Bek and Steff's
China Challenge
2 - 14 Dec 06

Monday, December 19, 2005

Boats, bikes and Battambang

Or Battam-boring, or Battam-bum and any other alternative names we think suit this place. Marty's suggestion was great too but unpublishable! We're taking suggestions, so feel free to comment. The best one wins a suitably Cambodian prize...

To help, here's a description of recent events...

We had fun (not) on the 7 hour boat ride it took to get here this morning. This is a distance of approximately 300km from Siam Reap and we're not talking about taking the Manly ferry here either. As they say, the things that don't kill you will only make you stronger - and it's lucky we made it to the boat as the "bus" (which was actually a 4WD truck) to the boat that arrived at our hotel to collect us already had 12 people in and their backpacks. Steff was reclining gracefully (albeit fearfully) on top of the bags while Marty and Bek held on for dear life over the bumpy road.

So, today hasn't been a great transport day but tomorrow we get to hoon around the countryside on motorbikes with hopefully English speaking drivers.

For a bit of a re-cap, here is what we have been up to lately (yes, we know we have been very slack in updating you all on our adventures and if so many of you hadn't been to Cambodia and seen all the internet cafes everywhere we might have even got away with it...)

Sihanoukville - beautiful national park, enjoyed a swim at a secluded beach, meals by the sea and Bek and Steff appear not to have the bird flu and have recovered

Click on photos to see more of Sihanoukville

Phnom Penh - Royal Palace and silver pagoda were spectacular (but a frightening use of public resources in a country where so many have so little), great food (we swanked it up at the Foreign Correspondents Club and unselfishly ate and drank lots at a fabulous local restaurant called "Friends" which supports and trains local street kids), Khmer cooking course (so, if we get lost when we get back, look for us at the Asian markets trying to find some weird herb/spice called galangal - our teacher was gorgeous and an inspiration in terms of what she had been through and providing a reminder of what is really important in life).

So now we enjoy the next couple of days and return to Sydney on the 23rd December and if we haven't spent all our money at the markets or swanking it up at the FCC (in Siam Reap) we might just try to post again...

Hope you're all loving the endless and tiring Christmas carols which we have been saved from because the Khmer people are mostly Buddhists. For those of you going on leave and away from your emails - wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the New Year (or at Steff's on Boxing Day - please RSVP!)

Bek and Steff (and Marty of course!)


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