We had an entertaining drive from the Beach up to the Tatai River Valley - a 2.5 hour taxi ride with the chattiest taxi driver in all of Cambodia. This guy somehow got wind of- and how to use, the "F-Bomb". And he practices it frequently. Between his free flowing conversation and OO's question asking, we learned everything from A to Z.
- The cost of cars (new and used), gas and repairs.
- How the Chinese are trying to take over and how Cambodians want US companies here rather than Chinese (because they are treated better).
- How Cambodians see President OBama - and how they view past Presidents. Wars, the Khmer Rouge at the time and much much more. Its really interesting to hear how the rest of the world sees the US outside of our bubble and also hearing about a country you are visiting from someone who knows it best.
We arrived at the Tatai River and headed out on a boat to our first ever "Glamping" experience - and I must say, it is pretty awesome. When we walked into the Welcome "Tent" at the boat dock and they handed us a lemongrass scented ice-cold towel - we knew we were in for a REAL treat. A far far cry from GeoPod #5.
This stretch of the Tatai river is called the Conservarion Corridor which encompases many of Cambodia's most outstanding natural sights. It includes the most extensive mangrove forests on mainland southeast asia, the Cardamom Mounains, rainforests and tons of waterfalls. There are only 4 places to stay on the tatai river - all resembling the floating villages of Tonle Sap and EcoLodges boasting luxury in-harmony with Mother Nature. So quiet with amazing service, 4-star Four Rivers lodge was an Oasis to our usual 1-2 star hostels. Aside from Brian's run in with 4 leeches...it was luxurious bliss for 1 whole night. We had amazing food, played many runds of UNO, swam in the River, kayaked and relaxed. A vacation from our "vacation". Traveling - and constantly moving from place to place in a third world country is a lot of work, and you don't really get into a groove until week 2. That's why 3 weeks is perfect.