Banlung & Phnom Penh 11.24.16

I am approaching four months of travel and I have also entered a slightly cooler climate. Now I wear jeans and my light dresses stay in my bag. My gear is holding up but starting to show the wear of travel. My white clothes have a grey/brown undertone, even when they are fresh from the wash. I am planning to enjoy a shopping excursion and a haircut when I reach Bangkok in early January.

Items no longer with me

  • Cuticle clipper: Taken at security when I transferred flights at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport
  • Baseball hat: Gifted to Tri who works at Be Treed adventures
  • Coin purse: Gifted to me by Laura, I either dropped it or a tuk tuk driver in Phnom Penh took it
  • TSA clear travel toiletry case: Broken zipper on the case made it unusable so I threw it away and replaced it with a ziplock bag I brought from home

Items repaired

  • Sunglasses: One of my first days in China I found an optician who bent the arms of the sunglasses inward so they stopped falling down my nose.
  • Pants: My yoga pants and my linen pants developed holes. With the help of a tuk tuk driver, I visited a 70 year-old man with a sewing business in Agra. He sewed patches on both pieces of clothes for about $3 USD.

Items purchased

  • Wallet for holding cash: Purchased to replace the lost/stolen coin purse
  • Padlock: Purchased in India to be used when I need an additional lock
  • Toiletries: Replaced a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soaps and a razor
  • Face creme: Bryana brought me a new jar when we met in Delhi!

Least used items

  • Tennis shoes
  • North Face rain jacket

Happy Thanksgiving to family and friends celebrating this holiday. I am in Jaipur, India today. In the hostel I met a woman, Sara, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and her significant other ( bought ingredients for a meal and I will be Sara’s sous chef this evening. I am looking forward to celebrating.

Banlung town and the Ratankiri province of Cambodia are nature destinations. Lake Yeak Laom is a 700,000 year old lake created by a volcanic crater. It is perfectly round. It was a hilly 5km bike ride to arrive. I enjoyed reading beside the lake in this place that reminded me of Minnesota.
Highway markers in all of Cambodia look like this red and white sign. Government signs are also a common site.
I returned to Phnom Penh for the Water Festival called Bon Om Tuka holiday marking the reversal of the Tonle Sap river. All roads near the river were closed for the multi-day holiday. Lexus cars are a common site in the capital city.
Just like a festival at home, a beer company sponsors and distributes swag. I walked around the fair with friends Julia, Kate, and new friend Maren. It was 90 degrees and humid. We were dripping wet. The Khmer people were wearing many more layers of clothing than we were.
The festival shared some similarities with a state fair. Streets vendors sold food, there was a music area for late night partying and shows, and brands sampled and sold their goods.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have the largest Water Festival celebrations in the country. Mostly working people from the provinces come to the city for the holiday. After dark, government ministries or state institutions float lighted boats on the water for the festival.
Boat races with precision oarsmen take place daily for the three day holiday. These rowers were impressive! After sweating profusely to watch the races in person, we were humored when we returned to the hostel and found the races were also televised.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. AndrewGills says:

    Oh you made it to the Water Festival. I’m jealous. It was being prepared when we were in Siem Riep and had already been on in Battambang. Looks brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so lucky to get there! I wasn’t sure if the festival would take place and was happy to know it was on for this year. You never know – you may see it in person someday.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Woessner says:

    So fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trinity says:

    Your bike to the lake reminded me of our last day together before you set off on this adventure. Congratulations on your 4 month mark. As always, I love the “stuff” updates!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, that was a fun bike and paddle day. The weather was perfect at Calhoun too. Thanks for the memory reminder. I can’t wait to restart lunches. Until then – see you on Instagram.


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