We are now in Cambodia after again being forced to flee from Thailand owing to visa expiration. A number of countries were in the offing this time. Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia but we settled on Cambodia for a few reasons. Namely it looked the cheapest and it was an easyish overland crossing. Plus although we have been once before it was such a fleeting visit we felt up for exploring it in more depth.
So we left our french campsite place in Bang Saphan after a week and started the overland trek. We stopped in at Hua Hin and caught up with Jase Koeppl amid the chinese new year celebrations. Saw some awesome kite surfers on the beaches south of the centre and broke our no drinking February (oh well)
A stop in Bangkok and a frantic early morning trail across the city to try and post a damaged tablet to the UK for repair. Who knew it was forbidden to post phones or tablets in Thailand! arrrggh!
Anyway after long discussions it was agreed I could post it if it didn't have battery in it so with much careful prising and teasing I (yes me, luddite that Mikey would have me believe I am) took the Hudl apart and removed the battery!
Sorry I'm waffling.
Anyways a quickish two days travel via Chanthaburi which seems a lovely town and some dubious border officials at Hat Lek and we crossed into Cambodia. An expensive taxi ride to Battambang saw a brief end to the days of travel.
Battambang is Cambodia's 2nd largest city but it feels small enough to walk around. It is full of lovely cafes, bars, galleries and restaurants. Most of which are connected in some way with social enterprise charities to help educate and care for the disadvantaged in society. Unsurprisingly we loved it there and spent 6 days There's a fair bit to do in and around the city.
Our top picks were:
Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus - amazing performance and a great cause. Set up over 20 years ago it educates over 1000 disadvantaged children and adults and uses visual arts and circus skills to build life skills and confidence.
Bamboo train - a bamboo raft balanced on wheels propelled at about 30km/hr along a single track very rickety rail line (not for the feint hearted)
Crocodile Farm - over 400 crocs. We had a tight hold on the kids as they were pearing into the pits.
Bat Cave - a dusk extravaganza of streaming masses of bats. Good as a spectacle although maybe bring a umbrella if you dont want bat poop on your head.
No sign of Brad Pitt unfortunately although I was looking out for him. Angelina was definitely in town as she was finishing the filming of her new film 'First They Killed My Father'. As a result of a major Hollywood film being shot, there was rather a lot of American's in town but actually the ones we met who were working on the film were pretty much the nicest of them all. They weren't preaching their mission values at us at least. We met a guy working on the special fx who had been 5 months in the country filming who reckoned this film has been a life altering experience for him. I hope it tells the story well as it is an important and devastatingly recent horror to tell. I can't help but think of what the people of this country have been through and yet they remain so joyful and caring and fun loving.
So we've now arrived in Phnom Penh and the prices are 3 times what they were in Battambang but we have a lovely pool and there are heaps of things for the kids to enjoy here.
Can't wait to meet my folks in a few weeks time! Keep well everyone!
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!