We took the super express boat to the small ...

Trip Start Oct 25, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, November 8, 2001

We took the super express boat to the small river village of Kratie.
The express boat meant sitting on the roof of a boat half the size as the previous, and just as crowded. As soon as i got on the roof i was fidgeting. My ass is so sore. I sat there for nearly 6 hours in the blazing sun.
Kratie is a small town with only 5 roads in it, with the market in the centre of town.
As soon as we checked in a local hostel we jumped on the back of a motorbike to take us up to a narrow stretch of the Mekong river and see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins for the sunset. To see them meant a 1 hour each way bike ride through the country road that runs parallel with the river. Its obvious that not many western travellers come to this area, apart from the small trickle that go to see the dolphins. As we travelled down the narrow bumpy road children would line up screaming "hello, hello, goodbye" as we passed them. It was like a chain reaction as the screaming children signaled to the others up ahead that the "westermers" are approaching!
Kratie is really small, with a population of a few 1,000 but always seems to have a continious buzz of hustle and bustle around the market area. I know this because it kept me up for half the night! Eventually as the town went to sleep, the street loudspeakers kicked into action with locals singing (at full volume at 5am)

The next day we travelled down to Chompon Cham, from where we travelled to Skhon. Or should I say "spiderville!" This is the place to come if you fancy eating the odd spider or two. Some say that the locals have "grown" to really like the taste, dating back from the Khmer years when they were probably forced to eat them for survival.
Now they breed the furry creatures in the town, and the sellers line up along the roadside with plates of fried black spiders about 3 inches long for locals to buy.
Gary tried the legs of a fried spider and said that it was a bit chewy, but tasted like chicken. The juicy body of the spider was bitten in half by our hungry bike guide, and had most of the spiders insides (either feaces or eggs) dripping onto his chin!!
It was disgusting to see.
This was not the place to come if you hated spiders, because locals would try to put live ones onto you!!
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