We are in Cambodia – hooray. After overstaying his visa by two days, Joaquin entered into a game of cat and mouse with a Vietnamese border official. Joaquin’s “fine” was negotiated down after our team opened our empty wallets to show just how little $US we had on us. We concluded that immigration officials on both sides of this border collaborate on such issues #TeamworkMakesTheCustomsOfficialsDreamsWork.
And so The Ball and our team of four made it into Cambodia, exhausted after after being on the road for about 38 hours from Hoi An to Da Nang (Taxi), to Saigon (train), to the border, to Phnom Penh (bus), and finally a ferry ride to our accommodation on the Island of Koh dach, Kandal – a picturesque island located on the banks of Mekong River, on the upstream of Phnom Penh, known for its traditional silk weaving. It is perfect for two days of communication, planning, recovery and a bit of sightseeing before a series of visits, workshops and travel and more even workshops and events in the coming several weeks in both Cambodia and Thailand.
The Ball’s Cambodia schedule
Koh Dach: 19.3. – 21.3.2023
Phnom Penh: 22.3. – 25.3.2023
Battambang: 26.3. – 27.3.2023
Siem Riep: 28.3. – 29.3.2023
Travel is often about who you meet on the road
Travel experiences are almost always shaped by the people you meet. On the bus to Phnom Penh, we met Alex – an insightful English bar owner – who has been living in southern Cambodia for more than 5 years. We had many questions for him (after reading up ourselves) about local idiosyncrasies and history, as well as the politics of Cambodia. He provided us with many useful tips including: the tuk tuk app Passapp; restaurants worth visiting; not giving corrupt local authorities the opportunity to take advantage of you; a connection to a local journalist who wants to cover our story, and visit the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge (whose genocide all but wiped out the educated class and any dissenting voices ot their rule under the dictatorial leadership of Pol Pot in the seventies) as well as films to watch and much more. In any case, Alex whetted our appetite for knowledge and gave us some great resources with which to prepare for our Cambodian adventure.