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Old 2 August 2016, 22:30
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leopardprey leopardprey is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 14,011
^ I can speak from a bit of experience, as had a bad run of Flaciparum Malaria while in Cambodia. Local clinic in Battambang, and a local Doctor took care of me. My insurance reimbursed me. But, if things had gone south, they were planning on medical evac me to the tropical disease hospital in Bangkok.

One thing to keep in mind, if you have the symptoms for malaria and test negative, test again. Test at least 3 times. I came up negative my first two tests. We lost a young Khmer lady, a biologist, to Malaria in 2010, due to a misdiagnosis. Lost one of my rangers in 2005 as well, cause he decided to do traditional medicine that his family insisted on instead of going to clinic and getting the proper treatment. Carry two malaria test kits with you. If you have the symptoms of Malaria, start popping your melarone. You can go into a coma in 72 hours if not treated right. You could also have dengue fever, which will really make you feel like crap. I once also got stung twice by a scorpion, and whole leg started to tingle and go numb, had a 4 hour motorbike ride back to station, followed by a 3 hour drive to the nearest town with a clinic to get a couple of shots to treat. So that is what you are dealing with. Also, never underestimate how cold it can get in a tropical environment, had cases of hypothermia up in the mountains with some of my rangers. I caught pneumonia pretty bad once also, and had to go on antibiotics and get treatment at a clinic in Battambang. Respiratory infections are very common, especially in the dry season.

Also had a bad case of E-Coli once, had to be admitted to the SOS International clinic in Phnom Penh. Had to give me several IVs and keep me overnight, then bed rest for over a week. Ironically, living for several months in remote villages and the problem. But, got it when was back in Phnom Penh eating at some 5 star restaurants.

Had real bad dysentery and a fever in India. Got some pills from a local clinic, and laid up in a shit hotel in the Punjab for a week. Guess the pills worked. Had another bad case of the runs in Dharamsala. If in India, it is not if you are going to get the runs, but when.

For another project, we had medical evac plan set up to go to Bangkok. If anything really serious happens, that is where you are probably going if in Cambodia, Laos, or Myanmar.

Best thing of course is prevention. Take Doxy, carry melarone, avoid mosquitoes. Eat hot, clean food. No ground beef.

Stock up on what you need, and know how to self treat. Have a good international medical insurance plan, that covers evacuation. But, for most minor stuff, most of the local clinics of major cities, you are ok. While out trekking for a couple of week in Nepal would be your biggest concern.

Stay of motorbike taxis!!!!! Pay the extra a take a Tuk Tuk or a real taxi. If you are doing some motorbike traveling, dress for the crash..full gear and a helmet. Never, ever, get on a bike without a helmet.

When looking for wildlife, you have to remember that most mammals are going to be nocturnal and going to avoid humans like the plague. There are many animals in protected areas within Thailand and Cambodia. But, if you see one it is by chance. We had a group of around 60 elephants in my area. How times did we see them? Hardly ever. You may see tracks, fresh dung, but you will be very hard pressed to see one. We know they are there cause we set up camera traps and did surveys, and saw the other signs. Had some really good photos and video. And seeing fresh signs of elephant activity in area was always good, cause meant no illegal loggers or poachers in the area. Elephants avoid humans if possible. It always amazes me how such large animals, usually traveling in groups can move so quietly and be so elusive. Same issues with bears, guar, leopards, etc.

You may get lucky and see a snake or two, or some deer.

Now if you are into insects? or into Flora? It is a paradise. Bats also very plentiful, but again nocturnal.

Not to mention, some of the protected areas in Cambodia, are near border there is a UXO and Land mine threat. We lost one of our border patrol police working with us in 2010 to a mine near the Thai border. Stay on trails, do not go off. But, even then it is high risk, as due to rain, erosion, logging, everything shifts, gets in the the streams and creeks. We had after one rain, a land mine become exposed a couple of meters from our ranger station volleyball about a pucker factor. And remember, any area that has been "Cleared", well that means 90-95% cleared.

You want wildlife, Sri Lanka or Africa. I saw more wildlife in Africa in two weeks than I did in over 5 years in Cambodia.
"Look Sharp, Act Sharp, Be Sharp - But don't cut yourself!"

Last edited by leopardprey; 2 August 2016 at 22:46.
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