Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally leaving Cambodia

So a week ago when I was leaving Siem Riep I found out there is no direct bus to Kratie but I would have to change buses in Phnom Pehn so I decided just to go to to city. I traveled with a friend Rich from Scottland that I met at Garden Village and spent the entire last day hanging out with. We took the bus to the city and then came directly to Same Same.

Coming back to Same Same was like a big welcome home party. At first there wasn't anyone there but then one after another people I knew came out to hang out and say hi. All in All there were the Cambodian tuk tuk drivers, Mr. Hi, Mr. Paul, and Mr. T (he has never heard of A-team), then John the baptist, T-bo, and the Swiss guy (Claus), Rich and me. It was nice because we all new each other and hung out like old friends for the next few days. People thought we were traveling together then when they found out we were all from different countries they were impressed to see a group of 5 solo travelers from different countries all hanging out together.

hanging out on the deck and watching the sunset

Looking out the deck at the lake, and into Same Same at the hang out area

I really like Phnom Pehn, or really just Same Same but the city is nice too. I spend my time just relaxing around the guest house with different people. There is always someone to hang out with. One day the group of us went to the shopping center so we could take pictures from the top, but thats the only real activity we did. One night the rest of them went out to Candy, a girly bar, but I stayed back that night. It is so strange that a full week has gone by here in the city again but I like it and let time slip.

View of the old market (used to be a bus terminal)

You can see the lake on the left (all big buildings are under construction like that one, and see all the cranes in the distance)

Now I have overstayed my visa by 7 days but finally booked my ticket today to leave for Laos tomorrow. Everyone was making fun of me yesterday because they all got tickets to leave this morning but I didn't get my ticket yesterday so I was spending one more day here. I've said one more day for the last 4-5 days, but today really is my last day. With all the western friends gone I have more motivation to actually leave the guest house and get some things done, like the internet right now.

I wish I had more to tell you about the last week but really its just been nice relaxing here where I feel like a bunch of people know me. Don Det should be nice in Laos but then thats probably it for the traveling this year. But also at my pace right now it could be a month until I'm home and all I see is Don Det. All in all I like Cambodia. Its a tougher country with the good and the bad all mixed up together. But the good is really good and the bad is really bad. It reminds me of Guatemala with all its beauty but also a war torn country with extreem poverty, but Cambodias history is even more bloody than Guate's.

It is strange how everyone loves Hun Sen even with how evil and money grubbing he is. The people love him because they credit him with stopping the fighting. They say he is the one who made it so Cambodians stopped killing each other, so no mater how much money he takes, or land he steals, he is loved. I can actually understand that because people here still feel the anger from all the killing and just don't want to ever see a gun again. They will work hard and long hours for next to nothing as long as there is no danger of being killed.

Another strange thing about Cambodia is that the travelers are different. In Siem Riep and Sihanoukville they were normal holiday tourists and travelers, but not so much in the rest of the country. The travelers are either like me, as far as being more adventerous and being able to handle the extreem poverty. So those people travel around for a long time and spend a lot of time getting to know the country and people, maybe even volunteer for a while. Other travelers (besides the NGO workers) are trying to excape from something. Tons of people are here because of legal problems at home and you can get away with anything here. It has become known for that, and its true, so drug addicts and other people with problems come here to live the rest of there lives. These travelers add a strange aspect to the country because in some cases they are worse that the begging locals.

Anyway all is good here and I'll write from Laos when I get there. Peace and love to all!


  1. "People thought we were traveling together then when they found out we were all from different countries they were impressed to see a group of 5 solo travelers from different countries all hanging out together."

    I love this. It was one of the favorite things from my travels in Europe in the 70's. Thanks, Andy, for reminding me of it!