Posts Tagged ‘Koh Preah’


Happy dolphins, wobbly boats, bike washes in the middle of the 200m-wide river and rejoining with an old cycling companion – Davide. Not much cycling, though..

Bike cleaning

Bike cleaning

Dolphin viewing was on the menu today – in the early morning before it got too hot. After travelling for about 30 minutes, we reached a broad, calm spot in the Mekong. And there they were, blowing out air, diving majestically – circling the boat at about 100m. I counted five, playing with us – always faster than us as we rotated the boat to see them.

Coming back from seeing the dolphins

Coming back from seeing the dolphins

I returned to the boat place on the opposite side of the island. There was no apparent activity. I asked some locals when the boat was leaving, pointing to the other side of the river.
‘No.’
Well, that was clear.
‘When? How long? How many hours?’ I ran it through Google translate.
I got a stream of Khmer language.
‘How many minutes?’
Laughter.
The guy wrote down what he was saying – in Khmer script.
‘One o’clock?’
No – I gathered from their Khmer.
‘Tomorrow?’
No.
Finally, the woman there pointed to a little rickety old boat and went down with her 15 year-old and 5 year-old sons. After almost capsizing when putting the bike on the boat, we made it across, for which I am grateful.. ☺ Thanks to the lovely Cambodians who helped me out!

My humble mode of transport across the Mekong

My humble mode of transport across the Mekong

After some contact on Facebook, I realized that Davide was in town. We had cycled together in Iran, and met up briefly in Luang Prabang. We’ll cycle together to Siem Reap. While sitting on the banks of the Sekong River, we saw a curious site. A parade of motorbikes riding into the middle of the river for a clean. Time to do the same.. ☺

Motorbike wash

Motorbike wash


‘You come and sleep at my house.’
He had returned now for the second time. The rest he said was in Khmer which I didn’t understand. I was staying at the official ‘homestay’ on the island. He looked quite insistent.
‘What did he want?’ I asked my host after he left.
‘Oh. He’s crazy,’ she replied simply.

The beautiful road to Koh Preah

The beautiful road to Koh Preah

It was a lovely cycle next to the Mekong and on a boat across to the palm-lined island. I arrived by 11, and realised that I quickly get restless. On the tropical paradise island, I went for a swim next to the water buffalo. I listened to a podcast in the hammock and then slept. I walked up and down the island village, waving ‘hello’ to all the ecstatic kids. I had dinner, not with the host family, unfortunately. I was showered with gifts of a block of rock salt and a shell from Mr Crazy. I realized I had exhausted the island’s activities for a non-local who doesn’t speak a word of Khmer. A nice little break, but time to return to cycling.. ☺

Before the river crossing

Before the river crossing

Drahtesel (my bike) is ready and waiting

Drahtesel (my bike) is ready and waiting