Ok, the blog is back on. I didn't really bother keeping up with it for a while because, well my life isn't all that exciting when I'm not traveling. I play poker most nights of the week at the casino and during the day either play poker, go to the pool, get a massage, maybe go to the market and cook up some food, etc. Outside of not having a steady income, it feels pretty normal!
Sometimes I do like to shake things up a bit, which usually means renting a scooter and exploring outside of the Phnom Penh. There's very little out there that explicitly beckons a tourist, but you've got lots of countryside, fun little dirt side roads, cows and chickens everywhere, wats/temples abound, and lots of easily excitable children. It really is a nice way to spend a few hours or a whole day (if your butt doesn't get too sore).
Although it's not always without it's difficulties. I've had a couple of flat tires, been caught in some thunderstorms, and even had a bike just totally die on me two hours outside of the city. In that last instance I ended up getting hand towed a few miles down the road by a friendly guy on a motorbike to a gas station, had to call the hotel i rented the bike from and wait two hours for them to send a tuk tuk out to me, load the bike into the tuk tuk, and lug it home for another 2 hours. That wasn't fun, but it was never really stressful. Things will eventually work themselves out here in Cambodia, it's just a question of how long it will take.
Here's me crossing the river on the ferry. If you want to go East of Phnom Penh the ferry(s) are the way to go. It's interesting how much different it gets on the other side, it goes from big city to countryside basically as soon as you step off on the ferry.
One of the places I visited was a little island called Koh Dach. On the tip is a beach (if you can call it that) and whole bunch of little wooden/straw huts in the water, which you have to wade through to get to. It's a popular spot for Cambodians to get together and eat, drink, and swim. You've got vendors that also wade through the water from hut to hut selling food, drinks, renting inner tubes.
When riding around you've also got the wats (temples) everywhere. A lot of times it's surprising how nice they are, given how poor the surrounding are. It sounds like a lot of money gets pumped into building/redoing these temples that could be much better spent on community development projects and education, but who am I to judge these peoples priorities are. But anyway it's worthwhile to stop by and have a look around and wave hi to the monks giving you inquisitive looks.
And really, you never know what you're going to find on any given day, which is part of the fun. The day I took this photo above, I was randomly driving around and I had no idea it was a Cambodian holiday, I just stopped in to the see what all the hubbub was about at the wat. Turns out it was the birthday of Buddha and there was stuck going on at every temple.
The countryside is also very pleasant. It's not particularly breathtaking, but it has it's moments.
So there's always a way to keep yourself busy in Phnom Penh!