Dusty Red Everything! (or how to poison yourself )

Trip Start Sep 12, 1995
Trip End Jul 30, 2020

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Where I stayed
Lake View Lodge

Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Rôtânah Kiri,
Monday, December 22, 2008

The funny thing about traveling to Banlung, was that it cost almost twice as much to get there as it did to get back. It was $12 to get there from Kratie, but only $7 to get from there to Phnom Penh. But this is Cambodia, and don't ever try to make sense of Khmer bus fares (FYI: you are getting ripped off...but it's so cheap anyway, so relax!).

Banlung was shrouded in red dust,just as every one and every source had informed me that it would. It had just started to rain as we arrived. This was my first experience riding on the back of a moto with a full backpack. Not comfortable, but not as bad as I'd expected.

We got a dingy room at a good price, at a happening little hotel about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. This was set up by a friend of our moto driver in Kratie. The place was probably the shabbiest we stayed in in all of Cambodia, but hey, when your out in the provinces...

The big draw to Banlung is this beautiful jewel of a crater lake called Boeng Yeak Lom. Probably the most pristine water in Cambodia (or that can easily be accessed). Great for swimming, with a nice trail around it.  We visited on a weekend so there were plenty of curious locals. I was informed that I had the physique of a wrestler (but then again I'm twice the mass of most Cambodians).

Had a nice afternoon riding elephants through rubber tree plantations to a small waterfall. We hooked up with three youngsters from the UK...nice kids, but young.

The absolute highlight of our stay had to be the poisoning episode at breakfast. I got a can of soda with my noodle soup at this small Chinese place, but neglected to get a straw. About halfway through my soup,  I experienced a strange tingling sensation, and felt my face go numb. Not wanting to frighten Kira with this sudden and unexplained facial paralysis, I of course, said nothing.
After about 15 minutes I was beginning to feel normal, when Kira looked at me and asked if I felt funny (she had saved her soda until after finishing her soup), and was experiencing the same partial paralysis of the face and neck. How we did laugh when we realized we had been poisoned!

Always use a straw...advice to live by!
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