We love Cambodia. The people are so friendly, the food is so good, and we have found some fantastic travel companions who we’ve had an eventful few days with.
We met Daniel on the dive boat over to Koh Rung when we shared our peanut butter and banana sandwich (yes, we carry peanut butter). He’s blogging about his year-long adventures for the radio station he used to coordinate events for, Radio Hamburg and is teaching Cami German. We met Chris on Koh Rung, and it only took a few minutes to figure out he also works for Accenture out of Manchester! Small world. He’s an amazing photographer- some of the photos you’ll see are his, and is teaching me about the settings on my camera as well as cockney rhyming slang.
When you book a tour, you never really know what to expect. We did our due diligence shopping around and choosing a tour company recommended in Lonely Planet, but our day tour at Bokor Mountain was still ‘Scheissdreck’ ( ‘shit rubbish’ in German). We hiked for an hour part way up the mountain to an old historic French hotel and casino which is now a huge construction site. Next up was the worst excuse for a waterfall I have ever seen interspersed with not very interesting information from our guide Tiger. It’s a good thing we had fun regardless, goofing around, laughing at a German woman who videoed everything (the half hour ride down the mountain), playing games and making jokes. We were down Bokor Mountain by 4 and off for a Sunset cruise along the river, enjoyed with a few Angkor beers. We met a lovely couple from Quebec who told us the wanted to make friends with us because they couldn’t figure out how we were having fun on the tour. Ha! This is where the night got started.
We headed to the Rusty Keyhole for more beer and the best ribs I’ve ever had, moved on to another little bar where we formed a band and played air guitar and air triangle (Camille), then followed our ears to the music of a Cambodian engagement party. Initially timid, we were welcomed in, given beers and water, and pulled on to the dance floor. The party was set up on an intersection taken over with a stage, band, large tents and a table with coconuts that everyone danced around. Camille and I showed them a line dance (we will share the video later) and we learned some Cambodian hand dancing. Chris and Daniel made friends with the bride-to-be’s father, and rounds of ‘happy happy’ (down your drink) were endured as a mark of respect. Once that shut down, we were lured into a karaoke place, which played us Britney Spears and loved our dance moves, and a Cambodian night club where we made friends with the DJ. A hilarious, fantastic night where the main takeaway for me was the overwhelming friendliness of the Cambodian people.