Go to Kompong Cham with a Cambodian street map
I heard concerning the charming city of Kompong Cham and its bamboo bridge. However the place precisely is it and the way do you get there? With my lovely street map of Cambodia, I used to be in a position to simply find it and plan my journey. After a 3 hour bus journey from the capital metropolis of Phnom Penn, I lastly arrived in Kompong Cham and was completely able to discover its countryside. The subsequent morning I awoke earlier than daybreak. It appears everybody in Kompong Cham will get up early, and simply as I showered, I grabbed my bag and rode out of the Mekong resort to select up my rental bike (good for sightseeing ), the sidewalks and streets had been alive with bustling exercise, even at this early hour. Merchandise had been bought, together with each shiny fruit and pungent vegetable possible, in addition to falling fish and entire chickens hanging by their toes.
Males in stalls, girls squatting on the bottom and younger kids on motorbikes had been all doing their half to entice passers-by to purchase their wares.
I began my day on the merely named however completely scrumptious “Khmer Meals” restaurant, situated proper on the banks of the Mekong and with an incredible view of the tranquil dawn. After ending the wonderful tofu breakfast, I hopped on my bike and headed in the direction of the Mekong, simply because the dawn was at its peak.
Getting up at this early hour allowed me to beat the noon warmth. In japanese Cambodia, April is sort of sizzling, and I knew the scorching solar would destroy my plans, and I had an extended bike journey forward of me. I am a pale face from Michigan and was constructed for the chilly. Subsequent time I’ll plan my journey to this quiet and genuine riverside city between the months of November and February when it’s cooler.
A yr earlier than, I had examine a feat of ingenuity and laborious work, wonderful engineering and creativity, a bamboo bridge that connects a distant island within the Mekong to mainland Cambodia. Each wet season the bridge is totally destroyed and each dry season it’s rebuilt. It’s a lifeline for the small island, named Koh Paen, and a necessity. However missing the funds and supplies to construct a everlasting bridge, the locals got here up with their very own genius resolution that required extra work than cash. I significantly admire and respect the perseverance of the Cambodian folks and have at all times been fascinated by the tradition. However I could not discover any pictures of the unimaginable construction – neither on Google nor in books. I got here to see it for myself.
I fumbled alongside the river a bit – could not discover the bridge from the street. I walked forwards and backwards however there have been no English indicators anyplace. The group of Cambodian kids hanging out on a bench was no assist both – they simply laughed and blushed after I requested them, “Bridge? Bamboo?” and I could not blame them or count on them to know. Now why did not I examine a Khmer (Cambodian) language course earlier than happening this journey. It will have saved me a lot grief and frustration. However I stored going, grabbed my backpack and at last bought heading in the right direction.
The bridge slowly appeared within the distance, its size shocking me. The island was a lot additional away and the bridge for much longer than I anticipated. I did not understand how wonderful it was till I bought on it. It was a lot wider, taller, longer and extra complicated up shut. Made fully of woven bamboo and dust, I used to be shocked at how robust it felt to assist cattle, bikes, vehicles and my bike all on the similar time!
The bridge swayed within the wind and underneath the burden of passing heavy carts, however confirmed no indicators of weakening. It was resilient and powerful, similar to the individuals who constructed it.
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