Before we left Battambang, we made an excursion with our tuk tuk driver to Phnom Banan, about 18 km south west of the town to visit the Prasat Banan, said to be the prototype for Angkor Wat. 358 steep stone steps up a hill. Great views, very old ruin, extremely romantic.
On our way there we passed about five wedding parties; big colourful tents, lots of people, very very loud music, we could hear them from afar. Sed our tuk tuk driver explained to us that it's wedding season in Cambodia, because people now have time and money after the rice harvest. On our way back Sed drove us down a side road, along a river, through some villages and stopped to show us a suspension bridge. It was a very small bridge, not suitable for cars, just enough space for a pedestrian and a moto at the same time... and it had a good swing.
Another early morning and our landlord took us to the station where we got on our bus to the next destination: Pursat.
Three hours of the bus drivers incessant honking and we had arrived.
Just over the road we found a guesthouse, lovely landlady, not English speaking, clean spacious room. Our entrance door guarded by two wooden Apsaras( temple dancers) the size of a man, we felt pretty safe. "The house own translator", a guy from the road with a moto, helped us to find a tuk tuk to go 32 km to the floating village of Kompong Luong. This village is situated in Cambodia's biggest lake and water resource the Tonle Sap. Its location varies depending on whether it is wet or dry season. This can be as much as 10 km difference.
We found a guy with a boat to take us closer to the village, they have everything there: shops, petrol stations, schools and even a church, but all floating on bamboo. It was very interesting to see the daily life of people living on water. The water traffic rules are like on the road, there are none.
Our stay in Pursat was just overnight, as the next morning we were on a bus to Sihanoukville on the south coast. This town known by Cambodians as Kampong Som, was renamed in the 1950's Sihanoukville after the king Sihanouk by French developers.
After we found a guest house we searched for possibilities of staying on one of the local islands. This proved relatively easy. We booked to spend four nights on the island of Koh Russei ( Bamboo Island) just one hour by boat away. Until then we spent a few nights in the town, staying on Serendipity Beach and one day on the quieter less populated Otres Beach. We also took a tuk tuk to the Ream National Park, where we went on a three hour trek with a ranger and his machete. While on our trek up a little mountain, we heard many jungle noises and monkeys retreating from us in the tree tops. All we could see were swinging branches in their wake. Though John saw a monkey arm.
At the top we rested on a rock enjoying the great views over the coast and the islands. This was also obviously a popular spot with the monkeys as we found quite fresh monkey poo.
Toady we catch our boat to the island, hoping for great snorkeling spots and romantic sunsets...
Sorry again no pictures, but this computer has no editing facilities.