Warning: this post is long. We hired the tuk tuk driver for the day and explored a lot of the area’s offerings. Ratanakiri is a strange place with many strange things, and a quiet tourist culture very similar to Battambang. Before any crazy adventure, however, we needed to check out breakfast.
On the way to breakfast we discovered a water tower very similar to the Seattle Space Needle:
The restaurant was located on Kan Seng Lake, which means “Towel Lake.” It also means, “scarf” which is much sexier. These workers were friendly enough during their hard work:
Following breakfast, we took a tour of the lake:
Difficult to see: a man washes his moto in the lake:
Following are some pictures from the Terres Rouges Lodge, which we enjoyed exploring the grounds of (and later the next day visiting the pool of):
We never did figure out what this thing means:
Indigenous product selfies:
Some more scenes from around town:
The color of the earth in this province is unreal. So beautiful when matched by the greenery:
The insanely grotesque triple-decker pig truck. You’ll notice a guy on the back. We followed the truck for maybe ten minutes, and while on the road, the dude was eating his meal. We hoped it wasn’t pork.
That in the distance? Rubber farms. Ratanakiri is mostly, at least from what we saw, rubber plantations.
Farmer shacks are fairly desolate.
A common sight: a pool table. We saw many, many pool tables for local Cambodians. Some were dominated by children, and some by adults. Usually all boys and men.
One of the concession centers:
They forgot to take the Hawaii license plate off:
Traditional indigenous huts:
For bachelors and bachelorettes, respectively:
A suspension bridge:
A dangling powerstrip (that worked!):
Next to that rubber concession (above), the Latex Center Restaurant:
From the Laos restaurant we ate lunch at:
Next stop: a Kroeung village.
Note: I didn’t want to be one of the “exploitative tourists” who take lots of pictures and treat these people like zoo animals. It’s hard enough being at these villages, where the people live a simple and isolated life. That said, we did support their economy and bought their hand-woven scarves. We also were able to ask them a lot about their lives after the Civil War.
After visiting the village, we visited the Yeak Loam lake, which is a volcanic lake. It’s warm waters were refreshing and strange (having become used to swimming in Cambodia in the ocean). But it was still fun. Also, we were some of the only foreigners there. It was great to see lots of young Cambodians swimming. Below, the changing booths were hardly private:
Eric, a non-swimmer, was kind enough to get action shots of Yenda, Stephanie, and myself.
Following a swim, we hiked around the perimeter of the lake, which was hot but peaceful.
After Yeak Loam, we decided it was time to pursue local honey, which our tuk tuk river led us to believe was nearby. We ended up visiting several roadside families, each looking slightly more “concerned” than the last, as we went after our prize.
This honey was low quality but pretty cheap ($7 for the whole batch):
The dust was significantly bad, and Pinkie had to protect herself:
The third time was the charm:
Dee-licious,and it came with the bees for free! Below: we bought some rice wine to celebrate!