Yesterday (Wednesday 17, 2010), I visited Ratanak Kiri after a-two-day mission (monitoring visit to WMC Mobile Broadcasting Unit) in Steung Treng province. We finished our work at 6pm in one village of Steung Treng. The village is located along the border of these two provinces, so we decided not to go back to the provincial town of Steung Treng as it is very far. Instead, we decided to have a night stay in Ratanak Kiri so that we could visit some places of interest in this province such as Yeak Lom Lake, Beng Kanseng, and Kanh Chanh Waterfall. Thus, we left the village where the screening was taking place and we drove across the very long forest. It was dark and scary. It is to be noticed that 6pm in the forest is very dark. In the car were three people, one of whom was a woman (my colleague). We went to the wrong track and we noticed something wrong, yet no body dared to say or ask because we were told that if we say something unpleasant while in the jungle, we will be having trouble. Luckily, the track just connects to the main road. We felt scared when we finally learned that we were on the wrong track. We tried not to look back cuz it was very dark feeling that someone maybe just sitting at the back of our pickup. When we got to the main road, the wind kept blowing very strongly and leaves kept falling down just like there was ghost coming (like in ghost movie) haha. kinda scary and funny.

Sekong Bridge, Steung Treng province

After an hour drive under the pouring rain, we arrived in Ratanak Kiri provincial town at 7pm and we went on to check in at the quest house and we had dinner at Restaurant in the town. The food was very nice (we were kinda hungry). We went back to the guesthouse and had a nice stay there.

Getting Stuff Ready for Screening

One of the 100 houses built for the soldiers with disability of War

View from Sre Pork Bridge, Steung Treng

The Track to the Village at around 3pm. This track is less trodden at night, very quiet.

In the morning, we supposed to get back to Phnom Penh, but we decided to visit Yeak Lom Lake, Beung Kanseng, and Kanh Chanh Water Fall first before leaving. They are all the nice places worth spending a long holiday.

A shot at Yeak Lom Lake, Ratanak Kiri

Kanh Chanh Waterfall

We left Ratanak Kiri for Phnom Penh at around 10am. It was another long drive back. We had lunch in Steung Treng and we moved on. After some time, we arrived at Kampi in Kratie province. After stopping by for a few minutes, we continued our trip. Just a hundred meters from where we stopped, we came across a big bus with a lot of tourists on board from the opposite direction. We then stopped to just allow them to go first, but who knew? Our car got stuck in a big hole hidden under the bush aside on the pavement and we all got very scared. We all got off the car one by one and thank Lord Buddha, we were all safe. We then stopped a pickup coming behind us to help pull our car out of the hole. Everything was settled down safely. We continued our trip with the feeling still scary and arrived in Phnom Penh at around 7pm.

Personally, I love Ratanak Kiri and I wish I will have another chance to spend a real holiday there.

Just to my personal observation, there are a lot of Laotians (even the commune chief and village chief) in Steung Treng province and many people speak Laotian for their daily communication and they can also speak very fluent Khmer.