25.10.2018 - 25.10.2018
We checked in to our first hostel which had been recommended by Sam’s friend and was one of the nicer ones so far. Ben, who we had met on the bus, decided to stay in the same hostel and he joined us for dinner.
We had heard about the mad monkey hostels (basically party hostels) and decided to try it out so we jumped in a tuk tuk and made the trip to their skybar. We chatted to people from all over the world and Sam got involved in drinking the weird shots to ensure England comfortably stayed top of the leaderboard for the amount of shots consumed. We then headed for a club with the group until 2am when we headed back to our hostel in a tuk tuk.
We somehow woke up the next morning with no hangover and spent the day at the killing fields and S-21 prison which were all about Pol Pots regime which ran from 1976 - 1979 and a quarter of Cambodia’s population was killed. It was a strange experience as it was really interesting but also very difficult to see and hear about. The last survivor from the prison was also present, talking to people about his time there which really sounded horrific.
We had decided to have a chilled night that evening as we had spent quite a lot on the previous day and got an early night. We saw the rest of the sights in Phnom Penh the next day. After walking around all day we decided to get a tuk tuk back to our hostel and as we got out we randomly bumped into a few people who we’d met in Laos 5 week earlier! We had a quick catch up and then met up with them in the evening for some drinks which was really nice to catch up and hear about everyone’s journeys.
The next day we were heading to a little village down south called Kampot. Our transport was another tiny minibus where the AC didn’t work properly! We crammed ourselves in and began the bumpy 4 hour journey. When we arrived there was a group of tuk tuk drivers waiting so we got in one and headed to our spa hotel. We were staying in a room called Bilbo and it was pretty much a room for hobbits. The hotel had a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi and great food!
The next day we went on a tuk tuk tour around Kampot. First we stopped off at some salt fields where they talked about how they produce salt, however there was no actual salt there for us to see on the fields so we left there pretty quickly! Next we headed out to the countryside, down all of the bumpy muddy roads and through lots of tiny villages. Any children we drove past were really excited to see us, waving and saying hello to us. We then arrived at Secret Lake which had overflown due to the rain, we had a walk around this and then got back into the tuk tuk. A short drive away we stopped off at a pepper plantation. Kampot is famous for its pepper and produces lots of variations which are shipped all over the world. We sat down for our tour and first listened to how they grow the pepper, we were then able to try the variations (some were pretty hot!) and headed out around the plantation to see them growing.
After this we headed to a cave. We were taken up to the cave by a couple of monks and first taken into a temple where an older monk put some bracelets on our wrists and said a prayer. We then headed into the cave where there was a lot of bats. The monks showed us around and then took us back to our tuk tuk. As we were driving off there were some wild monkeys in the trees!
Next we headed to another town called Kep where we had some lunch and visited the beach. Finally it was time for us to drive back to our hotel where we made it back just in time before it poured down.
We’d decided to extend our stay at the spa hotel for another night so we could have a day to chill and use the facilities. The lady said yes and booked us in to the same room. That night there was a massive thunderstorm right over us, the thunder was so loud and the lightning lit up the whole sky... the next morning we were surrounded by water! It had rained so much that the grounds around us had flooded!
During the brief periods where it wasn’t raining Sam used the spa facilities. Hannah used the Sauna for all of 30 seconds before deciding she was too hot and waited outside. The rain returned and we stayed in the room until 1pm when a lady knocked on the door and said we needed to check out as another couple were arriving soon to use our room. We explained that we had extended our stay but it turns out that the woman didn’t press enter on our booking so we had to get out of the room! We quickly shoved everything into our bags and got out of the room, trying not to drop our bags in the flood! The owners of the hotel were English and pretty unhelpful. They offered us another room for 3 times the price and said that’s the best they could do. By the time we had booked a new hostel and paid for a tuk tuk there we would only save a couple of dollars but out of principal, Sam made us leave.
So off we went and made it to our new hostel for the night. We headed out into the town for some lunch where Sam lost his sunglasses... that was probably only the second time he’d actually remembered to take them out with him the whole time we’ve been here! That evening we went on a sunset cruise and to see fireflies.
Early the next morning we got on a mini bus to go to Sihanoukville. The bus was pretty dirty and Sam claims that he was bitten by a massive spider on the bus although we didn't see it (probably just a fly instead). We then boarded a boat to go to Koh Rong for some time at the beach.