We are back. That's right not dead yet, though we do feel batted.
We took the bus down to Kampot, a quaint little shit hole. I mean place. There really is only one reason to go there and that is the national park Bokor that it practically sits on. This is a set of forest covered mountains the tallest of which is 1078m. Now I'm not being rude about this place as such it's just fallen on very hard times. It use to be the French Colonial Officer retreat, it then became the same for the Cambodian royal family. Then the war happened. What was left by the Communist was destroyed by the Khmer Rogue, What was not destroyed by them was taken as plunder by the "Liberating" Vietnamese arm, anything left at all was striped by the locals to sell to stop them from staring to death. I mean everything, tiles, light switches, toilet, windows, doors they even broke up the concrete buildings to get to the steel frames for scrap value. Needless to say the town never recovered and with the rise of Sihanouk Ville as a seaside resort it never will. It lives now showing visitors to what is left of its once important past and selling Pepper around the world.
Well we went on a tour to the top of the highs peek to see the Black palace. (Royal Retreat.) A Water fall. Which was very slippery both Shell and me slipped over. Shell cut here leg and I bruised my coccyx bone, (Still painful to sit down.) and the hill station, this is the French colonial retreat.
The road to get there is approximately 14km and it took almost 4 hours up and over 2 hours down. The road was atrocious. I really mean that. Both Shell and I sustained bruises on our backs and arms as well as aching muscles. The pickup truck which we rode on the back of with 4 others making 6 in all would tilt up to approx 35 degrees.
This is luxury transport in Cambodia the best we have seen is 26 people on the bed of a standard pickup truck with another 9 inside. We will try to get a pic for you to see.
We had had enough of this place pretty quick as the plumbing did not work in our room, (I had to fix it so we could use the loo) there was nothing to do, the Mozzies where out in force and the locals seemed miserable. There was one young guy who worked for an English family (they where back in England for the rainy season, he was making extra cash) and had taught himself English from DVDs in 3 years. Very impressive standard of English and very helpful person. Showed us how to get to the taxi rank so did not have to pay guest house.
We both ached so decided to go for luxury and take a private taxi to a Hotel.
Well the private taxi dropped us off at the doors to the Holiday palace casino / Hotel.
This cost $25 during the week and $30 at the weekend. It had everything we wanted, so we decided to treat ourselves and stay 4 nights. So we had the rugby as well.
Well it was crap. It said it had the internet and didn't, it said it did laundry but it only took it at specific times, it said it had Sky TV and it had 3 crap English channels and it said it had a well stocked shop to service all your needs, unless you needed bad beer or odd looking crisps you where out of luck. It did have a Casino :)
I have never been in a Casino and something struck my funny bone about going into a Cambodian Casino for my first wager. We looked around saw a drunken man bet almost every combination on a Roulette table, at most he could win 70% of his money back, they kept the drinks coming. I then settled on an Irish Lucky Pot game. Being clueless I won for my $5 out lay I won $33 :) which paid for the room my bet and $3 profit which I intend to spend on beer.
The Hotel did do 2 things for us, a big comfortable clean bed and A HOT SHOWER. I will let Shell explain.
arhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hot water good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ache in places I never knew I had. But still even with the pain it was an interesting day in Bokor national park that I wouldn't have missed out on - my first time in the back of a pick up truck. In fact my first time in a pick up truck period. I have to say not sure I would do it again but good to do these things once. Ad and I couldn't stop chuckling to ourselves about how his wager paid for our room, very funny. I have enjoyed Cambodia with all of the different things it has to offer, it has shown me that Asia is a good place to visit to see something different. Before coming on our travels I wasn't so bothered by Asia, but I'm really pleased that we have included part of it in our trip. I definitely think in the future I would come back to Asia to see some different parts of it.
After we have spent a few days relaxing in the sun on Cambodia's south coast we will be heading back in Thailand to explore some more there, going up to the North to see Chaing Mai then work our way down til we get to the island Kao Tao to try some diving. So keep reading peeps sure to be more fun and games to read about soon......