Khmer New Year 2009 with my Fake Bro and Sister

Found this post the other day and it was a throwback to an older time in Cambodia with my Khmer Brother, Sister and Soe. But good times were had by all – this year I sadly wouldn’t be with my fake family for new years since they are all grown up and super busy with projects and partners. My previous Khmer New Years are usually exploring fun places like Malaysia, Biking in Thailand, Kampot with Sheen or around the islands…so this year I decided to spice things up and go to one of the top tourist destinations in South East Asia – Siem Reap! Since this is my first Khmer New Year in the Reap, I wasnt quite sure what to expect – its been fun seeing the lanterns on the river, lights on the streets but also shocking how much this town has changed in terms of commercialism. Some good/some bad/some I-don’t-know yet, but the best part is watching everyone dance and have fun on the street. Happy Khmer New Year everyone!

Rithy, Thavry and Soe – this was a great trip! We should organize it :>

WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2009 Khmer New Year with the fake sister and bro

A couple weeks ago my friends and I randomly planned a trip to one of the remote islands in the south of Cambodia.  It was Khmer New Year and everyone was taking off to crazy destinations with their family and friends so we wanted to try sometime a bit different. It was fun to put together the last minute logistics for the trip. The hardest part was finding camping supplies – a tent was almost impossible to find.
We manage to track one down in Phnom Penh and before buying it I asked if we could open it. Surprisingly an army of clerks took the tent out of the store and decided to setup it in the middle of the mall – everyone was taking pictures and it was sooo much fun to watch people poke their heads in and out.

After a billion hrs of travelling by tuk tuk, motorcycle, bus and boat we finally made it to the island. There was one remote village, two tourist bungalows on the 8km long beach with beautiful white sand that crunch while you walk. It was paradise – except for those nasty sand flies.

While looking for a camp site, we stumbled upon some Thai fisherman on the island. Apparently they have to pay the $500 US a month as a bribe to the policemen to keep fishing but damn they had the best location on the island. The views were stunning.
One of my co-workers calls me her “fake brother” and naturally I call her my fake sister. It’s a bond that we have developed over the past 9 months over Coca Cola and Lok Lac.
This was here first trip on a boat in the ocean and she hugged that bear all the way. I keep smiling at the thought of that. This is a women after my own heart – she is the only female student studying IT at her university, she’s also an artist, and a trip leader for our trips – all at 19 years old. DAMN.
This is Rithy – my other fake bro. Here we borrowed the covers of a couple coolers from the only shop on the island and use them as surf/catch me if you can boards on the water. It was soooooooooo much and the best part was watching him play Khmer New year games with the locales on a sand barge.

Overall 5 days on the island just kicked ass. We ate alot of sand[wiches], alot of mangoes/coconuts, got a shit load of sand fly bites and had wayyy to much fun.

My fake family told me that I was the first foreigner they have ever gone camping with and the first they knew that camped on a beach in Cambodia. I told them that they were the first Khmer’s I meet that have ever gone camping on a beach in Cambodia as well.
It’s times like these that remind me why I love Cambodia so much.

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