Tonle Sap boat trip to Siem Reap

It was a new way to travel for me here, and one again discovered on researching the internet for ideas and transport information. 

It wasn’t cheap but OK, and probably easier than the roads and buses!   It was a long day and so hot, on a noisy, smoky boat with other tourists but we did get to move a little and there was an inside but I loved the wind in my hair (it was a fast boat!)

We saw temples and villages along the way, birds, river life and boats, countryside and some chit chat with others but not a lot.  I did burn my back and shoulders sitting at the back but it was OK, if cramped and limited seating on ‘deck’!  

At one point, later on and more settled into the journey and routines, we could stand up and look out over the roof, or sit/lie on the roof which felt safe enough.  

When we arrived we had passed the water villages – lines of houses on the water, ‘streets’ of water between where tiny boats moved around, and markets came from there visiting and selling to tourists, with trips from the city.

It was hot, dusty as we got off the boat onto brown soil and a crowd of people gathered there, shouts and calls, people coming to get your business for a tuk tuk to town and take what they could. 

I literally was climbing over the side of the boat to land, when I young boy of about 8-11 came up close and pointed to the plastic bag of fruit I had taken for the journey and left lots – so I handed it over and off he ran, up the hill to his friends or family to share it!  I felt awful and wished I had more with me to give them – had I known how desperate and poor these locals really are!

Only later, when I met Mavis from Touch a Life who feed the children, mainly, but families too several days a week!   It was humbling and interesting. 

I ended up in a tuk tuk with about five others …and all our bags!  A hot, bumpy and cramped ride into town for about 15-20 minutes, then the driver got me alone before entering my ‘avenue’ to the hostel, and persuaded me to pay over the odds (I found out) for my Angkor Wat trip over the next two days!

In the end though, when I met Bex, we didn’t pay the expected huge tip he had promised his friend to take over the second day for us!

The third day we got a tuk tuk driver via the hostel, sort of employed by them or working with them, for a little less and more trustworthy perhaps!

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