Saturday, April 15, 2023

To Sihanoukville by way of Phnom Pen

To split the long drive from Battambang to Sihanoukville into two (still long) rides we stopped once more in Phnom Pen for two days. 

Yes that is a little motorbike pulling it 

In Phnom Penh we stumbled into the early Khmer new year party of the hotel staff. As they have to work during the holiday weekend they celebrated together before. It was great fun even though we didn’t understand everything. 

All the staff
Besides dancing in circles there was also some baby powder battles and then a price game were Aaron and I acted as Lady Luck. At 9pm everything was over, still some of the employees looked a bit hung over the next day 😄

Aaron pulling the next name, main price was a rice cooker 😆

Otherwise we went shopping, first to a posh mall where they were selling the fancy brands which you can buy fakes on every corner 🤔
Second was the Central Market, a huge art deco dome form the 30s built by the French.

Mostly jewelry in the center, the outer shops sell the usual stuff as every market we have been to 😆

Didn’t do much else, chilled at the pool and relaxed from the long drive and prepared for the next one.

Wat and shacks slowly getting swallowed up by the high rises 

We used the stairs and even hit the gym!

All the way to Sihanoukville the Chinese built a fancy new express way, but just as in Laos we weren’t allowed to use it 😔 I bet we would be faster than most of the cars…
So this meant taking the shitty road (at least the first 70km) with all the lorries kicking up huge dust clouds.

You can tell which part was covered by the helmet

Luckily the remaining 250km improved and again had the usual shoulder lane which all the motorbikes use. This allows for easy overtaking 😬

Sihanoukville itself is a shit hole, overrun by Chinese who come here for gambling in huge and ugly casinos. 

The only reason to stop (or better pass through) are the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, where we are headed! 🏝️
After changing accommodation (don’t ask) we ended up in the lovely Blue Lagoon. A little green oasis in the shadow of the concrete high rises. 
On our way back from the ATM (none on the islands!) we couldn’t resist and entered one of the smaller casinos. We each „invested“ 10$ to gamble at the weird Chinese card game. Was a bit like Black Jack but you would get 5 cards at once and win or loose. After an hour playing we still couldn’t figure out how it worked 🤣 As we weren’t allowed to use our phones we couldn’t google it (also no taking pictures), nobody spoke English (besides „very good“ and „bad“) and all the signs were in Chinese 😂
Some googling later we learned that it must have been Niu Niu / Bull Bull 🤷‍♂️

Next island life and Khmer New Year 🎉