The long road to Phnom Penh
Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
50Trip End Nov 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
Before we left the Siem Reap area we went on a boat on Tonle Sap. This is a lake which in the dry season is about 900 square miles in area and 1.5 metres deep - but in the rainy season its 46,000 square miles and 15 metre deep! The river that flows through it eventually flows into the Mekong at Phnom Penh during the dry season but during the rainy season the flow reverses and the water from the Mekong flows back up the river to the lake ( I think!). There are two sorts of village on the lake - ones where the houses are built on stilts which are on dry land during the dry season and in 10m of water during the rainy season; and floating villages - which are basically a series of house boats which are towed about the lake wherever the water is deepest
The road to Phnom Penh (the main road in the country) had cows and pigs tethered on the edge of the road as the fields were flooded on each side - people were in boats in the fields and were fishing. There was also a Red Cross tented camp for people who had been flooded out of their homes.
One of our stops was at a market selling tarantulas, crickets, frogs and various small birds - all deep fried! The other was at a local market where there were a lot of dressmakers with really old treadle sewing machines. I stopped to look at one of the dresses and the stall holder told me in sign language that the dress I was looking at would fit a small size 10 - whereas I was enormous and had no hope of getting in to it !
Are now in Phnom Penh and its thundering and lightening and the rain is torrential!