Picture of the Week #3

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When we went to South America last year, we had in mind to visit the famous Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. It is to this day the most beautiful natural site that we have had the chance to discover. After visiting the flat itself, our Jeep driver took us to this beautiful lake, where flamingos hang around...yes flamingos in the mountain! Salar de Uyuni is touristic for sure, but missing something like this is a big mistake...

Banlung, the hidden gem of Cambodia

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It was Friday the 13th when we cross the border separating Laos from Cambodia. For some people this particular day brings bad luck so we decided to think unlike the others, that it would bring good luck. We decided to hitchhike from the 4000 islands in the south of Laos to whatever city we could reach before dark in Cambodia, aiming at eventually hitting Phnom Penh since we wanted to skip the north of Cambodia to save time (wait for our upcoming article about how we crossed the border). We actually reached a city in Cambodia around 12pm, that city was Stung Treng, the first big city in the north.

cambodia map
A: Stung Treng, B: Banlung

Stung Treng is an “important” hub in the north of Cambodia, from there you can reach pretty much any city in the country or at least the big ones and even get a bus to Laos. The problem about Stung Treng is that there is nothing really to keep you there, it’s quite dirty and it’s not pretty, which are not our main concerns but it lacks activities. So after our first Cambodian meal at the market of rice noodles with a delicious yellowish meat-like sauce served with fresh vegetables and oddly enough flowers to add in if desired for a lovely 75 cents a positive change from Laos’ higher prices. We then tried to figure out where to go next. We remembered reading about this town called Ban Lung, in Ratanakiri Province, in the northeast, famous for its ancient and beautiful crater lake, many waterfalls, and few tourists. Looking at the map it seemed fairly close to Stung Treng but knowing it was one of the most remote areas of Cambodia we decided not to hitchhike but to take a bus there. And what a great decision we made! We would soon discover one of the highlights of our trip!