Hello From Cambodia

Hey Everyone,

After crossing the Prek Chak International Border in Cambodia on Monday, from the Ha Tien border in Vietnam, I drove about 32km to Kep and checked into the Tree Top Bungalows. Originally, I only planned to stay here for about three days, however it is going on my sixth full day and I’m not sad about it at all.  I’m enjoying the experience of feeling like I’m sleeping in nature, even though I would do away with the bugs if I had it my way.  Since I decided to take it easy for a few days, I thought it would be a great idea for me to catch up on editing some video footage, write a blog post or two, send a few emails and file my taxes. 🙂 On another note, I think Swing needs some R&R as well.  He racked up about 5,352km (3,325 miles) on the roads of Vietnam and I think I’m starting to feel he’s a little exhausted.

So far my experience in Cambodia has been peaceful.  I’ve tried to practice learning some words in Khmer, the local language, but I have some ways to go before mastering even the simplest words like hello.  The currency here seems a bit weird to me, for example 1000 riel is equivalent to $.25 USD and 10,000 Riel is equivalent to $2.50.  I’m glad I don’t have to fuss to much over the currency, because the country has everything listed in USD and the ATMs dispense both Riel and USD.

Thought my plans this week have extremely relaxed, I did manage to visit the Crab Market, which offers some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had.  The crab cakes I ate for lunch today at Kep Sur Mur restaurant were delicious.  I also took a trip to Kep Market, which is a local market that sells fruit, meat and other daily necessities.  I will admit, this market was no match for the markets I’ve experienced in Vietnam however, I did manage to find two light weight dresses to get me through the heat on the days I’m walking around town.

Back at Tree Top, earlier this week, I met a new friend named Ben.  Ben is from France and he’s traveling around the world, literally, for about three years and his only means of transportation will be by sea and land.  He invited me to come along with him to Koh Tonsay “Rabbit” Island, located in the Gulf of Thailand and just 4km away from Kep.  We departed on Friday morning at 8:30am and arrived to the Island around 9:45am This was not one of those fancy Islands where you go and find several activities for your entertaining pleasure, in fact this place was the complete opposite.  The Island is one square mile in size which we managed to walk 3/4 of that distance around the Island, the other 1/4 was unpaved so we opted not to trek through the jungle-like terrain.  The Island runs on a generator and all power is completely shut off between the hours of 10pm-11pm, without any warning.  There is no WiFi on the Island so if you don’t have 3G you can plan to spend your time swimming, snorkeling in the clear water, go fishing, get a massage, read a book or simply relax and watch the sunset in one of the many hammocks hanging throughout the Island.  We stayed one night at Ngan Sokha, as recommended by an acquaintance of Ben, and enjoyed breakfast in the restaurant when we arrived.  However, we chose to have lunch, dinner and breakfast number two over at Yum Yum restaurant, where the staff was full of energy, fun and much more inviting.

Overall, I would totally visit the Island again.  In fact, if you are in Kep and in need of some time alone or just some time to relax and recoup, I highly recommend taking a trip to Rabbit Island. The cost is $10 and that includes a pick up from your hotel and a return ferry ride from the Island.  Your accommodations on the Island can range from $5 and up, which you can select once you arrive.

I put together a little clip to capture a few highlights from our Island experience.  I hope you enjoy.

Lots of love,

Samiyyah

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