Finally, we got out with photos coming tomorrow..Tour of the Kampong Cham Temple in Cambodia…Great pics!

Us at the Kampong Cham Temple in Cambodia.

We hope our readers are still interested in the few remaining stories and photos we’ve continued to share from the Viking Mekong River cruise which ended over a week ago.

In front of the steps leading to the temple.

Each day has included a blurb on our current location in Phuket, Thailand and a second portion on tours and stories we hadn’t been able to share during the cruise/tour due to a poor Wi-Fi signal.

It was one hot day.

This morning we signed up for new more sophisticated Wi-Fi service, VOOM, which is supposedly high speed being offered by Royal Caribbean on most of their ships. 

The ornate designs of temples is fascinating.

With a 33 night (back-to-back) cruise upcoming on October 31st (a mere three months from now) on RC Radiance of the Seas, we didn’t want to experience more horrible WiFi impeding our ability to post in real time, hoping to prevent the necessity of posting stories for events that occurred in the past as we’ve done over this past week.

Scary faces to ward off evil spirits.

Bear with us, we only have a few more of these “past” stories and photos and soon will be all about our current location in Rawai, Phuket, Thailand which in itself encompasses endless opportunities for both stories and photos. Tomorrow, we’ll begin posting Phuket photos.

We entered the temple for more detailed views.

Yesterday, we had a chance to begin the photo taking process when, for the first time since our arrival a week ago, we got out of the house. The rain never stopped all day. 

The details illustrate the joy of the Cambodian people.

By 1 pm, after the rental car had been dropped off, I suggested we go out anyway. Who knew when it would be a sunny day? Besides, we needed photos and groceries. 

Alternate views of shrines.

The older car, a stick shift with somewhat foggy windows wasn’t the ideal vehicle for taking photos on a rainy day but we did our best. However, the day didn’t start out as idealic as we’d have liked.

(Photo out of context with today’s other photos. But, yesterday, we mentioned, we’d post the rental car photo). The rental car’s a little rough, but will serve our purposes over the next 34 days until we leave Thailand.

The address we have for this property or any variation therein, doesn’t show on any map. We had no SIM card in our phones and maps wouldn’t work anyway.  The owner suggested we just get ourselves to the highway and we’d figure it out.  Had it not been raining so hard, we may have been able to do so more easily.

Pagodas and shrines within the temple.

First, we had to find a gas station, next an ATM.  Based on the weather, we decided we’d find a nearby market to get us through a few days since driving across the island to the superstore, Makro didn’t make sense in the downpour.

The detail of the craftsmanshi is astounding.

With the fuel gauge on empty when we started off, Tom was a bit “overly grumpy” when it was impossible to look out the window when the windshield wipers didn’t work well. The only option was for me to open my window, letting in the rain and keep looking along the highway for a fuel station. 

That wasn’t as easy as one may think. Every so often, we’d spot a solitary fuel pump, stop and find it was unattended and/or didn’t work. Tom’s frustration level escalated while my usual “overly bubbly” optimism kept him forging ahead.

We weren’t certain if these flags were temporary or permanent to celebrate a particular holiday.

Finally, after about 20 minutes of “driving on empty” we found a traditional fuel station which accepted credit cards since we’d yet to stop at an ATM.  As we pulled out of the fuel station with a full tank, we spotted a tiny pharmacy around the corner with an ATM machine outside their door. 

These smaller buildings are residences for the monks.

I was desperate to find some type of heating pad and we needed to get the cash to pay for the rental car, TBH 9000, US $258. Mission accomplished!  The pharmacy had a hot-cold pack which easily heats in the microwave and we were able to get the cash we needed from the ATM.

Ornate details.

Feeling hopeful after our success, we continued down the highway with hopes of taking a few photos. Suddenly, through the foggy windows, I spotted a huge sign for a Makro store that supposedly sells beef and more products than the prior market where we shopped. 

Young monks working at the temple.

We wouldn’t have to travel across the island to shop each week and could use this location only minutes from our house for our remaining days on the island. We couldn’t have been more thrilled when we entered the mini-Costco/Sam’s Club type store which had every food product we could possibly use in our way of eating. 

A live monk was sitting inside the temple out of the scorching sun.

I was like a kid-in-a-candy-store. We hadn’t seen such variety since we were in Trinity Beach, Australia a year ago with the abundance at the Woolworth Market (Woolies), farmers market and grass fed meat market.  Even the great markets in New Zealand didn’t have the variety we found at Makro.

We were happy we had a car. Had a driver been waiting for us, it would definitely impeded our ability to scour through the aisles with ease finding everything on our list. 

Mausoleum on the property in varying sizes based on the deceased placement in the family.

Not unlike many superstores in the US, no bags or boxes were provided when checking out. We could only imagine how cumbersome it could have been to load the trunk of a taxi with “loose” foods and produce. Tomorrow, we’ll share the cost of our groceries with photos. We were shocked over the final total.

The less than stellar car will serve its purpose for the upcoming month, although we realize driving far is risky. Then again, the bumpy roads and stick shift driving would deter me from being interested in long drives at this juncture in time.

I avoided walking this stairway when the bus drove us to the garden.

On an upcoming sunny day, we’ll take off for the beach which I could see yesterday at a short distance through the fuzzy windows and pouring rain.  There won’t be any lounging in the sand on a towel (or bouncing boat rides) but surely we’ll be able to take photos of the exquisite scenery in this area.  Please stay tuned for updates.

Continuing on with a cruise/tour story….

On Thursday, July 14th, we embarked on a bus tour while still in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Kong had assured us it would be a relatively easy tour without hours of walking and trekking up steep and rough terrain.

Mom and baby monkey hoping tourists will offer them food.

As it turned out, the tour of the Kampon Cham Temple was manageable for me when we avoided the long steep stairway from the temple. The bus driver drove a small group of us down to the garden area of the temple reachable by road as an alternative to walking the steps.

Off they went, when we had nothing to offer.

There’s a fascinating story about the Kampong Cham Temple at this site which is too long to share here but may be worth reading if you’re interested. For the sake of space and time, we’re winding down today’s post with photos from this excellent experience and tour.

Someone on a tour which later visited the orphanage must have handed off a lollipop to this monkey.  We giggled when taking these photos.

Thanks to all of our readers for bearing with two-topics posts over this past week. We only have a few more cruise/tour photos to share. 

This monkey figured out it would last longer if he licked it instead of chewing.

Be well.  Be happy!

Photo from one year ago today, July 29, 2105:

Every beach along the way on our road trip to Port Douglas, Australia, had it own personality. They may all look like sand, rock and water but we find each one to have it own unique scenery. For more details, please click here.