Saturday, March 24, 2018


Kratie isn't far from Kampong Cham but traveling there is slow because of road construction. Lost two hours because one truck died and another slid into a ditch right next to each other. This being southeast Asia, everyone patiently waited with a smile.

Kratie is on the Mekong, near some rapids. They turned them into a fun park, with many extremely long platforms built over the river, each with hundreds of hammocks and a few mobile kitchens. You lie in a hammock and watch the river rush past you.

It's also one of the best places to see Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins, which are critically endangered. It's been estimated that there are only 75 left in northern Cambodia. I was lucky to see a group of four, although they didn't jump out of the water the way they do on the travel ads.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Kampong Cham

Longest bamboo bridge I have ever seen, it spans an arm of the Mekong to reach a kind of party island in the river. People love blinking color LEDs. But there are also serene Buddhist and Khmer temples, a short tuk-tuk ride away.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Time to find my flip flops and leave the beaches. Feels odd having to wear shoes again. I am heading north now, to rejoin the Mekong river. First to Phnom Penh, the capital, then to Kampot Chan, which offers temples and a quiet countryside. Phnom Penh is anything but quiet, many more cars on the streets since I was here last time.

Not sure about Internet from now on. In fact once I reach the Mekong islands in Laos I am not sure about electricity!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Life on the beach

Diving on Koh Rong Samloem is better than in Phu Quoc - much better visibility, more colorful corals, and a lot more and bigger fish.

Went swimming in the bay late at night. They have a kind of plankton here that fluoresces when stirred. The night was completely dark, there is no light pollution here and no moon in the sky, so every swimming stroke creates a bright trail of glowing bubbles. Very cool. I suppose the plankton thinks it's cool too or they wouldn't do it; the light attracts squid that feed on plankton.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Koh Rong Samloem

Cambodia's beach capital is Sihanoukville, a thoroughly boring city with a filthy beach. I could probably have found a place without garbage floating on the water further south but decided to leave asap to the islands.

There are two of those clise to Sihanoukville: Koh Rong, the party island, and Koh Rong Samloem, the peaceful one. Got myself a beach hut on the latter, and continued to do not very much at all. Good to be in bathing trunks and barefoot all day.

Monday, March 19, 2018


Phu Quoc is actually off the Cambodian coast but the ferry only takes the long way to Ha Tien in Vietnam. The Cambodian border is a short minivan ride from there. I stopped for the day in Kampot, a pleasant little town with slightly crumbling but very charming French colonial architecture.

I chose the upscale Rikitikitavi hotel, named after a mythical animal, and enjoyed the professional staff, hot shower, and an absolutely delicious Khmer Saraman curry.


As a diver I know the two most common methods to get off the boat into the water: the Big Step Forward, and the James Bond Roll. Learned a new one: the Dead Mexican, falling backwards, stiff as a board. It takes a 90-minute boat ride out to a small island. The corals are shallow, less than 10 meters, and are healthy but not very colorful. Also, the waters are rather overfished. Dinner is barbecued fish right on the beach.