Koh Anloung Chen Island Hike

Up early on Sunday morning and a quick trip on the back of a motto to Independence Monument to meet up with the organisers of the hike and the fellow walkers. I’d found out about it through the facebook group Phnom Penh Hike which promised “Sunday on a beautiful hike, this time to Anloung Chen Island. This little island is an oasis in the Bassac River.” We loaded up the coach and set off for the island.

Anloung Chen Island

Little over an hour later we stopped and walked down to a ferry. While waiting for it to come back across the water I watched a man in the river removing poles and other things from it.

The ferry arriving and then us arriving on the other side of the river. We walked to a temple, which was like pretty much every other temple and then started walking alongside the river. My fellow walkers, from what I could work out were mainly made up of people working for NGOs and International agencies like WHO, or were travelers. We were told it also informally known as Longan Island as the fruit is grown all over it.

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Together with a stop for fruit near the end of the walk, this was most welcome as I had gone without breakfast which was not the cleverest thing to do before walking over 7 kilometres.

On the way to what seemed like the top of the island we passed a giant earth moving machine seemingly gouging a small channel in the dirt road. This didn’t make much sense until on the way back we came across people laying a new concrete road.

Elections are to take place at the end of the month, though with the leading opposition part banned and its leader jailed there seems little point, yet there were people from the governing part out electioneering.  As a politician I knew exactly what they were up to.

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After stopping at the temple for some fruit we walked back to the ferry passing the commune’s boat for the races at Water Festival in November. It can hold up to 30 people in it with someone dancing at the front, we were told.

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After a short walk we were back at the ferry and the entertainment of will they fall off or even get their feet wet as two people tried to get their motos off the ferry.

Back across the river and, whatever the man in the water had been doing it was worth it, as we were able to walk across onto decking rather than clambering up as we’d had to the previous three times. Back on the coach passed a mass rally of another party, with a sun and moon logo, and back to Phnom Penh for a very welcome lunch.

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