How is everyone on the other side of the World? when I travel I never watch TV and only read at night. So far, I have fallen behind on my reading. After I write my blog, I crawl into bed and just fade off. Speaking about beds. Probably 5 to 6 people can sleep in my bed. The bed is almost wall to wall. I get lost in it. Onto our day.
Met Zayaa for breakfast at 7 AM after being woken up by my iPhone at 6:30. I can thank Andy for getting me into the habit of setting my iPhone alarm when I travel. Kimsru, the Dynamo, was picking us up at 8 AM. I need to bottle whatever she is made off. A real whirlwind. I love to just hear her talk. She is so unique. Kimsru arrived on time with a very nice Tuk Tuk driver and off we went. It is so much better using a Tuk Tuk around Siem Reap. You get so much more of the feel of the people and how they live. We first stopped at a local food market to stock up on water and fruits for our journey. Zayaa’s eyes nearly fell out when she saw the scene. I have always told everyone that you have not lived until you go to a food market in Cambodia. Zayaa wanted to spend all day just walking around tasting the dried fish, fruits and vegetables. We bought small bananas, Jack fruit and fruit bread wrapped in banana leaf. We drove out into the countryside to a lotus farm. A lotus flower is a big beautiful white flower that grows from a pod in water. The lotus and morning glory are both eaten here and used in salads. You can also break the lotus flower pod open and eat the inside. We walked through the Lotus farm on walkways that were just above the water. Sometimes the lotus shoots were growing through the planks of the walkways. There were also small areas with thatched roofs where you could sit and have lunch. Such a beautiful and photogenic scene. I hope I do it justice.
It was then onto our main destination. We drove to a eco friendly local park. There were thatched roof open air pavilions on a large lagoon. When you enter, you are given a bamboo fishing pole and some fish food. You then sit in a pavilion and try to catch your lunch. If you do, you can have the fish cooked and served to you. Kimsru and Zayaa tried their luck. No reward. It was so enjoyable watching them fish and hearing them talking. They have both become friends and greatly enjoy each others company. Two beautiful women from different cultures, but in many ways, very similar. We ate some Jack fruit and fruit bread and then decided to switch locations and see if we could be successful. We walked further into the Park and set up on another part of the lagoon. A local couple walked by and we struck up a conversation. They were just married and lived in Phnom Penh. Zayaa and Kimsru then set up shop as we all saw fish bubbles coming to the surface. Maybe this is it. Zayaa got a bite, but was unsuccessful. Both women struck out as we finally packed up at about 11:30 for a drive to find lunch.
We found a great local restaurant on the side of the road overlooking a small lagoon. Kimsru ordered and we asked the Tuk Tuk driver to join us. The four of us had a banquet. We had barbecued chicken that was about half the size of chickens I have seen in America. This one was very tasty and I could have eaten it all myself. We also had some vegetable soup with beef and of course, the great tasting Cambodian rice. Kimsru had to be back in Siem Reap to give local students at the University of Southeast Asia some pointers on studying abroad and how to go through the process. I asked her if I could join her and we were dropped off first at the University and went into a part of a building named the “American Corner”. There are some rooms that look like a study area and a library of books and magazines all in English. Kimsru sat on the panel and then the three panelists broke off into smaller groups of students to give those students advice and answer their questions. Unfortunately for me, Khmer, the Cambodian language, was spoken. I found a comfortable couch and took a short nap. Kimsru then dropped me off at my hotel for a shower and a short rest. You get very tired in this weather. The humidity and heat wears you down as the day goes on.
Kimsru and Konnitha packed us up at 5:15 with, of course, the same Tuk Tuk driver we used earlier. We drove to the Angkor Wat area to walk around and see some of the sites. There were lots of people picnicking and resting in portable hammocks. We immediately saw a large wild monkey. Zayaa’s first. We walked along the moat of the main entrance way and took some beautiful pictures. It was then onto some other temples. We stopped at a beautiful bridge crossing lined by old buddha statutes. So magnificent. We walked over the bridge and through a large facade onto the other side. On the other side were a large group of monkeys being fed by some locals. Zayaa was so struck by the scene as she watched the monkeys. It was then onto another temple. The beauty of these temples cannot be described. As we drove away, we were lucky to pass some elephants. Zayaa wanted to see elephants. Her first time.
It was then onto dinner. We had dinner at a local vegetarian restaurant. So good. The four of us had a banquet with some shakes. Total cost $17.
Tomorrow it is onto more of Angkor Wat and its beauty. Then in the late afternoon, everyone is going to swim in the hotel swimming pool.
Another great day