Tag Archives: koh kong

The day we walked to Thailand

5 Mar

We went for breakfast at a little place by the sea and whilst we were there, we found a book of things to do in Koh Kong. One of them was to go to the zoo near the border of Thailand. As it happened, we were eating just near the bridge to get across so we decided that rather than go back and get that bike from our guesthouse, we’d get a tuktuk across. We hadn’t appreciated that it was 12km each way so weren’t expecting the driver to tell us it was $15…so we said no we’d walk.”You can’t walk, it’s 12km.”

Well now you’ve told us not to do something, we’re going to do it. So we started walking…”Ok, ok, $12″. “No, we’re walking. Thanks”. “Ohhhh. Ok. It’s 12km!!” “That’s alright, we need the walk. Goodbye.” We walked off.

“Hey! You! $10?”

“No, we’ll walk. Thank you.”

“…Tuktuk?”

So off we walked to within 500m of the border of Thailand.

What we saved by walking may have been cancelled out by the amount we had to drink just to get there…including this

which tasted like “cigarette juice” according to Craig.

We didn’t see anyone else walking, but assumed that this was because walking was the intelligent decision favoured only by the knowledgeable few. The knowledgeable few who remembered that when you get to the zoo, you also have to walk around that…

But when we did get there (after seeing the tuktuk driver zip past several times, waving cheerfully to us each time), we were glad we didn’t pay to be driven over as it was $12 each – the most expensive entrance fee we’ve seen whilst we’ve been away I think. But when we looked round, it was clear they’d spent a lot of money on the enclosures and exhibits so we didn’t feel too bad.

 

I was expecting to see very small cages and sad looking animals given the standard of animal care here, but most of the animals looked happy enough, well fed and cared for and in reasonably sized enclosures. The smallest cage was the sea eagle’s…I guess they thought if they gave him a big enough cage to fly in no one would be able to see him, but it does seem weird they gave an enormous cage to the peacocks (who don’t fly much) and a tiny cage to a massive bird like the eagle. They also had animals shows on every couple of hours. The guidebook had warned us that these wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, so we weren’t surprised when we went to investigate the orangutan show, the orangutan outside was wearing a dress and made to pose with people for pictures. We had a look at the set for the show and saw “Orangutan Boxing Match!”. We decided to give it a miss in favour of looking at the ostriches. You could get really close to the animals in most enclosures

 

Got to feed bambis sweet potatoes!

One of the more special exhibits.

There was a massive electric fence seperating the tigers from each other’s pens…and a tiny little metal railing seperating them from us!

Direction…or instruction?

 

They wouldn’t let us have a go on this for some reason. Maybe they knew it was our intent to steal it and pedal it around SE Asia. To Australia the Stupid Way?

We did relent and get a motorbike back each from the zoo. When we got back to the guesthouse and told Paddy that we’d walked to the zoo he at first didn’t believe us and then just kept asking “why” :)

We spent a nice night with the guys at the guesthouse, helping Mara get on Facebook and setting up his email account. This is his new profile picture

Mai, the lady that works there, took me under her wing and re-patched up my foot, gave me eucalyptus oil for my million bites (which I swapped for a nail varnish which she seemed pretty pleased with) and gave me a back massage. Mara said that when we come back we can build ourselves a house on his land near Kampot…an offer he may regret making!

We also booked bus tickets to Battambang for the morning – not realising we had to go back to Phnom Penh first because the Cardamom mountains are pretty inaccessible by road and it would take ages. So an epic 12 hour 2-bus journey later, we finally arrived here having been invited to attend a Cambodian wedding by one of the guys we met on the bus. It turned out that the offer wasn’t serious but little did we know we’d be gate-crashing one 14 hours later…

Just messing about in the river…

2 Mar

Yesterday was an awesome day. We had so much fun…even though it involved the Worst Bike in the World. We decided we wanted to go to the waterfalls about 20km from here so we rented a bike from Paddy, who assured it was “top quality bike”. Well it might have been a long time ago but it definitely wasn’t yesterday. We are not sure whether this is because Craig wore Andy’s helmet – Andy’s bike broke down every second day so it might have been our own fault :)

It took a long time to get to where the waterfall, partly because the bike crawled up hills, found every gravel trap going, clunked and spluttered over ever bump and partly because we couldn’t find the bloody things. We went up and down the same stretch of road for 15 minutes – every local we stopped said it was 2km in the direction we were going. So back and forth we went until we eventually found it. It was located 1.3km down a steep track, through streams and over crevices caused by water damage. After all the fun/terror of getting down there, we said the waterfalls had better be good.

And they were

except for this sign

Well, now I want to.

So I did

although this wasn’t the really big one as I quite fancied being alive for a little bit longer.

We had a power shower

…not sure this is the exact face Myleen would have pulled but the flow was really strong :)

We spent a long time just messing about – we had the place to ourselves

So after a couple of hours of swimming we got back on the stupid bike and up the hill, amusing ourselves by ducking down behind the handlebars racing-style every time a Cambodian overtook us as we were going about 10km per hour (well who knows, actually, the speedometer…and the fuel gauge…were broken. I said it was a stupid bike).

We went off to find the mangrove forest and walk through it on the boardwalk they’ve constructed.

It was absolutely beautiful

and as near to silent as I think I’m going to get in Asia. All you could hear was the rumble of distant boats and the mud the trees grow in popping occasionally.

We went over a little bamboo bridge to the restaurant there and found that the waiter didn’t speak much English and there was no menu. We were given the choice of fish, crab or shrimps. I really, really hate picking through whole seafood…I can just about manage whole fish but not ripping animals to pieces so we went for the fish.

Ah well, guess it got lost in translation. So Craig had a nice meal of crab and I had cold rice with soy sauce, yummy!

Trying to force a buffalo to eat some grass. It ran away. Perhaps it felt awed by the fashionable helmet.

We stopped at the Sunset Bar to watch the sun go down (surprisingly) and had a couple of Long Island ice teas, making us a little tipsy. The guesthouse was only a couple of blocks away and thankfully one of the bike’s lights was working (the front one, yay!) so we got back on it and giggled all the way home as the horn started working when Craig smacked the dashboard…and it played what sounded exactly like the Inbetweeners song, We Speak No Americano.

Back at the guesthouse we were invited for dinner because Craig had given one of the boys here his old phone after the one the boy had got dropped in the sea the day before. It was absolutely delicious – barbecued meat and vegetables dipped in a really spicy paste

I think the “Super Whiskey” we bought, mixed with Red Bull and M150 energy drink, local style, also went down well :) Paddy played his guitar

…nice end to a brilliant day.