After spending 2 months in my beloved Chiang Mai, it was time to hit the road again!
Jarel was going to join me from Melbourne for a month of which 2 weeks of real holiday as well, finally. Meaning that we didn’t have to worry about internet connection, work meetings and waking up at Melbourne time. Awesome! Where to go? In a country that has enough internet to be able to work for 2 weeks and enough remote areas in which to disappear for the other 2.
Cambodia was our choice.
The plan was the following: meet in Bangkok where we would work for a week and from there, fly to Siem Reap spending a week between working and exploring the ruins of Angkor. After that it would be pure holiday time starting with 2 days exploring the countryside in Battambang, a week of island hopping in the south, an overnight rest in Phnom Penh before proceeding up north to see the fresh water dolphins in Kratie and finally reaching the remote area of Mondulkiri province for some wild trekking. After that, Jarel would have flown back to Melbourne and I would have continued north to reach the south of Laos.
Of course all this was decided at the very last minute, which normally is not a problem, but during Christmas time it is: the islands on the south of Cambodia are small and have very few accommodations. During Christmas time, with about a week of notice, everything was sold out. After a lot of research I found a small semi-deserted island where the only accommodation option was a Christmas package for 4 days and they had the last bungalow available. We decided to take the deal and spend the 3 extra days in Phnom Penh before heading up north.
The first day in Phnom Penh, still on my nirvana mood from the amazing island, my bag got snatched by a passing motorbike with my phone, passport and credit cards inside. Yeah! The best part of the story is that there isn’t an Italian embassy in Cambodia meaning that I had to go the the French embassy to get a temporary document, immigration of Cambodia to get the document to leave the country and Thai embassy to get the permission to go to the Italian embassy in Bangkok where, in a couple of weeks, I should have a new passport. Of course this affected our travel plans: we still managed to spend New Years in Kratie, chasing dolphins on the river, but we spent the rest of the time in Phnom Penh dealing with all the bureaucracy until Jarel had to fly back to Melbourne and I’m still stuck here. Happy holidays Jarel!
I don’t even know why I try to do travel plans anymore, there isn’t a chance for me to follow them anyway.
Those different experiences, gave me a different perspective of Cambodia. The trip started in Angkor, one of the most unique and wonderful places I have ever been. Then continued in the simple countryside of Battambang, where people are genuinely nice, smiley and welcoming. I experienced the simple amazing life of Kaoh Totung (the island), where I really discovered another way of living. I finally got burned in Phnom Penh where all the scams, arsholes and complete absence of sympathy related to my stolen belonging, left me with a bitter taste.
In the next few posts I will tell you all about it.