Cambodia, Koh Rong

Koh Rong right?! That’s gold mate!

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Good morning Kimo

Iz really really funny. I keep running into people I have met weeks and months ago in a different country. Twice it so happened that I entered a country in the north (Lao on 20/02 Cambodia on 20/03) with a group and met them again before leaving the respective country in the south. Serendipitousynchronicity abounds.

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Our camp on LongBeach

This morning I crossed the hill to the main beach on Koh Rong with the intention to leave. I missed the boat by five minutes. I just laughed. Sat down with a fresh fruit salad. Smiled at the ocean. Chill out for some time. Charge batteries.

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After licking each other they enjoy some cuddling hours together. What a life!

And lo and behold, the very same friends i trekked in the jungle around Luang Namtha (Laos) pass by the bar i am sitting in! Guess I will stay for some more days, then. Myanmar calling… but it has to wait. The visa for Myanmar will expire in a fortnight. I do not know if I am going to be granted 28 days or just the remaining days until April 19th. Maybe someone can find out? I am on beach mode. Lazy mf.

Yesterday there was a lunar eclipse (!) and full moon on a beach full of fluorescent plankton. It was utterly unexpected. Took all of us by surprise. As it was quite dark the sky was full of stars and the sea was full of lights and the body full of warm blood. The next night we could see a circle of light around la luna. It looked like a halo or corona. Stretched out on the sand we tried to figure out what it is and how it could be.

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If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is… infinite. (W.B.)

I also met two new friends. One from Nepal (Aneil) and one from good ol Germany (Julian). They were both looking forward to their meditation trips near Udon Thani. We had an exquisite curry for dinner and exchanged on dhamma topix. Ahh … so happily we live!

Now I am on the main beach. Music surrounds me. People. Sounds from the TV set. Taxi boat offers. Piiizza piiizza and beer and free shots on the way.

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'...maybe you should drive...'

So many stories to tell. So much happening. At the same time nothing much happening. Well you catch my drift… if not, no bloody worries mate.

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Sunset on Long Beach... and preparation for cooking dinner

May your time on earth be full of lifelife. May your death be full of lightlight. May you enjoy every fresh moment.

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Cambodia, Koh Rong, Sihanoukville

Cambodian waters

Here I am in Cambodia. Yes-la! Wallaweee!

After been there don det it is rong place rong time on a beautiful island in the west of Sihanoukville.

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Cambodian diamond way to Long Beach

I like it here. Easy living. Been camping here for a week now. And although the Myanmar visa is going to expire April 19th I intend to stay for a couple more days. Why not? Meditating in Yangon or chill out – same same. The fisher village is about one hour to go from our camp. Only two of us here, Aaron and myself. Javi left the other day. Every day people come and people go. They are all so nice and so friendly.

Good that I decided to leave the big rucksack in town to bring only the essentials with me. The slow boat took about 2.5 hours to get here. Then a short hike across the hill.
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Then welcome to paradise. Once again. Cuz paradise is always here and now. We all know that. It’s just some places are more beautiful than others.

Some day I walk back across the hill to the busier side of the island to get supplies and meet sleeping dogs.

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Siesta well earned

Also to meet old and new friends and have a shower and get fresh fruit salad, ice coffee and ingredients to cook campfire meals on Long Beach. Further up the beach a survivor’s camp is set up for a TV show. Next to it there is a resort charging $100 per night. I am sitting in the adjacent bar-restaurant now writing this, having a pizza verdura and an Angkor beer with two Israeli-German couples. Prost! Lechaim!

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One night I am presented with an opportunity and I take it. Perfect set. Perfect setting. Love is all around. So I lick my hand. Bitter. During the next 12 hours I find this world and myself dissolving, I laugh so hard my belly hurts at this cosmic joke, I feel the blood rushing through my body and the chi of the mind, with a flashlight I watch a crab struggling up the beach with its house, see lightning flash and grasp the concept of heaven, lasers between the boats in the distance, ocean waves breathing along with me, smouldering worms and reptiles curling up in the bonfire, naturally naked swim in the fluorescent ocean at 3 am, clouds morphing and a deep understanding of what it’s all about: the modesty of stating that I do not understand at all and it’s alright 😉
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Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap

Angkar

It is hard to express what I felt when I visited the killing fields in Phnom Penh. In Siem Reap I bought a book about Brother Number One of Angkar aka DK (Democratic Kampuchea) and, besides another book about Cambodia my dear brother gave me years ago (I only remember there was a gecko on the cover), Austria’s involvement in the holocaust during WW2 also might have prompted me to go to such a site of bloodshed and merciless torture?! Whatever the rationale, when I got there I was emotionally struck and at a loss to understand how something like that could ever happen. Several times I sat down in the shade and cried silent salty drops. All in all I spent three hours there. There was a thought: Now that I am here, why not let it sink in and realise and reflect and thoroughly reach some depth in the process? Dukkha is here to be witnessed. So bear witness. That’s what you are here for when all is sad and down. Happy happy joy joy is sure to follow no worries my friend. And when it’s too much to take I can always take Snow in the summer by Sayadaw U Jotika (free PDF online!) to be down-to-earth once again.

Sometimes too much light on life’s sufferings and joys hurts sensitive beings. It is good to know one’s limits if only to extend them.

When I leave the killing fields I cannot find Sing, the tuktuk driver who brought me here 8-9 am. It is noon so he may have left for lunch? At a nearby food stall I order some dish called vegetarian amok. Geez. After that I look for Sing again but he is nowhere to be found. I ask around. No, no Sing. I have not paid him yet so I simply ask the girl at the next table if she wants to share the ride back and save some money. She agrees. A while later their friends walk out of Choeung Ek Memorial Site, i.e. the (most famous site of) killing fields. Together we are brought back to the city, have something to eat and pay a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

I will spare you the sight of pictures I took. The only thing I share here… photos of the stupa in- and outside.

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Memorial Stupa at Choeung Ek

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With hindsight, it is not the books and the information i had gathered beforehand that made a difference. With all the reading and writing and talking it is probably even more difficult for reality to strike home. Because perception and bare awareness are clouded by verbalising the horror.

Like thru a filter, reality slips through every now and then. Wanna catch big or small fish? It’s all a matter of how densely the net is woven. Depending on the density or looseness of mental proliferation I stay on the surface or move thoroughly into ‘just this’. Most of the time I take names for things. This way, I can protect myself from actually feeling. Maybe.


The next morning I leave Phnom Penh. On the way to the bus station I stop once to have a massage by a blind man and once my hair cut. I also get a bunch o bananas for the bus tour to Sihanoukville… On the bus I meet an Italian man. Cominciamo parlare italiano. Time goes by fast. My other neighbour is constantly consulting his online route planner where we are and how long we still have to go. He tells me he sells his mind it’s what he does for a living: management consultant. I prefer to train the mind so I can live in peace it’s what I do for a living as a dharma bum. A couple of hours later we arrive at Sihanoukville It’s dark already. Tuktuk tuktuk?! Wherever you go… it’s faaaar my friend. Yeah right, 2 km. We walk and get a grilled tofu sandwich on the way… Later I check in at a cheap guesthouse. Cheap in more than one sense IMHO. I stay for 1 night & enjoy balancing on a slacklining over the swimming pool next day.

In the afternoon I take a slow boat to go to the island Koh Rong. I will write something about that mystical place in another post – Cambodian waters.

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Central Market, Phnom Penh

At Siem Reap, I tried to hitchhike. My experience so far: very difficult to get a ride in Cambodia. But then and there, I was intent on hitchhiking once more. Give it another try, I thought. Cambodians are a generous bunch. So I tried for an hour. That’s when I passed the bus station in the outskirts of the city and a guy asked me where I go. Phnom Penh, I answer. OK he said, names a price. It’s six hours or so. Alright then, let’s go! And from then on I have travelled by bus and ferries, pitching up tent whenever possible.

Therefore, when the ferry from Sihanoukville arrives at Koh Rong I head straight across the hill reach the other shore with Javi, a friend from Barcelona. It takes about one hour. We put up tents and enjoy dinner with Kenny and Aaron. I feel at home immediately.

Who would have guessed Cambodia turns out like that?

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Cambodia, Siem Reap

Angkor

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without people

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with people

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some monks (or just men in robes?)

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it's getting hot

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elephant ride in front of angkor thom

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gate kid cyclist tree path

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angkor thom

… i got a ticket for three days at angkor world heritage (40$) but after two days – one by bike, one by tuktuk – I am templed out, really, and leave siem reap early morning next day to head to phnom penh.

I made another video and I’d like to share it with you:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/indzzo4w8wjxzva/Angkor_0315.mp4?dl=0

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