Our grand finale at Angkor Wat was a rather relaxed day in the temple sites, beginning with the incredible Wat Prom – the jungletemple with the giant trees hugging millennium old walls. After a long and productive lunch break, we went on to the Bayon, the pyramid shaped temple with its fifty something giant heads observing everything, everyone. Angkor Wat itself at sunset - tick, we did Angkor. Awesome, pretty much off any scale I would measure things in before. What mankind did a millennium ago here in what detail and precision is certainly worth calling it the remaining of the Seven Miracles of our World. I'm “angkored“ now, as much as all these 2 million visitors every year...

Sarah and I escape Seam Reap by boat towards Battambang on an 8-hour cruise over the biggest lake in Cambodia, into the swamps with floating villages, then up a crazy winding, narrow river with very poor looking huts on its sides. No roads or cars for hours and hours. Little children wave from the houses, man in small boats throwing their fishing nets. We spoil ourselves with a Sarah plays the Ukulele and heads back (by bus) to Siam Reap for her new duties on the following day. “Bye bye love, bye bye happiness” a sad voice in my head sings. I have to be out of Cambodia in a few days because of my expiring visa. I want to spend a few days on the shores of East Thailand and hope for good opportunities for some NGO work in Cambodia in the near future.




I spend two more days in Battambang, writing articles, emails and finally reading the famous “First they killed my father” book – the incredible story of the Khmer Rouge time from the perspective of a 5 year old girl. After reading the book, I see Cambodia with different eyes...

Looking for information about the road through the Cardamom Mountains to Ko Kong, I get almost no encouraging information anywhere I ask in Battambang. So I cancel this adventure and decide to enter Thailand from Pailin, with a little “one-day” detour in the mountains to the Maddox-Julie-Pitt Nature Reserve project and its waterfalls and jungles. Awesome cycling on partly paved and partly crazy dirt roads. Badly deforested mountains and dry farm land as far as the eye can see. I arrive at the spot in the late afternoon. What was said to be 70 kilometers pretty much became 100. What was said to be a friendly accommodation option turned out to be a weird place, anything but welcoming visitors. However, the little waterfall with its pool under the mighty rocks was worth the trip, and luckily the local doctor managed to find me a homestay with his friends. A night in the hammock mounted under the stilt house. Next day I move on to Pailin, a former Gambling town and gem center of Cambodia, stronghold of the Khmer Rouge for decades. Another nice jungle treck in the afternoon, another swim in a pool of a small waterfall. On the next day, I leave for Thailand, just 20 kilometers away from Pailin. No odd stamp fees on the border. Bye for now Cambodia, hello again Thailand! Great paved roads with wide shoulders for cyclists, lots of trees providing shadow. It looks so different to the last few days cycling in Cambodia! Much more and faster traffic - new cars instead of the slow heavily loaded motor carts and old squeaky pickups trucks. No more waving kids on the side of the roads either, yet a few smiling elderly people and a some waving drivers. Certainly, Thailand is much richer, much more developed and sophisticated in the Western meaning than Laos or Cambodia are. Quick 70 kilometers down South to Chantaburi, a big gemstone center city. I'm tired, but tomorrow I'll be on the beach, after 10 weeks cycling. Yeeha!