Day 9, Phnom Penh – Oudong – Kampong Thom

Today we would bus to our new Cambodian starting point where we would meet our van drivers and new bikes. Our new Cambodian guide, Nak, accompanied us on the bus ride. Because of the current laws, the bikes and vans cannot be moved from country to country and our touring company, Spice Roads, needs to supply new staff and equipment in each country.

Our rest stop was a local market that specialized in insects, FOR FOOD!!! The locals also had pet tarantulas you could pose with for photos. Here is TommyH making new friends . . .


. . . me too, including the one almost out of view climbing up my tummy!!! (the poisonous pincers have been removed).

Huey had been here before and knew the routine. Before we left, he went over to his favorite vendor

and bought a fresh  sampling of goodies from about

four of the bowls.

Nothing was moving, all dead and FRESH!!!

Nicely presented

. . . even with a few scallions and red peppers for flavor and presentation!!!

Back on the bus Huey passed them around for everyone to sample . . . the only taker, Nak! He demoed with one of  the beetles how one had to remove the wings and the legs because they were too tought. But the thorax . . .

. . . tasty!! Made me wonder . . . whens lunch!!!

Soon we arrived at a large temple where we met up with the van and our new bikes . . .

NEW Treks, AGAIN!! Just like in Vietnam!!!

We rode around the grounds making sure everything worked OK . . .

. . . admiring the statues.

The Cambodians are big on elephants!!!

Today we would ride on ‘red road’, well packed dirt roads, which took us by schools that had just let out for lunch (no bicycles for these kids they all had scooters) . . .

. . . and by some of the other local critters . . .

. . . Hey, don’t forget about me!!!!

In most cases, mechanization has replace the water buffalo as the main ‘engine’ out in the ag fields. The motorized front units with a PTO and long steering tubes are know as the ‘Iron Buffalo’. They are used for a lot more than just in the fields, here one is moving some furniture down the road!!!

. . . don’t forget the mattresses!!!

Soon it was time for a break. It was close to 100 degrees and our guides pulled plastic containers out of the coolers that had wet, chilled, rolled up little cotton towels, just like the kind you get on some planes before dinner but these were cold. What a great idea and way to ‘freshen up’.  Down right civilized!!!

. . . oh and they had great goodies too . . .

. . . everything the American palate might want . . .

. . and right next to our van was a durian tree, complete with fruit. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odor. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odor, which may linger for several days, has led to the fruit’s banishment from most hotels in southeast Asia. In fact, most of our hotels had fines, similar to our smoking in hotel fines, for bringing  durian on the premises!!!B

This was a typical Cambodian country house. Most are built on stilts not because of the possibility of flooding but to provide shade, allow the house to be ‘naturally air conditioned’ and allow a place for the residents to hang hammocks for sleeping during the heat of the day!

Away we went to visit the temple on the top of the hill and to have lunch!!

As we began our climb the road turned from dirt to asphalt . . . didn’t make the climbing any easier!!

Before we toured the pagoda we had a nice box lunch . . . it was very good.

Then up the stairs we went . . .and once at the top . . .

. . . had a great view of the countryside and the large temple where we ate our lunch . . . AND to the left and behind it, a HUGE Buddha!!!

Back on the road, soon we were at our home for the night, the Glorious Hotel  . . . and it was.

Nice pool . . .

. . . and sunset. Got me in the mood for . . .


a tini’ as we waiting

. . . for our food to cook over the ‘hot pots’ at the restaurant we ventured to in town.

The city was very active, and like most urban areas we have been in at night, come alive with LOTS of colored lights.

We decided to take a ‘tuk tuk’ back to the hotel and shared the cab . . .

. . . with David and Brian. Total cost for the ride back $1 USD / per person!!!