Social Whisper

Getting to Cambodia

Posted on: March 16, 2009

This is really the first bit of traveling I’ve done by myself, so it will be a good indication of how the rest of my trip may go. Though the fact that it is Friday the 13th wasnt a good day to start.

It didnt start well. I had to wake up at 5.45 to catch the boat to the mainland from Ko Samet, but hadnt had any sleep the night before as the onset of food poisoning had been kicking in. Also this crazy bird/lizard thing (we’re not sure what it was as I was too sacred to go and look) kept making pyshco noises all night outside the room – I’ve honestly never heard anything like it.

Waking up I was violently ill for about 10 minutes before making it to the boat which didnt help with the puking. By the time I made it to the place to pick up the bus I was knackered and the threat of being sick again was imminent.

It quickly became clear that I wasnt going to make it to Phnom Penh in a day so the guy I spoke to said he would give me a lift to the boarder where I could cross over to Cambodia and stay at Koh Kong and do the rest of the trip the next day.

Initial reports on Koh Kong were exciting as it was described in lonely planet as:

‘a frontier town of smugglers, gamblers, and prostitutes’

so I was like amazing its going to be like Pirates of the Caribbean.

Arriving there this was definitely not the case, and crossing a land boarder wasnt what I expected either. There’s literally nothing there and so on arrival I realised I was pretty screwed.

I managed to get a taxi to Koh Kong but as I was so tired and had no idea where I wanted to be and the town itself was just dirt roads and a lot of huts with a few buildings in the middle – things were getting emotional.

For the first time I was really starting to get worried about what I was doing traveling by my self and wondering how the hell I was going to manage the rest of the trip by my self. Especially as being white and female (and with blond hair) can make things intimidating as it draws a lot of attention.

After a bit of a freak out when a guy kept trying to get into my room, I thought it would be safer to go down the road and try to find some where to normal my self out.

Walking down the road and probably looking quite distraught I met this local Cambodian guy who taugh English at the local school. Seeing me in a bit of a state he offered to take me for some food and a ride round the town on his bike to show me around.

Deciding that if something was going to happen to me I would rather it happen sooner rather than later I took him up on his offer, but it was all fine.

After the trip he asked me to come to his class and help teach the kids English that evening. The kids as they all are in Asia were so cute and so intelligent – I always feel so bad not knowing any of their language.

In the end I had a really nice time and had a totally new outlook on the day and a bit more confidence for the rest of my trip.

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