Siem Reap, Floating Villages and Philanthropy.

Howdy y’all,

Well it has been a while since my last post, and whilst I know this should be a music blog, it is a travel blog at present:). It is hard to write about things when lounging on the beach in Thailand. So I decided 2 weeks was enough for that, and plus my visa ran out for Thailand, so I skipped countries to Cambodia. I will update you on Koh Samet if I ever get that Island out of my blood.

The journey to Siem Riep was fairly uneventful. As all border crossings are, they were slow as the usual regulations and visas were accounted for. The slowest part of getting to Siem Riep seemed to be waiting for the bus to take us there. No-one seemed to be in a hurry except me. But I had to let control go.

Leaving the Thai-Cambodia border

Leaving the Thai-Cambodia border

Once in Siem Riep, I was accosted by Tuk Tuk drivers, and one would eventually be my guide for the days I was here. I did not fully trust him as he said he would drive me around looking for hotels, but some things just need not be fought for. Whilst trying to rip you off, they get shitty for you trying to play the system back and get the best possible deal. Go figure. I ended up at a local guesthouse for $15 per night with air conditioning. A must here. Later on he was hanging with his mates here. No surprise.

Yesterday I went to Angkor Wat. Maybe for another blog post. This ones about a floating market.

There was a mention of a floating village of Chong Kneas on a lake nearby. Like anything in Asia, it was hard to get a clear indication of this and what the attraction was but i was interested. My friend conveniently rocked up in his Tuk Tuk and we were off. Again I did not know whether he was taking me to his ultra expensive mate for kickbacks. It’s hard to know, but everything seems a bit underhand here. I bring you business, you give me a commission.

I was here for one time so we set off. The roads re not great in Cambodia so it was a rocky ride. But we got there. I ws expecting a large port, a hive of activity. I got a deserted heartland with big holes in the road and nothing around. See below.

Deserted port

Once I worked out there was only one port of entry to buy a ticket, I boarded a small boat on the way to the village. It was a 6km ride down the river to get to the lake.

My passage up the river

My passage up the river

Upon arrival there was a town in itself on the water, a fascinating sight. We went past a police station and an orphanage school. There were three schools in total. We stopped off in a local shop to get gas and then stopped off to buy a donation for the local school.

The floating village.

The floating village.

This is where being a tourist in an impoverished country is sometimes a moral dilemma. You are seen as a never ending source of money, and compared to these people we are tremendously rich. But we do have our commitments and money issues. We were told we would stop at a food store where you could purchase a food donation for the orphans. Not in the contract when I bought the ticket. The gentleman said it was my decision, I could have a $25 or $50 bag of rice, spices or noodles for $12. When he said it was my decision, it is hard to say no when I have a laptop and money in my pocket. I just would have liked to know before hand. I ended up buying a bag of rice and we did proceed on to the school.

Me buying a bag of rice

Me buying a bag of rice

Rice donation at the local school.

Rice donation at the local school.

The local school where the children study.

The local school where the children study.

The children in the school were very well behaved and stood up as I came in. Well orchestrated and I felt a bit strange. They were well dressed and studying quietly. All on a lake. I went to the kitchen where i was shown my rice would be cooked. It was nice knowing I was helping, I just hope that this was going to the intended recipient.

I was then shown to a crocodile farm and a floating restaurant. I bought the lads a round of coconut drinks and had a “noodle soup” which tasted a lot like cup a soup back home. Maybe this is where continental stole their recipe from, the lake in Siem Riep.

My shout at the bar

My shout at the bar

After my meal I was shipped back to the port, where my Tuk Tuk driver was waiting for me. He asked me how much I payed for the boat and then had to go to the toilet before leaving which was near the paying station. Go figure.

We caught the afternoon rain. And now I am writing this waiting for an overnight bus to Penomh Penh in the hotel bus. Let’s see how much sleep I get and who I have to pay off to be safe.

Until next time,

Elton

2 Comments

  1. Awesome stuff Elton! I went there too on the big lake! the villages were a real eye opener.. and little kids singing Gangnam Style to us haha

    Sounds good! 😀

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    • Ha ha glad you went as well. It was a real eye opener yes. I didn’t get gangnam style but they were eager to please.

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