Meeting Bill the Gibbon.

Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
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Trip End Jun 19, 2013


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Saturday, December 15, 2012

Highlights

Zoo.
We saw an advert in a local magazine for a half day tour of the local zoo. Apparently this used to be the worst zoo in the world, but has now been rescued and is slowly recovering in the hope of becoming a wildlife center. As we arrived we were greeted by an Australian woman who would take us round, she is a volunteer. We also had an Australian couple with us doing the same thing. Over the next few hours we were told the history of the place, how a rich Cambodian politician owns it and got the animals as gifts. He pretty much neglected them and now an animal charity has come in. Some of the cages and conditions were still bad but it's early days, the elephants have a big new space and enclosure, compare to the ridiculously cramped space they had before we saw in a photo. We mostly enjoyed seeing the animals close up though. The beautiful leopard, purring so loudly and playing around when she saw us was my highlight. Jade found a new friend called Bill. He was a gibbon that stuck his arm out through the cage when he saw her, so he could get a massage. When he had had enough he casually swapped arms. Very cute and friendly. The tigers were another highlight. We got to watch the young male tear a box apart containing his breakie then destroy a wooden brush attached to the cage. We also got to feed the female tiger using a syringe full of milk, very cool! Lastly we got to go into the cage with the hornbill. We saw a couple of these in Thailand and were amazed at the size of them even though they were so far away. Now we were in the same cage as one, and we got to feed it. Such an impressive and beautiful bird. We really enjoyed the tour of the zoo. Hopefully they will raise some serious money so the animals get a much better standard of life.

Cinemas.
Well it wasn't exactly a cinema. Actually a guy had shoved a shed load of cushions in a bedroom, blacked out the windows, stuck a 50" plasma and surround sound in and let people watch any movie they wanted for $3.50. Oh and there was aircon, another major plus as it was so hot in Kampot. It was great until we had a 45 minute power cut half way through, we then stayed in the dark, got all sweaty again until the power thankfully returned.

Lowlights

Bokor mountain tour.
This has to be the worst tour we've ever done. Kampot is well known due to Bokor mountain close by, many people come to see the old ruins that are at the top so we decided to do the same. We got picked up and arrived at the top of the 'mountain' (more like big hill) by 10 and arrived at our first sight; the black palace. Less of a palace, more of a shed to be honest. Run down and only 80 years old, not the most amazing ruin we've seen on our travels! Next up was some giant statue of a woman where lots of locals come to pray. Mildly interesting and took all of 5 minutes to see. After this we headed to some other small insignificant temples, again not very old or beautiful. What lots of people talk about is an old casino which is supposed to look really cool now as its ruined, sadly when we got there it's all been plastered over so it just looks like any new building waiting to be painted. Everyone was now bored and it wasn't even midday. Lunch consisted of some fried rice, which really livened things up and we spent the afternoon at a waterfall. One thing we've learnt in the past is that a good waterfall needs water. This key ingredient evaded this waterfall however so we stared at a cliff for a while. Our final activity was the 'highlight', although that ain't saying much. We enjoyed relaxing on a sunset cruise down the river for a couple of hours.
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Comments

Pete on

It all looks fantastic mark. Only just found out I could comment on here! Like dad, not very techno. Looks like you're having an amazing time. Hope you're having a good Christmas day. Turkey and all the trimmings no doubt. Taking dad to watch forest play dirty dirty Leeds tomorrow. Will be like Barcelona v real. Take care mate.

markandjade
markandjade on

Hi Peter good to hear from you, hope everyone is good. Having a great time but sadly no Christmas dinner for us :(! The Vietnamese food is nice enough though. Hope you had a good Christmas, try not to waste too much of it at the city ground haha.

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