Heading North-Eastern province by bus, Sorya company comes king in frequency and reliability. O.K. it used be until today. The bus I was on got a break-down after a hour out of Phnom Penh. I could see the liquid leaking badly from the engine room and finally the driver gives up and shouts loudly on the phone. Another rescue bus came in about an hour later.
Well, after all it only took four and half hours to make 150 Km journey to Kampong Cham, or village of Cham people(Cham Muslim people).
The city sits by a wide spanning mighty Mekong river and it once was 2nd important city after the capital, but is now catching up tourist towns of Sihanoukville and Siem Reap with a wide gap.
River front sets neatly like a movie set that brings the local out in around sunset when the night market is about to erect.
Most peculiar hotel in my backpacking history goes this Mekong hotel right by the river. Everything is huge here apart from price tag.
From the huge foyer.
On every floor, this huuuuuge, corridor or hall way. How huge? Enough to make a tent site of couple of holiday park in Queenstown New Zealand where a small section of non-powered tent site costs $95 a night.
A twin room(also huge) with a huge bathroom charges only $8 that turns the fan, with a sunny balcony and a wardrobe.
This ferry connects Kampong Cham with Koh Paen(Paen island) in Mekong in rainy season. On the dry season, people walk the hand-built bamboo bridge paying a small fee.
The painting on one of restaurant helps us imagine the scene when water level gets low.
To other side of Mekong is connected with this big concrete bridge under which the night market is set every day.
I tried to buy pork and chicken sates, but the vendor couldn’t understand my Khmer. I hope they were not a frog or goat meat. Didn’t taste like the meat I know though. One skewer 1000 Riel(25 cents).
A vegie garden built over the river bank with beans climbing the wood frame.
Yep river is also used as a car wash.
Oh, this motor bike must have come from Taipei government, probably 30 plus years back.
Those are local uni-students who helped me find a minivan terminal for the next leg of my journey. The boy with beard(doing Medical) looks more like a Spanish or French but he only speaks Khmer. Lovely people who makes others feel the city most welcoming.