Hidden Cambodia

I am generally not a big fan of LiveJournal – it is way too annoying to use if one is not a member of LJ, and vast majority of folks using LJ tend to be not the folks whose posts I want to read. There are folks who throw hissy fits over being “friended” or “defriended”, and some of the users seem to have nothing more productive to say then the fact that they drank alot and then threw up. Reading people’s comments on LJ is about as essential as reading comments on slashdot – vast majority is drivel.

Occasionally there are great exceptions to the above that sadly just underscore the general mediocrity of interweb in general and LJ specifically. I came upon travelogue of stickgirl who writes of her experiences in Cambodia, while touring it on a dirt bike for a week.

She signed up with Hidden Cambodia Adventure Tours in Siem Reap and went on a 6 day tour of Cambodia country side on dirt bike, accompanied with two local (English speaking) guides. In process, she took tons of great photos, and her background explanations are fascinating and captivating read.

So, without firther ado, some (direct) links:

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Siem Reap
  • Day 2 – Pol Pot and Pot Holes
  • Day 3– Monkeys and Mountains
  • Day 4 – The Eating Kind
  • Day 5 – I haven’t met anyone who woted for him
  • Day 6 – End of the Road
  • Day 7 – Temples, Monkeys and Monks
  • Day 8 – Big Lake, Big Birds, Big City
  • Days 9-10

  • What do you know about Cambodia? Were you to ask me this question yesterday, I’d say that not much: It was a colony, it was called Kampuchea at one point (I think the switchover happened around 1989 as I have stamps labeled Kampuchea from around then), there was a civil war between monarchists and Pop Pot lead Khmer Rouge, and that’s about it…

    What do I know now? Well, carrying pigs on motorcycles seems to be a Cambodian national sport, with bonus points for squeals being heard way in advance of a rider. Blunt weapons are a better option when one needs to kill off 20 – 25% of the population, as bullets are expensive. 7th century temples are sadly neglected, and big trees can grow right over them (Actually that is kind of creepy. There were some shots similar to this in “Baraka“). I’ve actually ate snake in the warmer climates many moons ago (This was not in a chinese or french restorant, and it probably want’s prepared “properly”, but with all the vertibrae it resembled chicken or goose neck), so I now wonder which snakes are not “the eating kind”.

    BTW, CMAC is Cambodian Mine Action Center (one of the photos on Day 3). “This minefield is funded by French Government”

    I were curious what kind of gear one takes with him/her on a tour like that. Turned out that she took five 1 gig CF cards and 4 sets of batteries.

    P.S. stickgirl did a 3 week trip to africa in 2004, and also posted tons of photos and apropriate descriptions. Finding them using LJ interface is left as an excercise for the gentle reader (not sure if reader will be gentle by the time s/he is done)