At the end of last year I spent a very fancy weekend at the Four Rivers Floating Lodge in Koh Kong. Very luxurious!
The Lodge can only be accessed by boat similar to these. We were picked up by the Lodge.
I’m happy and relaxed already.
There’s always one.
There are 12 large and luxurious tents, complete with double bed, couches and arm chairs, a very nice bathroom with plenty of hot water, and a small balcony from which you can dive into the river for a swim.
I was too busy swimming and reading to take any photos once we arrived. Sorry.
I just discovered some Myanmar photos on a camera I’d forgotten I’d taken with me. These are from the town of Nyaungshwe at Lake Inle.
Because everything looks awesome in black and white.
Our humble tree. Merry Christmas!
I just spent a very relaxing and, yes, lazy week at Lazy Beach. The beach is on an island two hours from Sihanoukville by boat. There are 13 bungalows and a large bar filled with rattan armchairs and tables that serves delicious food and makes a great gin & tonic. The sea was the perfect temperature, although the sea lice were mean. At night you can swim amongst the phophoresence, which is a little like swimming with fireflies. In fact, the only bad thing about Lazy Beach that I could identify, is that you have to go through seedy Sihanoukville to get there.
I took this photo from a restaurant in Pakbeng, Laos, and I love it very much. The red hue is from a candle in a red jar that was on the table next to me.
I saw this on the side of the road during a bicycle tour of Battambang. I have no idea what it is or why it’s there. Is it a jazz band?
Christmas is just around the corner, the signs are even showing here in Buddhist Cambodia. The Independence Monument is surrounded by lights in the shape of Christmas trees. The fountain encircling it shows jets of red and green water being shot up under coloured lights. The many western haunts around town are filled with Christmas trees and decorations.
What we don’t have here is the mad push to buy buy buy. The decorations went up on 1 December, not in October. And yes, I do miss Christmas carols (I wonder if they’ll show Carols in the Domain on the Australia Network), and the Christmas parties, but that’s ok. Christmas feels a little calmer, less stressful.
I won’t be in Phnom Penh for Christmas, I fly to Bali on 23 December where I will meet my parents as well as my brother and sister. I’m very excited to see them, it’s been nearly seven months! Although I think we will miss the tradition of mum’s pavlova (unless she finds a way to make it in Bali). I plan to learn how to surf. Apparently I managed to grow up in Newcastle without ever touching a surf board.
I know some of my friends here are missing the Christmas festivities back home. But if there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my ability to adjust to new situations and enjoy myself anywhere.
How are you all spending Christmas?
After a wonderful visit to Inle Lake, we returned (via the direct overnight bus this time) to Yangon. Now prepared for the cold, I wore jeans, a t-shirt, and hand knitted jumper I had bought at the market, a colourful woollen blanket wrapped tightly around me, a Khmer scarf wrapped around my head and face, and an eye mask. I was relatively warm this time. We arrived very early on a Friday morning, but were not able to check into our guesthouse until 12pm.
In the dark we headed to the guesthouse to drop off our bags. After a failed attempt at talking loudly in an attempt to ‘accidentally’ wake up the receptionist who was fast asleep across two chairs under a mosquito net, Vy eventually did what Anna and I were too polite to do and poked him in the foot. He woke looking very unimpressed and told us we where we could leave our bags and directed us to the bathroom. To get to the toilet we walked though a small, plush living room, where we encountered an old man sitting unmoving in an arm chair staring fixedly at the wall opposite him, reminiscent of a David Lynch film. I’m not sure if he was ignoring us, was dead, or was sleeping with his eyes open. He didn’t notice us at all.
Unencumbered with our heavy bags we wandered the waking streets of Yangon and found a small tea shop, enjoyed a cup of sugar and milk mixed with a little coffee and some pastries. We then watched the sun rise over the beautiful Sule Paya temple.
For the going down of the sun we visited another temple, Shwedagon. Unfortunately there was a lot of cloud cover, so we didn’t see the myriad of colours reflected off the temple that was promised in the Lonely Planet. But no complaints, I think it was still pretty spectacular.
I also felt like a bit of a superstar when I was asked to pose with Burmese families in three separate photos. That hasn’t happened to me since I was a kid visiting Singapore.
The next day we said farewell to the beautiful Myanmar, and now read about it nearly every day in the paper as it starts to reemerge into the wider world. It’s certainly a journey we should all be watching with interest.