Press "Enter" to skip to content

Photos: Cambodia Spring Break, 3

This post recaps my third day traveling back in Cambodia during this year’s Spring Break.

20170326_054013

It was a slow start to what would be a long day. Jet lagged almost to the point of crumble, I woke up super early, wanting to get breakfast and writing in before heading on the Mekong Express bus to the coast. The TeaHouse, as mentioned previously, has a beautiful pool I used to spend a lot of time with. When the sun hasn’t fully risen, the pool is typically empty.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00741

20170326_063426 20170326_071100_HDR 20170326_071149

A semi-blurry image of the unique staircase above the hotel’s restaurant:

cambodia0317pt3DSC00743

A couple shameless selfies back in the room:

cambodia0317pt3DSC00744 cambodia0317pt3DSC00745 cambodia0317pt3DSC00748

One of the annoying things about pick-up service for these buses is that they give you a very long waiting window (usually an hour or forty-five minutes), and though one could stay in their room and check-out super-quick before departing on the bus, it’s more convenient for everybody to check-out, then hangout near the entrance. TeaHouse has a nice waiting area–the best I’ve seen, actually, but I still had to do the wait slog.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00750 cambodia0317pt3DSC00751

Once on the mini-bus, I was able to take plenty of lively pictures from the core of the city, though the glare from the window was impossible to ignore–the buses keep their windows up and A/C cranked as much as possible.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00752 cambodia0317pt3DSC00753 cambodia0317pt3DSC00756 cambodia0317pt3DSC00757

Photos like this were what I enjoyed taking a lot when I worked on my Cambodia Bladed series from my previous trip.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00758 cambodia0317pt3DSC00759 cambodia0317pt3DSC00760 cambodia0317pt3DSC00762 cambodia0317pt3DSC00763 cambodia0317pt3DSC00764 cambodia0317pt3DSC00765 cambodia0317pt3DSC00769 cambodia0317pt3DSC00770

Orussey market (or: O’russei) is one of the larger markets in Phnom Penh–mostly indoors, and multiple floors in size. It’s rarely shopped at by foreigners.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00772 cambodia0317pt3DSC00773 cambodia0317pt3DSC00775 cambodia0317pt3DSC00776 cambodia0317pt3DSC00778

Live ducks:

cambodia0317pt3DSC00779 cambodia0317pt3DSC00780

Dead pigs:

cambodia0317pt3DSC00781 cambodia0317pt3DSC00782 cambodia0317pt3DSC00783 cambodia0317pt3DSC00786 cambodia0317pt3DSC00787

Probably one of the more captivating images from my trip–perhaps I’ll edit this one down the road. Though I take it for granted at this point, the electrical wires are quite striking.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00789 cambodia0317pt3DSC00790

20170326_091430

It was difficult to take any pictures between the city and the coast–at least images from the road of the landscape, that would turn out high quality. The following pictures are from Sihanoukville, where I met up with James pretty quickly. He had skipped out on the bus ride down (he claimed he wanted adventure) and his bike ended up breaking along the way . . . apparently he had to push it 2k in the heat, which resulted the 4 hour bike ride taking 6 hours. I felt for him. Below, the Khmer restaurant we visited (where I tried to procure magic mushrooms, and failed) was growing plants out of random beer bottles. Inventive!

cambodia0317pt3DSC00794

The seemingly gigantic coconut barely had any juice, and James made sure he got every last drop.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00798

After a quick lunch and grocery stock-up in Sihanoukville, James and I stashed his moto and got ready to wait for the ferry, which took forever, and was dominated by tanned, skinny foreigners–mostly from Australia and Eastern Europe.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00799

20170326_145036 20170326_145159

On the “speed” ferry, which we thought would only take 45 minutes, but which took twice that. Namely because of the strong current, but also because the boat stopped at Koh Rong Samloem (the island we were visiting) but at the alternative side. We had to continue on to the other island, Koh Rong, and then back-track to Koh Rong Samloem via another, slower boat.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00800

One thing I’ll never get tired of is the shading of blue and green in the water down there.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00804 cambodia0317pt3DSC00805

Atop the smaller boat, which was filled with foreigners yet again (there had been a handful of Cambodian tourists on the speed ferry, but none here). A few of the foreigners, American, had apparently been waiting a long time, and passive aggressively blamed us (!) for showing up late. I felt bad about myself and my foreigner status, especially because James was there and he had to put up with their shit too. Anyway, we spent the 30 minute ride relaxing, taking photos, and drinking water.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00806

Arriving to M’pei Bei, “23” in Khmer, which was the village on the northern tip of Koh Rong Samloem–sleepy, slightly trashy (in spots) and filled with too many foreigners for its own good. Yet still, cheap and a paradise in its own way.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00809

20170326_161914 20170326_161923 20170326_174803

Not being the type to decide on lodging upon arrival (I don’t get how some people can do that!), I had booked in advance a bungalow at Sunset Bungalows, based on the scores on Booking.com. Though the rocky coast was littered a bit, and though it was “the spot” for foreigners to go to watch the sunset (which we didn’t encounter in any dramatic fashion during out two nights there), I found the bungalows themselves quite amazing, with a perfectly nice hammock, a relatively functional shower and toilet, and two comfortable beds with mosquito nets and a fan.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00813 cambodia0317pt3DSC00814

Our first night we decided to not go crazy and instead do some photography (mine was not very comprehensive because of my little camera) and enjoy a dinner at the Sunset Bungalows restaurant.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00815 cambodia0317pt3DSC00816 cambodia0317pt3DSC00817 cambodia0317pt3DSC00818

It was fantastic being on the Bay of Thailand again. The air quality is serene and the temperatures are perfect throughout the day and evening. James was very inspired by the experience.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00819 cambodia0317pt3DSC00820cambodia0317pt3DSC00823 cambodia0317pt3DSC00825 cambodia0317pt3DSC00826   cambodia0317pt3DSC00833    cambodia0317pt3DSC00838         cambodia0317pt3DSC00850   cambodia0317pt3DSC00853

After our photo shoot, we stumbled exhausted over to the restaurant of the bungalows, located within a giant structure straight out of a movie. We spent even more time taking pictures, what with the unique lighting situation we found ourselves in.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00866 cambodia0317pt3DSC00867

We also drank Khmer whiskey and cokes. Many of them.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00868 cambodia0317pt3DSC00870 cambodia0317pt3DSC00871

Dinner was a very-welcome Western-style BBQ, with grilled meat and potatoes and bread, a cabbage-based salad, and some dipping sauces.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00877

After dinner we suddenly had amassed some drunken energies, so we found ourselves out and about again taking photos. I didn’t bring my tripod so all my night photos were slightly blurry, but I did explore some of the HDR features on my camera, which really brought out the light from the fishing vessels out in the water.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00879  cambodia0317pt3DSC00882   cambodia0317pt3DSC00887cambodia0317pt3DSC00890 cambodia0317pt3DSC00893 cambodia0317pt3DSC00894

Though we didn’t know how long the beach was, we decided to walk as far as we could. “23” looked tiny on the map, and it ended up being tiny in real life too. We found, to our surprise, a party-like atmosphere on the exact opposite side of Sunset, which featured trippy lights and fire dancers. It was the perfect opportunity to take HD video and long-exposure shots. I write this and post this from my apartment, which is already struggling with the still images on its DSL connection. I hope to upload the videos in the future, which turned out much better and much less psychedelic than the following images.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00895 cambodia0317pt3DSC00896 cambodia0317pt3DSC00900

cambodia0317pt3DSC00905 cambodia0317pt3DSC00907

The fire dancers were literally four local Khmer guys, probably all in their early 20s, who had literally just started learning how to do it. James asked a couple of them who responded they had only been practicing for a few days. They weren’t professional, but they were captivating in their dance-like quality of manipulating the oil-soaked batons.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00911 cambodia0317pt3DSC00912 cambodia0317pt3DSC00913 cambodia0317pt3DSC00914

In the following images I started leaving my shutter open for seven or so seconds. I fortunately was able to rest the camera on a bench . . . ideally I would have had a much more friendly tripod to use.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00916 cambodia0317pt3DSC00918 cambodia0317pt3DSC00920 cambodia0317pt3DSC00924 cambodia0317pt3DSC00925 cambodia0317pt3DSC00926 cambodia0317pt3DSC00927 cambodia0317pt3DSC00928 cambodia0317pt3DSC00929 cambodia0317pt3DSC00930 cambodia0317pt3DSC00931 cambodia0317pt3DSC00932

At this point one of the guys got on the back of another. It was pretty incredible.

cambodia0317pt3DSC00933

Though the following image is awful, I use it to demonstrate what was going on at the time:

cambodia0317pt3DSC00934 cambodia0317pt3DSC00935 cambodia0317pt3DSC00936   cambodia0317pt3DSC00940   cambodia0317pt3DSC00943 cambodia0317pt3DSC00945

There are approximately 10 days worth of photos. This has been day 3.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply