Cambodia :Day 6 Battambang

Trip Start Nov 16, 2012
Trip End Dec 02, 2012

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

We took an amazing journey today. We opted for the slow boat to Battambang from Siem Reap. A 5-12 hour journey depending on water levels, breakdowns and how many stops they need to make. The locals use the same boat as a taxi service from one village to the next which are all true floating villages. Living on the water all year round, everything truly hapens in boats. You see littke kids boating around instead of riding bikes, swimming off their porches and chicken coops and pigs kept in houses because there is no yard. We departed at 7am and began in Lake Tonle Sap to get to a set of waterways that lead up river to to West sometimes squeezing through narrow waterways and passing through protected wetlands. Squeezing through passages in the literal sense of the words sometimes so tight you have to duck as tree branched whack overhead or take you out at the knees. Looking out for smaller boats is a constant because the locals use them like streets and both cant fit at the same tie in many spots. We saw some pretty amazing things, both inspiring and heart breaking. People are so poor out there it is unbelievable that they can survive and live.
When we arrived in Battambangwe were bombarded by the usual suspects getting off the boats on the docks. The Tuk Tuk and Taxi drivers begging for a fare. Still, much less agreessive then any other country we have been to thus far. Instead of stalking you, it is more like "you need Tuk Tuk? Taxi? Hotel? no? ok - moving on". I hope thet laid back attitude doesn't go away as tourism infiltrates deeper and harder here. Our hotel was ok. clean, and Battambang itself was ok as well, nothing to write home about. Simple. Deteriorating colonial buildings that remind you just how much Cambodia has lost due to decades of war and turmoil. We had a nice dinner and 2 glasses of wine and 2 beers wine a nice place -it felt like home and it was all $30 which is expensive here, but to home standards - a great deal.
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