Our final day before the day-long trip back to Phnom Penh (which won’t be covered on this blog) saw us visiting the Kalai village roughly 1 hour outside of Banlung. It’s both (apparently) a commune and an indigenous group. We did not exactly learn much about the village as “tourism” is frequent but not formalized. Our guide, who we met milling rice before the trek, carried a machete and a bottle of tea the entire time, and occasionally pointed out objects of interest. The jungle, though not as awe-inspiring as my time in Malaysia, was still extremely enjoyable, and really hot (just wait until the last group photo, where you see my entire shirt soaked through). First, the obligatory cute animal picture from Tree Top:
Note: there will be man pictures of people walking in front of me, as I took up the rear throughout the journey:
I can’t remember what this fruit is called, but it’s kind of like eating sour candy:
A rambutan tree:
We enjoyed the pigs we came across, a lot:
The Kalai still use a slash-and-burn strategy for keeping their forests sustainable. Who knows how long the forests will last, however, before the rubber craze takes over.
Like pages in a book:
The guide found river fish hanging out in the last bit of water in the drying creek. He “rescued them” (for future dinner):
What goes down:
Must come up:
Near the end of the trek, we were brutally exhausted:
Later, back at the main road, we hung out for a bit before departing. I was too tired for any form of intellectual inquiry or pursuit. We did have enough energy to check out the pigs and piglets, though:
And the final pose:
Later we got back, took naps, and then went to the Terres Rouges for a swim. I didn’t take any pictures, except for this sunset picture. Following, we got Indian for dinner, and then went to sleep early for an early rise.
Our bus departed from Banlung at 630am and took only 10.5 hours to get back to the city. It was harsh but the roads weren’t bad, so it wasn’t terrible. My back, however, did require a lot of rest upon return. Overall, a very fun though very extensive “final holiday” in Cambodia. I’m glad I spent it with the friends I did, and look forward to my last few weeks here in Phnom Penh.