Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adieu Phnom Penh

  Hey guys, We are finally coming to an end of Phnom Penh. Today we will get our Thai visa and hopefully we are leaving here tomorrow to Siam Reap. We will take a boat to there and after having a quick visit of Angkor ruins we need to be at the Thai border around 3 rd of february.
  So we are having our last tours around the city with Culu. We had great time in here which we weren't expected. The people we met and the places we discovered was just great. Now we have the structure of the city in our minds. I think we will come back here in the future cuz there's lots to do and lots of projects to get involved. This city is growing very fast and it's building itself little by little everyday. This place will be one of the jewels of the far east in the next years. We enjoyed so much this vibrant city and felt like home most of the time. Now we are having a break to Cambodia and will be keep on going to our journey in Thailand for a while. See you soon.

 Skateistan is a great project started first in Kabul, Afganistan. Sponsored by the biggest skateboard and extreme sports companies and individual organizations. Now they have a skatepark in Phnom Penh since three years. They have skating workshops during the week and the parks open during the weekend for the skaters.

I've looked one last time to the mighty Mekong and said goodbye.

phnom penh from uluc ali kilic on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

City Comfort Before the Big Run

  Crossings always attracts my attention. Like in Phnom Penh where the city were build on the banks of three river: Tonlé Sap, Mekong and Bassac. I believe it brings coincidences, new beginnings, birth or it's simply just an energy source. It brings dynamic energy by transporting thousands of tons of water and sound with all it's ingredients. After having two days of biking from Kampot we quickly let ourselves flow in the crossing of three major rivers of Cambodia. That was what we felt like when we arrive to Phnom Penh.

  Most of the Cambodian enjoy there evenings at the shores of Tonlé Sap river where there's a lot of public attractions like self training tools and a promenade all the way the river. People usually spend their evenings here by playing games, making matches, dancing all together. making sports. jogging or simply just relax and enjoy the sunset. Culu was coming here to juggle. Behind these buildings inside the streets you can find all sorts of bars, night clubs, weirdest places you can imagine but me and Culu are not going there because it's dangerous :) NOT. Anyway, it's a very dynamic city with most of the population is young. Therefore you can always find an attraction around the streets of Phnom Penh. We find the traffic fluid. I never see Culu complaining about it. Like most of the big cities, he enjoyed riding smoothly his bike by slaloming between the cars. Yeah the city rides were quite entertaining.

  After settling up in a cheap guesthouse we can find. In this case cheap was 8 dollars. Culu took me on the bike and we went to meet a guy in a bar called "Show Box". Culu was recently mailing with this guy which we didn't know. Who was living in Phnom Penh since 4 years i guess. He's name is Özgür. He is a photographer, videographer freelancer here. Selling stock footage he shooted himself and keep on living like that. Cool guy. But we know him from his blog Culu wrote him few days before we arrive and he invited us to meet this bar. But as we talked at the beginning. Crossing brings coincidence and luck. When we get there there were some other people on the table that we know from Istanbul just by chance.

  We met Onur and Elodie in the bar and start staying with them right away. It would be quite another story in PP without them i should say. So since we arrive here we are staying with our great friends at the south of the city in a very quite and cool district.

  That night guys made Turkish Cig Borek since we all are craving for some turkish food sometimes.

  And it was a successful try. They ate all at once then gave me a little Lemmy size one too. It was delicious after all that time the first taste of borek was unbelievable.

  One of the purpose of visiting this city is also see a friend from Koh Kong. Ludivinne. She runs an art gallery-cafe in here with couple of her friends. Culu liked to see her place and maybe work together later on in a project. Here's Simone Art and the painted streets of Phnom Penh.

   The comfort we had since we get here, healed our body and soul before our big run. We were planning to go Laos but we didn't get the visa from here. Culu went to a travel agency to let all the job done by them. It costs us 48 dollars to apply. We couldn't get the visas at the gate because we are Turkish citizens and they don't allow us to get in that easy like most of the westerners. So after getting rejected this time we might try to go there again later.
   We were too lucky this time to have met our friends that far from home. We met great people, been in lot of weird places and at the end i can say we have studied this city. Hopefully we will come back here again.

Thanx to Elodie and Onur for their amazing support to our journey. We love you guys.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Land of Pepper: Kampot

  We stop by Kampot on the way to Phnom Penh. We were planning to stay for few days and visit a friend living there but again we stay more than we predict. We arrived there after a very easy ride from Sihanoukville and start searching for a place to stay. It was a little bizarre to look for a guesthouse again cuz since 20 days we didn't pay anything for accommodation. Anyway, Culu was about to deal a room for us then an Italian backpacker showed up and we share the room with him for two days. We rented the room without even knowing each others names. Eduardo left after two days and we changed the guesthouse for another one we have found during our city tour.

  The second guesthouse was one of the best place and people we had it so far. We stayed in "Tiki Guesthouse" right on the river. Two french guys Hugo and Franche are running the guesthouse since a year. The time we spent there was just perfect. It was cheap, very friendly and the people were very helpful. We were actually searching for Ariade. Our french mate we met in Koh Kong. He showed up soon and the crew reunited again. The place has an amazing sunset view. That was Culu's workspace for a week. He didn't move too much and work hard to complete the missing episodes of our journey.

Our good friend Ariade opened many doors to us since he showed up in our trip.


 Lima was our cook at Tiki's.

Pepper Farm

 Backpackers in pain while testing the world famous pepper.

 Culu's enjoying delicious Kampot pepper.

  We enjoyed Kampot. A calm French colonial town at the mouth of Kampong Bay river. Unlike the other towns we visited, this place had a bit of European vibe. But we enjoyed the most it's people not the scenery. One of these guys was Philippe. Our great friend, magician, musician and more than that another great soul. Culu and him spent many nights speaking about some new projects, art, music and life. They both agree that music is the universal communication tool and we all need to practice it in our everyday life. One of these nights, Philippe, Franche, Hugo, Raphael, Culu and me had a jam session at Tiki's. After an amazing time at Tiki Guesthouse we started pedaling again. We still have 20 days more in Cambodia before Laos and we are heading for the capital now. But i'm sure that we will come back to Kampot one day. Thanx for the great support and friendship guys. Aurevoir les gars jusqu'a la prochaine fois.

Kampot Blues from uluc ali kilic on Vimeo.