Long day Dad,
As the Mekong water level is low, we had to leave the ship and travel by coach the rest of the way. It took just under six hours, but we did stop along the way.
First stop was a small local food market. It would have been great if you were interested in eating deep fried tarantula or stuffed frog. Pass. We were also hounded by locals (who I am guessing don’t get many tourists stopping) begging for money. Especially children who would just follow you round saying hello and tugging at your shirt.
As we got off the coach I took my back pack with me. When I am moving around it basically has my life in it, passport, cash, everything so I do not let it out of my sight. Others however left their bags on the coach. We came back to find the coach door had been left open and the driver had vanished. With the begging surrounding us, we were concerned. Everyone checked there stuff and nothing was missing, but needless to say people were not very impressed.
Next stop was a small service station for lunch. We must have found the most expensive shop in the whole of Cambodia! Most people just skipped it. I mean $4 for a pack of five cookies, no thanks.
Just before 2pm we arrived at our hotel. I can safely say this is a hotel you would approve of Dad! 5*, plenty of sun loungers, a pool about 20m long, a room with a balcony overlooking the pool, and a bar which serves international brand alcohol! I learnt pretty quickly that happy hour was 3-7, and cocktails were 2 for 1! At $5 a cocktail I was laughing!
At the end of the pool stood six of so giant ornamemtal elephants with their trunks in the air. I passed a comment the trunks looked like they had something in them. No one took much notice, until these elephants started spraying the pool from their trunks. Everyone laughed their heads off at these elephants, spraying the whole deep end of the pool. They decided afterwards maybe I was right about the trunks.
After an afternoon of swimming, drinking and being sprayed we were greeted by our local tour guide. Dinner was at a restaurant called ‘New Hope’ which is a charity helping the poorest families by giving their children a free education and providing them with access to health care and food. The scheme is wonderful. The scheme helps train teens in how to cook and run a kitchen too. The meal was amazing!
We had to take a tuk tuk to ‘New Hope’, which was terrifying. He drove most of the way on the wrong side of the road dodging cars, coaches and scooters. He swerved in and out, and there were a few moments when we hit a bump in the road we thought we would tip over. Somehow we ended up with the same tuk tuk driver on the way back too.
Very early night tonight as we are being picked up at 4:45am!!! I really hope the sunrise is worth it.