Where it will begin and end

Trip Start Jun 17, 2007
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Trip End Aug 20, 2012


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Friday, June 22, 2007

It is Thursday morning June 22. Yesterday I flew from Bangkok to Phnom Penh. After much research I decided to fly and enjoy more time in places I want to be and not on busses. It was discouraged by everyone I met to go over land.

My first impression of Cambodia came as I rode a mototaxi from the airport into town. It first brought memories of Morocco, then Nicauragua. The diesel aroma with an underlaying leftover garbage smell. The roads seemed ok (better than expected) The drivers  were not as agressive as the Vietnamese. Probably because there aren't as many of them. Intersections are still a crap shoot. Just look forward and walk. The traffic will go around you. As expected there is a great variation of old and new.... well not that much new yet. My moto driver was a pleasant man of about 48 who had two children. He worked many hours to take care of his family and expressed that he wishes he could afford to send his children to college. We drove past the large campus of the University of Cambodia. He took me to a nice hotel overlooking the river but I decided to stay at a much more economical guesthouse called Lucky Mu a few blocks away.

I spent the day on a walkabout for 3-4 hours in the humid mostly sunny day finding the Royal Palace, Central Market, Old Market etc then came home for a little nap before heading out for my evening exploration. The evening started with a moto taxi drive to the FCC, Foreign Correspondance Club. I of course met many foreigners although I don't think many were really writers. I struck up a conversation with two ladies from Sydney, Australia. One of them had been here in Cambodia 8 months ago and just had to share the experience with one of her friends. They had been here 5 days with only 9 more to go. They shared their experience on some of the busses and boats and suggested I get out to some of the smaller towns around. We watched the sun set over the Mekong River sipping a beer. What can be better than that. The sun was now down and it began to cool off to maybe 85 degrees.

This morning I was up at 6:00 looking for a cup of coffee. I really didn't expect to find any but did find a place that said "Cafe" I inquired and they do have coffee. It is like the coffee Greg and I had in Sapa, Vietnam. Expresso and condensed sweet milk half & half. I sat in a fairly comfortable lawn chair and sipped my coffee. The proprietor came out and sat with me. I think she wanted to practice her english. She tells me that she just opened up two days ago and is excited to see a foreigner already. (Ok, so I am not on a main street. In fact the road was not paved like many in Morocco). She did not serve food but wanted to take me to her friends place where they serve breakfast. So after I finished my coffee and tea we walked about 10 blocks to her friends restaruant. I know she thought she was doing me a favor but when we got there it was a tourist spot. English menu and all. I thanked here and did sit down to a cheese omlette. Then off for my morning walkabout. I walked about two miled down to a large bridge stopping to watch a local boat disembark. The mototaxi's were waiting. Quite a variety of locals and I am not sure how far they came. Some were students at the local University. Many others tradesman and women bringing their fruits to sell or machines to sharpen knives or repair fans. Unbleievable the old broken parts they cart around so they can fix broken fans. Why would they keep fan blades that are missing a blade or one was broken off?

On my journey this morning I did enquire about the boat trip to Seim Reip. Water is too low. Check back in 5 days. (if it rains). I wish I had my camera this morning as I saw many unique things like the row of "gas stations" On the road that goes along the Mekong there is a stretch of about a quarter mile where every 100 feet is a table and someone is selling pepsi bottles filled with a liter of  petrol. There must have been 20 in a row. All selling for the same price! 3,900 rei. about a dollar. Then came the stretch of road where there were about 10 "mechanic shops" where they sell sprockets and chains for motobikes. You can see them display the chains and sprockets by the road. 9:00 and I am dripping with sweat. I stop by a street market and bargan for a small towel as I get tired of using my shirt to mop my eyebrows and forehead. Much easier.

I found an internet cafe that has a nice keyboard and reasonable speed and decided I need to let you know I am alive and kickin'. Hope all is well back home. Will get some pictures up soon!
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Comments

squeakyj
squeakyj on

Great to hear from you!
Thanks for letting us know you made it safe and sound. It sounds like your great adventure has started. I'm glad you are able to make this trip and enjoy the things you love.doinf I wish I could do something like that - I'll live through your adventures. Can't wait to see pictures. Love, Janis

white2787
white2787 on

I knew your wallet arrived safely!
Glad to hear you are safe and sound. I didn't worry though as your ATM activity shows me you are alive and well! That's one way to communicate without talking! :)

Love,

Karen

peg1228
peg1228 on

You created mind pictures!
Sounds like you are having a great time already. I love hearing your trip as you take it! It feels like I am there with you without having to go through all the hard work and eating all the crazy food you like to eat!

I will write to you a LOT more later. I am off to get my blood typed and cross-matched for surgery. I have to have everything ready around the house by Sunday. Monday is the big day! After that I will have plenty of time to write to you, as I will be home-bound!

Love ya bunches! Peg

gvsulife
gvsulife on

You are an animal!
You sure make good use of your time! I was tired just reading all you had to write! Sounds like all is well! Owen and I are on our own this weekend. I took him out to play golf with me this morning. He actually made a put! It was a rough ending though due to fatigue on his part! He seemed to have a good time though! I know I enjoyed it. Enjoy the rest of your time! I look forward to hearing more!

Lowell

moetown
moetown on

Jealous
I knew this would happen the first time I read one of your comments. I had all these logical reasons why I shouldn't go with you this summer. Stupid stuff like my daughters' wedding, the need to make a living, summer in Michigan and numerous other things that I used to tell the logic side of my brain that I needed to stay home this time. The first 'walkabout' story wrecked all that logic. Such fair and average discriptions of the boats, shops, river and bridge _ AND YOU FORGOT YOUR TWO OUNCE CAMERA. What are you trying to do - get it stolen. I'm ashamed to admit this but I'm going to the mall to get measured for the stupid tux and to buy some clothes that aren't ripped and stained. I leave Wednesday for Sault Lake City. So I am taking a trip. Somehow a 'walkabout in the 'white bread' capital of materialism won't be the same as yours. I'm also going to vistit my dad in the rehab facility. Seeing all those ancient bodies which used to be so full of life makes me wonder. If all those years of healthy living are supposed to get an extra ten years. Who wants em.
More sarcasm later. CARRY YOUR CAMERA.
Gregorio

brian7
brian7 on

Greetings
Gym;

Finally getting caught up on your adventure. Interesting as usual and as someone wrote...'you create mind pictures'. Glad to hear your safely off. I'm off this week so I'll have more free time to follow your escapades. Keep the writings and pics coming. The weather has been great here so like most, we're out playing. In the absence of my two ski mentors I took an offer up to ski Upper Straits this AM and the family will enjoy Watkins Lake today with friends. An SBR and toast to you to follow this eve. Cheers! BL

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