caves
Heading towards caves
Kampot Province, Cambodia
The whole province is actually very natural & beautiful.
Apr 19, 2012 11:22AM
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 11:25AM
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 11:37AM
Name? Cave
Name? Cave
Kampot Province, Cambodia
A 16 year old local boy rides up on a bicycle & is offering to be our caves guide for "up to you" price. He wanted to practise his English learnt at a local school with an American teacher. We can't understand all but it's nice to support him.
Apr 19, 2012 12:09PM
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 12:23PM
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 12:34PM
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 12:35PM
Some place to cool down & clear water in a cave. Local kids come here to dive & swim.
Apr 19, 2012 1:01PM
On the way to salt fields
On the way to salt fields
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 1:34PM
Salt Fields
Salt Fields
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Apr 19, 2012 2:07PM
Salt Fields
Salt Fields
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Almost grown like rice with the exception that it's salt :)
Apr 19, 2012 2:09PM
Salt Fields
Salt Fields
Krong Kep, Cambodia
This is how they collect salt by hand. Must be pretty heavy.
Apr 19, 2012 2:13PM
Kep Beach
Kep Beach
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Anyone up for a swim? There is a sign inviting visitors to a 150m away sort of bar with drinks but we give it a pass & head back to guesthouse via nicely green villages on the way.
Apr 19, 2012 2:46PM
170
Bokor National Park, Cambodia
Bokor National Park, Cambodia
Kampot Province, Cambodia
This park is vast & we rode around the park many kilometres. Attractions are far away from each other. Saw people on hired scooters because can't imagine getting around on foot. There are buses available too. There is many constructions in progress.
Apr 20, 2012 10:57AM
The Black Palace ruins
The Black Palace ruins
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Bokor Hill Station was built by the French in the 1920s to be used as a retreat from the heat of the plains, a pre-air conditionning strategy familiar in all of Asia. There are many abandoned buildings some inhabited by locals.
Apr 20, 2012 11:03AM
Popokvil Waterfall
Popokvil Waterfall
Kampot Province, Cambodia
This would have been a spectacular waterfall if we only were here in the wet season.
Apr 20, 2012 11:59AM
Bokor Church
Bokor Church
Kampot Province, Cambodia
An astonishing view nearby the Bokor Church.
Apr 20, 2012 12:49PM
Bokor Church
Bokor Church
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 20, 2012 12:55PM
Bokor Church
Bokor Church
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Apr 20, 2012 12:58PM
Bokor Church
Bokor Church
Kampot Province, Cambodia
Generally there is not much to do in the park apart from a good motorbike ride (plenty of road bends with very good surface except those spots where things are still under construction) & views. Still it was a nice day out.
Apr 20, 2012 12:59PM
Local Dish
Local Dish
Krong Kep, Cambodia
Finally we get to try a local crab with peppers dish. It took one hour to eat five crabs with rice but was well worth the effort. The girl cooking in our guesthouse is an artist & everything taste really good. We should kidnap her & take back home ;)
Apr 20, 2012 3:36PM
171
Kep-Kampon Cham
Kep-Kampon Cham
Kampong Speu, Cambodia
It was a bumpy ride full of dangerous situations that really aggregated us. They just do unbelievable stupid things on the roads. This chap could barely keep up vertical during high winds. I must say road safety is pretty non-existent & total chaos.
Apr 21, 2012 10:51AM
Mekong Bridge, Kampong Cham
Mekong Bridge, Kampong Cham
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Finally arrived but exhausted. Got pulled over by police but no $ for lights on. I realised I'd left my motorbike documents in Kep - what a bummer! Tomorrow will take a bus back to Phnom Penh to fetch them from a bus driver that will arrive from Kep.
Apr 21, 2012 4:13PM
172
Bamboo Bridge, Kampong Cham
Bamboo Bridge, Kampong Cham
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
The famous bamboo bridge linking a neighbouring island is rebuilt every time it gets destroyed by Mekong high waters roughly once every year. Its construction is robust enough to support medium vehicles.
Apr 22, 2012 6:03PM
173
Off to Kratie
Off to Kratie
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Very nice villages along road on the west side of the Mekong river. It's paved at the beginning then dirt but quite flat so it's enjoyable to ride slow & watch surroundings.
Apr 23, 2012 10:04AM
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Apr 23, 2012 10:25AM
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Catching a ferry to cross over Mekong. 3000 riel for 1 motorbike.
Apr 23, 2012 10:53AM
Road 308, Kampong Cham-Kratie
Road 308, Kampong Cham-Kratie
Kratie, Cambodia
Wedding party - if not enough venue space just grab one lane of a nearby street :) Kratie has an island attraction with villages to explore but presume the same or better views are along road 308 if you are not using public transport that uses no 7.
Apr 23, 2012 1:18PM
174
Mekong River Dolphins
Mekong River Dolphins
Kratie, Cambodia
There were plenty of them in the river some even got a bit closer to the boat although we didn't manage to take any good pictures hence am posting ones from this attraction's website - http://www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com.
Apr 24, 2012 10:58AM
Mekong River Dolphins
Mekong River Dolphins
Kratie, Cambodia
Apr 24, 2012 11:15AM
Mekong River Dolphins
Mekong River Dolphins
Kratie, Cambodia
I hope they don't mind me nicking these pictures which rather will help to bring more visitors to their website. We could hear their loud breathing when surfaced. The tour lasts for one hour & money go to preserve these wonderful creatures.
Apr 24, 2012 11:28AM
Kratie River View
Kratie River View
Kratie, Cambodia
We go for a walk along the river bank & see local villages. People are very welcoming & we respond to endless "hello" from kids. They are living by the river in bamboo homes. The street life is booming, craftsmanship, people chilling out etc.
Apr 24, 2012 4:25PM
Kratie River Sunset
Kratie River Sunset
Kratie, Cambodia
We meet a girl who tells us about her family & work in Malaysia. She's so friendly but talk us almost to death while following on a motorbike, hehe. Pass by a school where kids practice their English when they see us & a pagoda that looks abandoned.
Apr 24, 2012 6:10PM
175
Kratie-Banlung
Kratie-Banlung
Kratie, Cambodia
Another early morning starting with a nice breakfast & coffee at previously chosen restaurant. We leave Kratie & head to Banlung NE. On the road we get two flat tyres because of sharp gravel surface that brutally cut through our tyres. Incredibly hot
Apr 25, 2012 10:51AM
177
Banlung Elephant Ride
Banlung Elephant Ride
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
We take it easy in Banlung & sort out a couple of things before going on an elephant ride. It's the first time in my life to ride on these animals & I was getting a bit excited. The experience - it's slow but enjoyable. Although if I was to travel...
Apr 27, 2012 1:31PM
Banlung Elephant Ride
Banlung Elephant Ride
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
long distances my bum would probably fall off. These elephants are massive & lovely. We climb up onto wooden seats mounted on top & start a journey through jungle that lasts 1 hour. With every few steps they stop to either think & grab some food.
Apr 27, 2012 2:20PM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
We finish our ride by jumping off the elephants (didn't get to steer it) then check out a small waterfall nearby. It's not that spectacular hence after 5 minutes leave the place & go back to town. There was another waterfall close but we skip it.
Apr 27, 2012 2:38PM
Ban Lung Crater Lake
Ban Lung Crater Lake
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
A visit to Boeng Yaek Laom crater lake. Many Khmer gather here for picnics/swim. The shape of the lake is almost perfectly round hence myths that a meteor fell down & caused it. Nothing special here but a good place for a walk & nature relaxation.
Apr 27, 2012 4:20PM
178
Banlung Jungle Trek
Banlung Jungle Trek
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Next morning we set off to a local jungle. A guide & ranger that carry food & shelter lead us through tribe's villages. We stop by at one for a short break & lunch. Livestock, chicken & other animals walk around us & accompany.
Apr 28, 2012 10:20AM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Really nice views - can you spot the dog? :) 3 dogs will keep us company throughout the whole trip. As always I befriend with them. They are really intelligent & help to spot or rather scare off animals like snakes.
Apr 28, 2012 10:20AM
Banlung Jungle Trek
Banlung Jungle Trek
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
They cut or burn down trees & bushes to covert them into farms. These farms are usually productive for about 4-5 years then they move onto another land & repeat the whole process again. Unfortunaty, there is no tree reforestation taking place.
Apr 28, 2012 10:26AM
Banlung Jungle Trek
Banlung Jungle Trek
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Some river crossing to get to the village. Underneath are two small kids with no cloths playing. They don't pay attention at us at all & totally devoted to their things.
Apr 28, 2012 10:39AM
Banlung Jungle Trek
Banlung Jungle Trek
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
We have been having Tom Yum soups for months but only now we get to see how lemon grass is grown.
Apr 28, 2012 11:10AM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Dry rivers that'll turn into torrents from next month.
Apr 28, 2012 11:54AM
Trek Destination
Trek Destination
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
After 3.5 hour walk in the jungle we finally reach our destination where we'll spend one night. There is a waterfall with a pond to cool down before we set off for a quick trek around this place.
Apr 28, 2012 1:51PM
Illegal Lodging
Illegal Lodging
We walk around & see many deforestation activities. Local people cut down trees illegally to build new houses or simply sell on wood. They leave a bit of a mess behind. Some even carry guns. Corruption is at a high rate too so they get away with it.
Apr 28, 2012 3:13PM
Quail Kill
Quail Kill
Our ranger kills a quail in a split of a second with his machete while we are trekking. He's a small posture guy but impressingly strong & agile. He's the one who carried most of our food all the way in a home made wicker basket.
Apr 28, 2012 3:32PM
Food Preparation
Food Preparation
Bamboo is widely used for things like making cups or cooking. They fill up these 1.2m long bamboos with previously prepared food consisting collected vegetables & meat. Then it is cooked in the fire while being rotated from time to time.
Apr 28, 2012 4:30PM
The result is astounding & we all enjoy everything a lot. Then two bottles of local whiskey & card games with some very interesting stories follow. The stories & jokes are about tribes & their cultures. We are surprised how little we know.
Apr 28, 2012 5:07PM
A storm come round & we reluctantly go to our hammocks to sleep. It was a tough night & finding the right position is very hard. I suppose I'd get used to it but not the first night though & eventually fall asleep shortly before we have to wake up.
Apr 28, 2012 6:01PM
179
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
The next morning we set off early to a 2 hours away waterfall. We get to see some more forest devastation on the way. The trek is a bit hard & we get bitten by ants (black are very painful) & stung by bee-like insects (right in my lower lip - ouch!)
Apr 29, 2012 8:42AM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Here we are - the waterfall. Not much water but we let our imagination put some more in & it's beautifully now flowing down the cascades. A mental note to myself - come back to Cambodia in rainy season to experience amazing waterfalls.
Apr 29, 2012 9:05AM
Butterfly Ex-Cocoon
Butterfly Ex-Cocoon
I wouldn't have thought a butterfly came out from it. Learning new stuff every day :)
Apr 29, 2012 9:42AM
Flowers
Flowers
Colourful flowers - name to be established. They were growing in tall grass so am wondering how they survive without much light.
Apr 29, 2012 9:46AM
Scorpions
Scorpions
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Small, painful when they sting you but usually not lethal unless you fall into a bucket full of them. The nature camouflage them very well. They usually come out when it gets dark so careful where you go for a pee, hehe we saw a snake too & 1 monkey.
Apr 29, 2012 9:56AM
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
They can grow in nice patterns like there ones. I presume they none are edible.
Apr 29, 2012 10:02AM
Apr 29, 2012 10:05AM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
These look like snowdrops sticking out from the ground. My favourite flowers here.
Apr 29, 2012 10:48AM
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
A hard climb up. Look at the trees - aren't they beautiful? An easygoing Aussie & Dutch guys are with us on this trip. This trail has tested out out trekking condition & abilities.
Apr 29, 2012 10:54AM
Jungle Butterflies
Jungle Butterflies
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Many different types of butterflies (caught only this type because bigger were easy to scare off) come to sit on our gear. At some point I started to wonder if they are interested in gadgets or simply wanted to hitchhike & do some travelling.
Apr 29, 2012 12:24PM
Cashew Nuts Plantations
Cashew Nuts Plantations
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Completely taken by surprise when I saw them lying on the ground. The nut is attached to a edible fruit. The fruit taste better when green colour. I sampled red & the taste is hard to describe in words. Some say it's bit like perfume but not for me.
Apr 29, 2012 3:11PM
Homemade Wine
Homemade Wine
They produce it from rice mixed with peeled rice skins. Then a special kind of tree juice is added & all steamed together. The jar is left for some time to ferment. Drink also through a specially made bamboo straw but only after adding some water in.
Apr 29, 2012 3:31PM
Tribe Farm
Tribe Farm
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Apr 29, 2012 3:35PM
Tribe Tools
Tribe Tools
Siem Reap, Cambodia
A machine to extract rice / produce more of that chardonnay tasting wine. Depending on the side of the jar there could be up to 20l of wine drunk from one. Our friends had about 6l. Locals joke that they turn water into wine just like Jesus did.
Apr 29, 2012 4:14PM
Tribal Small House (left)
Tribal Small House (left)
Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Not enough space to fully explain but these are built by young girls after they get their first period. They separate themselves in order to find a future husband. Many adorators turn up although the whole process has many rules to follow.
Apr 29, 2012 4:24PM
181
Streung Treng Market
Streung Treng Market
Stung Treng, Cambodia
A night in Stung Treng before we cross border to Laos. It's a quiet town by the Mekong river with a central market. Not many tourists in the town.
May 1, 2012 8:51AM
Cambodia-Laos Border
Cambodia-Laos Border
Stung Treng, Cambodia
It goes smoothly to cross the border although we were asked to produce some kind of entry document for motorbikes on Cambodia's side. We didn't get any at Poipet so theoretically our machines are not supposed to be here.
May 1, 2012 10:52AM