Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
162Trip End Dec 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
Ratanakiri National Park (Virachey) is the only place in Cambodia with any real ecotourism and responsible trekking. We decided to experience that and do a 2 day 1 night trek in the jungle. Because of the limited time we didn't actually get to go into the main part of the park, but still got to trek in the Community Forest, which is a separate part of jungle that is easier to get to, but still protected from logging and hunting
When we arrived back on the second day we waited for the car back to Ban Lung in Kreang's house. He lives in a tribal community which is run by a chief and somewhat separate to the rest of the population. In his small house he lives with his wife, children and daughters' 4 children - 12 people in total. Its quite hard to comprehend that so many people live in what was not more than a shed. So different to where we are from.
We had our first proper experience of 'lost in translation' on the trek as well. Kreang made us cups out of bamboo which were really cool and we were informed would last and we could keep them. When in the morning Kreang gestured towards them i smiled and nodded looking at the basket he was carrying and motioned that i didn't have room in my bag to carry them, hoping that he would. He smiled back so i assumed the message was clear. When we got to his house at the end of the trek i asked Vutha if we could get the cups from Kreang, who told Vutha that i had said i didn't want them so he had left them at the campsite - gutted! Apparently the question i emphatically nodded at was 'shall i leave these' and not 'do you want these'. Although it was quite a shame to lose them, Kreang felt guilty so gave us his cups - the ones his family actually used. They are amazing - real tribal crockery as it were, and they are also covered in patterns that have been carved into the wood. The best souvenirs yet!