We arrived in Phnom Penh Cambodia on Sep 21 after a 23 hour trip from home. We flew EVA Airways with Premium Economy seats for the San Francisco-Taipei leg (13 hours). The seats were pretty much the equivalent of US domestic First Class, with extra legroom, wide comfortable seats, and a decent recline. As a added bonus we found free hot showers at the Taipei airport, which felt really good after our long flight from the US.
September is the wet season here, and we were happy to see the Mekong River in full flood, with the Tonle Sap River flowing toward Tonle Sap Lake. The Tonle Sap River usually flows from the Mekong toward the lake during the wet season, then the lake partially drains to the Mekong during the dry season. This ebb and flow of water into and from the lake is extremely important to the health of Tonle Sap Lake and the food supply for Cambodia, but unfortunately has been disrupted in the past several years due to dam construction along the Mekong in China, Laos, and Cambodia. From what we hear from the local people the Mekong is very high this year compared to last year, so that’s good news.
We took a private car (Cambodia Private Car Service, $95, 6 hours) from Phnom Penh to Kratie, then on to the island of Koh Trong to see our friend Chyva. Her family owns Homestay #1 on the island, which is situated in the middle of the Mekong River just west of Kratie. It’s a beautiful island, very rural and not very touristy. We are staying at Chyva’s homestay while we are on the island. A private room with air con costs $30 per night, and Chyva’s mom cooks delicious meals for us.
We will be here for a few more days, then will stay in Kratie for a couple of days to visit our friend Samel. We are scheduled to fly to Vietnam on October 5, but we may push that back a bit so that we can do all we wanted to do in Cambodia.