My aim is to travel from the UK to Brisbane for one of my best friends' wedding. Plane travel is so environmentally damaging so I am looking for another way. I also think that by travelling over land and sea I will be able to understand our world better as I will connect with the people and landscapes and not just look at the departure board in the airport. Any tips gratefully received!! Departure date 1st September.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

22nd - 24th September Phnom Penh and Cambodia

I don't feel like I can do justice to the country of Cambodia or the city of Phnom Penh as I was there for such a short time. I enjoyed what I saw and would like to return. I arrived in the middle of their public holiday so it was very quiet which was a relief after Vietnam. I found the Moto and Cyclo drivers much less agressive and I didn't see all the begging I had been led to expect. (There was some, of course, and there are real problems with poverty and child exploitation but I don't know enough to say anything about it here.) I tried not to feel too bad lounging around not doing anything (I should be soaking up some more temples!) but I get hungry and too hot so I leave to plod into town. So I stick to my well tested plan of walking aimlessly around to see what I can find and make a realisation, no one here or in Vietnam walk anywhere if they can help it - it is hot and cyclos are cheap I guess. Anyway I explore the Central Market and it has a similar feel to the Vietnamese markets I saw. I manage to buy a delicious deep fried banana thingy for 500 riel (4,000 riel = 1US Dollar). The food I ate in Phnom Penh deserves a special mention - I found by chance the Vieyo Tonle which is a non-profit restaurant on the riverfront which supports the New Cambodian Childrens Life Assocation - who currently house, clothe, feed and educate 24 orphans. The food was excellent, I had 'Fish Amok' which is a local speciality. Another restaurant I found later was called 'Family Restaurant' and was in the backpackers area. It was so friendly, cheap and the food was great - run by a mother and daughter combo and is well recommended. My other exciting eating experience was to get 2 UN bodyguards proecting me as I bought a pineapple in the central market! (I wasn't in any danger, I just happened to meet them!) I met the Cambodian equivalent of my pal Lewis in Cambodia! A beautiful and giggling guy called Toy or Richie (his western name) working in the youth hostel in Phnom Penh! Also so many beautiful monks in this city, is it ok to call a monk beautiful? So onwards to the joyous 14 hour bus trip to Bangkok which at some moment felt like I was sitting on a pneumatic drill and why oh why do they have leather seats which you stick to in the heat? Otherwise lots of leg room and comfy enough. As we set out they distribute little plastic bags (for travel sickness I believe) I really hope I don't have to use one. It is not that I hope anyone else does but the fact they provide them suggests someone is going to get it. Anyway the poor little girl sat next to me on her mum gets it and I am saved. Saw some lovely sights like seeing two palm trees isolated in the middle of a flat field who look just like two beautiful women, lots of kids splashing in the river and a man dozing on the back of his water buffalo. To the border at Poipet (dodgy dodgy) and easily pop over the border where the kindly Tony lends me 3 baht to use the loo (I haven't changed any money yet). So I arrive in Thailand as it is getting dark and await what Bangkok has in store.....

2 Comments:

At 8:58 am, September 26, 2006, Blogger Bride-to-be said...

Hey Barbarella, Can't believe you've come so far in such a short time. I can't imagine the kind of things you're seeing on your way - sorry you haven't got much time to take it all in but maybe you can visit all your favourite places on the way home. Thing's are getting busy here, can't wait for holidays. Sounds like you've got a bit of an admirer in Limepulp...! You'll have to fill me in when you arrive. See you soon and look after yourself in Thailand.

 
At 1:27 pm, September 27, 2006, Blogger LimePulp said...

Hi Babs

First married men on boats now UN bodyguards, you really are putting those eyes of your to work...

Glad you your feeling a bit more relaxed you did seem to be getting a bit stressed being around people all the time. Trains are a great way to travel but after the amount of time you had been on them since leaving Moscow the what sounds like a very luxury coach, the best coachs in the UK don't even have leg space so you must have been really surprised at now much space you had when you first sat down, even if you did have to coup with that little girl next to you getting travel sick.

Sorry about the poor link, but its sounds like you are really enjoying trying out all the local food, deep fried banana's sounded nice and a little bit more healthy than deep fried mars bars.

Well done on finding all those good little restaurant that put money back in to help the local poeple, there should be more of that in the UK.

Hope you are having a great time in Bangkok, just check the name of the hotel/hostel before you ask for a bed...

Do you know the name of the Cargo boat that you are catching? Some of the shipping lines that run them have web site where anyone can find out the location of that ship at any point on its trip and fid out if it has been delayied or change course due to bad wheather.

Keep eating good health food oh and the odd bar of chocolate, Alway a comforting friend in times of need. Surprised that they was no mention of your alcohol intake on this last leg, I guess you must of final drank Asia dry.

Keep safe and well, not many UN bodyguards around.

Lots of Love & Luck

Steve XXX

 

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