Every Friday I’ll be writing a post with where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to that week, and include my favourite five photos.
This week marks our final one in Cambodia, as later today we move on to Laos!
Last Saturday was spent using the final day of our Angkor Wat pass, and it was probably my favourite of the three days, despite not seeing too many temples and experiencing a disappointingly-average sunset. We explored our final couple of temples on electric scooter, which is definitely my new favourite mode of transport. It’s quicker and less effort than cycling, but slower and safer than moped!
On Sunday it was time to move on to a new city, so we hopped on a local bus south to Kampong Cham. Kampong Cham has a fascinating bamboo bridge, linking the mainland to Koh Paen. The bridge is washed away during the monsoon season and then painstakingly rebuilt each year during the dry season. We hired bicycles and cycled across it, stopping about two thirds of the way where locals were adding extra bamboo layers to the bridge. Considering how on bicycles it felt pretty unsturdy, the biggest surprise was finding out that jeeps and cars are also allowed to pass through! Later on we took a tuk-tuk to see Phnom Proh (Man Hill) and Phnom Srey (Women Hill) for sunset. There is a lovely local legend based here which says a group of men and a group of women were competing to see who could build the tallest mountain before sunset. The women won (Phnom Srey is quite a decent amount taller) as they lit a fire confusing the men into believing the sun had set.
The following day we booked a minibus to take us the short journey from Kampong Cham to Kratie. Thank goodness it only took around two and a half hours, as our 10-seat minibus ended up holding 23 people, and Jen and I shared a seat the whole way.
Kratie was our time for a much-needed chill out. After a couple of weeks of non-stop sightseeing we gladly spent most of our 24 hours there resting. We did head out for a couple of hours in the afternoon to see Kratie’s most famous residents, the Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphins, found in the small village of Kampi, nearby. We’d picked a perfect time of day to visit (around 2pm), as there was only one other boat on the river, which meant we had the dolphins all to ourselves. We were very lucky and saw dozens of dolphins, however the species have short fins so capturing them on camera proved difficult.
Our final stop this week was to Banlung, a small town in the province of Ratanakiri in the northeast of Cambodia. We spent our two full days there walking and cycling to an emerald lake and some local waterfalls. The Ratanakiri area is slightly off-the-beaten-track, so I’ll go into more detail in a future post!
After two days of activities we decided to rest our legs and treat ourselves. We spent our final afternoon in Cambodia at Terres Rouge, a gorgeous boutique hotel we found opposite the lake from our accommodation. Lunch there was delicious, but by far the highlight was their full-length swimming pool, where we stayed until sunset.
Here are my favourite five photos of the week: