Firstly I’d like to apologise to anyone that’s commented on my blog in the last day or so – I haven’t been able to respond. Why ? Because I slept only less than 1 hour last night, and had a long road trip today to Cambodia. I’m absolutely exhausted. I will respond as soon as I possibly can.

So I’ve been to Cambodia today. Anyone that stays in Thailand for longer than a short while becomes familiar with trips to the border. The reason – visa stamps only last for a period, then one has to leave the country and come back in to get the next stamp. In a way it’s frustrating because this could be done at local immigration offices. Also the amount of fuel that’s wasted in buses and mini buses to go to the border and come straight back, well the green people would certainly be pissed off !

BUT I’m not criticising my hosts, I abide by local rules and laws, even if they seem a bit odd at times.

The border isn’t all that exciting, and really to be honest it’s pretty grimy and messy, with rubbish/trash everywhere. There are beggars asking for small amounts of money, I don’t give as I was advised not to. Although I did feel particularly bad about having to ignore a persistent little girl must have been only around 5 or 6 I guess. Maybe I’ll take some small coins with me next time, I haven’t decided.

I’ve tried to capture some of the beautiful things I could see at the border. I saw my first Mango tree, at least that’s what it looked like, which was intertwined with a couple of other species, bamboo and some kind of palm. There was a lovely tall tree with yellow hanging blossoms and dark brown seed pods, right next to the waiting/refreshment “shack”.

The wooden bench, wasn’t sure about posting, owing to all the trash underneath it – But then I spotted the little girl I mentioned earlier had got her way into the shot, behind the bench and greenery … Looking at the photo made me feel even worse – she’s so harmless and little, and still being friendly even after I ignored her.

It’s possible to buy duty free cigarettes for 20 baht a packet, that’s around £0.40 UK, maybe $0.66 US. But I tried before and they were “very foul”, likely fake. I had to give them away. False economy anyway, as you can buy a decent pack of cigarettes in Thailand for 65 baht – around £1.30 UK,  $2.15 US. I don’t drink much and don’t want fake perfume/aftershave, fake viagra – so I didn’t bother with the duty free !

Our driver for the day seemed a bit gas-pedal happy, constantly speeding up and then taking the foot off. This resulted in a jolt each and every time, every few seconds. Add the racing car driver cornering and it wasn’t as comfortable journey as it might have been. Plus made it hard to sleep …

I left home around 5.30am and got back around 4.30pm for a shower and then straight out to photograph the sunset. I say sunset, but afraid it was more of a moody stormy affair. Photoshop may bring some gems out, but just too tired, so today’s sunset will be one I took a while back.

Looking at the photos now I see that I even managed to get some lovely photos at the service station on the way home. There’s a tank that’s way up high in the air. A bit rusty, looks disused. Somehow a small tree has attached itself to the tank, the roots growing on the side of the tank. It just defies any logic. Life goes on in the strangest of places !

Gotta get some rest, I’ll get back to comments as soon as I’m able.


Don Charisma

Photos taken in Thailand & Cambodia (c) Don Charisma

54 thoughts on “Cambodia

  1. Hi Don – Thanks very much for following my blog! I just returned from the Caribbean myself, where the vegetation and scenery are quite similar. I look forward to hearing more about your trip and to your other blog posts.

    1. Hey Shery … thanks that’s lovely, and caribbean must have similar climate I guess, would like to go … I’ll keep posting bits and pieces along the way …

  2. Just got back from Phu Quoc in Vietnam and noticed the same thing about the rubbish. It’s very sad to see beautiful nature so littered. I also had the uncomfortable experience of little girls begging for money in Sapa.
    Anyways, thanks for following my blog! I’ve enjoyed looking through yours too.

    1. For sure, Thailand is a little the same, but not quite as much rubbish … and shame about the little girls, I was a bit unprepared for it …

      You are welcome, see you soon …

  3. The scenery was beautiful, but the story was sad. Your bus driver maybe had a bit of the grape taken? Are you aware that suddenly there are popups on all your photos? They come up as soon as the photo does. Just noticed it on Mark’s blog also. Do we have a popup hacker in the family? I’ll leave that one to the experts.

    1. Thanks, and yes a little sad … but we have to make sure we’re ok, first and foremost, and people can use our compassionate feelings against us … which is why my girlfriend advised against giving money, often these beggars are disguised thieves … She’s from Thailand so I respect what she thinks …

      I don’t think driver drunk, I think he’s under pressure to get their quick and back quick … people want to spend the least time possible on this journey as it does represent an inconvenience to most … I just try and make the most of whatevers happening for me at the time …

      The pop-ups aren’t on my web browser, sounds like you may have a virus/malware … idiotwriter had some success at removing hers with malwarebtyes, so you might want to try that …

  4. Loved the photos and the comment about the driver reminded me of my driver who daily drove me between Bangkok and Amata Nakorn. I think he thought he was a Gran Prix driver.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am enjoying yours.

    1. 😆 for sure and you’re welcome 🙂

      The speediest taxi drivers I’ve ever seen were in Italy, now those guys, frightening speeds down narrow roads late at night … I seem to remember they get paid by distance not time, so they make more money like that …

      Here in Thailand, I noticed that two different drivers can make a completely different driving experience in the same vehicle. The constant on and off the gas pedal or brake, and trying to arrive a few minutes earlier, can be quite nauseating for the passengers … so if I ever an a mini-bus driver I think I’ll bear this in mind 🙂

      Warm regards

      Don Charisma

    1. You are welcome … I’ve done my best to capture the beauty at the checkpoint, even though there’s a lot of trash/rubbish there and it’s a bit grotty … there’s beauty there if we look for it 🙂

    1. Thanks hun, I got a decent night’s sleep, still a little more catching up to do, but I’m feeling better rested … which plant, the one that looks like a flower ?

      1. Yes, that’s the one … I liked that I caught the edging on the roof which is ornate, and the variegated leaves in the background … that’s why I chose this one over some of the other flower pics 🙂

    1. You are very welcome … and yes, the little girl is definitely haunting … when I got home and spoke to my girlfriend about it again, she said the same as last time, don’t give money to them … apparently they gather round and try to make off with ones valuable whilst your distracted giving change … My girlfriend is Thai, so I generally tend to trust what she says about these kinds of matters.

    1. Hey Audrey, you are weclome, and glad you enjoyed a glimpse of Cambodian border checkpoint … you’re always welcome to comment, you know I do my best to reply as soon as I can 🙂

  5. I really do not hear many people telling stories of visiting Cambodia so that is kind of interesting.

    I also feel bad visiting other countries and coming across people who could use my spare change. I also can see the down fall of giving out money as sad as that is. Even safety wise. One of the things we wrestle with when traveling I guess.

    1. I thought worthy of a mention, and helps always with my skills so never wasted effort …

      Hard to know what to do with what seem like worthy causes, I usually do an evaluation of all the factors, and decide, often it’s no … occasionally I give a little, if I think it’s genuine … I mean I’ve seen guys with no arms or legs here in Thailand, and that’s not the same as the crooks who can’t be bothered to work in London, and probably already getting accommodation and money from the government …

      Impossible to be certain, but first and foremost is look after myself and my loved ones …

  6. Love your pictures and blog. I know it breaks your heart about seeing young children begging, but I agree with the advice given you. It breaks my heart, but reality is we can’t help them all.
    You have captured some beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

    1. Thanks and yes it was my girlfriend’s advice. Apparently they beg for small change, and as soon as you start giving it they gather round, distract you and some of the others try to take your valuables … So if you want to give them money, make sure your valuables are very secure before doing so !

  7. Dear Mr. Don Charisma, (smiles) how do you get your watermark in the corner of the photos. (is it photoshop?). I would like something like that on my photos.

    1. Hey, there are different ways to put it on, my method is because I wanted text and graphic. Basically I save the text/image with transparent background in a .PSD file in photoshop. When I want to add it, I drag and drop into photoshop, resize and reduce the opacity, so that it can still be seen, but it’s not “the feature” of the photo … makes sense ?

      1. Yes I was curious. I do not have photoshop but, it seems most everyone uses it for watermarks on their photos. Thank you so much for your reply.

      2. My main reason is kind of two fold … one is for promotional reasons, promote my “brand” … and second is that people do like to share stuff, and having a brand or a website on photos means that at least I might get some traffic back …

        There’s a free alternative to Photoshop called GIMP, if money is an issue, and also Photoshop Elements is quite a lot cheaper than full blown Photoshop, and does most of the same things … there may be ways with other tools, and other methods, I’m sure Google would reveal a whole array of options !

        Warm regards

        Don Charisma

      3. Thank you so much!!! I will look into it. I want to protect some of my photos from being stolen off the internet. I am glad for the tips. smiles.

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