Koh Rong, Cambodian paradise

(French below)

Koh Rong – or should I say my new favorite island – is one of the places that struck me the most in 2018. So here is a little throwback to my wonderful holidays there.

I knew it was going to be a beautiful place but it was even better than what I expected: whitest sand, clearest water and a perfect balance between a party island and an untouched place. I just loved it.

Koh Rong is just off the coast from Sihanoukville, which is a city that has nothing particular to offer. The beaches there were probably nice a few years ago but now they are dirty and constructions sites are everywhere. We stayed there one night to catch the first ferry in the morning and I wouldn’t recommend you to stay there longer.

From Phnom Penh, a mini bus takes you to Sihanoukville in 5 hours for 10 dollars. You then take a ferry for 20 dollars (back and forth). The ferry will first stop at Koh Rong Sanloem which is a smallest and more secluded island (I haven’t been there but it looks amazing as well), and then take you to Koh Rong in approximately half an hour.

Here is the first beach you see from the boat when arriving on the island and it’s just stunning:

Koh Rong est un des endroits qui m’a le plus marquée en 2018, voici donc un petit retour sur mes vacances là-bas.

Je savais que c’était une île magnifique mais j’étais loin de me douter qu’elle le serait autant ! Plages interminables de sable blanc, eau turquoise et le mélange parfait entre party island et île sauvage. Un vrai petit paradis !

Koh Rong est située en face de la ville côtière de Sihanoukville, qui n’a vraiment pas trop d’intérêt mais où l’arrêt est obligatoire pour prendre le ferry. La ville avait des plages sympas il y a quelques années mais elles sont maintenant sales et il y a des bâtiments en construction partout. Sans parler des dizaines de casinos de très mauvais goût pour plaire aux touristes chinois. Bref, nous y sommes restées une nuit afin de prendre le premier ferry le lendemain matin et je ne recommanderai pas d’y rester plus longtemps.

Depuis Phnom Penh, il y a environ 5 heures de mini bus pour rejoindre Sihanoukville (ou plus selon les conditions météo et les embouteillages car la route est en mauvais état), le trajet coûte 10 dollars. Il faut ensuite prendre le ferry, qui est à 20 dollars l’aller retour. Le bateau s’arrête tout d’abord à Koh Rong Sanloem qui est une île plus petite et plus sauvage (je n’y suis pas allée mais ça a l’air magnifique aussi) puis finit sa trajectoire à Koh Rong une demie heure plus tard.

Voici la première plage que l’on aperçoit lorsque l’on arrive à bord du ferry, c’est juste magnifique :

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We stayed in a small bungalow at the hotel Paradise Bungalows and it was truly amazing! Our place was literally 30 seconds walk from White Beach. It was so quiet and peaceful and we had an outside bathroom which is one of my top 10 absolute favorite things in the world.

The restaurant of the hotel is also really nice and has an outside terrasse overlooking the beach. It was the perfect place to read or chill after a long day swimming and tanning!

Nous avions réservé un bungalow à l’hôtel Paradise Bungalow et c’était vraiment génial ! Notre bungalow était à 30 secondes de la plage White Beach, où comme son nom l’indique le sable est blanc. Notre bungalow était un peu en hauteur, en bord de forêt et il y régnait une ambiance paisible, le bonheur. En plus, notre salle de bain était dehors, ce que j’adore par dessus tout !

Le restaurant de l’hôtel était aussi vraiment sympa avec une grande terrasse avec vue sur la plage. C’était l’endroit parfait pour se reposer ou lire après une journée dans l’eau. 

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The following day we decided to explore some other parts of the island and we hiked through the jungle to get to a more secluded beach, Sok San. It was nice as well but we really preferred White Beach as it was so conveniently located from our hotel and really close to the small village of Koh Touch where you could go have a crepe or a mojito after the beach!

It was a bit far and tiring to walk back to our hotel so we took a boat to go back and it was such a lovely ride!

Le jour suivant notre arrivée nous avons décidé de visiter une autre plage et nous avons marché depuis notre bungalow jusqu’à Sok San, qui est une plage un peu plus reculée. C’était magnifique aussi même si notre plage préférée reste White Beach, qui était tellement bien placée en face de notre hôtel et pas loin du petit village de Koh Touch, où on pouvait aller s’acheter une crêpe ou boire un mojito après la plage !

Comme c’était un peu fatigant de rentrer à pieds après une journée à la plage, nous avons pris un bateau qui nous a déposées à White Beach et c’était super !

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I definitely hope to go back there someday, especially with amazing friends like these three. Thank you for an amazing trip!!

xx

J’espère y retourner bientôt, avant que l’île ne devienne trop touristique, surtout avec des filles extras comme ces trois là; que je remercie infiniment pour des vacances de rêve !

 

Beijing, China

Hello!

I just came back from a weekend in Beijing and it was a really wonderful discovery. There was so much to do and see, the city center is full of hidden gems and historical monuments!

Here is our little 3-day itinerary: (from Shanghai, Beijing is only a 4h20 train ride away)

Je rentre tout juste d’un weekend à Pékin, quelle découverte ! Il y a tellement de choses à voir et à faire là-bas, le vieux centre ville est chargé d’histoire et il y a des monuments fantastiques à chaque coin de rue !

Voici notre petit itinéraire de 3 jours : (en partant de Shanghai, Pékin est à seulement 4h20 en TGV)

Day 1: Center of Beijing

Visit of The Forbidden City, Jing’an Park for a beautiful view on the city, small streets and traditional Hutongs houses, Qianmen street for some nice food and Wangfujing snack street for some super local vibes. Have some Peking Duck at Da Dong, it’s one of the best places in Beijing and it was really delicious!

Première journée : Découverte du vieux centre de Pékin

Visite de la Cité Interdite; du parc de Jing’an, qui offre une vue splendide sur la ville; balade dans les petites rues et visite d’une Hutong, maison traditionnelle pékinoise; arrêt dans le rue de Quianmen pour un petit repas et dans celle de Wangfujing pour observer les locaux manger des snacks (toujours sur des brochettes, ils adorent ça !). Diner au restaurant Da Dong pour déguster un canard laqué, le meilleur de Pékin !

Day 2: Great Wall Festival

That was our main reason to go to Beijing, a techno festival next to the Great Wall. We only stayed a couple of hours but it was such a cool experience! I’d 200% recommend it!

Deuxième journée : Festival de techno sur la Grande Muraille de Chine

C’était notre raison principale pour aller à Pékin ce weekend là et nous n’avons vraiment pas été déçus, c’était incroyable ! Un festival de techno en pleine campagne devant la Grande Muraille, je recommande à 200% !

Day 3: Visit of the Great Wall

So as we couldn’t actually visit the Great Wall during the Festival (as there was no way to get up there) we decided to go back the following day. We went to Mutianyu, which is only about an hour drive away from Beijing. We were really scared to find crowds there but despite it being the most well preserved part of the Wall, we could actually escape the crowds from time to time. The Wall is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have been to, it’s very magical and mystical in the middle of mind blowing mountains.

Troisième journée : Visite de la Grande Muraille de Chine

Nous avions prévu de la visiter après le festival mais finalement il n’y avait aucun accès pour y grimper depuis le concert donc nous y sommes retournés le jour d’après. Nous sommes allés à Mutianyu, qui est à seulement une heure environ de Pékin en voiture. Nous avions vraiment peur de nous retrouver parmi une foule de touristes, car c’est la partie la mieux conservée de la muraille, mais finalement nous avons eu de la chance et nous avons même pu être seuls parfois ! La Grande Muraille est honnêtement un des plus beaux endroits où je sois allée, c’était magique !

If you have more time in Beijing, I’d recommend you to go to the Summer Palace and Behai Park, we went to both but didn’t have much time to really explore these places.

Avec plus de temps à Pékin, je recommande vivement la visite du Palais d’été et du parc de Behai, nous y sommes allés mais par manque de temps nous n’avons pas pu vraiment découvrir tout ce que ces endroits ont à offrir.

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See you next time Beijing !

My 2019 resolution

Hello everyone!

I haven’t posted anything on this blog since I moved to Cambodia, in August 2018. After living in Phnom Penh for 6 months I moved to Shanghai, where I have now been living for the past 2 months. Until now I haven’t had the time to write and I have been focusing more on creating nice content for Instagram. So that’s why from now on I will be writing shorter entries but I will post more often. I also want to focus on uploading more pictures than texts. Thank you for the ones who keep reading this (never updated) blog!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of 2019 so far! Enjoy 😘

 

Mobile technology used to reach more women with vital health and nutrition messages

An article written for UNICEF Cambodia following my field trip to Takeo.

“Many pregnant women and mothers in Cambodia do not have access to health centres and may not have adequate knowledge to take care of themselves during their pregnancy nor to take care of their new-born baby.

The Healthy Family Community is a project implemented by the NGO People in Need (PIN) with UNICEF support, that uses mHealth technology, which is the use of mobile phones in medical care, to provide maternal and new-born child health related messages to pregnant women and mothers.”

Click below to read the full article:

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Video: Kayaking with Whales 🐳

Watch in HD

Kayak avec des baleines, longues de 14 mètres, en Argentine

One of the most incredible things I have experienced so far: kayaking with Southern Right Whales in Argentina, in 2015.

I am sorry about the quality of this video as it was so difficult to film and kayak at the same time. My waterproof camera is quite old, as I bought it in 2015 so it is not the best quality but I hope you still enjoy it!

Moving to Cambodia

Here are some thoughts after moving to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

After living in South America and traveling to India, I thought I would be completely prepared to move to Cambodia. Everyone seemed to agree that it is a very beautiful and relaxed country and that it really deserved its nickname of the “land of smiles”. However, I am not sure what I was expecting coming out of Phnom Penh International Airport but I felt pretty overwhelmed with everything. It suddenly looked and smelled like India, only a little less loud.

Apart from India, it is the first Asian country that I visit, and during the half an hour ride from the airport to my new home, I could not stop myself from comparing the two countries (even though both places are completely different).

I guess when you move to a place, you always have that feeling: what am I doing here? I recall having the same mixed and confused feelings between excitement, fear and stress when moving to Buenos Aires. You fear that you would not enjoy this new home as much as you would have liked to. So everyone probably feels the same, especially when moving to a completely different place with a really different culture.

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After traveling around Cambodia for a week and spending a few days in Phnom Penh, I quickly started to get used to the city. Crossing the road didn’t seem that difficult anymore, I discovered a ton of amazing restaurants and cafes, cool stores with very cheap shopping and met so many friendly Cambodians and expats.

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I took all the pictures above on Silk Island, a small island very close to Phnom Penh. It was one of those day activities were you feel like: Ok I LOVE this city now. There is so much to discover, the people are amazingly friendly, the kids are always saying “hello” and waving at you and the nature is beautiful. This island is so close to the city and it is so perfect to relax and spend the day before heading back to Phnom Penh numerous places to go out.

I am so happy to have the strength to move places like that and to be able to experience so much by staying a year or half a year somewhere.

Please subscribe to follow my adventures in the land of smiles!

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