Tuesday, 10 April 2012


I haven’t had time to post any photos yet but yesterday, we spent the day at the Tanop Community School, a school educating 1540 Cambodian children established by a Toowoomba lady Lyn Hotchkins aqnd supported by June and a group oher friends. A truly worthy enterprise.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Today was recovery day. Gino And June organized a delightful lunch time cruise on the Mekong River.
The food was excellent.

Some people can’t help themselves. Note the unbroken light fitting in the background.

A land of contrasts. The idyllic river is a spectacular contrast to the chaos on land but the living conditions don’t seem much better.

Tonight we are heading back to Malis for dinner. It’s described as the leading Khmer restaurant in Cambodia and remarkably good value by our standards. What a life!
Tomorrow we go to see the school the ladies spend so much time, effort and money supporting. The group is donating a number of bikes while we are here. It will be an opportunity to see some Cambodian countryside.


When I posted the photos this morning, I ran out of time to make any commentary. I had a boat to catch about which more will be said later but, as you can see, in the midst of a very wonderful occasion, the Aussies had a lot of fun.
Lucas arrived with Ratana by cyclo in the first of their impressive outfits. After we all participated in a symbolic procession bringing gifts, a selection of the gifts were presented to the parents of the bride and groom. Breakfast followed and, after a change of clothes by Lucas and Ratana, we gathered for the gift giving ceremony. That involved the parents of the bride and groom and close family members and friends giving symbolic gifts to Lucas and Ratana.  
After a short break and yet another change of clothes by the bridal party, the marriage ceremony itself took place. All went wonderfully smoothly except for the flower arrangement which caught fire from one of the candles. The stoic parents contained their emotions.
That took us through to lunch time after which we had the afternoon off until reconvening for the reception at 6:00pm. Heidi and Lucas bravely participated in the games. Lucas's grandparents delivered a recorded congratulatory message via ipad and Gino made an excellent speech which, since it was being translated as he went, was twice as long as it would otherwise have been. Ratana's mother reciprocated with a short succinct speech and the Aussies partied with the assistance of an esky full of cold beer and wine especially arranged for us by Gino.
We were first to arrive and last to leave. Funny about that.
Thanks to Lucas, Ratana, Gino and June for giving us the opportunity to experience Cambodia culture and enjoy their wonderful day.

Friday, 6 April 2012


What a night!    

Pre dinner drinks at Raffles

 Dinner at Java cafe

Transport by tuk tuk as usual

Monkey business to follow

They let anybody on stage
The night finished with a tuk tuk race home!



This morning was a mixture of architecture, history and transport. We had an architectural tour of Phnom Penh by cyclo including the back streets and laneways gaining a real insight into how the locals live. Fascinating.
No longer used churches and temples become home for numerous families.

Check out the Workplace health and Safety certified overhead wires beside and below.

It’s Good Friday but I don’t think that’s why the monks were receiving offerings from the locals.

Contrasting forms of transport.Family transport. No Helmets. No baby seats. And Mom has to ride one handed so she can hold on to the baby.

Anybody want to buy a broom or some fuel?

Motoring here is a spectator sport – great fun to watch but you wouldn’t want to participate.
Wedding day tomorrow. Should be fun.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


The fun continues and the group is expanding. Having caught with June, Gino, Christian and Christy Moro earlier, Ron and Julie Pozzan joined us for lunch with the Gearons to join us tonight.

And the ice cream shop was a great place for dessert.

Trish and I bravely took on the traffic to walk to lunch at the Foreign Correspondents Club, after which we started to learn the art of negotiation with the Tuk Tuk drivers. A fun way to travel.

Trish tried out the pool. We are now attempting to regain our energy for tonights festivities. We are here for the wedding of Lucas Moro to Ratana but that is Saturday’s program. We have to survive tomorrow first.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


We’re back. Our last blog was from Italy. We thought the traffic in the cities there was chaotic but that was nothing compared to Phnom Penh.
After an uneventful 12 hours of travelling via Kuala Lumpur, we are now comfortably settled in a pool room (that is, a room with its own private pool) at The Pavilion in Phnom Penh. It is truly an oasis in a chaotic desert.
We will be venturing out again for lunch via Tuk Tuk and I will get some traffic photos for the blog. We were collected from the airport by the hotel’s car and the driver warned us that, if we are out after 9:00pm at night, don’t travel by car because there are too many drunks on the road and it is too dangerous. The recommended safer option is to travel by Tuk Tuk!! Work that out.