Battambang – Osoam – Off-Road Riding

It’s 6:30 am and I am picking up my Honda XR 250 bike, from a local rental place.  The girl just finished changing the oil and now I am ready to meet up with the others.

Mr. Chea is on his China made ATV,  and Vannah is riding his trusty 125 Scooter, with Samphors on the back.  Brother and sisterly love 🙂.

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Mr. Chea’s soon, Lay Hok, is riding a mini sport bike.  I think they are 150cc.
I want one!

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It was about 7:30am when we finally left Battambang, on highway 5.  Our first destination is Thippadei.

From Thippadei city, no one in our group has been on these roads.  They show up on google maps.  So we won’t get lost. Right!

Within the first hour, one of us already ran out of gas.  Oh, wait, that was me.  No big deal though.  There are people selling gas in 1 litre plastic bottles all over.

A short bit later we are in Thippadei, and another minute later we are through Thippadei and onto unknown roads.  Very quickly the roads go from gravel, to just sand and holes.  We slow from our 65 KM pace, to 30 KM and less.

Originally I was guessing it would take us 6 hours to go 180 KM to Osoam Village Community.  However, the last hour we only traveled 20 KM.  Maybe less.

The roads went from bumpy, to no actual roads at all.  We are now on, what I would call, trails.

Lay Hok got stuck in this mud hole, but only because a rock was in front of his front wheel.  🙂  No big deal, he kicks it out of the way and rips through.

Lunch time has arrived and we find a vacant hut to eat and rest in.  So far, I think we have spent more time trying to determine what is the correct trail to take.  They show on google maps, but not in the exact GPS location we are in.  More than once we took the wrong path and had to find a new route.  All part of the adventure.

After lunch we spend another 5 hours of riding, getting lost, finding our way, and taking short breaks.

My ass and back are really starting to hurt.  Mostly my back.  I guess 3 herniated discs and these trails are not good for me.

Some pictures from the day.

After 11 hours of hard riding we decide to stop for the night.  I was really happy as I had no headlight.  It was turned on, but nothing.  However, Vannah says to me, turn your lights on.  I said, they don’t work and go to show him.  This is when I find out, the On, Low, High, positions are all OFF, and the OFF position, turns my lights on.  Well, at least I have lights now.

Anyways, we never made it to Osoam.  Actually we are not much past half way, and the road from here to Osoam is just as bad.

8 PM, we finish dinner and go to sleep for the night.  I don’t have camping gear, so I rented a room.  The others camped right where we ate.  🙂  That is called Cambodian Camping.

5:45 AM the next morning, Mr. Chea, and the gang are knocking on my door, saying, lets go!

So, I grab my stuff, shake my head, and we ride off, into this amazing sunrise.

I hope we make it to Osoam before lunch.  We only have 80 KM to go.  Haha!

Beautiful sunrise!

I ride ahead every so often and then take a break while the gang catches up.  These roads are muddy, and slippery.  The scooter and mini sport bike have amazed me, at how well they are going through the mud without getting stuck.  Very impressive riding by my Cambodian friends.

On one of the crazy wet hills, we find a nice spot to stop and take breakfast.  Full service, in the jungle!  A scooter carrying ice and drinks stops as we are eating.  How amazing is that!

Well back to riding!

The others found a short cut across the lake using two ferries.  I am so happy, until I see the ferry.  Lol.  I am a little surprised but it holds Mr. Chea and Lay Hok.  Vannah, Samphors, and I must wait for it to come back.

While waiting, this dog and little chic entertain me.

Our turn!

First ferry crossing was a success, and the next one looks easy, as it is much larger.

Now that we made it across the 2 ferries, we only have 5 KM left.

I was very happy, those 5 KM were on good roads.  We made it in record time!

Oh, I almost forgot.  1 KM left and there is one medium sized mud hole.  So far we have had no issues, even when we crossed a river, only our feet got wet.

But not this time!

As Vannah was crossing, he hits a very deep hole hidden in the mud, and gets stuck.  No problem right.  As Samphors is getting off of the bike, she slips and falls 100% of the way, into the muddy water.  As she gets up, she slips and falls again.

Do you know how badly I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t because I was worried she might have dropped her brand new iPhone in it.

However, everything was OK.  So I was able to laugh and tell the others, who didn’t see it. 🙂

6 hours of riding today, and we make it to Osoam.  Time to relax and have a nice lunch!

After lunch we hand out some donations to the English Charity school owned by my friend Mr. Lim and take some pictures.

Next stop is to the public school in Osoam Village, 1 KM down the road.

Mr. Chea, Vannah, Samphors, and Lay Hok donated a tone of books to the school for the children.  Pretty awesome thing to do!

The director of the school asked if I would be willing to come back and teach gym and assist in English.  I said, I would try, but no promises as I have no idea where I am going next.

Well, this is where I decided I cannot ride another 200 KM to Koh Kong.  The gang is going to slip up.  I am going to stay in Osoam for the night and will ride back to Battambang alone tomorrow.

The rest of the day, I tried to relax, but the little snots, or as most call them, kids wanted me to go swimming.  After saying no, a tone of times I eventually went.

It was nice, but my back was not having any of it.  So, I only went swimming for a few minutes and then went back to relax.

The next morning at 7 am I jumped on the XR 250 and headed towards home.  Instead of taking the ferry, I decided I would just ride that part of the road.

What a crazy mistake that was.  The road was way worse than what we had ridden the last two days.  I definitely should have taken their advice and went on the ferries.

I should have taken some pictures but I was too busy trying to keep upright.

Anyways, I made it through in 2 hours.  I beat our 6 hours from the day before.  Now I am cheating and taking the highway back.  It is longer, but shorter because I will not be getting lost and can cruise at whatever speed I want.

2 hours later I am not halfway, and the dust on the road is un-explainable.  Just take a look at these two pictures.

Even though my ass is hurting like mad, my back feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife, I only take 5 minute breaks and continue as fast as I can see.

9 hours in total and I make it to Battambang.  Man, am I glad to be finished riding.

This was an amazing adventure and I cannot wait to see the others, and share our pictures.

Check out my video with some extra footage.

Battambang – Back with Friends and Volunteering

It is 2017 and I decided to come back to Battambang to visit my good friend Mr. Chea.  He has invited to come to his hotel for a few nights, while I help him with some website stuff.

So, January 2nd, I take the bus down to Battambang, and meet with Mr. Chea at his, very amazing hotel.  This is a 5 star, resort and the room he gave is, is nicer than I could even imagine.  His staff are super friendly and treat me like I am VIP or extremely important.  Which I am not!

http://vimeansovannaphoumresort.com

Anyways, after checking in, I meet up with Mr. Chea, his good friend and manager, Whanna, and Whanna’s sister for dinner.  I am sure I am spelling his name wrong, but it will do for now.

That night we sat, drank, ate, until late.  To make it even more fun, we played Russian roulette with beers.  Angkor beers have a chance to win a free beer under the cap, and we kept saying, last round unless someone wins a beer.  Eventually we were all hoping no one would win a free beer.  LOL!  What a night, is all I can say.

I won’t forget theses nights, done in Cambodia style!

The next day Mr. Chea’s son, Whanna’s sister and I went through the technical updates for the websites, and I also gave them some tips on using media editing software.

I was asked how much would it cost them for me to do some designs and logos.  My answer, “I don’t charge Khmer people!”, “if they need help, I do it for free!”.

However, I am still waiting for them to ask for more help.  I hope they do, because I love doing it.

Later Mr. Chea and I talked about going to Osoam Village on Jan 10th.  That is not for another 7 nights, and until that day, he is going away.  This is OK I said, as I will find a school to go and volunteer at until he arrives back.

Online  I found KNGO School, that needs volunteers to help in English and also other areas.  So, I called the director and made arrangements for me to arrive the next day at 1 PM.

Link to schoohttp://www.kngocambodia.org/

I was greeted with big smiles from the director and a lot of the students.  A great first impression.

Over the next 3 days, I assisted Sopheak from 1 PM until 6 PM in 5 different classes.  He is an amazing teacher and I learned a lot of very good teaching techniques, that I will use in other schools.

On the last 2 days, I spent 10 hours teaching the director and his IT guy how to update their website, and how to setup backups, for all of the PCs.

Someone else configured the website, but they had no idea how he did it, or the password.  I was able decrypt the one file which was holding the saved password, and give it to them.  They were very happy now that they can make updated via FTP.

On the last day, we took some pictures of the top students of that month.

I spent a total of 25 hours volunteering at KNGO in 5 days and loved every minute of it.  Maybe I will get a chance in the future to come back.

While waiting for Mr. Chea to come back, I got to spend some lunches and dinners with his mom, and wife.  Neither speak English, but are always very hospitable. The staff usually translates for us, which really helped.

The one lunch I got to meet his grandfather, who speaks 4 languages.  Very impressive.  He is a really nice guy!  I later found out that he is a Senator of Cambodia.  I am now personal friends with a Senator Of Cambodia.  WTF!  He even asked me to come visit him in Phnom Phen.

I am starting to learn that Mr. Chea is not just a hotel owner, but a very important man in the community.  He is obviously very humble, as he has never told me any of this.  He acts like he is not important, but everywhere I go, people know about him.

The one day, he invited me to go with him to a wedding.  I thought why not, even though I am dressed like a backpacker.  I am told this is OK, for man to do.

At the wedding, I didn’t actually see the ceremony, but was at the reception.  From the minute I walked in, until the minute I left.  Everyone treated me like I was special, and kept saying hi.  This one lady asked me tones of questions about me and how much I like different things in Cambodia.

I have to say, I really enjoyed the party and the company.

Here is a fun little story that reinforces why I like Cambodia so much.

The one day I was having coffee with my local friend Ly and we were talking about teaching.  He was asking me different questions about the schools.  Anyways, after we were finished, I was about to pay, and the waitress tells my friend, that the guy behind us paid.  So, Ly asks why, but she didn’t know.  Before I got a chance to tell him thank you.  He turns around and says, “Thank you for helping the people in my country.”

How amazing is that.  He only understood a little English but understood the word volunteer and that I was doing that.

On January 7th, Cambodia celebrates the defeat of Khymer Rouge.  This was one heck of a big event and I got a chance to celebrate it with them.  However, I am not going to go into big details on this yet, as I am writing a separate post on it later.  It was an honour to be able to be here for this celebration.

Anyways, Mr. Chea is back and tomorrow early we leave for an adventure across country, to Osoam.  200 KM of off road, jungle riding.  Wish me luck!

Battambang – Friends, more friends, and what more friends

Battambang started off pretty good and only got better as my time here continued.

When I arrived at the bus stop, the hotel sent over a Tuk Tuk to pick me up.  The Tuk Tuk driver brought along Thean, a Cambodian, who speaks excellent English.

Thean is a really nice guy, very friendly and knowledgeable.  He also operates his own tour business, where he takes tourist to the local hot spots.  More on that later.

The hotel I checked into is called First Hotel, and immediately I get a good impression from the staff.  My room is very nice as well.  Comfy bed, hot water, and all this for $6 a night.

Anyways, my first day is spent just wandering around the streets, seeing what all is here.  At first, I think it is the same as Pursat, just bigger.  Not sure if this is where I want to stay very long.

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However, my opinion very quickly changes.

The two hotel staff are so nice, and always say, Hello Rob, and want to chat.  If they have food, they always offer me some.  I very quickly feel like I have been here for weeks, and I have only been here 1 day.

The next morning I see Thean and he asks if I want to go for coffee together. Sure, why not.

This leads into him telling me about his business and all the things to see in Battambang, and one thing I must see.  The Killing Caves!  This will be a separate post, which will NOT be safe for kids to read!

We also talk about his business and I later help him with some technical stuff online.

He arranges for me to get a Tuk Tuk to see the bats that night.  This is going to be cool!

If you are in Cambodia, check out Thean’s website.
https://www.facebook.com/banana.bbtour/

After our coffee, I head back to the hotel but on my walk I see tones of crazy Cambodian things.  They have no fear!

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Around 3:30 pm a Tuk Tuk driver picks me up from the hotel and we drive out to the Killing Caves, where I can see 1 million bats fly out of a cave, at dusk.

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When we arrive I spend 1 hour at the Killing Caves, and watching the monkeys act like assholes.  Yes, they are assholes.  Trust me, but still funny.

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It is almost time for the bats, so I head down the 700 steps.

Again, 700 STEPS!

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I finally make it to the bats, and now just have to wait for them to fly out.

Then all of a sudden I feel someone rubbing my shoulders and telling me I owe $1 for pictures.  It is one of the hotel staff.  He is all happy to see me here, and sits down beside me.  He gives me a history lesson on the bats, and area.  Such a nice guy!

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20 minutes goes by, and then they start flying out.  Wow! truly amazing!  Unfortunately my camera doesn’t do it justice.

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I watch it for about 15 minutes, and love all 15 minutes of it.

When we arrive back at the hotel, Thean is sitting there.  He asks me if I want to come with him to a party.

Hell yes!

We get to this grand opening of a restaurant, where we meet his friends.  Again, they treat me like I am a king or something.  One guy immediately gives up his seat for me.  I say, no, but he doesn’t accept that.

Very quickly we are all chatting and they are offering me food, drinks, and more drinks.  They tell me I am not allowed to pay, this is a grand opening.

You have no idea how amazing I feel being around these guys.

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After dinner we all head over to another bar, where Flower, the girl in the one picture works.

Here the drinks are not free and I buy the first round.  However, I was no longer allowed to buy any more drinks.  They told me it is not allowed, they are paying.

Again, I can’t explain how much this type of hospitality means to me.  It is truly amazing.

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The night doesn’t stop here.  After, Flower takes me to another party.  This one is crazy fun, but I am getting to drunk.

She gives me some blue drink that is almost pure vodka, and after that drink, I am done.   I walk home, which I do not remember, but I think it is 3 am.

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Walking through Battambang at that time of morning was actually very safe. I felt fine and was not worried.

The next day I sleep in, and then eventually get my ass out of bed.  I see Thean and ask him to take me on a tour around Battambang.  He says sure, and we head out.

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During the tour, he stops to say hi and pick up a friend of his named Cher.  Cher is a pretty nice guy, and speaks OK English.

10 minutes into the tour, Cher asks me if I want to go with him tomorrow to his Mango Farm.  I say, Yes.  I don’t even know this guy, and he wants to take me to see his farm.  Pretty cool.

I didn’t get any good pictures that night because, well, it was dark.

The next morning at 8:30 am Cher picks me up and we drive 1.5 hours out to his farm.  On the way, he buys fruit for us, and he is another Cambodian who will not let me pay when I offer.  He tells me, he is lucky to have met me, and this is his honour to treat me.

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I really like Cher!

At this farm I get the full tour, and then they cooked me lunch.  Rice, Coconut, and soup.  I am telling you, they know how to cook!

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Oh yes, the coconut was picks right in front of me!

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After lunch we drive back to Battambang.  On the way, Cher asks me to come back to Cambodia and stay longer next year.  I think this would be amazing, and I really want to do this.

Shortly after we arrive back, Flower sends me a message and asks if I want to come out for a drink with her.  Can you guess?  I say Yes!

She picks me up on her scooter and I ride on the back.  This is the second time I have ridden on the back with her driving and I like it.  I can play on my phone, do my hair, and don’t have to worry about running into someone.  She is a pretty good driver!

This night is the same as the last.  I meet a few new people, but these are expats, and not locals.  However, just as much fun.  Actually too much, as the next day I feel it. haha.

Over the next day, I have coffee with Thean a few times, have many conversations with the hotel staff, and one conversation I won’t forget.  Vany one of the guys I met with Thean gave me a history tour on Cambodia.  He is a really cool guy, and I love our conversations.

 

If are in Cambodia, check out Vany’s website.
http://smilenettour.blogspot.com/

 

I am really glad I do not have those emotional feelings when leaving people, because this would be hard to leave my new friends tomorrow.

On to new adventures, and I hope I see them again someday!

Pursat – Cambodia – Nice little town

Pursat is a nice little town, with a lot of friendly locals.  When I asked where I could buy some school supplies to send back to Osoam Village, everyone wanted to help.  Especially the little girl at the front desk.  She even showed me her books, and explained where in the market I can find them.

The market is only 2 blocks away, and was easy to find.  Tones of vendors, and weird things to see.  I only wish I could explain the smell.  Wow, a little strong for me.  I guess it is like working on a farm back home, you just have to get used to it.

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I was able to find the school books and coloring pencils.   There was 10 kids in the school, so I bought 15 of each item to send back.

Some of the stuff I got.

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The hotel contacted someone who is going to Osoam and delivered the stuff for only $1 the next day.

I stayed in Pursat for 3 nights.  There wasn’t anything really exciting in the town, but 4 days gives me time to explorer and meet locals.

Here are some of the pictures from Pursat.

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On my last day, I was chatting with the young staff girl, and I was going to reserve a bus to Siem Reap, when she told me the bus also stops at Battambang.  So, I asked her what is there to see, she said, “I don’t know, but they have bats.”  She has never been there.

So, for $3 dollars, and 1.5 hour bus ride, why not.  I am going to Battambang.

Goodbye to a friendly little town!

Krong Khemara Phoumin – Cambodia – First few days

I have been in Krong Khemara Phoumin, Cambodia for a few days now, and my first impression was mixed.  I met a few taxi drivers that were a little unfriendly, but I was also met by several young kids saying Hello.  The town is very dirty compared to other Asian countries I have been too.  So, I really did not know what to think.

Now that I have been here a few days, I am getting a true impression of Cambodia and it is a good one.

The food and living cost are the cheapest I have seen.  My average meal cost around $1.30 CAD, or 5000 KDR.  My hotel room, which is very nice, the staff are even nicer, only cost $10 CAD a night.  My cell phone SIM card cost me $2.50 CAD, and 4 GB of data for 1 month cost $7.50 CAD.  However, the cell connection is not great, which kills the battery always trying to get a connection. But that is besides my point.

In Krong Khemara Phoumin, not a lot of people have even basic English, because it is not a tourist city.  If it was a tourist city, I am sure more people would have the basics.  However, it hasn’t been a problem.  When I am needing something and the person doesn’t speak a few words English, they yell, and I truly mean yell for a friend who does.  It’s funny and rather fun.

The area I am in doesn’t have a lot to offer as in site seeing, but to me, I love it.  I have not seen another foreigner in 3 days, basically since I arrived in this town and it makes things so much more interesting.  The kids here, more so the little girls, always say, “Hello!”, with a big smile and sometimes want a high five.  Even better is the adult males and what they do.  Here is a funny and odd story.

I was walking down the street and I noticed a policeman or army  guy walking fast towards me.  My first thought was, oh shit, I do not have my Id on me.  When he gets to me, he starts saying a few words in English, but I couldn’t understand him.  I was not panicking yet, but I was not sure what was happening.  When all of sudden he pulls out his cell phone.  Then I think, OK, I pulled mine out also, because I thought he was going to use a translator.  Nope! I was wrong.  He pulls up Facebook and shows me, he has a friend who is White as well.  He shows me several pictures of them posing together, him with a AK47 or some sort of army rifle and the other guy, just smiling.   By now, I am starting to understand his broken English and he asks where I am from.  I tell him Canada, and he loves this.  Big Smile.  His last question is how long I am in town for, and I told him only a few days, then I will move to a new location in Cambodia.  He seems sad that I am not staying.  He then quickly says goodbye with another big smiles, and runs back to … I think work, or whatever he was doing.

These are reasons I get away from tourist and go to towns where everyone tells me are shitty, and nothing to see.  Yes, maybe they are correct, but the hospitality, and unique encounters you have, make it not shitty, it actually makes it amazing.

Some random pictures from around town.

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Here is something you don’t see or hear about back home.

Most of the restaurants, which are basically street food, with tarp roofs.  These places are family owned, and the entire family helps.  My favorite place to go is one street away from my hotel, and the dad, has 2 sons, and 3 daughters.  I am guessing the oldest soon is around 21, and the youngest daughter is 13.  All 5 kids work and work hard, and the most impressive is the 13 year old girl.  She never complains, and she runs her own section where she sells buns, with warm meat in them.  When she has no customers, she is a kid, playing and teasing her sisters, but when she has a customer, it is all business.  Very impressive at that age, to be able to do both, and enjoy it.

I believe that is the 13 year old in the pink or her older sister.  The handsome guy with a beard is me!

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Here is the most expensive meal I have had.  This was breakfast, and it cost me 6500 KDR, ($1.50 USD, $1.90 CAD), and the beers below are showing prices in USA, and Cambodia Repel.

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Check out the video of my hotel room at an expensive $8 USD or $10.20 Canadian per night, with HOT WATER!

This is going to be my last blog post for a little while!

I am heading into Osoam Village in the jungle, to volunteer teaching English and helping build stuff.  I have only a little understanding of what I am getting myself into, so wish me luck!

Koh Chang – Gala Hostel and Funny Friends

It has been a few months since I stayed in a hostel, and I actually love staying in them because you meet so many great people.  Much easier than living in private rooms.

In my first minute of entering the hostel, I immediately meet two Chinese girls who are on vacation, and the one is volunteering in the hostel, basically for fun.  We all chat about the area, ours travels and those types of things.  The one girl has only been speaking English for only one month, and I am amazed. She speaks it better than most.  I also spend some time helping her, and I am wondering if my Canadian English actually helped. lol. Eh!

Later in the day, I meet another Canadian, Joel from Winnipeg.  He is also a true Canadian.  Very nice, chatty, and just an all around cool dude.  This is his first time ever traveling outside of North America and so far, I can tell he is loving it.

That night I also meet a Dutch girl, Marlou, who is traveling for 2 months while on a work break.  She is traveling alone for a short bit, then her boyfriend will join her.  Pretty cool break from work!

Just before dinner, an American, Adam arrives.  He is well traveled and has been all over, which is great.  I get to hear some cool stories from Central America.

The four of us head out for dinner, and this is where our great conversations start, and continue in through the evening.

What a great view that night! Sunset and Marlou doing a Dutch pose?

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I think I should start staying in hostels again, just to meet more amazing people like this.

The next day we have a few more arrivals in the hostel.  One is a girl from Belgium, Isabel, who is pretty funny.   Her and I enjoy the same type of traveling.  We both prefer to be with locals and away from tourist.  She has some really cool travel stories, one even about living in a jungle with a Thai family.  Something I hope to do one day.

For dinner, Isabel, Marlou and I go for street food.  So damn good.  This is my favorite way of eating.

After Marlou and I play Jenga.  I won, but if you ask her, she did, which might be more correct.

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That evening Joel and the Chinese girls cook dinner, for everyone to try.  I wish I took a picture, it was really good and after I washed the dishes.

Joel and I  representing true Canadians!

Joel, Two Chinese girls, Vincent the hostel manager, and Isabel.  Sorry, I did not have a picture, so I stole this from Joel’s FB.

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During the day I got my Visa to Cambodia. This means I can book my bus to Cambodia and this is another story for my next post.

That night I say goodbye to everyone, as I am getting up at 6 am to catch my bus at 7 am.

I can’t explain how awesome it is meeting all of these people.  This is something everyone should experience, it is life changing meeting people from all over in one location.  You gain respect for other countries and realize borders are only for the government, not for people.  Borders mean nothing!  People are amazing no matter where they are from, what their beliefs are, or what they look like.  Inside is all that counts!

Until we meet again!

 

 

Koh Mak – Awesome Beach and People

My private hut at Monkey Resort was nice, but the fan rooms were starting to kill me.  My throat is getting sore from the dryness.  So, I decided to move to another resort for only 200 ($7.50 CAD) baht more a night, with AC, a pool, and a free breakfast.

Makathanee Resort turns out to be even better than I expected.  The host Net, is such a nice guy.  He does everything to make your stay perfect, including yelling, “Hello Rob!” every morning when he sees me walk by.

Some of the highlights of my 4 days at Makathanee Resort, are;

The one day my 3 friends and I decide to rent kayaks and go to Ko Rayang Nai Island and go snorkeling.

Kai and I shard one kayak, and Irmi and Roodie share the other.   Our first stop is on the East side where we see tones of little fish.

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We then circle around to the west side where it is a lot deeper.  Here is see tones of little fish, but also some medium sized ones.  The water is 5 or more meters deep and we can see all the way to the bottom.

This is the actual color of the water.

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Kayaking and snorkeling was a pretty awesome day.

Other days, we spent on the beach swimming, drinking cold beers and having great conversations.  I really like my new friends and hope to meet them again.

Some pictures of the area and resort.

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As always, I must leave this Island and say goodbye to my new friends and move onto another.  This time, I am heading back to Koh Chang, on my way to Cambodia.

Early in the morning we all say goodbye, Roodie and Irmi are going to Pattaya, and Kai is moving south to Koh Koot.

Goodbye Germans 🙂

The ferry back to Koh Chang that day was a little crazy.  We had high winds and very high waves, that made the ferry bounce all over, and even spray water over the bow all the way over the second floor.  This doesn’t bother me, but when you see the locals who work on the ferry put on life jackets, you start to wonder.

An hour and a half long ferry, turns into 3 hours and I don’t mind.  I really enjoy the views and I love being on the sea.

Here we are pulling into the port and the second image is of a ferry like mine.

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Now onto the hostel for my last 2 nights in Thailand.

 

Koh Mak – Around the Island

Koh Chang to Koh Mak was pretty easy.  I got a truck taxi from my resort to the bottom of Koh Chang, then onto a ferry, which is about a 2 hour ride.  This ride is where my post will begin.

The pier was really cool.  Lots of little floating shops, and some huts for rent.  I should have requested the price, because I might go back there in a few more days.

Some pictures as we leave the port.

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On the truck bus to the ferry I met a couple from Germany, who are on a 20 day holiday in Thailand.  They are really nice, and we have some good laughs together on the ferry as well.

The views from the ferry are pretty amazing.

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Our first stop is at Koh Waik.  This Island has very little of what we think are luxuries, even the port is cool.  This is how they exit and enter the ferry from the island.

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We toss a few passengers onto the raft, and leave for Koh Mak.  Another hour of beautiful views.

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An hour later and we are here.

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From the port, I start thinking about where am I going to stay.  I did not make any reservations, in hopes that I can find a deal.

The 2 Germans, and I share a free ride over to a resort we heard is cheap.

And it is.  It is 350 baht for a hut, with water, and a fan.  The huts have only a mattress on the floor with a mosquito net. The huts are extremely hot though.  No breeze.

We decide to continue walking down the beach to see what else exist.

We make it to Monkey Island Resort.  They have similar huts, but with beds and better fans.  They are 600 baht ($19 CAD) per night.  I decide to stay here.

My friends walk further down the beach and find a 5 star resort for 900 baht ($31 CAD) a night.  I think I might upgrade in a few nights to that place, or maybe I will be cheaper and go to the first place.

Pictures from my first day relaxing at Monkey Island Resort.

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The next day I meet my friends and a new friend Kai, who is also German, to rent scooters and explorer the island.

Kia and I share a scooter, he wants me to drive, which I am fine with.

Our first stop is a temple, but I cannot find the name of it.

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After the temple, we head over to another pier, where we find lots of fish swimming under it.

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Next is a cool little hidden pub, where we stop for a pint.  I love this place.

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Onto our next stop where we will do some swimming, and then onto many more resorts.  We stop at several of them just to explorer but also to find the prices per night.  Just in case I find a deal and want to move later.  However, we find the best beach is ours, and the best prices are also on our current side.

Here are some pictures from the exploring of Koh Mak.

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What an amazing first 2 days on Koh Mak.

Where is Koh Mak?  It’s that little 5 KM wide island in Thailand, near Cambodia.

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Koh Chang – White Sand Beach

White Sand Beach has been a very fun place, and even better is, I am loving my hotel.  I took a chance on this place, as there were several bad reviews, but I thought, who cares for 1 night.

The reviews were very wrong.  My room was clean, the bed was decent, and it had hot water, which I was not expecting for the price.  Online I paid 600 baht for the night, but after seeing how great it is, I decided to stay an extra few nights, and Freddy the owner, only asks for 500 baht for each additional night.  How cool is that, I got a discount without even asking!

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My first night here, at around 8 pm I heard some music playing and took a look to see what was going on.  On the hillside Freddy setup a TV and cushions for everyone to come relax and watch a movie or listen to music.  Very chill and friendly.

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I ended up becoming friends with Freddy and his girlfriend, and we had some drinks together that night.  Really loving this place.

During the day, I explored the beach and swimming.  Nice clean water, but no real fish to see when snorkeling.  There is other eye-candy though!

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The next day I was sitting eating lunch, when another guest of the hotel asked if he could sit with me, because I had the fan table.  I said yes, of coarse.

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His name is Ville, and he is from Finland.  He has been coming here for years now and everyone knows him.  We have a really good conversation, and start having beers together.  Eventually he leaves to shower before we head out on the town.

As I am waiting for him, I meet another couple from Germany.  Marie and Marco are best friends traveling together.  We all hit it off pretty quickly, and when Ville comes back, we all head out on the town.

Our first stop is Little Red Light district.  I did not know this even existed on White Sand Beach, but it does.  a Mini walking street, with, yes, you guessed it.  Ladyboys, hookers, and dancing.

We have one drink, and decide this is not for us, but Ville wants to stay, so this is where we part with him.

Now Marie, Marco and I are off to continue the shit show.

We went all over checking out different bars, drinking and just having a damn good time.  So much of a good time that next day, I think we all felt it.

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One bar that was pretty cool, was a Rock Bar where we met 2 guys from Austria, who ended up in our gang of drunks that night.  I don’t recall their names though.

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What a night is all I can say!

The next day I spend just relaxing and catching up on email, etc.  However, that night Marie messages and asks what the hell am I doing.  So, I head down the to the beach to meet them relaxing, and having a pint.  What a great place to enjoy a cold one.

This night was a little slower, but still had some great conversations.

Onto the next day, I wake up early, go for a swim and book a taxi / ferry to Koh Mak.  I had not planned on going here, but then I heard it is awesome, quite and a decent price.  So, Yeah, I am going there.

Later in the day, I meet up with Marie and Marco.  We go swimming, suntan, and enjoy our last day in White Sand Beach.  Tomorrow they are also leaving but to go to Cambodia.

That night we eat at the local Night Market.  Marie tries some of the local bug snacks.  I also tried them, and they are not half bad.

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I enjoyed my shell fish!

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Our night was awesome, and I will really miss these two crazy Germans who liked to show me pictures of dicks!  Long story, but they will know what I mean. lol.

Well, Goodbye White Sand Beach on Koh Chang!

Koh Chang – I got here and upset someone

Getting to Koh Chang was really easy.  I booked a minibus from Pattaya to Koh Chang Island using https://12go.asia/en .  I was a little skeptical using the site, as I was unsure if it was a scam site or not.  However, it turned out better than expected for 500 baht.

When booking it, it showed I would get a minibus to the ferry, and the ferry in the price.  I thought after the ferry I would have to find a way to my hotel.  But, that wasn’t true, the bus came onto the ferry and dropped me off at my hotel.

So anyways, on the minibus it was all Thai people, but one couple who I could tell were not Thai, or Russian, but I wasn’t really sure where they were from.  And being the bus is 5 hours long, I am going to make new friends.  Yes, I am using them to make my trip shorter. lol.

The couple turned out to be from Lithuania, where I was only a few months ago.  This started off a really great conversation, and lasted the entire bus ride, and ferry ride.  During the ferry ride we made plans to meet on Koh Chang and go for dinner, but I forgot to get their contact information. Uhhh, so stupid!  Well, maybe I will run into them on the beach.

On the side of the minibus is a pretty odd and funny warning signs.

No Dogs, I think?  Not sure of the next one, then no guns, and no pokeyman?

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Here are some pictures from the ferry.

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The hotel that night was interesting.  The owner is an Italian guy, with a wife or friend who is Thai running it.  She is super nice, and speaks pretty good English.  He is just odd, speaks OK English, but again, is ODD!

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This is how my arrival went.  I walked in and asked if they had rooms, and they do, for 450 baht.  This is great for a night.  As I am at the counter, pulling out my passport and money, he starts taking my laptop bag.  I do not like anyone touching it because it is not really strong enough to hold my laptop and I don’t want it to rip.  So, I stop him and say, no I have it.  Then keeps saying, come come.  He wants to show me the room.  So, being clueless, I grab my money, and totally didn’t see my passport, in my passport holder/wallet sitting on the counter.

We get to the room, and I set my bags down.  He goes back downstairs.  2 minutes later, I am like, “Shit, I left my passport down stairs.”  I know it is safe, but I rush down to get it.

So tell me this.  If you saw someone left their wallet, with passport in it, and you knew who’s it is, what would you do?  I would hold it, until the person came back, or taken it to them.  This is NOT what he does!  He opens the wallet, goes through it, pulls out my passport and starts copying it.  In Thailand it is law for hotels to take a copy of your ID.  However, I do not think this is right that he does it without asking me.

I see him with my wallet and say, “That is mine” with a smile, thinking he was holding it.  Then I saw my passport was not in it and he was copying it.  I said to him, “Why is my passport out?”, he says he is copying it, and I reply, “Why is my passport not in it my holder?”  He gives me a look, of, go fuck yourself!

Anyways, I get it back, pay the 450 baht, and leave it at that.  This does piss me off though, as I think it is really disrespectful to go into someones wallet, when you already know who’s it is.

So that night, I made a video reviewing the room as I always do.  Check it out here!


In the room, there were two small issues.  One the bathroom light didn’t work and two, the sink drain was not attached.  So when I brushed my teeth before bed and then spit in the sink.  The spit and water went directly onto my feet.  A little annoying.  This was mentioned in the video.

The next morning they somehow saw the video, gave it a thumbs down and didn’t want to talk to me.  It was really awkward leaving, but whatever.  I really hate when you show the truth, and the other person gets mad for people knowing it.  Sorry, but if you don’t want bad reviews, do some basic maintenance!

If you watch my video, please give it a Thumbs Up!

My first full day on Koh Larn was not bad.  I explored the little town, and found a nice empty beach, I then found some great market food.

So far, I am really liking Koh Chang.  Tomorrow I am moving down the Island, to White Sand Beach.

Some pictures from around the area.

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