We took the bus over the dancing road to Battambang yesterday morning. I did a moto tour when we arrived. We drove into the rural areas of Battambang and saw rice paper being made as well as rice noodles. Battambang is a very typical Cambodian city. There’s very little tourism and a lot of poverty. So this is “real” Cambodia. The women who make the rice papers to sell to restaurants make about $3 a day. In Siem Reap, the street children all sell postcards and bracelets. A little girl who looked about 3 years old, tawdled up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a pretty bracelet. I told her I didn’t need a bracelet and she said “but I need the money!” How do you say no to that!? Cambodia is such a different country, it’s heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time.
Today we left to finish our journey over the “dancing road” to the Thai border. After a lunch of pad thai at the the border, we loaded into nice vans and drove on nice, smooth roads to Bangkok, ah, so nice. After wandering around Chinatown, we met for our “goodbye” dinner, since everyone is going their separate ways tomorrow. We ate at a really cool little restaurant near Chinatown and then went out for drinks. At 4 in the morning I headed back to the hotel to grab my pack and left for the airport.
Goodbye SE Asia, it’s time for my long journey home (via Beijing)!