16 July 2008
Four Thousand Paradises
Our escape, as any escape should be, wasn’t exactly off the highway. Instead, it was a tuk-tuk, ferry, mini-bus, ferry, motorbike and walk away, which was fine considering what was at the end of the journey. Paradise. Absolute paradise. Four thousand islands has mega-tourist, medium tourist and no tourist options. We went for no tourist, which meant one guesthouse of bungalows on the river with hammocks, one restaurant and about 6 other foreigners.
We decided to take it completely easy for a few days so my foot could heal up for the massive amount of walking entailed with crossing into Cambodia via land then trekking around the massive Angkor Wat. That means there are very few stories from this stop. We spent two full days sitting, reading, listening to music, eating and, when the power comes on at 6pm for a few hours (that’s right, no power lines on the island. Generators give us light and battery charging for a few hours every night). Internet is available via satellite phone from 8pm to 9:30pm, which is the only period during the day when a signal is available from the actual satellite in space. How great is that? It was all divine, especially the sticky rice and iced coffee (I have a serious, serious problem).
The highlight (aside from doing nothing and our adopted dog “Skip,” pictured with me in the hammock) was the four-hour boat ride at sunset. There was no one else out on the water and we just zig-zagged between islands and along coasts of excited kids who were smiling and waving while running alongside our boat. This is the place to go if you truly want to fall off the map.
Cambodia, here we come…