My first sunrise in Phnom Penh.
I booked a tour to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Reserve, so I headed to the meeting place first to have breakfast. After which I left with the tour group in a restored army jeep to the reserve:
Streets of Phnom Penh. Dusty max!
Close encounters with the stag! Or whatever this species of male deer it was. So cute!
We walked around a fair bit and saw lots of native Cambodian wildlife like monkeys, monitor lizards and bears. After which we went for lunch.
I took this photo after we have finished most of the food, but the spread of Cambodian food was delicious. Really love the beef and curry. Yummyyyy.
One of the tour guides had his birthday that day, so we celebrated for him with a birthday cake as well!
Hercules herbal wine. I can’t remember how it tasted like, but it was quite a strong shot.
Next… to the part I had been looking forward to: an exclusive access to the tiger enclosure!
The tiger was super manja. Like a really big fluffy housecat.
See what I mean by housecat? It’s rolling on its back for rubs! 😀
The guide also told us that tigers greet each other by a kind of ‘chuff’; that the chuff was the human equivalent of a ‘hello’ to them. She then encouraged us to try chuffing to the tigers. So I did. The first few times the tigers sauntered by without giving a damn. The fourth or fifth time though, one of the tigers returned the greeting! And then another. Hahaha cheap thrills.
The tigers were all rescued from illegal zoos and homes, so I guess that’s why they are more ‘tame’.
Next, we headed to meet the star of the reserve:
Lucky the baby elephant!
Lucky was really smart. I was fumbling in my bag, trying to find my spare camera battery, and Lucky walked over and nudged her trunk into my bag. She had gotten used to receiving treats, and knows that when visitors open their bags, it usually means the emergence of a snack for her.
Open up and say nommmmmm. Tongue felt wet and smooth.. kinda icky but fun!
After visiting Lucky, we went back in the army jeep back to civilization.
Here’s a look at the cute jeep.
My guesthouse is located at the top of an Irish bar, which is fantastically stocked with liquor, but the rooms are a tad basic:
Still, the owners were fantastic and super friendly and I really enjoyed my time there. The next time I return to Phnom Penh, I would definitely return to the pub.