Kampong Cham

Instead of going straight through to Phnom Penh from Siam Reap, we decided to stop for two nights in a small town about 100km northeast of the capital called Kampong Cham. As per our usual routine we sought out the absolute cheapest place to stay upon arriving and settled into a grimy love-hotel for 5000 riel (about $1.25 / night). It even featured a balcony with a lovely view and a nearly unlimited supply of slimy green typhoid sludge instead of running water in the bathroom! We had a decent meal at a food-stall of “weird-shit-and-rice” (a Cambodian staple) then got to sleep early.

On the way to the orphanage in the morning we stocked up on gifts for the children: a big rubber ball, bubbles, crayons and paper. When we arrived, though, we found the facilities to be far better than we had been expecting. The place is home to about 60 kids of all ages - they live in groups of 10 with “mothers” who cook meals and look after them. They all go to school in town and at the orphanage they can study music and painting. We kicked the ball around with the boys for a while and then bought some of the kids’ paintings, which were surprisingly good.

Followed by: more wandering about town, another fine meal of weird-shit-and-rice and a martini on the veranda. We visited the famous “man / woman” temples up on the hill overlooking the town to see the sunset as well.