Has been a great couple of days R & R chilling out in Koh Kong but after 28 days in Cambodia, with only two days left on our visa it is time to say Goodbye.
There is no doubt that our impression of this wonderful country has changed from our negative first impressions of it 12 years ago as we rushed through Siem Reap and Phnom Penh tourist spots on a bus like most backpackers carrying an oversize backpack.
How different you see a place on 2 wheels fully immersing yourself into the daily lives of the most wonderful and friendly people we have come across. A country that has gone through so much in recent decades. One thing that stood out to us was seeing very few of the older generation, maybe remnants of the 2-3million people that were killed during the Khmer rouge regime only 35-40 years ago.
It is sad to see their prized tourism spots being sold out to the Chinese and the ordinary Cambodian people left with disintegrating roads and left to live in a pile of dust and rubbish. Oh my goodness the rubbish, we actually became desensitised to the volume of rubbish, plastic bottles and open drains of sludge.
We have had the most incredible time riding the country. The roads have been challenging with pot holes, dust and traffic but Betty and Nancy have stood up to the challenge despite a couple of flatties. Our old bikes certainly wouldn’t have survived. Prior to coming here we had read that only 20% of drivers have their drivers lincenses and after seeing them drive this may well be true. The wow factor of how many they can put in and on a vehicle and where they opt to sit was mind blowing. Cambodia is predominantly flat so was easy terrain except for HW48 and the Cardamoms which was challenging but a peaceful pleasure. We hope we never have to ride HW4 again!
The dogs are far sleepier than Thailand and only had the couple of dog chases but we have the sticks ready as we hit Thailand tomorrow.
The food was definitely challenging at times just trying to find something that we thought our stomachs could handle. It certainly doesn’t have the same choices or flavours as Thailand. Thank goodness for the pottles of “Mama Noodles” they were a bit of a lifesaver. Beer is everywhere and easier to find than food and a super tasty drop. Coffee is huge here with both their local incredibly strong brew or the odd new trendy cafe popping up serving more western style coffee and has been a highlight of our days.
So we sit here planning the next part of the journey crossing the border tomorrow into Thailand, making the almost 500km journey up to Bangkok to get our flight to Myanmar on May 14th. Hoping to find a bike shop in Bangkok to get the bikes serviced after the rugged month they have endured.
So farewell Cambodia and thank you so much for an amazing time. Your warmth, hellos and waves as we cycled your beautiful country bring a smile to our face now as we write this. We will definitely be back at some stage.