Angkor Beer

Mistravelling: Cambodia #2

I last wrote about the concept of mistravelling – that is, the complete opposite type of travelling that a holier-than-thou traveller experiences. They might wax lyrical about spirituality, the loveliness of locals and the honesty of a simple, bucolic lifestyle that they (and everybody else) have witnessed on their travels. Mistravelling, on the other hand, might be the time you shat yourself in a public situation because you thought it was safe to fart (it is never safe to fart in India). Or the time you became so agitated with people constantly trying to rip you off because you’re foreign that you end up offloading a load of pent-up frustration through a tirade of abuse to one man, telling him he is a bad person, should be ashamed of himself, and have disgraced his own values that he emblazoned on his rickshaw (think a combined poster of Ganesh, Jesus and a very questionable and offensive imaging of Muhammad).

If I were to cite some more examples of my personal mistravelling incidents, you might start to think why I ever recommend going travelling to anybody. So instead, I’ll regale you with another Cambodian misadventure, this time experienced by a friend of mine. I spoke before about the benefits of keeping a journal. But doing so proved to be a double-edged sword – this story is something I wouldn’t mind forgetting, but my enthusiastic writing at the time has caused it to be etched into my memory. Here we go.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

I was with my travel buddy and some other lovely travellers. Sihanoukville promised to be a blend of relaxing on the beaches, drinking $0.50 beer and hitting one of the plethora of beachside bars in the evening, although only two had any people in them and of those two, only one wasn’t teeming with prostitutes. So off we went, in pursuit of some eye-catching $2 buckets of whisky and coke.

For the sake of his reputation, I shall not reveal the name of this friend. I shall instead adopt a pseudonym for him. Step forward, Marcus.

Turns out $2 buckets of whisky, consumed in quantity, leads to conga lines, innovative dance moves (ever heard of the Kyle Walker?). Were we the stars of the show? You bet. Did Marcus go AWOL without anyone else realising? Uh-huh.

When the sun goes down: beautiful in the daytime, but it's anything goes after dark
When the sun goes down: beautiful in the daytime, but it’s anything goes after dark

You see, Marcus had a little adventure. Unbeknown to us at the time, he was wooed by a lovely local Cambodian woman and invited her back to his shared-room for a nice chat and a cup of tea.

Sort of.

Apparently she was a pragmatist, so asked him if he had any condoms.

He said he did not.

They popped to the shop.

Chuffed with his new purchase, Marcus decided a 50 yard walk to the hotel was too far away to use them, so he had his nice chat and a cup of tea in a field. He fumbled around in the dark and found a hole in roughly the right location and spent the next few minutes enjoying his cup of tea. But the hotel room offered more comfort, so he put his agenda on hold briefly and led her there. In the comfort of the hotel room, the local Cambodian girl began to undress herself when Marcus realised he had made a terrible mistake.

An unforgettable mistake.

The girl had a penis.

Telling us this story the next day, we all eagerly asked what happened next. He told us that he, horrified at the truth of the situation, blundered his way to the toilet and threw up an immeasurable amount of black liquid.

Now, none of us could quite work out what on earth the black liquid could be, so we all agreed it had to be his soul.

You see, a nice, heterosexual young man enjoying his travelling had just realised he had just.. well… you know. A sobering thought.

Remember the bit about ‘roughly’ finding the right hole?

Turns out there was only one, so that’s where he put it.

Not the ideal first-time experience of anal sex for Marcus.

What next? Surely nothing else could go wrong from here?


Being sensible, Marcus politely asked the ladyboy to leave his room. The ladyboy proceeded to demand money… what?! Oh no. Marcus’ realised he had made not one, but two terrible mistakes.

She was a prostitute and a ladyboy.

A brief check of his wallet turned up nothing, so he had to, completely ashamed of himself, shoo her/him out of the room.

This is the point where I turned up.

My night had been nice and fun. The sky had started to lighten, so I thought it best to get some rest. I was completely ignorant of everything that had happened to Marcus. As I walked down the alley of rooms towards my own, an angry-looking girl with what looked like some light stubble on her face pushed past me, shouting to me “your friend no pay!” Befuddled, I assumed she must have mistaken me for someone else. I made my way into the hotel room, where a half-naked Marcus was curled up, looking a bit miserable. I asked if all was ok, and he advised that I lock the door. Being a little too drunk to bother asking why, I did so, and got cosy under my bed. Two minutes later, there was a great deal of shouting and banging at the door.

“Marcus, what have you done?”

“I’ll explain tomorrow, just don’t answer the door. OK?”

Finding that an acceptable explanation, I obliged. But I did have to approach the door in order to reach the light switch. To turn it off. Which the angry men outside will have obviously noticed. We both pulled the covers up over our heads, in our respective beds, and let whisky whisk us off to the land of nod to a cacophony of shouting and banging.

Definitely a night to forget for Marcus.

Fortunately, the men were gone by the time we woke up the next day. Mistravelling comes in many forms, although I don’t think too many are worse than this. The moral of the story? Don’t fuck ladyboys in a field – it’s might damage your self-esteem.

Has Marcus ever mentally recovered from the ordeal? I don’t know – it’s not something to bring up over a few drinks… “Hey, do you remember that time you fucked a ladyboy?”

Next entry – a story about the day Dave and I became ‘Sukhothai Ultras’ at a football match in Thailand. Hope you enjoyed reading this one. As ever, comment, share around and let me know your thoughts.

Peace and love


N.B. – ‘Marcus’ is not my travel buddy, Dave. I wouldn’t want you getting the wrong idea about him! Nor is it myself, if any of you thought I was covering up my own shameful deeds. To my knowledge, there are only four people in the world who know who it really is, and long shall it remain that way.

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