We spent our last night in Cambodia in the town of Stung Treng, just to break up the journey from Banlung to Laos. We were expecting a gritty town without much going on, and it pretty well lived up to that reputation. This was without a doubt the least desirable place we’ve stayed since leaving the US just over six months ago — almost downright comical in its shabbiness.
I’d made a reservation at the Golden River Hotel, the fanciest place in town by far. They were out of the $20 river view rooms, so we had to settle for the $17 ‘standard’ room, from which we had this view instead:For dinner we went looking for a place called Ponika’s, the only restaurant listed in our Lonely Planet guidebook. Described as a place where you can also rent bikes and arrange transportation, it sounded like the hub of tourist activity in town. The food really was quite good, though we were the only souls in the place — unless you count the cockroaches, of which there were plenty. Big cockroaches. Oh well, nobody said travel was all glamor.
This morning we headed back to Ponika’s for breakfast. Still not a single other customer. And the cockroaches were asleep at breakfast time. After a satisfying breakfast I took a walk through the lively market to say goodbye to Cambodia. The market was bursting with activity and color. And like everywhere else we’ve been in Cambodia these past weeks, people were super friendly. We’ll miss all those warm smiles.