Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 15 - Cambodia: Last Day in Cambodia in a Floating Village

Some tourist spots are a racket. They charge outrageously inflated prices, and know they can because there's no other way to get there. The only thing you can do is suck it up and enjoy the experience.

Kampong Phluk is a floating village, nearly an hours drive outside of Siem Reap. There's one boat company that can take you to the floating village ($15-$22 depending on their mood) and 1 small boat option to take you through the floating forest ($4-6 - depending on their mood).

Each home is built on stilts in water on Lake Tonle Sap lake. I visited during the dry season, so you can see how tall the stilts are and how much the water rises in the wet season.

Everyday life floated along in this village on the water (and narrow strip of land). Kids paddled home in their school uniforms. A 7 yr old sat by herself with a machete slicing away at something. A group of children laughed hysterically jumping off boats into the water. 2 women carefully scanned fishing nets, knitting the holes. Mats full of shrimp drying in the sun lined the main street. A little boy surreptitiously picked up 1 shrimp from each mat, munching on them them as he strolled down the street with his school backpack trailing behind him. Kids crowded around their favorite food stand, buying handfuls of shells and sucking at their insides (cockles?).

Here's the floating forest that a woman paddled me through.

Lake Tonle Sap is the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia. It changes in size from the dry seasonseason (2500km) to the wet season (15,000 km).

NEXT STOP: Elephant riding in Luang Prabang, Laos.

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