… of a moto driver from a little town, taking us to beautiful sight after beautiful sight. I could think of worse jobs…
When we planned to visit Sen Monorom, the idea was to get out and explore the countryside. A wise choice. After some relaxing in Sen Mon, we hired a moto for $15 each, for the day. Not too bad for an English speaking chap, with excellent local knowledge, some serious off roading (think no roads, instead replace with grass reeds and traversing through a river), and some wonderful sights.
We started the day by heading out of Sen Mon to Bou Sraa Waterfall. A 2-tier waterfall that is famous across the country, we were expecting at least a few other tourists to be there. But upon arrival after paying the entrance fee (5000 riel) we were surprised to find the only other people around were the two French people that were on our bus from Siem Reap, a handful of locals and a couple of others. There were a few market shops on the walk down to the falls selling various fruits, nuts and scarves, but no-one so much as uttered a word to us, let alone tried the hard-sell that you normally can’t escape from in most other parts of the country.
The falls were quite simply, awesome. Bou Sraa is a two-tiered waterfall, and after having a few photos and walking across the water to the other side of the top tier, we entered the jungle to make our way down to the second tier. Our English speaking guy had told us to get down to the second tier we had to go down a ladder and that he was too scared to go down it…So, we had our non-English speaking guy lead the way.
I had visions of a rope ladder swung over a vertical cliff face, and was more than relieved to find a set of wooden stairs, albeit the steepest stairs I had ever seen. Our non-English guy went straight down in his far from appropriate foot gear (black, shiny loafers) and down we went. Through a little bit more jungle and then we were at the bottom, and staring at the second tier of the falls. It was a million times better than the first tier and, best of all, we were the only 4 people around. If you make your way to Bou Sraa, absolutely get yourself down to the lower tier, you won’t regret it.
We made our way back up, and had another walk around before getting back on the back of the motos and making our way to a lake. This required driving through some fields with grass up to your waist, and then across the said lake to the other side. Once there, we had a paddle. Swimming is entirely possible but we didn’t realise this so had nothing appropriate on us, and I didn’t fancy stripping off when I was the only female with 5 males. Still, one of us had to so Brad took one for the team and jumped in the lake off the tree.
Clothes back on, and boxers being aired in one hand by Brad, we made our way to a coffee plantation was some grub. When they said we were going there, I thought that surely now we will see all the other tour groups, but no, only one other girl was there and after a few minutes we were alone again. We wandered through the coffee trees and hopped back on the motos. Up some serious hills (when taking into account we are in Cambodia) we were up at Phnom Bai Chuw – or Raw Rice Mountain. It gave us a few of the emerald forest, or the ‘Ocean of Trees’ Unfortunately it was quite foggy, but you got a real sense of how small you are, and how much there really is out there. The jungle is enormous and it was quite something being able to see it from above.
For 15 bucks, I highly recommend getting out of town and into the surrounding areas of natural beauty. If you have made it all the way to Sen Monorom, after all, I am sure you want to get exploring!