Kampong Cham, Cambodia: The Beginning of our Travels up the Mekong
We had banned Phnom Penh Sorya after the last debacle, so we booked our passage to Kampong Cham from Sihanoukville with Capitol Tours (the civilized way to travel) for $9.75, with a stopover in Phnom Penh. We had a couple of hours to kill between our connecting bus in Phnom Penh (it seems like we can’t stay away), but the Capitol bus station had a restaurant serving relatively good food and, most importantly, cold beer to stave off the sweltering heat of Phnom Penh.
Kampong Cham is a delightful town on the banks of the Mekong River. It was a great place to wile away a day or two. We stayed at the Mekong Sunrise which has large, sparsely furnished rooms with an even larger balcony overlooking the river. The balcony was seriously huge. Large enough to house a professional tennis game comfortably. We had a great view of Kizuna Bridge, the sheer size of which boggles the mind.There’s more than enough to keep one busy in Kampong Cham and renting a motorcycle or bicycle is the best way to see them. Our guesthouse provided us with a useful hand-drawn map of the area giving us an idea of how to get to some of the sights which include, but are not limited to: Man hill and Woman hill, which have an interesting legend attached to them and offer great views of the area; the surrounding rubber plantations; and perhaps most fascinating, the intricate, hand-built bamboo bridge which is reconstructed every year after being destroyed in the wet season.Our next (and last) destination in Cambodia is Kratie, home of the endangered Irrawaddy river dolphin.