Day 216… Today we travel by public bus to Kompong Cham (approx 4 hrs and not as bad as I was expecting to be honest… esp getting to sit and chat at length with Jo). When we get there, we experience this peaceful town that was once an important trading hub and is now a great opportunity to experience life in small-town Cambodia. We first head out by remok (Cambodian word for tuk tuk) to a local family who serve us some amazing lunch in thier simple family home on stilts… a truly lovely experience. Then we go back to the hotel and pick up our bicycles to cycle out to the local ferry-barge via rickety bamboo path and bridge before heading around to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to Kompong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge to see the locals here make their living fishing, growing tobacco and sesame… so it’s a good place to go for a closer look at Cambodia’s cottage industry and see some more simple Cambodian life. Little kiddies aplenty running after us for high fives and fist-bumps… we eat some local fruits (looks like and coconut, hack into it for a giant mandarin-grapefruit thing) & a temple before going back for a nice local dinner in the tiny town with a gorgeous sunset on the way. After dinner we stop by the local only diner for ice cream and drinks… only to be caught in a monstrous Cambodian tropical storm that cam out of nowhere like a ninja based weather front. We are stuck in the bar for are while (its a hard life :)) till I am getting tired… as are some of the others… so I pull myself up to my full height… grit my teeth and bid my fellow travellers a fond farewell as I head out into it with a plan. Close to the hotel i have to take off my socks and boots to wade through the surprise 15 inch deep/ 3 lanes wide river in front of the hotel to get some umbrellas, then return bootless to the gang to keep folks rain free and away we go. Amusingly Jan’s thong nearly sailed off into the sunset as the new river-front had quite the strong current!