Waterfall is worth bad roads, traffic and a tough climb

Cambodia’s roads are notoriously crowded, generally poorly maintained and dangerous.  That is why I have started to avoid riding on them for trips of any distance.

However, when I saw on my Facebook page an invitation to join an excursion to Chhreav Mountain Waterfall that was supposed to involve only two hours on a bus, the temptation to enjoy the hike, swim and companionship of some 30 other folks proved to be compelling.

Mai Channeang — who runs a transportation service that schedules Sunday tours every two weeks from Phnom Penh to outlying attractions — wrote that the site is in Kampong Speu Province, on the border between Kompong Chhnang and Pursat provinces 150 kilometers (93 miles) away.  It is in Thpong district.

I had been on another one of his tours, and I was impressed with how well organized and diverting it was.  Including a typical Cambodian lunch, transportation and Mai’s assistance, the $20 fee was a good deal.  The hike to the waterfall sounded like particular fun.  When I mentioned the waterfall to several Cambodian friends, none had heard of it, making the modest adventure all the more appealing.

(Mai has scheduled another excursion there at the end of this month.)

Unfortunately, we got off to a bad start not long after we departed a few minutes after 8:30 a.m.  Fifteen minutes later, we ran into a traffic jam fairly close to the center of Phnom Penh, and we were pretty much at a standstill for something like an hour. Continue reading

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Towering loads of cargo, humans atop trucks, ply roads

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Big loadThere apparently are laws against it, but vehicles overloaded with merchandise, produce and even Cambodians themselves ply Phnom Penh’s streets with impunity.

No one bats an eye at the spectacle, and it seems as those who ride or drive tuk-tuks, motorcycles and trucks or wagons of all sizes don’t Continue reading