After living in South East Asia for the past five years, the idea of visiting somewhere cool or even chilly at night had become something of an obsession. Mondulkiri would have done the trick, if only it had been more accessible. Although it’s always felt very remote, this is an area that has fascinated me since my first day in Cambodia and I have wanted to visit ever since.
We wanted somewhere fairly relaxed at the start of our 3 month trip to unwind after the hectic few weeks we had in the UK prior to our departure. Of all the spots I had researched, Lazy Beach looked like it might be the ticket. A private section of beach, rented from the government and kept tidy by the local staff, wooden bungalows and just a couple of hours boat ride from Sihanoukville on the Cambodian coast.
I arrived at Tan Son Nhat alone. It was humid, I was tired and it was winter. Bus 152 (50 cents a ticket) stood parked beneath an arch, slightly beyond and to the right of the plethora of people gathered outside the terminal building. Denying I was American to the same woman thrice, I watched new streets become familiar through the dirty window. After more than 13 hours I was finally in Vietnam.
After three weeks in Phnom Penh, I began to feel the very urgent need to flee the city’s constant cacophony of horns, the choking pollution, the routine of research/write/Tweet/repeat.
A friend had recommended a stay at The Vine Retreat, an eco-lodge tucked away in the rice paddies of calm, coastal Kep province. Coincidentally, a $10/night promotion popped up just as my laptop sputtered, protested weakly, then ultimately crashed. Technology agreed that I needed a break.
The BBC (as part of its tie-in with Lonely Planet) recently published its list of the World’s Best Cycling Routes, featuring such pleasant & scenic rides as County Clare in Ireland and Luberon/Mont Ventoux in France. But my eyebrows were considerably raised by their number 10 selection – Vietnam’s Highway 1!
The trip from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc (Vietnam) is one of the most fascinating and beautiful river journeys in South East Asia. The first time I traveled to Cambodia was by this route and arriving in Phnom Penh by boat at sunset, catching my first glimpse of this foreign city from the Mekong is a memory I will always treasure. In the distance I could see the rooftops of the Royal Palace sparking in the sunlight, the smoke rising up from the incense burning at Preah Ang Dong Ker, the vibrant Phnom Penh riverfront and I instantly fell in love.
"We were meant to be driving from London to Mongolia in the smallest rustbucket of a car we could find. Unfortunately, we only managed to get as far as Kazakhstan."
This is a random sample of the kind of talk on offer at one of Phnom Penh's Couchsurfing Group's weekly meet ups.
The international travelers network landed in Cambodia six months ago. They hold their first "trip up" at the FCC Phnom Penh on Sept 9.
Call it social networking for real life travelers.
Tripptrotting, an international organization with headquarters in Pasadena, California, has chapters in more than 500 cities across the globe. The group facilitates introductions between people
After hearing all of the opinions from every source of media, he decided to go Myanmar to see with his own eyes and to hear with his ears. So when a holiday season started, he searched until he found a way how to get there. He was George Taylor, a positive thinker who made up his mind to start the adventure, and was now on his way to the former capital city of Myanmar, Yangon. He came to Yangon not only for pleasure, but also to seek the truth.