Cambodia: wonder, calm and ingenuity

5 MN

Cambodia: wonder, calm and ingenuity

The sun is beating down on us this afternoon… We crack open a couple of beers, with the gigantic Mekong sprawled out right before our eyes. As we lay on top of a boat, we watch the landscape go by slowly: houses on stilts, children swimming, fishermen… A magical, poetic, and unique moment that takes us from Vietnam into Cambodia. New land, new ambiance. Still as many tuk-tuks, but less noise, less traffic, a more relaxed way of life and more smiles.

When we arrived in Phnom Penh, we had no idea that, after having planned to stay for only a week, we would spend a whole month there, without seeing the time go by, or rather, by letting time go. By ignoring the whore houses, the aging potbellied westerners having sex with teenagers for a few dollars in the capital, and by trying to forget for one moment the mounds of waste strewn all over the country, Cambodia managed to charm us. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the way it is.

With sweltering heat and a 90% moisture level, we travelled all over the country, alternatively using either our calves or our accelerator, or even just using our eyes to stare out of the dirty windows of a bus from another age with creaking brakes.

This place reminds us of Africa, India, and elsewhere. Small trucks carrying unthinkable loads on their backs, people crammed into rickety boats of all kinds, strong black-skinned men dressed with a simple loincloth, incredibly skinny white cows and giant grey ones with funny ears and a huge bump, houses on stilts and hammocks everywhere, red earth, banana trees, floating villages as far as the eye can see…

And there are also those improvised volleyball courts, those almost surreal remnants of the past, that luxurious nature, at times too stifling…

It’s strange, the dollar is the second currency here, the streets are numbered… Here’s a child riding an adult bike, here’s an adult with a child one… An old creaky bus, a toilet break in the wild with the rest of the passengers…

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In this patchwork world where everything seems possible, we let ourselves be carried, swept along. We loaded two bikes into a small tuk-tuk in Phnom Penh, and took a dip in the warm waters of the Mekong on the island of Koh Dach.

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In Kampot, a few hours south, we find it very strange to see aging French expats looking like adventurers with their open short-sleeved shirts, their jailbird tattoos, speaking perfect Cambodian. A dive into the river, a bit of kayaking to survive the intense heat…

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Here we are in Kep! People are napping in hammocks, a few monkeys and especially whole families are swimming together in the sea all fully clothed. In front of us, Rabbit Island! A group of women are praying in the boat. A short hike, a deserted beach and we slip on our masks in the middle of beautiful coral reefs and multi-coloured fish.

Come night-time, hundreds of lightning bolts invite themselves above the water and the sky becomes their playing field. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 a flash of lightning over here… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 a flash of lightning over there!

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We slowly glide towards the island of Koh Rong Samloem. The beaches near perfection… The water is transparent, the white sand dazzles us… In the stifling jungle, the monkeys swing from branch to branch and we have to beware of the cobras… The geckos and spiders watch us amusedly. Here, we are on their territory… In the water, I have to do a double take. I see something flying right in front of me. I readjust my mask, swim a little faster. The show is unbelievable. It really is a small stingray, undulating before my eyes…

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On the road to Siem Reap, an extraordinarily violent storm breaks out, then a stop in Kompang Chhnang, another one at Battambang… Thousands of bats waltz in the air above us, youngsters play football surrounded by cows, potters, palmtrees, lots of monks, temples, more temples and the Tonle Sap. We Zigzag amongst the countless floating houses… A travelling ice cream salesman floats by us on a row boat, the children jump for joy… Women wash in the water, others wash their clothes… We even sometimes see vegetable crops…

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Seeing those smiling children everywhere shouting out happy “hellos” at us, those schoolchildren celebrating the last day before the New Year break in their schoolyard, those families having picnics and roaring with laughter, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine the tragedies this country lived through. At times, the atrocious reality hits us in the face, like a boomerang, with NGO signs for mine clearing, danger cautions, an armless man, a woman who talks to us about her life before Pol Pot… We sadly notice that we have not seen an “old” person since we got here…

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With a heavy heart, we hit the road for a few hours, when we finally arrive in the mythical site of Angkor. We wake up at 4:30am to discover those monumental temples that look like they’ve been taken straight out of a fairy-tale. Full of wonder, we stare at the minute details for hours… There’s the wildlife as well, the all-powerful nature that has become one with the stone, with history…

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One last sunset, our adventure has come to an end, it’s time to write a new chapter and fly towards the unknown…

In the plane taking us to Burma, we think about the country we have just left, the calm we felt when we were there, those situations and emotions we lived through. Smiling, we think back to that moment of sheer madness, that jubilation that took over us when we danced wildly on Kep beach with a dozen other Cambodians to local hits, clinking glasses once, twice, ten times!

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For those interested, here is our itinerary in Cambodia: Phnom Penh, Koh Dach, Kampot, Kep, Rabbit Island, Koh Rong Saloem, Kompang Chhnang, Battambang, Siem Reap, Angkor

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Valentin Porcher & Cécile Chétif

Interview réalisée par Valentin Porcher
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  4. You shall check the Goods and Services you Order, and if necessary, please identify and correct the error;

  5. Confirm the Order, the Total Price as well as the All-Inclusive Price (the “Order Confirmation”);

  6. Follow the payment Website instructions in order to pay the All-Inclusive Price.

After you have submitted an order, the Customer receives by email and without delay a confirmation of his approval of the Order.

The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

The delivery shall take place at the location indicated by the Customer at the time of the Order.

Additionally, by undertaking these different steps to Order, the Customer accepts to strictly comply with this Agreement, in accordance with section 1316-1 of the French Civil Code.

The Vendor undertakes to deliver the Goods and Services subject of the Order Confirmation. In the event that a Good ordered is unavailable, the Vendor will promptly inform the Customer about this.

However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

Place of Delivery

The place of Delivery shall be determined by the Customer within the Territory, under sanction to refuse the Order.

The Customer is exclusively responsible for any error in the Delivery due to a lack of indication contained in the Order.

Amount of Delivery Charges

The amount of Delivery Charges depends upon the amount of the Order and upon the Method of Delivery the Customer chooses. In any case, the amount of Delivery Charges shall be indicated to you before the Order Confirmation.

The Delivery Charges are free if the amount exceeds EUR 200,00.

Delivery Term

Delivery Terms are available for review on the Website. They may change depending on the availability of the Goods subject of the Order.

Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

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5.56.57

Delivery time

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Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

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Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

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Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

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