Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Good Morning...

...Vietnam!

But this blog will be about Cambodia.
Tease.

So, since the last blog post I've been to Southern Cambodia, specifically this place called Sihanoukville.  At this location I had my fair share of "story worthy" things happen, but I'll give two.

Rented scooter/mopeds with another backpacker for one of the days we were there, we figured it would give us the freedom to roam around the city.  We did for a while, he would rip up and down parking lots (his moto was better than mine), and it did give us a certain amount of freedom.  We went down to one of the beaches and walked around there for a while, then when we got back to the bikes I couldn't get mine to start!  So I borrowed his (while he hung out on the beach) and drove back to the hostel we rented them from, and had them come back (only to tell me that I needed to click the kickstand in WHILE holding in the brakes while pressing the starter... embarrassing.  


Anyways, we drove back to the hostel where we met up with a group of other backpackers and decided to go "out" that evening.  They all took Tuk-Tuks, but I figured since we had rented the mopeds for the day, I'd just use it to get to where we were going to get a full days worth out of it!  I borrowed the other one because it was better (and I enjoyed riding it more when I had to go back to the hostel).  We were down by the beach until maybe... 1:30am when I decided that I should go back since I had a island snorkelling tour booked the next day.  So I'm putting my way along back to the hostel and I am halfway up the big main hill in the city when all of a sudden... putt putt putt... dead.  
Out of Gas.

So I coast back down the hill, then push back up another one, then push along the road trying to get to where there is a gas station which, of course, is shut for the night.  Finally I was able to get a local to grab me some gas from somewhere (in coke bottles) for $5.  I'm sure it was more than it was worth, but what else was I to do?  It got me back to the hostel alright though, so that was good.  But boy... I'm not having the best luck with vehicles this trip!

A few days later I went out on a Scuba trip to this Island called Koh Rong.  The diving itself was pretty cool, saw seahorses and other cool crabs, lots and lots of coral at this one site, and even a barracuda.  When we got back to "the island" I had the option to either go back to the mainland (2hr boat ride) or stay on the island in one of the bungalo guesthouses that were built along the beach.  I decided to stay, and then heard that there was a bunch of bungalos on the west side of the island that were really excluded and quiet.  I can understand why, as they were a hour long hike over the ridge of the island to get there.  The hike was a long sweaty one just by itself, but I was also wearing ALL of my bags (50-60 pounds?).   Boy... was I ever regretting it halfway through haha, especially as some parts of the descent were very steep and tricky, requiring ropes as you went from rock to rock.  Saw a little red snake about the size of a pencil on the way over, don't know what kind it was though.  Apparently the island has King Cobras on it.  Didn't see any of those.

Got to the bungalos and they definitely were excluded, a little bit run down too.  Met up with some other people I had met earlier that morning on the boat ride over and hung out with them for the evening.  Watched the sunset (my real reason for choosing the west side) and swam in the water after dark to see the fluorescent plankton, which was pretty cool to see.  Like fairy dust in the water every time you moved and made a current.

Got back to my bungalo (in which I was the only person sleeping) to find that while I was out, rats had chewed through my bag...  dang.   So that put a damper on the whole experience.  Also, nightfall brought "the spiders".  Big suckers.  There was no electricity save for my headlamp, so everytime I'd look their way some of those eight eyes would catch the light.  I fell asleep knowing that the walls and grass roof above me were covered with glowing eyed eight legged freaks.  Needless to say I was happy there was a provided mosquito net, which I tucked WELL under the mattress on the ground and lay as tightly as I could away from the net's walls (afraid I might untuck it in the night and welcome in guests).

Minutes after turning off my lamp I could hear the rats scuttling around me.  I was thankful when morning came haha.

Hiked back the next day, not as bad since I knew what to expect, and then just hung out on the east beaches of paradise waiting for the 4pm shuttle bus back to the mainland.

Getting to vietnam had it's fair share of troubles too, with busses first not having communicated that I had transfer tickets, then the border crossing bus dropping me off 1.5hr walk away from the hostel area of Siagon (Ho Chi Minh).  Even the bus I took from Saigon to Da Lat (where I am now) dropped me off at a distant (main) bus station at 5am with no clear way of where to go.

It's all figured out now though, I'm staying in the "Peace Cafe Hotel" which is actually really nice.  I have my own room which only cost $8 a night, it even has two beds which since I'm alone acts as a nice place to spread out my stuff and organize myself a bit for my many bus rides to come.  I foolishly booked onwards bus tickets through my last hostel and realized after it was non-refundably too late that the company they booked with is notoriously the sleaziest and worst one in Vietnam haha, but it was only $29 for getting me halfway up Vietnam, so I will suck it up for one more trip so I get at least HALF of my moneys worth out of it, but then forsake the last two tickets and go with the company that has good rating.

There we go blog! Post 201!
  I haven't forgotten about you yet.  Our 200th was not so long ago... let's make it to another 200.

Also had really weird vivid dreams while on the bus last night... but this blog is already long, so I won't go into any introspective details about those... this time haha.








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