Wavin, Wavin, Wavin on the River...

Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
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101
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Trip End Aug 30, 2010


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Friday, January 15, 2010

My college friend poopreport Tom did his PhD on the political economies of SE Asian countries.  He and his now wife Julie spent a year in SE Asia doing ground-level research for his thesis on why the 97 economic crisis caused Indonesia's government to collapse while Malaysia's weathered it.  During their time there Tom and Julie kept a blog of their own, interspersing traditional posts with detailed recipes of local dishes they'd learned to cook over the course of the year.

Anyway, Tom had a conference in the region last year and Mauritius James joined him and Julie for a getaway to Cambodia (I wish I'd joined them, but unaware of AirAsia's ridiculously low fares from Heathrow, thought it too short a time for such a long haul), where they did the Siem Reap to Battambang boat trip, which he highly recommended - it including some really cool traditional houses on stilts.

Yasmin and I followed their route out of Battambang, where we were treated not only to aforementioned stilt houses but also hoards of little kids throughout the journey running out of their houses to wave and scream hello as we passed.  It was really sweet, and the ride fairly relaxing, or so I'm told -- I was actually feeling pretty subpar after an unhappy pizza the previous night topped off by a 5am wakeup for the boat.  It was actually kinda fortunate that our boat pulled in 4 hours late, so that by the end of the trip I was feeling normal enough to enjoy the running, screaming, waving kids making appearances at intervals regular enough to set your clock to.

At least we made it to town in time to catch the sunset from our rooftop terrace.  And, as I would later find out, I really had no right to complain considering the boat making the same voyage the next day wound up crashing into a rock and sinking, stranding all the passengers on the rooftop deck until rescue vehicles (ie vans hired by local hotels to bring tourists directly to the front desk for a commission) could arrive on the scene...
-Dave

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