Or Baddabing as i like to call it...

Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
Trip End Nov 22, 2012

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Where I stayed
royal asia

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, April 9, 2012

The boat ride up was great, well worth the$15 dollars I think it was. There were endless floating villages or mini villages built on the river or just off the riverside… I got some great photos too. For about the last hour I went and sat on the roof which was long enough in the sun but was a great way to travel up the Mekong. Ike the bus journeys, the boat stopped every two minutes it seemed to drop and pick people up either by pulling up to the side when hailed like a taxi or from people being brought out to the boat by a friend in their boat! And like the bus journeys' we had to stop half way for a food stop… now the boat had a toilet which I used, just for the simpler option mind! But all it was was a hole in the boat…nice and then at the food stand there were two toilets and guess what; yep, just holes in to the Mekong so imagine what else goes in there and as we got closer to Battambong there were also endless building waste pipes running down straight in to the river….and guess what half the river villages occupations were given they lived on the river… right again, fisherman, so any seafood served anywhere not on the coast or close is most likely from that river or an estuary as it runs through the centre of the country… luckily I have been at least a little sensible (duck fetus aside!) and not had seafood yet!

When we arrive at the drop off there are about 30 tuk tuk drivers holding hotel name cards like named airport pickup cards but these guys aren’t picking up bookings, just showing hotels you might have pre decided to go for, the The Royal Asia hotel, picked by Lonely Planet and so no doubt a popular option as half the guys have a Royal Asia board but worse than ever they are really frenzily wanting business and when a few younger guys run down to the boat and actually swing through the open windows on to the boat to get your business there is uproar from all the other guys! All funny but also good as it meant I haggled a guy down to $1 between the three of us, so 20p each-ish!

So we go to the Royal Asia, get a room for $8 for three and go out for something to eat and a look round but this ends up being the final straw with Dorothy as we are constantly waiting for her as she is taking pictures of everything but sometimes with no tact like walking up to a food vendors stall, not saying anything or asking if its OK for a picture, but taking close up pics of anything different and then just walking away – embarrassing…! By the time we have looked round I know its d-day and when we get back to the hotel and the subject of tomorrows plans comes up I just say that with time running out for me in Cambodia (yeah right?!) I am gonna move on to the coast, knowing she can’t follow as she is staying there to get to Bangkok in about 3 days but at the same time I did actually mean just me and not with steve for a bit too as just needed some me time, nothing to do with Steve, we get on well, but he says he is gonna come on with me and so I couldn’t leave him with Dorothy and so bit my lip for now.

That night we had a wander and found a strange bar where Dot made another mini scene when they didn’t have a menu and so she had a mini strop and offended everyone but then we found this really good club, all neon lights and really dark but hardly anyone in but across from us were 3 Khmer mates, one out cold and the other two really knocking the beers back and doing khmer style dancing (similar to Hula dancing but with more flair) but to house/dance music… it looked ace and I got a video tho its hard to see… anyway they were looking over and I was clapping the dancing and one guy came over and we chatted for a while in thai!? Random but I didn’t speak Khmer and he didn’t speak English but we both knew minimal Thai and chatted for about 10 minutes, Dot got a video which I copied and it ends with me saying to Steve and Dot "Are you ready, OK, lets go!" as 10 minutes of struggling Thai chat was great but taxing too but he was a really nice guy and his mate and he introduced me to the DJ as I said his music was like in England and very good and the DJ seemed well chuffed with that too but again this only reminded myself it was only ever really me who talked to anyone different, let alone a Cambodian…

So next morning we said our goodbyes to Dot and, as I had previously, I sensed she knew she annoyed me and that was only confirmed when I didn’t ask for her email but later found that steve did… I probably paint a terrible picture of Dotty but we did get on half the time, her travel style appealed in some ways but also highlighted certain things I’d not want to follow…. She was a nice person, I mean she was a nurse and on 2 occasions we saw motorcycle crashes, one with a woman holding a baby, no helmet of course which you see everywhere – I mean you can get a dad with his helmet holding  baby and maybe 2  three of four year olds clinging on at the back and he’s doing 50km!? crazy but yeah, when she saw the crashes she just sprinted over to help, no second thought so in essence she was warm hearted but, well, just French! Me and Steve took the bus to Phnom Penh as annoyingly, even though there was a road to Koh Kong, my next coastal destination, it could only be done by cars or bikes so again the lack of forward planning came back to bite me but we both loved Phnom Penh so it wasn’t a problem, the only problem was that with new year here looming the bus price had doubled..just another unscheduled extra expense but the most important thing was… we were free again!!!
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Delly on

Bon Voyage Dotty!! :)

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