First day on the water. How great it is to wake up on the water again, not an endless sea this time but a river where you experience Cambodian life from very near. Without any effort I get up even before the sun.
After the necessary safety drill and a presentation by our new Cambodian guide Sim, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the view. Oh and then there is lunch too.
The backpacker’s “Angkor Express” ferry
Pagoda in the distance
We left early in the morning bound for Kampong Chnnang on the Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. It’s the end of the rain season, which means that the Tonlé Sap still forms an enormous lake. In the dry season the flow changes direction and the lake shrinks enormously. When I was in Cambodia in 2010 in April it was so incredibly hot, I prefer these actual temperatures and also the green nature around me. I would not have thought Cambodia is so green.
Today we visit Kampong Chnang where it is all about fishing of course. With small boats we sail through the floating villages. I did not have enough eyes to take it all in. No electricity here, they use car batteries that can be recharged in the battery garage. Fish is being cleaned, babies are napping in hammocks, and here we see the police that provides the ID’s in the community centres. The locals did not seem to mind or care about our presence. Even more, when they noticed us, we were welcomed with a large smile. Still I could not help thinking how we would cope with a bus of tourists in our own country, with all of them taking pictures of us and our children, without asking.
It’s all about priorities
Port authorities in their fancy boat
At the jetty small vans were waiting to bring us to a hamlet, famous for its pottery. The name of Kampong Chnnang says it all, it can be translated as the “Port of Pottery”.
At the jetty
You can find these stoves everywhere in Cambodia
Don’t worry they also sell small pottery
Next we visit the ever smiling Mr Ry who makes all kind of products with sugar palm such as sugar caramel and palm liquor.
Our guide Sim & Mr Ry showing how they can collect the sap of the palm
More pottery. This time by Ms Kum
A short stroll in town and it’s time to leave and get back on board.
Prettiest fruit in town & with a pretty name (dragonfruit)
A street in Cambodia: pijamas, bikes and mortorcycles
No Pepsi but Gasoline
Worn, weathered but beautiful
Our English guide enjoying the local delicacy = a boiled duck embryo
This does not look like a good position to nap
Back on board, soon sailing again
Before dinner we are surprised by one of the most beautiful sunset and matching pinkness I have ever seen. Without words.
Photos: Mike & Véronique