As I’m sure you could tell from my last few travel updates, our time spent on the islands off the southern coast of Thailand was incredible!
It's almost too easy to get good photos of long tail boats… Here's one that I'd normally hold on to for a photo gallery of some sort, but I have enough from this trip that I can let one slide.
Now we have made our way on another whirlwind journey to Battambang, Cambodia, and will finish out the last nine days of our trip here and in two other cities in Cambodia before flying home. Once again the means of getting from point A (Tonsai Bay, Thailand) to point B (Battambang, Cambodia) was pretty wild. Here’s the synopsis…
We spent the morning and afternoon rock climbing and kayaking at Tonsai Bay, then got a long tail boat to the mainland around 3pm. From there we boarded a mini van for a seemingly pointless one-kilometer ride to our double-decker bus. That bus ride started at about 4:30pm and was supposed to be 13 hours long, ending in Bangkok. However, about 12 hours in, after rain and flooding delayed us a few hours, our bus diver crashed into another bus, shattering the windshield and busting the driver side mirror and headlight. No one was injured, but plenty of first world tourists were pissed. Half the bus got off there and found other modes of transportation—in the middle of the night, on the side of the road, around who knows where. Lindsay and I didn’t have a schedule or anywhere important to be so we opted to stay on as it was the most convenient and cheapest option for us. Around 9:30am (already five hours late), we stopped on the side of the highway and switched over to a new double-decker bus that wasn’t wrecked. Another two hours later we were finally dropped off at a random bus stop somewhere in Bangkok.
Our busted bus.
Lindsay pulled out her trusty Lonely Planet guide and found that a certain bus station across town had busses that went to the boarder town near Cambodia we were tying to get to, so we hopped in a cab for about 20 minutes and made our way to the bus station. It worked out great and we were just in time for the next bus out of Bangkok.
After another three-hour bus ride we were finally at the border crossing and walked through immigration into Cambodia. Once inside the new country we hitched a free five-minute bus ride to a taxi and bus station where we got a “share taxi” (a beat up old Toyota Camry). We were in that car with another random guy for more than an hour, then he got dropped and a different random guy got in. Then the driver stopped at his house and his teenage daughter got in (sitting on Lindsay’s lap in the front).
Finally, around 9pm (30 hours after our journey began) we were at a hotel and ready to settle down for the night. The hotel (that we are still in it for another night) is the nicest place we’ve stayed at so far on this trip and is only $3 a night per person!
Entering into my 21st country…Cambodia.
Today was our first full day in Cambodia, and it was super relaxing and slow paced, but we still packed in a ton of super fun activities.
Here’s what we did today…
We took our time getting up this morning and dropped off some laundry to be washed at the hotel’s front desk, then went for a walk at the local market where we ate some soup and I got my face shaved and hair cut for $4. I haven’t had a close shave with a legit razor in nearly six years (I always just use a beard and mustache trimmer), so having my face shaved with a straight razor and talcum powder (no water or shaving cream) was a pretty wild experience for me. The haircut was deece considering the sheers were about as dull as you could get and still be able to cut hair. As the razor burn was setting in on my face I got a full head wash and massage that was worth the price alone.
Nope, not hamburger patties and tomatoes. Congealed blood with chicken innards that somehow look a lot like testicles. These are just some of the many colorful goodies you can find at the market. (I haven't tried either yet, and probably won't.)
The nice lady that served us soup in the market.
This was not very pleasant, but long overdue.
After we left the market we made a quick stop at the bank to exchange some money, then rented a motorbike ($5 a day). We took off on the chaotic streets on the motorbike and made our way to some temple ruins, stopping off first at a random roadside house to watch local people make rice paper in their front yard. After walking around the temple we kicked back in some hammocks, drank a coconut, and chowed down on some papaya salad. I ended up taking a quick but amazing nap in the hammock before we cruised on back towards town. On the way back we made a pit stop at a crocodile farm where we got to hold baby crocs for a bit. The night ended with some more soup at a roadside stand and a circus performance from a local school of aspiring artists. They were really talented and extremely entertaining—a perfect way to end a perfect day in a new country!
If you've ever wondered what the marks on rice paper are from, here's your answer… Bamboo drying racks.
What a croc.
Not quite Cirque de Soleil, but still pretty awesome.