Battambang to Siem Reap 15km cycling, 8 hours boating.
I take pride in being a "sometime", " part time" member of a group loosely called "River Folk". Some of my best friends belong to this group. They love to raft and kayak, and spend as much time as possible "living on the river". But today, I've seen people who take "Living on the river" to a whole new level.
The morning started at a Cambodian Bakery, stocking up with baguettes (yummy) for the day. I was just about to cycle away, when two cyclists from the Netherlands pulled up. Seems they are heading in the same direction I am, across Myanmar, but perhaps a couple of weeks earlier. Lovely to meet you guys. Pave the way with smiles for me.
Then it was down to the river, and a long descent down some slippery steps, with Fiona fully loaded, on to the boat. Fiona got the roof at the back of the boat. Great spot. I sat with her all day.
The next eight hours were amazing. While some of the tourists slept and sunbathed, I soaked in the sights. (I took 235 photos). Any river trip is fun. This one was amazing, as we passed by Cambodian's, living on and besides the river. I had to keep reminding myself that what I was seeing was real, this is their life. They do the same, live the same, every day. This is NOT a Disneyland ride, or a historical documentary. I was blown away. And the tourists slept.......,
I'm finding it hard to describe what I saw today. You'll have to look at some of the photos. Thanks heaps for the recommendation Rachel. Well worth the $25.
When we arrived at journeys end, we were swamped by touts.....hotel, tuk tuk, guided tour?? I was left alone as soon as they saw Fiona. She rescues me again. It was 15km ride into the city, on a very dusty road, but I found a hotel easily, and realized that Siem Reap is just the sort of town I like to avoid. Tourists everywhere.
I needed to get my Keens(my cleated sandals) glued, so headed towards the market. On the first corner I was offered marijauna. On the second corner I was accosted by three females, keen to give me a massage (with a happy ending ). I fought them off, and found a shoe fixer, who glued them for $1. But he was very disappointed I couldn't pay in US currency.
Siem Reap: Tourist markets. Western food. Bars and night clubs. Loads of people on the streets, all European, being hustled by Cambodians. Tomorrow I'll go and see what all the fuss is about at the temples, and then Fiona and I might just cycle away from it all.