Where's Jolly? travel blog

Homestay


Today we took a 3 hour public bus from Phnom Penh to Kampong Thom. As we are learning the ticket price includes breakfast and some water. The ride is long but uneventful as we sit near the front of the bus which seems a little over staffed with 5 people standing around the driver, we suspect some of them may be hitching a free ride. As we exit the bus at Kampong Thom the staff are concerned that we want our bags and even more concerned when one of our party has lost his receipt for his bag. This is not a normal stop for foreigners and they are concerned we may be stealing luggage. We spend an entertaining half hour with the bus crew having impounded the offending bag and interviewed everyone else on the bus to ensure it’s not their bag. Then it’s all smiles and we are on our way. We now take a minivan through the local countryside past countless houses on stilts with locals using the area below for eating, washing and the Cambodian national sport (as one of our guides describes it) of “sleeping in a hammock”. Tonight we are guests of a local family who will feed us and provide us with accommodation. As the bus pulls up we are greeted by the dogs and fascinated by the chickens and pigs that are everywhere. The family also has an abundance of fruit trees and we try cashew fruit which has an unusual dry taste but quite pleasant. We visit local temple ruins before returning to our homestay for the night. Without mains electricity, lights are run off car batteries. We have an evening meal in the open with our guide and driver and the animals and dogs who have quickly adopted us as if we belong here. A simple meal is followed by beer and ghost stories under the stars before we retire early to our basic but nice rooms. In the morning we awake early to the sounds of the animals and the king of the morning Mr Cockerel. A cold bucket shower is followed by breakfast before we get on our way to Siem Reap.



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