Siem Reap to Battambang

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Checkout of the hotel at 8am to transfer down to the Lake for our boat trip to Battambang.  Test subjects pays dividends as we are on a boat for about 12 when there is only the three of us plus our guide.  The captain and I use that term loosely brings along some of his family,  wife and a couple of kids.  The boat trip will be about 7 hours and he will not make it back before dark so will return tomorrow.

We start out down a small river towards the lake and bumped into a boat dragging along about ten houses, families and assorted livestock. We all got a bit bound up, the poor chap we got stuck next to started getting a bit concerned as our water cooling out pipe pumped gallons of water into his small boat before we moved.

Cut  across the lake which is the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia.  Then on to the river itself.  It meanders for miles some times wide sometimes overgrown and only the width of the boat. There are many villages and the life looks hard and remote.  Some of the houses are little more than floating shacks.  They need to float as although the river is high(completely dry and unavigable at times) it still has about another 10 feet to rise in the middle of the wet season.  Livings are made from fishing and rice farming,  although early rains have destroyed much of the harves,t which has started to try and save some crop.  Adam had to graciously turn down a marriage proposal made by the owner of a restaurant on behalf of her daughter,  who was in actual fact a very attractive seventeen year old.  Dowry wasn’t too bad and half price cokes for passing family and friends, fill your boots. 

The people are evidently very poor but every single child you see  has a smile and wave for a passing boat.  It seems odd to see children probably only 5 -6 away from their parents swimming or in boats up the river fishing.

Battambang what a trek,  my tan has taken on  a redish hue today lets hope it browns off quick the camera can’t cope with the glow.  Hotel is different from planned in that by all accounts it didn’t cut the mustard with Kuoni so in a small boutique hotel (whatever that means) suffice to say its a little more rustic than the last one.  It has everything we need including free wifi,  thankyou, and we only have two nights.

ATB   D A & S

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