Sangkat Boeng Salang

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4 travelers at this place

  • Day58

    We gave blood

    December 30, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Last year , it was recorded that Cambodia's blood banks were empty. People died as a result of this. So it is advised to visitors to give when you visit, so we did.

    The whole experience was amazing, there were so kind and grateful and not to mention bloody painful ha! (pardon the pun)Read more

  • Day62

    Teemu goes to Cambodia

    November 13, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    This is the second time that I am writing this post. The weather is so warm that the tablet I was writing on overheated, and lost the entry that I had almost finished writing. This was upsetting. Not so much because it was a literary masterpiece, but because it took 45 mins of my time, and now it will take some more to write it out again from memory.

    Back to the story of the actual day - not the writing of this post.

    The day started at 0600, followed by a quick and dissappointed breakfast at the hotel, where I managed to spill coffee all over the table. Hrading back to the ticket agency where we procured our river boat tickets to Cambodia the night before, we met Gauthier just before 0700. From here we would be shuttled to the waterfront by the boat company.

    After five minutes, a man showed up on a push bike, towing a trailer. This as it turned out, would be our transportation. Gauthier went first, and five minutes later we followed. Arriving at the jetty, we couldn't help but notice that Gauthier was missing. We were assured that he had been put on the boat that we could now see in the distance, and that we would be placed on the boat now tied up at the jetty. We waited on the boat for twenty minutes or so, as a group of Danish people arrived on a tour, and transferred from their bus to the boat.

    Leaving the dock at about 0730, we headed north, to the border, and to Cambodia. On the way, we watched the Vietnamese on the river go about their daily lives. Some were fishing, some were crossing on ferries, others were either heading to or back from one of the many floating markets on Mekong River system, and others were transporting large volumes of sand and aggregate to cities for use in construction.

    As we got closer to the Cambodia border, the number of dredging barges increased, as did the number of cargo ships, moored by the river side, and waiting for their next load of sand to cart back to town. The border between Cambodia and Vietnam was pretty obvious. There was line of 12-15 dredging barges stretching across the river, gathering up all the sediment newly arrived in Vietnam from Cambodia, via Thialand, Laos, Burma, and Tibet. I can only imagine that that section of the river bed is many times deeper than the remainder of the river, which itself is often 20m deep normally.

    Making our first stop at a floating building, we disembarked to clear Vietnamese border control. In the waiting room, we were happy to see Gauthier, alive, well, and drinking a beer. He had made it onto the boat before us, just as we had been told. Though in this part of the world, you are never quite sure if assertions like that made by staff are entirely true.

    After 30 mins off the boat, we got back on again, and then headed to the Cambodia border crossing. All the admin was handled from a compound on the river bank, though it was a strange place. There were hens everywhere, scratching for food, there were children playing, there was clothes hanging in a corner of the compound, and fighting cocks being fed in their cages in another. Not your typical border crossing, but we are entering another world to some degree as we go to Cambodia, so we shouldn't be too surprised.

    Getting back on the boat, we headed to Phnom Penh. The difference between Vietnam and Cambodia was stark, even if just from the back of a river boat. In Vietnam, there were boats everywhere on any stretch of water, no matter how big or small the expanse of water. In Cambodia, we were on the Mekong River, 400 - 500m wide, and there was scarcely a boat to be seen. Only the odd motorised canoe, and occasional container barge.

    That didn't mean there was nothing to see though. We saw a wedding by the water, on a plantation. Children playing in the water, and many farmers tending to their crops. The only industrialisation we saw was around Phnom Penh, were we passed an LPG/Oil port, followed by a container boat. Somehow a 150-200m LPG carrier had made it this far up the Mekong. It seemed very out of place, as such ships are usually confined to the sea.

    Arriving in Phnom Penh we were dumped off the boat in the middle of nowhere. As we would discover, this was because of the Water Festival that had started that day, and would continue for another two. It involved boat races down the stretch of river where the river boat port was. While it was more than annoying for us, it was great news for the tuk-tuk drivers of Phnom Penh.

    As we approached our hotel by tuk-tuk, the River Festival struck again, as the area around our hotel had been turned into a pedestrian zone. That meant that we had to walk about 1.5km, weighted down by our big bags. We arrived at the fancy hotel we had booked, looking quite dishevelled. Fortunately, after a quick shower, and chance of clothes we were ready to face the world again, and headed along to a vegetarian restaurant to have some lunch, and a cheeky drink. The beer was pretty good, though the G&T was more G than T, which made it hard going for Courtney.

    After lunch we headed back to the hotel, an got in touch with Gauthier to try and meet up for a drink/dinner. Settling on a time, we got him at his hostel. There we met Brice ( a fellow Frenchman), and headed out into the night. Our hotel had told us there would be a fireworks show at 1900, but as it turned out, it started at 1800, so we missed that entirely. We did arrive at the waterfront to see a number of iluminated barges sail pass, to the delight of the throngs.

    Having had a few drinks, we decided it was time for some dinner, and settled into the least touristy restaurant we could find, that served local food. The food was fine - nothing exceptional - though we did try deepfried tarantula. It was rather tasty, and I would compare it to eating snail. It was marinated in so much sauce, that there wasn't really a lot of flavour in the spider to taste. It mostly provided texture, which was crisy, a bit like a spring roll. Courtney being a complete aracnophobe was scared to go near the plate.

    After dinner, we headed back to Gauthier's hostel, as it had the cheapest drinks US50c for a beer, and decent cocktails to boot. We played a few games of pool, and then headed back to our hotel.
    Read more

  • Day58

    Phnom Penh

    December 30, 2016 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Before visiting PP, i had a lot of misconceptions and i wasn't particularly looking forward to embarking on the hassle and seedy undeground.

    YES .... there are middle aged white western men hanging around the red light district!

    YES... poverty is everywhere you look

    and YES the roads are insane! (Asia have no concept of a give way at a roundabout!! )

    But once you look past this, you find sweet caring gentle people with a horrific past, that was not so long ago.

    On April the 17th 1975, the Khmer rouge stormed PP and began its extermination of the "new people" (people who were modern thinking, educated, had soft hands and wore glasses). The leader of the regime was Pol Pot (brother number 1), he had a deluded Maoism communistic idea of returning the land to the "base people". This day was called year zero.

    The new people were arrested, with there families and tortured until they confessed/lied that they were involved in crimes against the state, as soon as the confession was signed, they were taken to the killing fields and murdered.

    3million of the 8 million population of cambodia were killed and the rest were worked like slaves in the country side.

    This went on for 4 years with no intervention until 1979, when the Vietnamese army liberated PP and the Khmer rouge fled to jungle on the Thai border.

    i don't really want to use my blog to preach and to go into to much detail, but what me and tam found so shocking was that the UN still gave these murderer's, the Khmer rouge a seat in the UN until 1991!!!!

    I did feel quite uncomfortable visiting the places of torture and death, but how i made it seem okay was that it educated me and now others, so their deaths were not in vain, to prevent this from happening ever again.

    I haven't included any pictures out of respect, as i didn't take any.

    We lay a flower at the memorial garden.
    Read more

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Sangkat Boeng Salang

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