Last day in Siem Reap

Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
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10
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Trip End Feb 02, 2013


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Thursday, January 31, 2013

It was our final day in Siem Reap and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from the tour we had booked. Carlo and I were finished with touring through Angkor Wat, but there was more that could be done in Siem Reap.  The driver picked us up from our guest house and headed us out of town.  We chatted comfortably in the lovely air conditioning of the car as we bounced over gravel streets.  It appeared we were headed out to the floating village, but I didn’t really know what that entailed.

We were brought down to a peer where wooden boats fought for space to gather up their passengers.  Carlo and I were led to our boat, a bright blue vessel with sloppy painted yellow trim.  Once we were on the driver and the guide pushed the boat off and out into the river.  I was surprised by the chocolate milk water that sloshed against the side of the boat, the water was absolutely filthy.  We cruised noisily down the river, our motor coughing up dark smoke but moving us along at a brisk pace.  Numerous other boats joined us, it appeared we were all heading to the same place.

Our guide explained a few things about the floating village, the flooding of the land, and the fishing history.  It took a while, but eventually we left the river and we came to the lake that held the village.  Rickety house boats as far as the eye could see, each one of them bustling with bobbing activity.  Our boat circled around a bit and our guide pointed out the different "buildings" on boats.  This is the temple.  That is the school.  We stopped at a crocodile farm that had a little shop in it and Carlo and I bought a couple of souvenirs.

After that it was back in the boat and heading out on the river the same way we had come in.  Both Carlo and I had known that Cambodia was poor, but this was one of the first times that we had seen such a blatant display of it.  Honestly, much of Cambodia reminds me of India and this isn’t an exception.  I never went to a floating village, but the style of floating shacks felt startling familiar and could have easily been somewhere in India.

Finally we were back on the dock and heading to the security of our driver’s car.  Our next, and final stop, would be going to an artisan’s workshop for disabled people.  Here, disabled people could find work by learning how to make crafts that can be sold to tourists.  The tour guide brought us around, pointing out the different types of crafts, how they were made, and the process everything went through.  After the tour we went to the gift shop to find some of the most beautiful (and by far the most expensive) crafts that we had seen on our travels.

Having run about so much the past few days Carlo and I were just fine with the fact that the tour was over early.  We went back to the guest house to shower and change before lunch.  After that, with no real plans, we enjoyed an afternoon of lounging about in our room, watching TV and soaking up the air conditioning.  It was fantastic to have a bit of a break from the rush and bustle to just relax.

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Comments

Mom on

You write in such descriptive and colorful terms (like "chocolate milk water"), it makes me feel like I'm right there and can see and feel it for myself. When you mentioned that you stopped at a crocodile farm that had a little shop in it, I was afraid for a moment that you were bringing a second, sharp-toothed, pet home with you :)

beckiablaze
beckiablaze on

Ha ha, no! I got a set of nice shot glasses and Carlo got a wooden wall hanging.

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