Hey all! I’m writing today to tell you about my time in Kampong Cham. As I mentioned in my last post, Kampong Cham is not normally a tourist destination, which was actually a really cool experience. I felt as though I got a better idea of what a typical city is like in Cambodia because this town was not catered to tourists. That being said, a lot of people spoke English so I didn’t have too much trouble getting around.
I arrived in the afternoon and started by walking around the markets and town a bit. I then decided to check out the bamboo bridge, which is the longest bamboo bridge in the world. The bridge is about a kilometer in length and the coolest part about it is that during the rainy season each year it’s completely washed away and then they rebuild it. Every year. I walked across the bridge and hung out on the island on the other side for a while. The other thing that surprised me about the bridge was that cars and motor bikes were using it! I stayed on the bridge for the sunset and then went back to my hotel.
For dinner I was wandering around the town looking for some street food when I finally found an area with a bunch of carts and tables and chairs. I decided to get some food there and not only was it super cheap (I paid $1.25 for this meal) but it was really good. So good in fact I went back my second night to get the same thing again.
The next day I rented a motor bike to drive around the city and see somethings a bit too far to walk to. When heading over to the French watch tower I accidentally tried to turn too sharply and the bike tipped over. I’m completely fine!! I just have a bunch of scratches and some bruises. The accident happened right outside a hotel so I figured I would go in and ask for some bandages. Not only did they get me bandages, rubbing alcohol and antiseptic, they cleaned me up, bandaged me up and refused to let me give them any money as a thank you. I cannot get over the generosity of these people who helped out a random tourist. You don’t really find people as nice as you do in SE Asia.
After I was all bandaged up, I continued on my way and went to the French watch tower. Inside there are a whole bunch of stairs, so I decided to go to the top. It was a pretty nice view of the Mekong river and kampong Cham.
After the temples I went back to my hotel for some lunch and then continued my temple viewings. I first went to Wat Nokor temple, which was cool because I’m pretty sure they built a new temple inside the ruins of an old one and there were people using the temple as I was walking around.
After that I drove my bike along the river and pretty much just took a leisurely drive. I really enjoyed getting out of the city and seeing the more rural areas. Whenever I passed a temple I would turn in and check it out. I think I ended up going to 3 different temples, and these were modern, currently in use temples as opposed to the temple ruins I was seeing in Siem Reap. The very last temple had a bunch of monks outside working on it and one spoke pretty good English. He was telling me that they had just made new paintings in one of the buildings (pictures below).