Floating Village, Temples and Elephant Ride
Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
58Trip End Oct 04, 2012
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Once on the boat, off we went out on to the lake. The lake is a fascinating place....this is directly from Wikipedia:
- For most of the year the lake is fairly small, around one metre deep and with an area of 2,700 square km. During the monsoon season, however, the Tonlé Sap river, which connects the lake with the Mekong river, reverses its flow. Water is pushed up from the Mekong into the lake, increasing its area to 16,000 square km and its depth to up to nine metres, flooding nearby fields and forests. The floodplain provides a great breeding ground for fish
The pulsing system with its large floodplain, rich biodiversity, and high annual sediment and nutrient fluxes from Mekong makes the Tonlé Sap one of the most productive inland fisheries in the world, supporting over three million people and providing over 75% of Cambodia's annual inland fish catch and 60% of Cambodians protein intake. At the end of the rainy season, the flow reverses and the fish are carried downriver.
Again, the photos will tell more than words can describe. It was yet another very humbling experience reminding us how little one really needs to be satisfied in life and how good life is in a country like New Zealand.
After our time at the floating village, we were dropped at a big river boat for lunch. This was a boat that used to make a trading run between Vietnam and Cambodia but is now permanently anchored in the lake for tourism. While the tour description made this part of the tour sound exciting,and magnificent, the reality was quite different with the boat being old and run down. We were the only 2 people on the entire boat and after giving our lunch order to a very young and surly looking girl, we wondered what we were in for. I went downstairs to have a look around and the state of the kitchen convinced me we would be better off forfeiting this part of the tour and heading back to dry land. There were bugs everywhere, a puppy running freely around and just a scrap of dirty material hanging as a kitchen door. Add to that the godzilla bees that took a liking to dive bombing us and I suddenly took sick and we asked to be taken back to shore!
Coming out of the temple we were accosted by children selling flutes, magnets and all sorts of other souvenirs. They have it down to a fine art and in the end we paid $1 for 3 flutes (after the boy started out at 1 for $2!), just to stop the swarm of children from harassing us!
Once we got back to the hotel, we had a quick swim before having dinner by the pool. Having enjoyed the massage so much last night, we decided to make the most of our last night in Siem Reap and took the tuk tuk back in to town where we treated ourselves (at the princely sum of $20 for the 3 of us for an hour!) to another very relaxing massage.
Another great day!