Adventure to Osoam

I have left Phnom Penh at about 8:35AM and traveled. I did not expected that the bus was just so very load with the Karaoke TV all the way. I wanted to spend my time on the bus reading my favorite book – “Desert Flower” by Waris Dirie. I could not find a better bus since everything were booked due to water festival.


After experiencing with Rith Mony from Koh Chang few years ago, I never wanted to be on such messy bus which keep filling more people and let them sit on the plastic chair.

I enjoying reading the Desert flower. Her story is amazing, I am impressed she overcoming all these hardship, and her courage to share her own story and stand up for millions of girls in Africa. I found many part shew wrote just like my own story. It is interesting that we live across the world but in some ways we are similar.


When my editor and I arrived to the bus station in Koh Kong, and we asked for taxi to O-soam, but they were already gone. So no taxi until the next day at 1PM. Oh well, it was not so good since we did not have much time. So, we walked to town and then trying to find a place to stay but the guest house were all booked. Then we tried to think of the solution. We decided to rent a motor and drive for 90km to O-soam. It was kind of crazy idea with the hilly road. Okay we did rent a motor.


The motor was not very good almost every hilly I had to walk, since the motor was even slower than my walk. Every time, the gear shift to number 1 or 2, the chain caused with a load noise. We struggle with the not very good motorbike for this long ride. I felt very tired.

We left Koh Kong at about 4:30PM then continue forward to O-soam. I enjoyed the ride with the nature along the way, but at the same time feeling sad when seeing the Chinese company built the dams blocking the stream . We have stopped many time, until the mid way, the motor become seriously broken which even the 3rd gear made a terrible noise and so I walked quite a lot. We did not even have water for food.


The sun has gone and the the darkness arrived. We walked and push the motorbike, and until we met a group of Cambodian men who were working at the antenna of Smart. They helped fixing the motorbike chain and offered me a bottle of water.


It always occur to me whenever I traveled in Cambodia, I always met very friendly Cambodians. Before we met the Smart telecommunication employees, there were 2 cars stopped by and asked if we are okay? Where we were going and so on? It made me feel warm and caring even from a stranger meeting on the top of the cardamom mountain.
I was very happy that the 4 men at the Smart tower helped fixing the motor. It took about almost 30 minutes, and we thanked them for helping us.

It always occur to me whenever I traveled in Cambodia, I always met very friendly Cambodians. Before we met the Smart telecommunication employees, there were 2 cars stopped by and asked if we are okay? Where we were going and so on? It made me feel warm and caring even from a stranger meeting on the top of the cardamom mountain.
I was very happy that the 4 men at the Smart tower helped fixing the motor. It took about almost 30 minutes, and we thanked them for helping us.


We continued our journey in the dark and after about 1 hour, we arrived to one local house at Chay Proy, it was around 9:30 PM, we decided to asked him if he would allow us to stay overnight in his house? he said “Yeah!with a big smile”. I was so hungry and exhausted. I did not have a proper food since lunch time and had to walk all the way with my backpack. I asked if they had any food I could buy, he said, yes but only a box of noodle. So, I had a noodle and water. After hee asked me where I am from and so on….!

I was very tired and after 30 minutes, I fall asleep. I still amazed the kindness of people I met along the way. They are not rich but they are rich and kind enough to open up their home for strangers.

When I woke up in the morning, it was cooler, and I went to see the waterfall. It was beautiful but less water because they had blocked the water at the upper level for the dams.
I sat there for a while looking at the waterfall and feeling sad in the fact that the human has changed the nature.

Then we continued to O-soam. It took another 1 hour and the view along the way was beautiful but at some place also heart breaking because people cut down the trees and did not care about the forest.
When we arrived to O-soam, we stayed at one local guest house called Phiny, he is a kind man, but the house is just full of wood. I feel depressed.

We went around, and asking people for the story about Siamese crocodile, and the Chorng minority believe in protecting the crocodile because of their tradition.

The chorng man said it is just over there, after the pagoda, then Veal Veng. The Veal Veng, I only have heard of its name. What my imagination was that after the pagoda, then it will be a lake where the crocodiles live. But it was not like that, we had to drive across the big field and could not find any lake. I asked many people and they kept pointing to the mountain in the distance. The mountain named Preah Theath. By the way Veal Veng means Long filed in Khmer.

When we arrived it was a rice field, and I was this is it, we came all the way and seeing rice field. But people said walked pass the rice field and you will see the place where the crocodile live. It was a small stream.

The water festival here is different than where I came from. The house owner inviting us to have dinner with them at the farm house located near the lake and beautiful. The evening was cold, I think it was around 16-18C. I sat around the camp fire, because it was cold for me. They had a nice food and very warm and welcoming. I enjoyed being with them, a lot of smile and laughter.

At about almost 10 PM, we went to the pagoda and join the local water festival, it was interesting and after they put a rice flake into my mouth and I had to look at the moon. People joined all together at the pagoda. There were so many young people, but the interesting fact is that, there are only 12 students who studied in grade 9, and only 5 students could go to study in high school which is 1 hour 30 minutes from where they live. Only 2 female students among 5.

I learned a lot about Chorng minority. One of the old Chorng told me that Chorng has been on the kingdom since after the Angkor era. They lived in one tribe and doing rotating farming together. They are smaller than normal Khmer. They believe in spiritual forest. Before they would go cutting down the tree for build a house they have to ask permission from the spiritual that takes care of the forest first.