We had a reasonably uneventful bus journey from Kratie to Ban Lung, with the bus leaving at 1pm. We were slightly apprehensive as that would mean we’d arrive in Ban Lung in the dark – the journey was just over 5 hours long in total. The journey was fine until we passed the town of Stung Treng near the Lao border – after that we passed into “unsealed road” territory, and the ride got a lot more bumpy. After being thrown around in our seats for about 3 hours, and watching the carrot coloured slush fly past the bus windows as we drove through the red mud, we arrived in Ban Lung – the small provincial capital of the Ratanakiri district in north-east Cambodia. Our bags were unceremoniously dumped out of the back of the bus into the mud, and we were thrown into the usual mix of slightly desperate moto-drivers and guesthouse touts, all wanting our business. Eventually, we managed to persuade two moto-drivers to drive us 4km out of town to Norden House, our chosen hotel.
So that was the main story of our trip to Ban Lung. The following day we did nothing – we had to rest! Ban Lung is definitely an up-and-coming tourist destination – in a few years when the road is sealed and there are a few more hotels and restaurants it will be big business. For now, it is still a small and relatively sleepy town, and the hills surrounding it make it particularly wet at this time of year. Despite the rain, I have enjoyed it – it’s been an experience!