So once again changing plans on the fly!..
Basically, I’m collecting Thai stamps in my passport, this is the third time I re-entered Thailand, and as usual must pass through Bangkok, YES I’m back in BKK!!! In south east Asia all roads lead to Bangkok after all (just doesn’t have a ring to it though does it?!). The original plan for Ko Kong was to go trekking in the cardamom mountains, as I didn’t make it north east where the best trekking in Cambodia apparently is, Io made the trip to Ko Kong, also it is close to the Thai border, I figured it’d be a nice last stop, I arrived on the 26th in the afternoon, didn’t take long to figure out there was really not a whole lot going on, it’s a nice spot by the river, but there isn’t much in the way of amenities, tough that also has its own appeal. I found out that an overnight camping trek wasn’t as cheap as I’d hoped and I honestly didn’t feel like going on a long solo trek, odd for me as I love being in nature by myself, but anyway, I opted for a day trip, on the 27th and planned to spend the 28th on a bus or 3 to Bangkok. However, I got up the next day (27th), turns out the river is too low to get up the river where the trek starts, so that’s cancelled, I decided on the spot to just visit the mangroves instead, zero regrets, loved it, never seen real mangroves before, very beautiful, not to mention an absolutely fascinating eco-system, so weird to see oysters living and growing on tree roots, plus it was a lovely walk.
So, long story short I thought that seeing as the day’s activity would only take a couple hours, I asked about heading to border, thinking maybe I’d break up my trip, by crossing on the 27th in the afternoon, staying in Trat a night, then heading to Bangkok. Turns out there’s a direct bus starting in Sihanoukville, passing through Ko Kong at midday, crossing the border, continuing direct to Bangkok, Yaya!! Crossing the border was straight forward, though it was kinda weird walking from one country to the next! After going through Thai immigration, found the bus company, waited about half an hour, finally on the bus and on my way back to where it all began almost 3 and a half months ago! Arrived in BKK at 9 pm, at Khao san road, found the hostel I stayed at previously, climbing all those stairs sucked, after a day of sweating buckets, but paying 50 Baht extra for AC was sooooo worth it and thoroughly amazing! As was the 7-eleven toasty I had for lunch, and the street Pad Thai, opposite the hostel. Feeling content right now, and a little ashamed by it, haha after all I’m not travelling for 7-eleven toasties, but still don’t knock it til you try it!
Today (28th) I spent a couple hours trying to find a cheap way to Ayutthaya, an ancient city about 80 kilometres north of BKK, unfortunately I couldn’t find anything cheap, so I decided to put that on the list for next time… Tonight I’m on the night bus to Chiang Mai, for a few hopefully productive days (I’ll explain later), looking forward to it, Chiang Mai is lovely, and more user friendly than BKK!
So, there it is, left Cambodia a couple days earlier than expected, but I’m pretty happy, my travels in Cambodia have been a lot more chilled than Laos or Myanmar, something I needed, as I’m starting to tire a little, and I really don’t want to burn out. Like with every country I’ve ever been to including the one I was born in, there’s always someplace I feel I missed, never made it to, or wish I could have seen, still as I’ve said before these are just good reasons to come back! And I feel privileged that I was able to spend the time I did in all of these countries…
Farwell for now Cambodia, it was an amazing 27 days!!
On a side note, I know I’ve missed a post about Phnom Penh, this is because, my time in Phnom Penh was dominated by visits to S21 prison, and the killing fields, I’m still trying to process this experience, I’ll write about it sometime, I don’t know when, but I will, when my brain is ready to translate all the feelings into words.