Off the beaten track!

Trip Start Oct 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  , Kâmpóng Chhnăng,
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indeed it has been a great expereance to get off the the beaten track after following the conventional backpacker route coming down from Siem Riep.

I decided to pay a visit to Kampong Chhnang because of some French friends of Marilin told her it was well worthy to spend some time with locals in an authentic place.

Kampong Chhnang is a small city in between Battambang and Phnon Phen, the capital. My first impression of Kamponmg Chhnang was of a very quite rural river village town.

Martijn, Silver, Marilyn and me spent the whole day wondering in its many allays and local market. It was a truly extraordinary experience to meet street sellers, fishermen, screaming woman selling any kind of items at the local market, children striking the pose for my camera J, children going to school with their uniforms, many smiling people despite their horrifying not so far away (in time) past..Simply lovely.

It was quite difficult to find a place to eat, as this p[lace was not touristic at all. We were the only "farang" in town! I have to claim also a little bad adventure that happened to us when dark came. Not bein g able to find a restaurant in town, we decided to head to the local market and look for some food. I t was already dark and as everywhere in Cambodia, streets have no light at all.

A street child smelling some glue in a small plastic bag (I assume he was a junkie), came to us to beg for some money and as we ignored him he took a big piece of glass from the pavement. In that moment I was frightening already the worst and I was ready to give him anything he wanted but suddenly some locals came towards us and protected us from him,

that became quite aggressive in the meanwhile. Taking advantange of these kind people help we suddenly run away to the market area with light..and decided to go back to the hostel and eat some cookies that Martijn had with him, hahaha!!

Despite the bad adventure of the night before we decided to stay one more day in Kampong Chhnang and visit a vietnamese refugees floating village and a muslim floating village. Again it has been really enjoyable to feel people's warmth and kids smiles all around us. Martijn got badly sun burnt as sun was hitting pretty hard that day and he went off the water  without sunscreen…!!!

After visiting the floating villages we chartered a tuk tuk to bring around the four of us. We spent a nice day among villages, hill top temples  and red khmer ceramic family-run factories..Again lovely..but unfortunately time to live and hit the road again, direction Phnom Phen!
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