HOT INFO On The Road

Andreas in Cambodia

May 17, 2001, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

$1 = 8315riel

It took me nearly an hour to ask some simple questions and they were not really helpful. I spoke with several people so hopefully these information are correct. Most of fares are matching with the information some travellers gave to me. PP=Phnom Penh, BB=BATTANGBANG

PP TO BB: on even date day. Dep6:30 Arr21:30 13,500 R.
PP TO SHIANOUKVILLE: on even date day. Dep6:30 Arr21:00 12,500 R.
PP TO KAMPOT: on even date day. Dep6:30 Arr12:00 9,000 R.
BB TO SISSOPHON: odd date day. Dep7:00 Arr11:00 6,000 R.
KAMPOT TO SIHANOUKVILLE: on even date day. 12:00 Arr17:00 4,000R.
KAMPOT TO PP : on odd date day. Dep10:00 Arr23:00 9,000 R.

Myanmar Embassy: #181 Norodom Road, on left corner of Mao Tse Toung Blvd. T21-3664 M - F. 8:30 -11:30. Tourist Visa(28 days): US $20. Processed within two working days. 3 Passport photos, Photocopy of Passport.

May 05, 2001, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

$1 = 8315riel

Don't you like to come over to Cambodia. I am sure that you are MISSING transport a la truck de Cambodia. Finally I made my way to Phnom Penh. ( I doubted it many times if I ever will make it) .This is one place on earth where the only happy beings are the dogs. When I arrived at the bus station I thought that the Khmer Rouge are back. The streets where ripped off (Chaotic construction side without rules and actually people working there) people fighting with each other and kicking their asses (some business problems between two truck driver parties) and soldiers everywhere (visit of the Singapore Prime Minister). I cleared my mind of all experiences of my last visit and tried to give it another go, but Cambodia is not my cup of tea and this country is not giving me anything back at all.

This trip will be definitely my toughest trip so far. The Road from Poi Pet to Siam Reap is a Sunday Picnic pleasure trip against the Road up to Stung Treng and back. I still cannot sit properly. It took me 16 hours. Some problems, lots of sunshine boiling me well done on the back of the truck and then lots of rain soaking (mudding me) for another 5 hours. One my way to Kampot (very bad road as well) someone tried to steal my backpack out of the shared taxi. I saw him coming from the back and .......thought I am dreaming......saw him running down the street with my backpack. I guess he never expected that Germans are quite strong and their backpacks are bloody heavy. I managed to get after him and he dropped my backpack before I could massage his backside with my muddy boots. Lucky him.

Regarding Lonely Planet. Lots of information were incorrect again. The only highlight in my Cambodia experience and the only place you MUST see after Angkor Wat is Kratje. Lovely town. Great sunset and amazing Dolphins watching. I read that it is the best place in the Mekong ( I doubted it...) and checked it out. It was unbelievable and simple amazing. No tourists at all. Nice quite village and side at the Mekong north of Kratje. I took a boat with a fisher woman and .......minimum of ten dolphins were swimming and playing in the water about 60m from the shore. I watched them playing and swimming for an hours and they came pretty close. I made photos of it. We really should recommend this. I think it is really something special to experience.

WARNING for visiting Koh Kong.
What happened is that due to the construction of the new bridge they had to move the pier for the boats to Koh Kong a little bit further upstream (from the bridge ca. 60m further upstream , on the Had Lek side) The boatmen they united them with the aim to rip off every tourist before the bridge is finished. It does not matter which one you will ask it is always a special and rip off quote. The disgusting thing is that they are not allowing foreigners to share the boat with other locals. They are telling you that you as foreigners must chart your own boat and you cannot share one. When I arrived, they quoted me that I have to pay 150 Baht. I told them that I know that price and that I would not pay more then 20 or 40 Baht. I asked around, but everyone told me the same and they spoke to each other in Khmer. I guess to make sure that everyone is telling the same story. I was standing at the pier for 1,5 hours asking locals to share a boat, but the boatmen told them that this is not possible to take me with them. Finally, I walked back for 300m to the first buildings of the little fishermen village and asked around. I could find several locals who offered me to charter a boat for 50-70 Baht. I went over for 50 Baht and it took 5 min. without waiting. I met a Japanese guy who paid 300B., French couple who paid 150B. each and a German guy who could bargain it down for 130B. In Koh Kong I had food in Cheap Charlie's GH. It was very good and cheap. I had a breakfast too. Huge portions and large coffees. Highly recommend .

I arrived in Phnom Penh today and I am completely behind my time schedule. Travelling in the North East part of Cambodia really takes time and expect to calculate more time for it. The most of the time you are waiting at least 2-3 hours before a pick up is leaving. I will spoil myself tomorrow with a non stop tour up to Sisophon. (my sore bum is already looking forward to it. )

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