Saturday, January 24th, 2004 – Day 340 to Monday, January 26th, 2004 – Day 342

Saturday, January 24th, 2004 – Day 340

Little done today. I only got out of bed by 11.00am. Shops and markets are still closed/ I headed down to the Tonle Sap lake to watch the sun go down. Very nice.

  • Two Buddhist monks have been slashed to death in separate roadside attacks in southern Thailand, two days after a similar attack which police blamed on Muslim extremists.

  • The Department of Foreign affairs has confirmed the identity of the Waterford man who died in Vietnam on Thursday night.

  • Thaksin in trouble: Bird flu threatens to dent Thai PM’s mantle as hands-on hero

  • China tightens web control:New legislation means that all 110,000 internet cafes must now use a particular form of software that will control access to websites considered harmful or subversive – including those of Amnesty itself, the BBC, and other international human rights groups, news and non-governmental organisations. Thousands of special police are also employed to patrol the cafes and to monitor websites and email exchanges, Amnesty’s Louise Vischer told BBC News Online.

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    Tonle Sap Sunset (24-01-2004)

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    Tonle Sap Sunset (24-01-2004)

    Sunday, January 25th, 2004 – Day 341

    I was up at 6.30am and paid the tonle Saple hotel 30 US for three nights stay. I went outside and was getting on a old Honda for the short trip to the central market to get a pick-up truck to Koh Kong. For these short journeys, I keep my back pack on, but as soon as we got going, the front wheels of the bike reared up and I fell off. Just as well, we were not going 50km down the road when this happened. No injuries but strained my calf.

    Anyway even though very few people take this route a mini-bus from the market has been introduced. I paid 300 Baht for a few seat beside the driver (beside another guy). If you buy from a travel agent, the price may be 600 baht. The mini-bus did not go until it was full, so I was stuck there until 7.45am.

    Off we went. Its a road that was built for Cambodia two years ago for the Thai military. Its an OK dirt and dust road in the dry season but not passable in the wet season. Its lucky we have to pass over 4 rivers to get to Koh kong. It gives everyone an opportunity to stretch there legs. There are no bridges and we used vehicle ferries. They are small wooden craft that can bring 4 to 6 vehicles across at a time.

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    Trip to Koh Kong – Warning against fishermen throwing grenades into rivers to catch fish (25-01-2004)

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    Koh Kong (25-01-2004)

    The scenery is excellent all the way. We did not pass any towns or villages. Just a few houses at each river crossing. Its nearly pristine jungle.

    It took 8 hours to get to Kong Kong. It was 4.00pm and I could have crossed into Thailand but I like this town. Its quiet and relaxing. I booked into the Pai Lin guesthouse for 150 Baht.

    Koh Kong is a quaint and interesting border village that shouldn’t be missed. Stop and enjoy us while traveling through SE Asia. Villages like Koh Kong are getting very rare nowadays. Children say hello, ice is cut by hand and although life is slow it is very enjoyable.

    I headed down to ottos to eat. There I met a motley crew. There was France from Austria, Eric from Denmark and Marcus from Ireland. They were all old Cambodian hands and had great stories (mostly tragic) from friends OD’ing to killings. Cambodia has some expat characters knocking about. We continues drinking in different places until 2.00am. Its a relaxing town with no tourist infrastructure or tourists. Its very relaxing sitting outside in a country bar drinking and talking.

    Monday, January 26th, 2004 – Day 342

    I decided to stay another night. I was in bed until noon. I headed down to the boats and the market which was good. I met up with the guys at 2.00am. We went down to the pier to watch the speed boat from Sihanoukville at 4.00am. As usual all the tourists rushed on moto taxis straight to the Thailand border.

    Same as last night. A long session with the guys. Marcus from Waterford has not been home for 10 years. I was in bed by 2.00am as I am leaving tomorrow.