This section from Saigon to Bavet is the twenty-ninth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Finally, the big day breaks. The visa time’s up, we’re well rested and we’re going to Cambodia! A country I’ve heard much good about but haven’t been able to visit, despite coming very close a couple of times on my trips. We don’t know what to expect. And when the senses are devoid of impulses, the brain makes up its own chatter and noise. Here’s the product of the fantasies running amok in the fragile shells that bob around on our shoulders:

A nap during the hottest hour of the day
A nap during the hottest hour of the day. Picture doesn’t follow the text.

Cambodia’s a mix between Thailand and Vietnam with a little Lao poverty tossed in. It’s flat and hot but food is great, much like food in the Mekong delta is awesome. Also, because of the poverty, it’s a relatively cheap place, but some inflation and corruption certainly make for elevated prices. Yet they do not exceed the prices of Vietnam’s megacities, where a nourishing noodle soup costs $ 1.5 and freshly pressed juice goes for $ 0.75. The people, not belonging to the strain known as homo Sinensis, are less competitive and scheming than the Vietnamese, and rather friendly if a bit resigned as to their lot.