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Jungle Trek around Ratanakiri, Cambodia

Posted on 24 February 2012 by brett

Ratanakiri Trekking Crew

Days of searching for a great trek company and group to spend our days with had finally come full circle. We were ready to venture off on our 3 day/2 night trek around the jungle of Ratanakiri, Cambodia. The all-star trekking crew couldn’t have been more perfect: Paul (Tour guide, Ban Lung), Hoarb (Ranger/Jungle Boy, Kalai 2 Village), Unknown (Porter, Ban Lung), Sian (Trekker, England), Ronja (Trekker, Germany), Katja (Trekker, Finland), Mara (Trekker, Germany), Brett (Trekker, USA), Christie (Trekker, USA) Continue Reading

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Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia

Posted on 19 February 2012 by brett

Kinchaan Waterfall

Ratanakiri Province is filled with amazing waterfalls, wonderful trekking opportunities, a 200,000 year old crater lake and all the peace and quiet you need from the busy city life. Our journey to Banlung town in Ratanakiri began with a 6am bus from Siem Reap to Kom Thom (4hrs) with freezing blast air conditioning. People were wrapping themselves and the A/C duct with the curtains. We met two single Germans who had just met at the station while waiting one hour for transfer. A shitty local bus with no A/C and crop-lined central walkway picked us up for our 6 hour sweaty ride to Ban Lung. Upon arrival, we were bombarded by moto and tuk-tuk drivers scheming for a ride from bus station to our hotel in Ban Lung. We grabbed a tuk-tuk and had our hotel pay for the free transport. (didn’t think our backpacks could fit on a moto). Continue Reading

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The Forgotten Angkorian Temples

Posted on 16 February 2012 by brett

Prasat Preah Vihear

After several long days exploring the Siem Reap Temples of Angkor, we headed out to the countryside to peruse the more remote Angkorian temples.  The only way to get there is by private taxi or moto.  Considering the spotty road conditions, we booked a private taxi for $125 from RTR tours near the Siem Reap night market on Pub Street.  The driver picked us up at 6am for the 3 1/2 hour journey north (140km from Angkor Wat) to Preah Vihear at the Thai/Cambodian border.  

In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded the temple to Cambodia.  In 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  An ongoing conflict between the countries over land adjoining the site has led to periodic military clashes of violence.  Continue Reading

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Magnificent Temples of Angkor

Posted on 14 February 2012 by christie

Christie & Brett at Angkor Wat

Temples of Angkor
The kings of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer empire from 800 to 1200 AD built hundred of temples with amazing archaeological designs trying to surpass their predecessors.   Today, the Temples of Angkor are one of the world’s most renowned ancient sites.   Unesco named Angkor a World Heritage Site in 1992.  We didn’t think an ancient city could outshine Bagan (Burma), but Angkor has done just that.  The temples are so unique creating an experience of their own.  Many of the temples were abandoned for centuries and the surrounding jungle has swallowed them up and become part of their structures.  The jungle temples were our favorites as once you step inside you experience such a mystical feel with man vs. nature. Continue Reading

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Siem Reap Tourism

Posted on 13 February 2012 by brett

Battambang to Siem Reap Boat

Slow boat from Battambang to Siem Reap
Our 9 hour river boat journey from Battambang to Siem Reap began at 6am. A bus would have taken 3 1/2 hours and cost 1/3 the price, but hey….. we have to see the floating village people, right? The boat was a mix of western tourists and locals transporting rice and other vegetables and goods. Travel time was split between local pit stops to drop off cargo, villager photo shoot opportunities, and smooth cruisin’ down the Tonle Sap River. One highlight was sitting on the top deck inhaling the full riverside experience as children screamed, “hello, hello” waving and wondering why these crazy white tourists were snapping pictures. During stops, villagers would pull up on a small canoe and pick up locals from our boat. We managed to grab a quick bite to eat about halfway through…. where Christie discovered the toilet was a cut-out hole in the floor leading straight down into the river. This was especially odd considering the amount of bathing that takes place nearby. Continue Reading

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