A very different island life

Trip Start Aug 14, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Cambodia  , Kampong Cham,
Sunday, November 25, 2012

We arrived here around lunchtime and jumped on the back of a moped each to get into the centre of town which was next to the river! The huge hotel we stayed in was a bit bizarre: it's corridors were so wide, it felt bare and empty almost like an abandoned hotel, but there were cleaners and several other travellers around so for one night, it was fine.

We hired a couple of bicycles and headed to a nearby restaurant for a sandwich. After this we cycled towards an island in the river that we'd heard about. In the dry season (we were at the start of it) a bamboo bridge is built from the mainland to the island. We could see this and Shane figured, despite the bamboo bar going across the entrance and everyone else going towards the ferry, that it was fine to go over the bridge. We got over halfway before being waved back by the workers who hadn't finished building it yet! Hot and sweaty, we made it to the ferry and waited about twenty minutes for it to fill up. In this time we met a Cambodian lady and her relatives. She was treating her family to a day out, she lived in Australia and was back visiting them. Her and her young nieces were very friendly and they told us about the island we were heading to. She told us that she had survived the genocide in Cambodia but her younger sister had not. It's strange to think that anyone ten years older than us were involved in the war, which seems to have been forgotten compared to the Vietnamese war.

Island life was very different from that of the town, horse and cart was used in everyday life and it was very peaceful. We saw young boys using bamboo sticks to retrieve fruit from trees and every house we passed, we heard shouts of hello from the young children - some would even run out to the road to greet us. This gave them a chance to practise the English that they had learnt. Questions included; what is your name? Where are you from? And, how old are you? They also loved to have their picture taken and you would then be greeted with a big smile after showing them the photo. We headed back towards the ferry but before we boarded, we decided to have a walk on the beach and head over to a small village which had been constructed next to the water front. We were again approached by young children, these ones also practised their English - "money, money?" They were left disappointed! We then got on the ferry and headed back to the mainland. The next morning we were heading up to Kratie.
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