Kampong Cham


It was an early start from Siem Reap leaving the guesthouse at 6.30, it was a smooth 4-5hr bus ride to Kampong Cham. Getting off the bus the usual swarm of Tuk-tuk drivers were there to meet me. I ended up going with one guy loading up my large pack, back pack and camera all on the back of this motto taxi along with me as well. I stayed at a pretty dingy guesthouse a block from the Mekong, I had my own room and it cost $4.

IMG_4051I hired a push bike for the rest of the day to explore the town and check out a few of the sites. First stop was Wat Nokor, this Buddhist temple is a mix of old and new. Built within the walls of an Angkorian style Mahayana shrine the Theravada Wat was small but beautifully decorated with the walls covered in murals depicting stories of Shakymuni Buddha. Immediately surrounding the temple were other religious buildings, statues, monk residences, a burial ground, a school and further ruins. A wall from the old temple surrounded much of this area with a village lying beyond.

I then rode back into town and along the Mekong to the Bamboo Bridge. This bridge, made entirely of bamboo was quite a sight. It is rebuilt every December after being washed away during the annual monsoon rains. Despite being made of bamboo it is strong enough for cars to traverse. It was stable although slippery on a pushbike, I rode quite carefully as I didn’t want to end up in the water. I wasn’t able to explore the island on the other side of the bridge as the sand was too soft to ride on. In the distance I could see some derelict dwellings on the foreshore and local fisherman cruising the river, armed with cast nets and fishing poles. There is a full village on the island but I wasn’t able to reach or see it from bridge landing, I still had to pay the toll fee (on a bamboo bridge…). In the morning I would then move on to Ban Lung.

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