Angkor Wat Day 3 (10 Sept 02): Floating Village of Tonle Sap

Our third and final day in Siem Reap started early. We had a 1 PM plane to catch, and we wanted to see as much as we could. Our drivers picked us up at the hotel and we headed in the opposite direction from Angkor to a floating village. Siem Reap is near the largest lake in SE Asia, called Tonle Sap. Every year during the rainy season, the lake doubles in size. Since the rainy season had just started, the lake had begun its annual rise.

We turned of the main road onto a dirt road, and near where the road disappeared into the rising lake, we got off the motorcyles and boarded a long-tail boat. We were accompanied by a crew made up of a Cambodian guy, his little brother, and the brother's friend. For the next hour or so we traveled down a stream that was flanked on both sides by house boats. We watched as Cambodians on the left and Vietnamese on the right went about their daily life. Some were fishing, some were spreading out shrimp on the boat decks to dry, some were bathing the children, some were just laying in their hammocks. We made it out to the lake and tied our boat to one of the half-submerged trees. The two young boys with us (they were 16, but they looked 10) immediately jumped barefoot into the tree and began climbing it. It looked like great fun, so of course I had to join them. For the next half hour or so, the three of us sat in the very top of this tree, rocking in the breeze 20 feet above the 20 foot deep water.

After we made it back to the submerged road, we got back on the motorcycles and headed back into town for one last lunch and a ride to the airport. Luckily we got to the airport an hour before our flight was scheduled to depart, because it took off 30 minutes early!

As we flew into Bangkok, Mark and I were both amazed at how civilized and modern the city is, compared to the adventure that was Siem Reap.

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on August 11, 2002 7:05 AM.

Back in Bangkok After Cambodia was the previous entry in this blog.

Angkor Day 2 (9 Sept 02): Thousand Lingas and Bantey Srei is the next entry in this blog.

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