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Thursday 13 Mar 2003
Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Island-hopping

Met a cool family last night around dinner-time. I got talking to the son, Michael-Hannah, and pretty soon the whole clan were crowding around me and trying to learn English (the youngest was pretty insistent that he massage my leg, and then wanted some riel... so I bought him a Coke instead which was just as welcome!)... it was a good laugh!

...raconter...

mustnt forget to mention my near-death experience with the gigantic centipede-like insect called the "Kreb". One of them came within 10 centimetres of my bare foot in the sand, at which point one of the kids saw it in the flickering candlelight and quickly everyone panicked and started smashing it down with their flip-flops!!! It was an evil-looking shiny black thing about an inch-wide and 30 cm long with stocky 1cm-wide legs.

Apparently it could have killed me with one bite!

...end raconter...

While there, I met another friend of the guys who asked me if I wanted to head out to the islands for 15 dollars. Try as I might to lower the price, that figure was set in stone (itd be cheaper if I was part of a group though!)

On the whole Sihanoukville is a pretty expensive place, even when compared to Phnom Penh or Siem Reep

Anyway... today I went out to the islands (with a bunch of Aussies) and on one island we met an old unasuming man by the name of Toh Sami (or something like that). Noone on the island spoke English (not even our boat man!) but we understood he wanted to show us something... so we trekked to the other side of the island for about ten minutes and were greeted with 6 massive hidden artillery guns measuring about 20-30m long each!

Woah betide Thailand if they ever decide to attack Sihanoukville (Thailand and Cambodia are currently experiencing a lot of tension)

Did a bit of snorkling too but the water was kinda murky and there really wasnt anything interesting to see apart from the beautiful beaches!!!

...raconter...

Must also mention the strange, and possibly sad, thing we saw of a middle-aged Frenchman surrounded by several very young girls (around 12-14) on the island. We guessed the worst, and the Ozzies were getting a bit riled about it, suggesting that they were going to get him if they suspected any wrong-doing with the kids. Luckily (for the Frenchman) the group had disappeared by the time we returned from our expedition to the artillery guns. Cambodia is rife with paedophilia unfortunately

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