Cambodia Nov.12 - Nov.27, 1995
Goodbye Vietnam - Hello Cambodia!
Met up with Perry in the very early morning outside Kims cafe' - somebody's friend drove us out to the airport where we filled out a lot of forms - got a departure stamp in the passport & boardered the plane.
The trip up to Phnom Penh took only 30 min. & we could clearly see how flooded the country was around the Mekong River.
Landed - and for 20$ , a filled out form & a photo we got our visas & walked out to find a taxi who would take us to Guesthouse "No 9" at the shore at the lake "Boeng Kak" better known among backpackers as "Hotel California"
"You can check out any time you like - but you can never leave"
(I bet some of the other visitors - have been here for ages - sleeping in hammocks - stoned & careless for the outside world!)
Never mind! We got a dorm room - slept for 3 hours & went sightseeing - checking if Phnom Penh looked the same & if we could find Heather who might / might not be here. We didn't find her so we expected she'd moved on. We found a $ supermarket - bought a lot of chips & candy & went back home to "Piss alley" & had a feast!
BirgitSusanne arrived today & Perry became "distant". We walked down to the central marked - a nice art deco building - full of all the things you need & never knew you needed. I bought some silk I'd missed to buy last time I was here. We found a bank & cashed some travelers cheques. Phnom Penh is full of police - WHAT'S GOING ON??? Don't ask too much & too many questions!!! Just be a happy backpacker!
I stumbled on a sidewalk & hurt my already wounded toe "Life is tough & then you die!" Ate an awful lunch at the Capitol restaurant (We should have known better) - met Kate (Scotland) one of the girls from the happy Sapa days - & believe it or not Alfeo (Italy) whom we met in Siem Reap in 1993!!! We invited them all to our fantastic sunset at Cloud 9. They all agreed to come - then Kate showed us a great travel agency close to the royal palace - Hanuman Tourism Voyages they'll take care of our visa applications & tickets to Laos. Then we walked back to No.9
The sunset was special very colorful & spend together with some of my best friends it was even better!
Annemette - Alfeo & I met up at the Capitol guesthouse where Alfeo lived - (No. 9 is 30 min walk away in the northern part of town) We wanted to see the Silver pagoda - which is a part of the royal area - but it was only opened in the afternoon - so we did a little walk around town - at the post office we met a young Danish guy Peter - nice to talk Danish again.
Then we hired a cyclo & drove back to Capitol & picked up Alfeo again & this time we could get in & see the Silver Pagoda - no kidding the floors are made of silver tiles a foot wide - it's not possible to take photos of it -but the area is full of lovely buildings - & wall paintings! Everything clean & organized - not chaotic & messy like the outside P.P.
On the way back we went into a monastery & talked with some monks - they had bizarre ideas & thoughts about "Khmer Rouge" (Red Khmers) "they are vampires - they drink blood" - & they were all very afraid they would return - especially Pol Pot.
(At least now they don't have to be afraid of him)